My chess program for K6 kids focuses on a concept I call “board vision.”
What is board vision?
Simply put, is it being able to see where the pieces can go and what they can do.
It is the “basic” or “fundamental” starting point of chess after one learns the rules and how to move the pieces.
It is the one thing that will help any beginner play better.
Jim Rohn is an and incredibly successful top motivational speaker. Here’s what he says about the importance of the “basics.”
Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural
consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.
Let me demonstrate the truth of this will a simple explanation and a short story.
Nearly everything in life is dependent on the combination of basics or fundamentals to create advanced skill or execution.
In martial arts for example, the main difference between a lower belt and a Black belt is not the kicks punches and blocks. Anyone who has studied for a while will know them. But the Black-belts difference is…
- The Black belts execution of each basic technique is nearly flawless which means his punch breaks boards and yours hurts your hand. He also combines techniques effortlessly.
- In combat, the Black belt knows exactly what to do – he doesn’t have to think about it. It’s as automatic as when something comes near your eye – you blink.
Chess is full of things you need to know, but first you must be able to see where the pieces can move and what they can do. Chess is a game of patterns – and the more you know, the stronger you’ll be.
This program starts with and focuses on that fundamental basic “board vision.”
Maybe this story will help you see the value in taking a “basics focused” approach.
Years ago, a Grandmaster friend of mine had the great fortune of having Bobby Fischer stay at his home for a good part of the summer. I asked him, what did Bobby do, what did he study?
He replied, he’s been here for weeks and all he does is study two-move checkmates.
I said that’s it? He said yes that’s all he’s been doing for hours and hours every day. I said why would he study two-move mates – its too simple?
He said, I asked Bobby that question and he replied, “chess is all about patterns and the more you know the stronger you are.”
You must understand that Bobby would likely see the answer to most such problems nearly instantly while you as a beginner might never solve them without looking up the answer.
I am going to start by making sure you know all the rules of chess, that you become competent at moving all the pieces which will enable you to see where they can go and what they can do. And that might possibly double your playing strength but improve it for sure.
Up to about master class most games are won and lost on simple tactics of one or two moves. If you can see, you are less likely to give away your pieces which is what beginners do:)
So let’s get started.
I have a board vision problem for you. To solve the problem, you are going to need to see where all the pieces can go and what they do.
The following position is White to checkmate in one move. To help you understand at least something about the position you will see an arrow depicting Black’s last move. The position is very complicated with lots of pieces.
After you have tried to solve the problem, I will direct you to a video on board vision which goes over this position in detail and shows you exactly what you should be able to see fairly quickly. I can pretty much assure you there is a lot here you just won’t see until you watch the video.