I have started to play Chess again after a few years. It is not difficult to reproduce an opening or sticking with a plan during the middlegame, but the most difficult to me is to keep track of enemy pieces threats on open rows/diagonals/columns.

As an example during one game I've lost track of an open diagonal that has a bishop of the other player and no piece (white or black), and forget to take care of not letting pieces stay on that diagonal unprotected while I was thinking on something else (like a plan to stick with).

My question: Is there a tip or a known method of pros like "memorizing/imagine colors" or create a "mental X mark" inside all those squares that makes part of a enemy movement possibility?

Sometimes I get caught by those pieces that are full aggressive (not protecting anyone)...


What you are talking about is called "board vision". Googling "chess board vision" will get you a ton of stuff.

One thing that may help. On looking at an enemy piece (or one of your own) do not ask "where is it?" but ask directly "what is it doing?". For example, that Bishop is controlling that diagonal, which is annoying because I would like to use some of those squares. The battle for control of an important square might involve pieces close to or far away from that square, but they should be linked in your mind as participants in the same struggle. Psychologists call this chunking. You can remember things about a group of pieces more easily than about the individual pieces.

  • And searching for more information through the internet, i've got this - billwall.phpwebhosting.com/articles/chunking.htm - Chunking and Chess theories. This makes me wander, cause the best answer to my question would be a fusion o Your answer and @CConero 's answer... – user13443 Jun 6 '17 at 11:06
  • Thats a good article. Let me try to give an analogy. Suppose you want to ask "Is there a nice outdoor park near here?" in a language that you don't speak very well. You have to recall the vocabulary word-by-word, and then the sentence structure and then put it all together. A fluent speaker just says it. I suspect they just make small modifications to a general-purpose asking-directions chunk, because being able to ask directions is a useful skill. You know an amazing number of chunks. Here is a chess chunk. The Black pawns are on f7/g7/h6. It would be nice to put a White Knight on f5. – Philip Roe Jun 6 '17 at 16:10
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    ..Black can't easily drive it off with g6 without dropping h6, unless he prepares it with, say, Bf8. Awareness of this typical chunk may explain why White would play Nd2 because that gives him a route to f5 via f1 and g3. It would also explain why Black might play Re8 because that prepares Bf8. Both players are aware of a potential chunk that a beginner might not notice. They are thinking of adaptable patterns. Experience makes this easier as you learn what chunks are useful. This is how you use vision and develop vision. But basic internet vision exercises that train the eye are needed too. – Philip Roe Jun 6 '17 at 16:34

I would think that with regular play, your "sight" of the board will improve. It's like anything else in that practice will lead to improvement. Also, playing a lot will enhance your sense of where things are on the board. For example, in a fianchettoed position, you'll automatically sense that the enemy bishop is on the long diagonal. At least I've found those things to be true for myself, and I would think that they'd apply universally.

  • And playing is the only way to improve it? There is no other way i could make my brain "see" and keep that on short memory during a chess game? – user13443 Jun 5 '17 at 20:35
  • Doing tactics problems regularly should help with this. There are numerous sites where you can do that, such as ChessTempo and Chess.com. One wit said that tactics are 99% of chess, maybe an exaggeration, yet with a grain of truth. And playing regularly will help with your pattern recognition by seeing a lot of positions. Then when a favorable one reappears, you'll recognize it. – CConero Jun 5 '17 at 22:37
  • As I said below, the problem here is to choose an answer, since yours and @PhilipRoe's should be merged to create the best one :) – user13443 Jun 6 '17 at 18:50

My question: Is there a tip or a known method of pros like "memorizing/imagine colors" or create a "mental X mark" inside all those squares that makes part of a enemy movement possibility?

So, you are asking about visualization exercises. Link below:


Helpful exercises for 'knowing' the chessboard.

Also, you probably need tactical training too. There are many sites for that and every server has exercises to test yourself.

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