Deliberate Practice

I want to write another post on blindfold chess, yet I’ll start here with this article on deliberate practice, and Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak:

Ironically, once back in junior college, I told two aquaintances, who were talking about baseball, that baseball hitters probably have 20/10 vision, and they laughed and agreed, and here for some reason, just as out of the blue as I bring it up now, a study in the article showed this same thing.

Anyway, blindfold training and deliberate practice are linked at the hip.  I can blindfold recall Morphy’s “Opera game” in under two minutes, and I blindfolded an opening line in the KGA last night, and I realized that I can remember openings more certainly by doing it this way.  Blindfolding does have to be deliberate, though, you have to decide to turn on that switch, otherwise it’s just as likely that nothing changes in your play.

I find blindfold training linked to memorization, which is one reason I find it harder to see how people use blindfolding in live games because, as I’ve said before, blindfolding is more suitable for remembering the past than seeing the future, or even the present sometimes.  However, blindfolding is useful for solving puzzles, which are static in a way because the actual game has long been over with by the time you see the puzzle.  I can and have used blindfolding to see long lines in analysis, or to solve a tactical puzzle.  In a game, this is trickier due to time-limits.  Blindfolding is not that fast until you become highly proficient at it, like Timur.

If you want to learn blindfold chess, it will help you later on by starting with memorizing the board, and as much of that as you can, as otherwise you will have to reteach it to yourself over and over again here and there.





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