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Thought Process . Board Vision . Part 2


Developing Chess Board Vision (Part 2)

Knight Vision

The Knight is the most difficult piece to master when practicing board vision. This is because of its irregular move. For this reason, Knight vision requires a number of different exercises.

Exercise 5: Visualizing Knight Move Pattern

Start with an empty board. Place a Knight on a1. Visualize each square that the knight can move to. Tap those squares with your finger. Physically tapping the squares will reinforce the pattern in your mind.

Now move the Knight to b1. Visualize each square that the Knight can move to. Tap those squares with your finger.

Repeat this exercise on each square, moving the Knight through c1-d1-e1-f1-g1-h1. Then move the Knight to a2, and continue through b2-c2-d2-e2-f2-g2-h2. Continue moving the Knight along each rank, until you have been through all of the 64 squares on the board.

This exercise will help you be able to visualize the pattern behind the Knight's move. After you've repeated the exercise over a number of days, the squares should start to "pop out" of the board in your mind's eye.

Exercise 6: Visualizing Knight Captures

Repeat the same process as in Exercise 1 (from the previous page), except replace the white Rook with a white Knight.

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The starting setup for Exercise 7.

Exercise 7: Getting the Knight to Destinations

Start with the setup shown in the diagram. The task is to move the white Knight from a1 to b1 in the least number of moves possible. You aren't allowed to capture the black Pawns, and you aren't allowed to move to any square attacked by the black Pawns. Once b1 is reached, move the Knight to c1. Then to d1-e1-f1-g1-h1. Then to h2-f2-etc (notice that you skip g2 as a destination square, because it is attacked by a black pawn). Continue moving back and forth across the ranks until you reach a8. Skip over any squares occupied or attacked by the black Pawns.


A Schedule for Working Through the Exercises

Board vision exercises have to be repeated over time to lock the patterns into your mind. We suggest working through the 4-week schedule shown below. As you repeat the exercises, you'll notice that your speed will increase dramatically. Also, the key movement/capturing squares will begin to "pop out" of the board.

Although the exercises can be boring, the pay-off will come when you put your skills into action - and victory - over the chessboard.

Week 1

  • Do Exercise 1 daily
  • Do Exercise 2 daily
  • Do Exercise 3 daily

Week 2

  • Do Exercise 2 daily
  • Do Exercise 3 daily
  • Do Exercise 4 daily

Week 3

  • Do Exercise 4 daily
  • Do Exercise 5 daily

Week 4

  • Do Exercise 6 daily
  • Do Exercise 7 daily

Going forward, you should try to repeat all the exercises on a monthly basis, or before important games / tournaments.

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