What methods exist for CHESS?

can anyone explain to me a method of remembering chess peices?

Hi. You can refer the technique from How to develop a perfect memory by Mr Dominic.

where can i find this? in a specific book of his or a vid?

You can find this book from some sites in the internet. It has 1 chapter about how to memorize chess pieces. If you still get difficulty in having the book, plz pm to me.

How to develop a perfect memory on google books.

What is it exactly you want to remember?
Games / Moves / Positions of pieces on the board?

I want to remember peice positions. to be honeset it serves no practical purpose that i can think of. Some of my friends are fascinated with my abilty to remember things so it would not serve for much more than being a party trick to remember positions.

I’d probably do it like this:

Create a journey with 64 locations.
I’d probably divide it up into sets of 8.

Then you assign people/animals/objects to each of the pieces.
White Queen: Queen of England.
Black Queen: Aretha Franklin.

Then when you need to memorise the board, run through the journey and put the right person in the right location.

When you need to recall, run though the locations until you find the piece you’re looking for.

Depends a lot on what type of system (if any) you have already.
With enough practice anything gets easy. :slight_smile:

thanks. i havent had time lately to come up with a system to do that yet. I kind of had thought to do a grid system and then have people call out posistions to me like “A5” etc. i will start thinkin about it.


If you play a bit of chess then recognising and visualising patterns comes easier. There are certain groupings of pieces that occur more commonly and in time become like a language of their own.
Dividing the board up into quarters can help with visualisation.
Chess masters do not use memory techniques like loci and pegs as discussed here.

However if you were to use memory techniques Geoff’s method is good.
My first thought was perhaps a more complicated alternative of using the usual journey method with each locus containing a person performing an action. No more than 32 different loci would be needed.
You would have images for 64 different characters (representing each square) performing 12 different actions (representing the 12 different types and colours of pieces).
Only remember the person representing each occupied square performing the action for a particular piece. This way only occupied squares are remembered but more work is needed on the images - unless you already have images of people for numbers one to sixty four.
The action for pawns is likely to occur frequently. I would probably make this something like sleeping, looking blankly at you or even no action.
Good Luck

Here’s a better idea:

you dont need 64 locations on a journey, only 32 (there are 32 pieces). Make sure you know the positioning codes for the layout of a chess boar (A1 - H8, etc). First, come up with an image for each piece:

king - crown
rook - castle
pawn - prawn/shrimp
bishop - ship


Then when you are given the board to memorize skip move along the chess board starting at a1 to a8, then b1 to b8, ect, moving up the board. Skip empty spaces, but when you encounter a piece, say a1 has a king there, transform a1 into your dominic system or whatever you use. So for me a1 translates to 11 (andre agassi). So then I picture andre wearing a crown in the 1st of 32 locations on my journey. So part of the image preserves the location on the board, the other part of the image preserves the type of piece.

I’d use the same method as climbformemory because then you’d need at most 32 loci, and very likely less

Look at the position, and determine whether it resembles:
#1. Starting position (less than 10 moves from each side)?
#2. Very few pieces (less than 10)
#3. Middle game (Neither #1 nor #2).

The advantage of conducting this survey is that many positions resemble #1 or #2.

In case they do resemble #1 or #2, you can convert the position to numbers: Each Piece:Square combination yields a 3 digit number: There are only 6 pieces in chess: King, Queen, Bishop, (K)Night, Rook and Pawn. So each piece yields a digit. And there are 64 squares. So, each square yields you 2 digits. If a piece was captured, you can use 00 to represent that.

In case of #3, you can use the FEN method

I thought I might post suggestions for anyone interested in improving their chess play, although I know this is a bit off topic, as the question relates to exhibitions of memory of a chess board.

I’m not practicing what I preach (I have other interests), but ask strong chess players, and they will agree: If you want to improve your strength, play as many timed (slow) games as you can. Annotate as many of your own games as you can, and get the annotations reviewed by a least a master. Annotations consist of alternative trees of move sequences, and give the reason why one variation is better than the next. The act of annotation and review will enforce the memorization of the positional chunks. It will link them with chess strategy, which is a dynamic process of rules for leading from one chunk to the next. If you do this, by the way, you will eventually find your memory improves to the point where you do not need a board to play a chess game.

Hope this helps.

Michael Miller

I’ve gotten interested in memorizing composed endgame studies, and use a method probably closest to bangalos’ suggestion:

  1. number the squares (rank and file both going from one to eight): a1-a8 = 11-18, e1-e8 = 51-58, etc.
  2. number the pieces:
    wk 1 ------ bk 11
    wq 2 ------ bq 12
    wb 3,4 ------ bb 13, 14
    wn 5,6 ------ bn 15, 16
    wr 7,8 ------ br 17, 18
    wp 9 ------ bp 19

For example: wk on b5, wb on c5 p’s on a6, h3 / bk on b8, bb on c8, bn on a1, p’s on d7, h6 (a study by Troitzky) would be encoded: 125, 335, 916, 983 / 1128, 1338, 1511, 1947, 1986.

