In life just as in chess, nothing comes easy. You must devote yourself to improve in chess every day. There is no alternative to self-discipline. You must be in love with the process of improvement as much as you are interested in winning. Having a positive attitude can make you strong for each game.
Setting things to memory by study, repetition, taking notes, reading strategy or tactics books on chess, watching masters play, and playing with a diverse crowd of players are some of the things aspiring players can do to improve at chess. However, chess is a game of mental toughness as much as it is of tactics and strategies. The truth is, we all have our unique thought processes and mental capacities. The ability to predict your opponents' next set of moves is possible to attain through the improvement of your visualization skills. What distinguishes a beginner from a grandmaster is the ability to visualize. Successful players tend to visualize plans to stay ahead in the game by thinking 5-10 chess moves ahead of their opponent.
If you come across a player with the same caliber as you, thinking many moves ahead can set you apart from your competition. This strategy eventually helps you to gain material advantage or time, forcing the game to edge towards the end in your favor.
Now let us discuss a few steps that have been traditionally used to increase the power of visualization:
Being the first and most crucial step in mastering the art of visualization, this step is the most common among players of all ratings.
Step one is all about making the right moves without moving pieces on the board. Here comes the challenge: your goal is to guess the opposition moves and staying prepared for what's coming ahead by visualizing your moves for the same. This is a great mental exercise that improves your visualization over some time.
Here's how you can do it! You may arbitrarily set a time for this, say 5 minutes to guess moves. As you get better in the exercise, the time limit will reduce too. It is very important to increase the level of tactics and practice consistently every day without fail. This will lead to the progression and advancement of visualization techniques if you learn from the game and implement what you have learned.
Take a moment to remove all the pieces from the chessboard. Now try to remember the placement of each piece on the chessboard.
Now you can use the light and dark squares to place the chess pieces on the board mentally - this will train your mind to recognize patterns in between chess piece placement. After doing this, proceed to solve the same tactic within the arbitrary time limit discussed in last section, say 5 minutes. Only this time, it should be done without any chess pieces on the board.
This exercise may seem difficult at first, however, you will evolve each day with perseverance and practice. This is one of the strongest methods of visualizations where the results speak for themselves.
Cover your eyes with the help of a sleeping mask or a thick cloth and try to solve a puzzle in your head without using a chessboard as a reference. This is the final and the most difficult step in process of improving visualization. Here an aspiring chess player recites the solution out loud. This might seem difficult at first, but if keep trying and solving more puzzles, you can improve visualization over some time.
Practicing at least 10 tactics every day using the above steps has benefited aspiring chess players. However, times have changed and there is an increase in the popularity of solving puzzles online. Using online visualization tools helps you develop intuition due to basic pattern recognition. Exposure to many different types of puzzles helps you learn from your mistakes, which in turn, helps you understand the game better. Chessbolt.org is one such tool that users can use.
If you like playing chess puzzles online, Chessbolt.org provides more than 100,000 tactical puzzles that are generated from real games. Using this online chess tool gets you enough exposure to understand different games, practice, make mistakes, and learn from then.
As you practice at chessbolt.org, we help you understand solutions through annotations and visualizations. This helps you gain a better understanding of the game and learn the process of visualization.
As you continue to practice chess tactics and chess strategies online, you will see a steady improvement in your intuition, visualization, and thought process. Get ready to predict your opponent's moves and stay ahead in your game.