Martin B. Justesen : Blindfold Endgame Visualization


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Try to see if you can solve the following position:

D. Khismatullin vs. A. Volokitin, 2008

White draws

White: Kc2, a2

Black: Ke3, c3, b4

(solution see below)

Why This Book?

As a chess player, I have always been impressed by strong chess players' abilities to visualize the board without seeing it, firing off variations in the post mortem, or walking away from the board during a game while thinking about the position. As an adult trying to learn the game and improve I really want to be able to improve my ability to visualize. However, I soon discovered that there wasn't much training material available. To change this I have gone through hundreds of endgame studies, game positions, and mate problems to select the best positions for blindfold solving.

You might ask yourself why should I spend time trying to visualize a position and calculate when I have the board to look at during the game. Boris Gelfand said it pretty clearly in an interview on the Perpetual Podcast: “to save energy”. By straining your brain muscles now, you will be able to outlast your next opponent. This book contains 50 blindfold endgame positions. This might not sound like a lot, but most people buy chess books and never finish them resulting in a feeling of failure. Even adults with jobs and kids, like myself, can finish this book and get a sense of achievement.

This will hopefully motivate you to keep going, and I plan to publish a second volume in 2021 with more positions. I hope that the book will challenge you to stretch and strain your mind in the effort to solve these positions. Don’t be scared of failing as long as you put in the effort. You can also see it as a meditative exercise disconnecting from the outside world.

Set aside a minimum amount of time you want to spend on each position. I will suggest 15 minutes. If you haven't solved it by then, take a look at the diagram of the position in the back, before you try to solve it blindfolded again. If you feel stuck try to write down your variations on paper.

Finally, if all else fails try to solve it by looking at the diagrams in the book.

What do the experts say?

"We played blindfold chess wherever we were-dancing, hiking, on buses and trains; wherever two of us happened to be, we would begin a blindfold game. All over Antwerp, people shook their heads at this babbling crew. A year later I was playing 16 games blindfold, which represented a new Belgian record. In 1924, while in the Belgian army, I played 20 at Naur, a sort of pay-off for having nothing to do but peel potatoes for two hours a day." - George Koltanowski

"Playing blindfold, like it or not, you have to make your body work at full power, otherwise, you risk losing your" orientation at the board" - Vladimir Kramnik

This book is not a beginner's book but aimed at intermediate and expert players who want a challenge!

Solution: 1.a3 bxa3 2. Kxc3 a2 3. Kb2 a1=Q 4. Kxa1 ½-½


118 Seiten, kartoniert, 1. Auflage 2020

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