This video is long overdue. The title explains it all. Enjoy!

Check out this video to watch the memorization attempt from the video IN FULL (no cuts):

0:00 Chess Sequence
1:23 Intro
3:17 The Approach
4:35 The Images
8:15 The Board
10:35 An Example
14:00 Memorizing The Rest
15:30 Another Approach
16:56 Wrap-up/Outro

Music: Epidemic + Musicbed

#Chess #BlindfoldChess #queensGambit




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  1. To be honest, that hurts my head. But here is the functionality based method that I used to learn to play Blindfold chess.

    1. Get an app that drills you on the color of each square, and notice that each quarter of the board is exactly the same as every other quarter.

    2. Start recreating just the castled portions of diagrams. Make a little name/description in your mind for the recurring castle shapes, such as Kingside castles with g3 and Bg2 being "vanilla with a sniper". The names aren't there to be memorized, they just help you start temporarily "chunking", or storing clusters of pieces in the mental space you used to use for storing only one piece. That is how master's memorize an entire board with a few chunks of info. To them an entire half of the board may be "that time I lost to Paul but with no h-pawn" in their mind. They are memorizing less, not more.

    3. Once you recognize and recreate many castled positions as a single pieces of info, drill yourself with center pawns (then side pawns). Over the weeks you build memorable frameworks to start anchoring the rest of the pieces to.

    4. Move on to memorizing short games, chunking the shapes/clusters that pop up. The more chunks and Pawn centers you can recognize the easier it gets. Try describing the moves out loud using your little shapes and clusters and common board fragments that are becoming automatic to you.

    5. Play through your list of memorized games looking at a blank board, then with your eyes closed.

    6. Test yourself with complete diagrams from famous games and drill your recall, breaking the board up into separate quadrants when you need to. In under two months you should be able to memorize most board positions in 20 seconds, play around 30 moves blindfolded, and play a normal game of chess and then recall the entire game afterward at least half the time. 

    Interesting note, If you try any of this with a randomized board position you will notice that you are back to square one. The fact that even GMs are not able to memorize truly randomized (non-game) positions any better than someone off the street is an indication that their abilities come from chunking and contextual framework rather than brute recall ability. It is the difference between a beginner who can't read English trying to memorize 600 seemingly random letters, vs a GM who has learned the language and memorizes the poem. Test this by giving the native English speaker 600 random letters that do not arise from common words and phrases and watch his super memory plummet to the same level as the foreigner. Obviously this method will only work for people who are obsessed with actually playing the game.

  2. Hey Nelson, it’s really weird because I can play a full game of chess blindfolded decently. I play very often and am rated. I’m no master just a club player. But I don’t use any memory technique. I think the reason players can play blindfolded is because each move is more than just a move. There’s a reason for playing those moves, plus you’ve seen the patterns before. That why, paradoxically, it’s actually easier for me to play blindfolded against other players than against beginners because beginners will make random bad moves I’ve never seen before and than have no purpose. So it’s much harder to remember. Also, when memorizing the board I don’t look at each piece but rather the structure or connection between them. So I can just say in my head, black has the dragon structure on the king side and that covers like 6 pieces right then.

  3. I was waiting for a solution for memorizing a position for a while and your approach helped me fill the gaps to encode chess positions that I want to remember like endgames and mates. I changed it a little bit and use PAOL Person Action Object Location(country/city) to get 4 squares into one image. Great stuff I would never come up with this without your suggestion to combine two squares into PA. Thank you very much this was very helpful indeed 🙂


  5. Queen of England.. because her hair is white. looool?????….

  6. harry lorrain's method of memory tricks, translated to the chess board, interesting but it's very cumbersom

  7. First of all, just imagine the number of subatomic particles that the chess board is composed of, and then one attempts to memorize the entire chess board itself, I mean, WOW !

