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I want to memorize some games so that I can replay them in my mind without a board. The reason for this is that I think it could be helpful for improving my strength. I want to be able to fully replay the game, to visualize the pieces in every position, to check variants etc.

Now this is an arduous task (at least for me).

What do you think is the easiest way to accomplish it?

Edit:

This might sound like playing blindfold, but that is not the point of my question. I read about tools for learning playing blindfold, like software to improve visualization-skills or techniques.

I am looking for ideas and hints how I could design the learning process more comfortable when memorizing games – maybe using some kind of software, maybe how to progress when starting to learn a game by heart.

  • You are essentially asking how to learn to play blindfold chess because the skill required is the same. There are several questions on this already which have answers which would be useful to you probably starting with this one - chess.stackexchange.com/questions/5022/…. – Brian Towers Jun 26 at 21:34
  • Duplicate then perhaps, sort of, maybe? – Rewan Demontay Jun 26 at 22:21
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    If you want your training to be easy, you are doing it wrong. – Annatar Jun 27 at 6:10
  • @BrianTowers No, I definitely mean it differently. See my edit in the original post. – BNetz Jun 27 at 8:39
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    @Annatar You are absolutely right. I would go even farther and say: IF training is easy and comfortable you definitely will have no effect from the training. Like just reading a book about tactics is easy, but you won't improve your strength. Solving tactical problems is not easy, but you will have a benefit from it. So my question doesn't aim on "How can I improve without effort?" but on "How can I make the process less arduous?" – BNetz Jun 27 at 9:40
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Playing blindfold is not going to be easy, as @Annatar states. Only if you practice much (and accept that you're going to fail the first few times), you will succeed and over time it will probably become easier.

That said, here are some hints:

  • Start with short games. It's easier to replay a 15 move miniature than a 80 move endgame with lots of rook maneuvers.
  • Use games from openings you play yourself. If you're not familiar with the Sveshnikov pawn structure or the typical moves of a King's Indian, they'll be harder to remember and to visualize.
  • Use your own games. Especially the most recent one, which is still 'living' in your memory and you probably have analyzed it already after the game itself. Check if you can still 'reach' that position where that crazy bishop sacrifice was possible which you and your opponent talked about in the post-mortem.
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I am the author of the software that you might be needing. For example, it is possible to set up an exercise like this https://szachydzieciom.pl/?page_id=5216&lang=en#6 where the task is to replay blindfold from the score the famous opera game. The score need not be shown, it's just an option. It need not be blindfold, either, it's just an option. I can provide more details if this is the kind of thing that you are looking for.

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I basically agree with the points mentioned in Glorfindel's answer (short games in your opening and your own games). A few additonal thoughts:

  • IMO there is not much point (for your chess strength) to remember very long games from start to end. I'd limit myself to the opening/middle game and perhaps interesting snippets from the game. What do you gain from remembering say 40 moves in an equalish rook endgame?

  • In my experience, as you improve in strength, calculate more deeply and analyze/replay games you will gain the ability to memorize games automatically. You could try to do it the other way around, though personally I'd find it a bit boring to learn (long) games by heart.

  • Another idea for learning would be to replay games from notation without a board in your head. Not necessarily with the aim to memorize the game, but to practice visualization.

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