Friday, 27 November 2009

Board Vision

One of my recent priorities has been to improve my calculation skills, and as a part of this to improve visualization and board vision. One problem I have with board vision is that I am unable to visualize the whole board. 4x4 squares is the most I can do at once. It is impossible for me to visualize whether two distant squares are on the same diagonal. Even visualizing the center was hard as its squares are too far from the edges of the board, which were my point of reference.

In an attempt to cure this problem I created an image of the board with quadrant lines drawn in. Then I made several randomized lists of the 64 board coordinates, from a1 to h8. The drill is that I go through a random list from beginning to end, pointing out the square of each coordinate on the board.

List 1: c5 h2 e5 c3 a5 e1 c7 b6 d8 g3 e7 e3 a8 f4 f5 b5 a3 e4 e2 d4 g8 f8 a7 g1 a6 g7 g4 h5 b7 a2 d1 d2 b4 d5 c1 h1 b8 h4 c4 b3 h3 f6 e8 a4 b1 d7 d3 f2 g6 h7 g5 a1 g2 c2 f7 c8 h8 e6 d6 h6 b2 c6 f3 f1

List 2: e4 f6 b2 e3 g4 b7 a3 h3 c1 g6 e8 c8 a5 c7 c6 e6 d1 b6 g7 d7 d2 b5 c5 h5 a2 d8 g8 g2 b3 h2 h7 e2 c2 h6 b1 a6 a1 a7 f4 b8 h1 f8 c4 e1 g3 g5 h8 e7 h4 f1 c3 e5 d6 f2 a4 g1 a8 f7 f3 d3 b4 d4 f5 d5

List 3: e6 d8 d4 f2 e1 g3 h1 a6 b2 c2 e3 b6 g8 f7 h6 c5 a2 a4 d6 g5 h3 e8 h5 f6 d2 h2 b1 c6 e4 g1 c1 f1 a3 f5 g2 c7 a7 c3 f4 d7 a1 b4 h4 b3 e2 b8 a5 f8 a8 h7 b7 c4 f3 g6 e7 h8 g4 g7 e5 d1 c8 b5 d3 d5

Next I do the same with a 4x4 board, going through the list again, pointing out where each board coordinate is inside its quadrant.

List 4: g1 a3 f3 g6 d4 e3 c2 h8 b1 d6 d7 h2 b3 b4 g5 g3 a4 h6 a1 b7 e4 f7 f2 a2 e2 c8 h5 d2 c3 d5 d1 g2 f5 e8 a7 e7 h1 f6 b6 g8 b2 c6 a8 h3 f8 g7 b5 f1 a5 d8 c7 a6 h7 c5 d3 c4 b8 c1 h4 g4 e6 f4 e5 e1

List 5: e8 d5 b5 a3 e2 b1 g2 g5 h7 c8 c6 g6 h4 a7 d3 g3 a8 h1 d2 a4 f2 d7 e1 c2 d4 g8 b6 c4 a6 g7 a1 a5 g1 h3 e3 f3 f4 b2 c1 e7 b4 d8 c3 d6 b3 h2 h5 b7 f1 f5 h6 e5 g4 f6 d1 f8 c7 e6 a2 c5 e4 b8 h8 f7

List 6: d8 c5 f7 c8 d6 h1 e3 f2 d2 a1 e8 g6 a7 c4 c6 g5 e5 c1 h5 b5 h3 h8 f3 g8 a2 a3 c7 h6 e6 h7 g1 b2 g3 e4 h2 g4 f6 b4 e2 a5 h4 c2 f4 b3 b6 a8 d7 g2 f8 c3 f5 d1 d3 g7 e7 b8 a6 a4 d4 e1 b1 b7 d5 f1

After doing these drills I visualize the board not as 64 squares, but as 4 quadrants with 16 squares each. The quadrant lines have become points of reference that has made it easier to visualize the center and orient myself around the board. When evaluating blindfol if two distant squares are on a diagonal, I fist visualize where the first square is inside its quadrant, and then where the second is inside its. With this information it has become possible to know whether they are on a diagonal or not.

A.C.I.S. of Caissa

I've been reading about the Adult Chess Improvement Seekers (ACIS) on Blunderprone's blog. The ACIS (pronounced Axis) of Caissa is quickly turning into a movement. Blunderprone himself states that: "The only real requirement is that you establish a method you can sign up for and blog about your journey." The paradigm seems to be that method is good, but different individuals might need different methods.

The A.C.I.S. of Caissa have inspired me to think through training approaches, and formulate techniques that I believe in. My basic model or method, if you will, will be:

1. Identify a problem
2. Find or design training techniques that may help
3. Train using these techniques

This means that the set of training techniques will not be static. It will change over time, depending on the problems that are addressed at the moment, and how far I've gotten in solving them.