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spurtus 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Visualisation skills Does anybody have any technique for calculating and visualing in general in chess? I often feel my technique is inefficent, poor and cant confidently calculate beyond a certain level of complexity.

Thanks,
Spurtus.
ionadowman 199 ( +1 | -1 )
This question reminds me... ... Way back in the early '70s I suddenly noticed I was seeing the pieces on the board in terms of their moves rather than as physical objects. It was a weird feeling, but seemed to coincide with good play and a quick sight of the board. I felt a stronger player for it. Unfortunately, it happened just as the chess activity for the year was coming to an end, and several months would ensue before playing again. I've never ever recovered that sense of the pieces as "lines of force".

I suspect that strong players tend to have this same vision of the board as I've tried to describe. It can only come with play - particularly (in my view) tactical play. Have you ever looked at a position and have a whole combination come into your head at once? OK, I've never seen a really long combination that way, but 3, 4 or 5-movers with not many sidelines will, with experience, start leaping to the mind as you gain experience with tactical patterns.

Which is why, I think, tactical puzzles are great to practise on. Try solving them just from the diagram. I would also recommend varying this to setting out the position on a chessboard and try solving without touching the pieces, as if it were an actual game. For some of us (including myself) reading a diagram has a different feel from reading a board.

If you are unable to solve the puzzle, check out the solution, seeing if you can visualise it (this isn't easy, since you are transferring your attention from the written page to the diagram). Finally just play through the solution on the board.

Paul Keres used to recommend playing unsound gambits, a kind of "odds-giving" style, to develop the imagination. Such openings lead to sharp, complicated, play in which you really have to find moves. Coming from probably the greatest player never to become World Champion, this advice is not to be dismissed lightly.

Cheers,
Ion
spurtus 76 ( +1 | -1 )
it might sound strange but I can look at a position and sense tactics, a sort of 'seeing' or 'sniffing' of the board moves several moves ahead, almost instantly.

The problem is commiting myself to a move in a highly tactical position that I cannot 100% calculate its soundness. The instinct says yes, and I do sometimes just trust it, with a majority of success. But I feel I should be checking the soundness or trying to find improvements by calculating more, but somehow calculating more efficiently, and it is partly losing my board vision when I calculate that I think is letting me down. My calculation speed is quite slow too as I am quite paranoid and try not to overlook sacs and refutations of seemingly straightforward tactics.

I hope that made sense.

Spurt.
ionadowman 87 ( +1 | -1 )
Understood... ... But I will bet even the strongest players experience this. It's something that Aleksandr Kotov remarked upon in his "Think Like a Grandmaster" in which the "tree" of possible moves becomes, the further ahead you look, more and more like an impenetrable thicket.
Broadly speaking, I would suggest "Go with your instincts" - but agree that this is easier advice to give than to follow! What might help, though, is Tarrasch's dictum about what to do when you find a good move: look for a better. A simpler line might turn out to be more promising after all.
But also try varying the move order. It doesn't happen often, but I have known a complicated line resolve itself into something simpler with the move order changed.
Just my thoughts, anyhow...