Saturday, November 24, 2012

Visualization in Chess

Visualization in chess is very important.  It is excellent practice to visualize positions without the aid of a chess board.  The ability to visualize well is present in all great players.  In a game of speed chess against Puliukko of Finland, I visualized different positions to help me achieve victory.  In the game I played white.  Here are the moves of the game along with my commentary:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 d6
3. Bc4 h6

Here black often pins the knight with Bg4.

4. h3 Qe7

I prevent a pin on my knight.  Black makes a move that hinders his development.  With the queen on e7, his king bishop has no square.

5. c3 a6
6. d4 exd4
7. 0-0 dxc

Black grabs a second pawn but at the cost of development. 

8. Nxc3 Nc6
9. Nd5 Qd7

My aim is to prevent black from castling.

10. Re1 Nge7
11. e5 dxe

With the black king in the centre, I decide to open the position.

12. Nxe5 Qd8

Black's move surprises me.  I visualize 12...Nxe5 13. Rxe5.  This pins the knight on e7 but is better than black's passive move which allows a winning combination.

13. Nxc7+ Qxc7

Black's capture is forced.  My move opens a diagonal for my bishop to mate on my next move.

14.  Bxf7#

The mate is the position I visualize when I play my thirteenth move.  Black's inability to develop his pieces and protect his king is critical.  His fourth move, Qe7, is premature because it slows his development and makes castling more difficult. 

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