Visualization Training – II

In the first article on this topic we saw how we could visualize an entire chess board in our minds. So what next? Now, we come to the pieces.

Pawn– (The pawn has no annotation)

From the previous article, we already know the annotation for each square, as in this diagram.

Now all we need to do is combine both elements. The correct way to annotate a move played is :-

‘Piece annotation’ + ‘annotation of the square to which the piece is moved to’

For the pawn this will be reduced to ‘annotation of the square to which the pawn is moved to’. Let’s have a look at a few examples.

A King moving to the square f3 from the square f2 is annotated as Kf3 where ‘K’ is the annotation for the king and f3 is the square the king is moved to. Notice how it doesn’t matter which square the piece is moved from.

A Queen moving to the square h8 from the square h1 is annotated as Qh8.

A pawn moving to the square d4 from d2 is annotated as d4 (as pawns have no annotations themselves).

Let’s have a look how the starting moves of a sample game will be annotated.

White plays his pawn to the square e4, thus the annotation will be 1. e4. Here 1. stands for move number 1. This is only useful while writing down moves during a tournament.

Black pushes his pawn to the square e5. So, 1…e5 . Black’s moves are shown by inserting three dots between the move and the move number.

2. Nf3


Captures are denoted by a ‘ X ‘ between the piece annotation and the square to which the piece is moving after a capture. In the above below, White captures the Knight on c6 with his Bishop. That is denoted as Bxc6.

So now you know the basics of annotations. Even if you close your eyes, you can still picture the board and pieces just with a little bit of practice and soon you can play like a man from outer space, even without looking at the chess board!

As a test there are four test positions, try to find out the correct annotations for all.

What is the annotation for the move played by White here? The piece’s previous and next squares are highlighted. (Hint: he just played his pawn from d2 to d3).

Annotation for Black’s last move.

Annotation for White’s last move.

Last puzzle is to recall the last three moves (Two by White and one by Black) in your mind. Try to picture the pieces as they are and then try to see the move happening in your mind. Notice the pawn move from the square d2 to d3, the bishop from c8 to g4 and so on.

  • d3
  • Bg4
  • h3

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