  8. In the beginning of a video you placed pieces wrong white square is always on the right I'm rated around 1700

  9. I like these parlor memory feats 👍 it's nice to be able claim to do things, but not use like any actual tricks beside real memory tricks and skills.

  10. Watches video… Sees the board is being set up wrongly -.-

  11. So the Knight is a horse and a rook is a Knight 😄

  12. Amazing explanation, I love memorizing crazyhouse chess positions, the pieces are randomly placed there.

  13. I use it with chess books, since they often go on multi page rants on why this 1 single move is important it is nice to remember it all. training my memory has really helped a lot with improving my japanese chess.

  14. Who’s the first man speaking in the intro? I know the second one is Magnus and third is Kasparov.

  15. This is a cool trick for learning to memorize things but if you are serious about Chess this is wouldn't work well. If you want to understand the board better just start memorizing the positions on the board until you know their locations without looking at them. From there you can remember which pieces are in those locations and once you are comfortable with that you can play the game without the board. Playing without the board seems like a Genius task but its really not. It just takes time. Now on a higher level GM's can play simuls of up to 10 games without the board (Blindfolded) and that is hard for even the best players.

  16. The queens gambits way to this is a bit….. Different

  17. Nelson thank u for making this video it helped me a lot for studying chess books and memorizing patterns and helped me gain about a 100 elo points once again thank u 🙏

  18. i was never able to use memory palace. .. but i have a short term memory means i forgot very quickly. .. which is not ideal thing for me as a programmer. .. how did all of you guys mastered it? can you make example video on coding or itil?

  19. As a person who is able to beat weak players without seeing the pieces, this was an interesting video.

  20. Hey great video! Chess players need a way to memorize lines like openings. Each line has multiple paths to remember. Using these techniques for remembering lines would be amazing but I'm not sure how to do it.

  21. Practice practice till you get it right
    Practice makes perfect

  22. bro i am normal person but i can still do that kind of stuff

  23. Simple, just click a picture, honestly, memorisation is useless in today's world, it can be only used for entertaining like a sports! But its not intelligence! Thanks!


  25. Maybe you could start by setting up the board correctly?

  26. Can you memorize an entire chess game from first move to last

  27. I love the video. Made a rap to it. Just have to point out unicorns don’t fly lol but Pegasus does.

  28. I'm assuming you got some inspiration for your intro from chris ramsey.

  29. I found a chess player who organized a nice system for memory palace to memorize full games.

    Each of the 64 squares is assigned an object and action. The object is the starting square and the action is the destination square. On each loci two object-action pairs are saved for a white and black move.

    Each chess game is a different person moving through the same memory palace. The scalability of this system would rely on memorizing a different journey for each person. To memorize 2000 chess games you would need to memorize 2000 different peoples journey through the memory palace.

    A convenient organization method is converting chessbase to the postal notation format which will list all the moves based on their starting and destination square.

  30. So contrary to many of the comments being able to memorize a chess position is a valuable skill, not a panacea, and yes, having the logic of the position both helps to memorize and makes the memorization more useful.

    Memorizing random positions isn't very useful to chess as stated but if you can do that you can also memorize positions that make sense or have an inherent logic.

    My recently designed method for chess was more tedious to create — watching Nelson whip out a system almost on the spot (I'm sure he did think about it some before though) was a useful encouragement too, plus I haven't used PA or PAO and didn't know about doing 6 or 8 digits systems.

    My system is derives from the typical English Major System phonetic encoding, but uses the LETTER of the file for the first letter in each peg word and (only) the significant consonants for the next and only consonant sound. Also, I was careful to keep the pegwords distinct from my Major System pegwords (as a precaution.)

    The purpose of my system is slightly different: to memorize strings of moves (openings, variations, continuations) and to memorize primarily positions with a small number of pieces such a s endgames or mating patterns that only consider the key pieces of the pattern.

    a1 doesn't quite follow the system since every pegword must be a concrete noun that is easy to picture: A1 steak sauce for this.

    b2 is boat, genie is g2, gecko is g7, Daffy is d8.

