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What the press says about CVT !

February 2nd, 2003 - chessville.com
June 25th, 2003 - chesstoday.net
July 4th, 2003 - ChessWatch

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The Chessville Weekly

Chess Visualization Training
Is the ability to visualize the chess board and pieces on it necessary for improving at chess?  The answer is always: "Yes!"

So says Jan Matthies, creator of this site, Chess Visualization Training (CVT).  The home page continues: "People tend to lose "sight" when calculating the moves in their heads.  When making a search for "blindfold chess" on the internet you soon find information that one of the most important advances in your chess life is to master the art of visualization. That's why there is this website.  By the way: It's all free!"

IM Denis Salinnikov adds:  "Is it really true, that solving chess positions and problems only in your mind without a board or diagram is a useful method of chess training?  Yes, I believe so.  First, you will increase your calculation ability and avoid missing “long moves” such as Qg1-a1-a8 in variations, very often a mistake of many chess players.  In addition you will “feel” the geometry of the chess board much better (lines, diagonals etc.)  It becomes natural...  The Chess Visualization Training site is unique on the internet and contains several kinds of exercises where any player can find a good one for his level. Your rating will improve if you keep on exercising, make your way from #1 to the end."

Convinced?  OK, let's take a look at the site itself then, and see if it can really help you learn to improve your chess visualization.  CVT has a series of 11 exercises, and you must first select a user name & password.  The site apparently does not make use of cookies, as I had to log in at the beginning of each exercise, even though I hadn't left the site.

Exercise number one focuses on color: "This one is really easy. You have to visualize the given square.  Once that is done you have to tell the program if that square is white or black by typing "w" or "b"."  Next you are asked to identify the color of a square, e.g. c6.  The exercises are timed, and the length of time it takes you to respond is apparently factored into a score that is accumulated throughout the exercises.  Wrong answers lose points!

The next exercise asks you to decide if two given squares are the same color or not.  The third exercise provides two squares and asks if they are in the same diagonal or not.  Exercise Four adds a third square and again asks if they are in the same diagonal.

Knight moves concern the next pair of exercises.  You are asked if your knight can move from it's present location to another square in one move.  Next you have to decide if the knight can get between two given squares in two moves.  Somewhere along here I started getting error messages when I tried to start a new exercise.  That may be related to the method I used for exiting the exercises though.  All I had to do was recreate my user name & password.

Next come some mate problems.  You are given the location of three pieces, Black king, White king, and White rook, and asked if Black is in mate or not.  Mind you, there are no chess boards used in these exercises!  You have to visualize the position, then answer the question.

It is a must to have a good grasp of algebraic notation before attempting these exercises.  Other than that, everyone should benefit from performing these exercises, and we recommend that you start at the beginning and work your way through to the end. Start Now!

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Chess Today - The first daily chess newspaper

Chess Visualisation Training
There are already hundreds of chess websites, covering all imaginable angles: from shops to composition. A new site called Chess Visualisation Training started recently. The site is free and according to its owner, Jan Matthies from Hamburg, it is about the fact that people tend to loose "sight" when calculating the moves in their heads. So, he created the site where you can master the art of visualisation.


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ChessWatch

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Chess is a matter of visualization, some say. So, is there a way to see the board in your mind better? Maybe you can develop the all-knowing Alekhine stare that glares off the cover of his collected games? You could try "Chess Visualization Training," here. The site presents eleven exercises designed to help you imagine the board better. I took eight of them and my rating has gone up 500 points. (just kidding) The exercises are free and fun; the early ones seemed better than the later ones. It's not clear to me that they actually helped, though. The classical recommendation is to try solving chess problems in your head (CVT is preparing you for this with the first exercises, the real chess problems are still to follow, with #11 as a start, later included from me, Jan); that seems useful. For something on blindfold chess, read George, Koltanowski's Adventures of a Chess Master, if you can find a copy -- it's not in print. (In fact, none of his books seem to be in print, sadly enough.)