I’ve been playing for a long time, so it’s usually enough for me to remember the key move or idea (in this case, 1.Bd6, then WK chases BN from 11 to 88), though the same encoding could be used for the whole series of moves.

This probably wouldn’t be practical for memorizing entire games, though I haven’t seen a method that is - visual memory plus registering a few key moves or structures throughout the game would probably work better. For improving, I think it is far more useful to memorize typical positions.

  • John

I have contacted several mnemonists – Dominic O’Brien, Anthony Metivier & Chess GM Raymond Keene - and none could give me a comprehensible answer,
but saying it could be easy to apply standard techniques to it but nothing precise beyond that…

Here’s an email exchange I had with Anthony Metivier discussing him wanting to eventually develop one such technique:

I was thinking that if we can embed small micro element like a deck of card on a desk somewhere along a journey, or a library with shelves or …
to have additional memory palaces – a comment you’ve made about memory palaces connecting on another level in “renovating MPs”.

Why couldn’t we put a MP (or several) imbedded in a “main” memory palace: a bit like the pack of cards or shelves are separe micro-journey along the main MP…?

A bit like:

Variation 1 (red)
Sub-variation A (red)
Sub-variation AA
Sub-variation AB
Sub-variation AC
Sub-variation B (blue)
Sub-variation BA
Sub-variation BB
Sub-variation BC
Variation 2 (blue)
Variation 3 (yellow)

I just through that transposition could use chromatic circle of colors and be of that color mixed with the color it is transposing into of same variation but different line (likes-v AB transposing to s-v BB could be purple “red and blue”). Of course this would cause problem if more than 3 variation, but it is rarely the case in sub-variations, unless you explain bad move and replies to them which could all be of another color to indicate bad moves and reply lines to good lines…

I am aware that the multiplicity of chess variations for even just one opening cause problem with the need for a ton of memory palaces, making it convoluted and not realistic if you want to include stem games of the opening as well…

I was thinking of something like a computer (or several) with virtual googled somewhere in my MP journey, that I could envision putting google on and been taken on a virtual reality tour of another MP and then when that MP is completed, I could take glasses of and resume my journey along my loci in my main MP…

This would be particularly useful for opening learning in chess due to the many many variations that branches out, but then you have to go back to root of moves choices to go to opening mainline… You could even have colored sets of googles and have 1-2-3 google on same computer and you choose to go through MPs or not according to move you play, since if you have 3 moves choice on move 9 and play one of them, you don’t need to know the other possibilities that would have taken place if you digressed in another move. Such sub-MP could have sub-MPs of their own to include further variations…

The concern is that – I am building an opening repertoire at the moment – and when I look at the amount of variations visually, it would take a ton of MPs to encompass all…
So I was thinking of having major system and SEM3 or peg system (alpha and numeric) – a bit like Chessbase software classify variations - like systems for sub-lines and variations from main line which would be on main MP…

I came across something on Ben Pridmore’s website that is called Mechtnon System:

I think that using the ECO theory tables in that kind of house system (one house per opening) could do; or something like Buzan’s SEM3.

These are easily multipliable to have lots of stuff into them, particularly the Mechtnon System.

They are not memory palaces, but I think that is what makes them perfect to memorise so intricate variations as chess opening ones…

1 Like

very good. hah

I’ve never heard about a memory technique for chess but it would be easy you don’t even need the loci system I’d have the move so first move is 1,
Il turn the 1 into a letter L because it looks like an L so make a word ale “vowels are not included in the move numbers.”

Now say pawn to d4 give the 4 a letter so 4 I would use R so it would be DR so now I can either picture a doctor or a door for that square so ale Dr so think of 1 get ale think of a drunk doctor doing surgery so now you want to remember move one easy d4!

Ok that is the simpler square so now let’s look at say move 25 bishop takes B3 BBC.
so make numbers into letters,
for move 25, 2 I’d use N (a 2 on its side) and 5 F or V so we have N and F/V knife I realise knife starts with a k but it’s silent. (feel free to use your own words)
BXB4 So bishop can be a bishop or some religious person. 4 is an R so BR Bore.

So imagine a knife a bishop is holding the knife charging for the bore as bishop is attacking B4 remember.

So now you think 25 translates to knife which then links on to the Bishop charging at B4 !
I got my inspiration from derren browns book to me it’s much faster and simpler then loci and memory palaces especially when you play numerous games of chess I don’t want a clunked up palace full of old chess games.

This is the basic concept use what I said and make up your own words for each square and make up pictures for up to the number 100 I can’t see many chess games going past that.
If you have any question feel free to ask me I can help with if you get stuck it’s pretty easy though.

Last hung this is not racist but it’s easier to learn imagine different ethnisitys or different groups of people to determine in your imagination who made what move although it’s not really necessary white will always be on odds and black always on evens.