    Every file has it's own "Word" so when memorizing ideas about files or ranks, or procedures that are invariant based on files and ranks it's easy to do them as a whole: eagle for the e-file, monkey for the 3rd rank.

    All of the pairs also have combos, baker-gopher represents the pair of knight files (b & g)

    When playing blindfold (low skill but solidly) prior to doing this I noticed being able to track diagonals was an important skill.

    Every square is also denoted for its color which is useful in playing along diagonals, but also every diagonal (26 of them) is also easy to memorize by both the sequence/grouping of the items and the endpoints.

    Going a step further, knowing the "reflections" of all diagonals is useful so d1 (Queen) at "dodo" reflects at h5 (hulu) to reach e8 (Eve) where the Black King starts.

    Knowing the return path also: Eve (e8) to Arrow (a4) back to dodo (d1) to hulu (h4) to Eve (e8). Similarly for d8-d5-e1-e4

    Every edge square, except the corners, is on a set of 4 diagonals that form a circuit.

    It helped me to add a specific figure for each of the 4 bishops (white LIGHT/DARK, and black LIGHT/DARK) since knowing the bishop's square color also helps when playing blindfold.

    I am working on Knight moves from pegword to pegword from any square — not sure this is worth the effort, but it's helping solidify everything else.

    By placing all the titles of the sections from "100 Endgames You Must Know" and working through adding positions, key concepts/ideas, and continuations it's making the memorization move steadily through the key ideas.

    Just having the titles would seem pretty useful on first thought but memory is a funny thing and merely having a "Place" to hang the important information of each endgames helps (think "pegs" which we all know are useful.)

    The chessboard itself is rapidly approaching becoming a very useful memory palace of it's own — since it's possible to visit each square sequentially either by rows (across the columns as in the video) or by files up the rows.) Not sure what I'll use this for — doesn't have to be chess.

    In addition it seems to be practical to encode variations already calculated when deciding on a tactical move in a complex position to help avoid the problem of repeating lines already analyzed unnecessarily, or to speed that when new information indications recalculation is prudent.

    None of this eliminates the need for UNDERSTANDING and CONCEPTS but it makes fixing the examples, continuations, and ideas much easier.

  31. Holy WOW. That was such a great video and explanation. THANK YOU!!

  32. You got board wrong way white is right always remember

  33. " I'm pretty good, but I'm not rated'. I hate to break it to you…but you are definitely not good if you aren't rated. No insult intended.

  34. this just one more misapplication of memory palaces. this method adds additional cognitive load because you need to remember lots of additional unnecessary information. and you will be translating between two unrelated languages (systems) (1) object/action combinations and (2) the chess pieces . this will be very distracting from visualizing the relationship between the pieces. memory palace is good for momorizing sequences of numbers. memory experts try to misapply it everywhere including languag vocabulary.

  35. Just Some Boy Probably Dressed in Corduroy says:

    I'm an advanced chess player. Your whole approach doesn't work for me. Assigning people and actions to each piece, and using a memory palace just makes more things for me to remember. I find it much easier to just memorize more directly, there's less to remember. I don't really understand why memorizing "shrimp, eating = white pawn" is easier than memorizing "white pawn," for example. Also, I don't understand the point of the memory palace, but maybe because I can't see images in my head. The memory palace just adds more things for me to remember. I guess everyone's brain works differently. Mine prefers the abstractness of: white pawn a1, black knight b1, etc. But I grant your method may work for some.

  36. Part of me wants to treat the patterns like a star constellation or pixel art

  37. Love your videos! As a chess player, it would be interesting to see how memory techniques can be used to memorize openings. The technique would need to take into account a “tree of possibilities.” It would also be useful for memorizing other decision-tree-like patterns. I think that this type of branching may be difficult to encode in a standard memory palace 🤔

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