I’m sure you’ve heard that training chess tactics is the quickest way to improve your game, but in this article I want to reveal why I believe that visualization is actually the most critical skill in chess!
What is visualization skill?
In chess, visualization is the ability to see in your mind the positions reached when certain moves are made – without making them on the board – and seeing them so clearly, you can accurately consider the implications of each new position.
Now let me ask you a question…
Has this ever happened to you?
- In the middle of a match, do you look at the same variations once…twice…many times?
- Have you ever hesitated because you were afraid to make a mistake?
My experience is that many players lack strong chess visualization skills. Their confidence and ultimately their results suffer because of this.
Visualization is a basic and essential skill that you need if you want to advance from being an amateur to a master chess player, or if you just want to beat all your friends and opponents and impress them with your abilities.
Are you serious about improving your chess? If yes, then don’t overlook the importance of improving your visualization skills.
Problems You Face When Your Visualization Skills are Bad
Here are the typical signs that indicate you should work on your visualization skills:
- You tend to calculate lines over and over in your head because you simply do not trust your own calculations. As a result, your time management suffers and this may even cause anxiety.
- You struggle to keep track of all the implications when you try to visualize more than 2 or 3 moves ahead. This hurts your confidence and slows you down even more.
- You occasionally make silly blunders because of something that inexplicably slipped your mind in the moment.
The good news is that you can overcome these issues and become a much better chess player, simply by improving your visualization skills.
What is it like to Have Excellent Chess Visualization Skills?
Imagine for a moment that you were able to visualize many moves ahead and think about the consequences–long before you actually make the moves on the board.
The effect this skill would have on your game play is very significant:
- You stay calm throughout the game because you trust your calculations. Of course you should never become over-confident, but a calm mindset can promote an effective thought process.
- You’re able to plan moves that your opponent just doesn’t see, and they seem to walk right into traps you set. You have an instant advantage over any player who can’t visualize the moves as well as you can.
- You rarely make blunders and mistakes that causes you lose games instantly. Instead, you experience a significant improvement to the depth and speed of your tactical analysis.
- You save lots of time on the clock–because you don’t need to calculate variations over and over in your mind.
As you can now see (pun intended), visualization is “the skill” that will take your game to new heights! It will bring you real positive results in a short time-frame, helping you to succeed in chess.
The Role of Visualization in Your Thinking Process
Chess is a thinking game and visualization is central to the whole thinking process!
At every step in your thinking process, you will rely on your ability to “see” clearly in your mind your possible moves and their implications, before you actually make the moves.
When you become very good at visualization, everything becomes clearer. This is why you will also experience your proficiency in other areas naturally following after developing strong visualization skills.
How to Develop your Visualization Skill
Most chess players don’t have a specific tool to train visualization and they simply solve tactical puzzles–hoping to achieve the same result. Although it will help you, this method is not optimal because it does not isolate your “visualization muscles”.
I searched a long time for visualization exercises that would simulate how the visualization process works in reality, but I couldn’t find anything that met the standard I was looking for, which was probably a good thing because it helped me conceive the concept of VISUALWIZE exercises.
VISUALWIZE exercises are specifically designed to train visualization. It employs a unique training method that does not require you to read any chess notation between moves. Instead, you are visually guided by arrows so that you can focus your attention where it matters–on the board.
If you want an effective way to improve your visualization skills then VISUALWIZE is exactly what you were looking for.