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alice02 171 ( +1 | -1 )
Eye movements? beginners/grandmasters How do the eye movements between lets say 1200, 1600, 2000 and 2500 differ?. Perhaps there is a gradual change to pattern perception from beginner to grandmaster. Maybe a beginner LOOKs at a board with no real experience or concepts and a grandmaster CHECKS a board using experience and sophisticated concepts. But when you first open the game on Gameknot, what do you actually look at? What do you look at after that? How has it changed from when you were a beginner?

I've been experimenting with ways of perceiving the board. I can look at the board, but that doesn't mean I perceive it. I went through and discarded a lot of ways of looking. I had tried to combine them, but my combinations were not really successful either.1. Looking at the pieces. 2. Looking at where the action seemed to be 3. Looking at the possible moves that all the pieces could make 4. Evaluating the spaces that were unoccupied. 5. 10 seconds meditation, before I even look at the board. [At this stage, I was losing my queen early in the game every third or fourth game]. 6. Playing out the possible moves and consequences I could make 7. Dividing the board into four quadrants and checking each quadrant individually, starting at the corner. I started to repeatedly drop my queen again. 8. Looking at the top two lines, and then moving down overlapping the lines. I started to miss Bishop moves. 9. Looking diagonally at the board from top left to lower right, and top right to lower left, using a width of approximately four diagonal squares - this seems to be the most useful to date. I wonder if, as a beginner, specific patterns of eye movements are linked to specific errors and benefits.
snake_man 112 ( +1 | -1 )
what I know... This is what I was taught, and I does seem to work.
Start at your top left of the board (where you start isnt that important) and look left and right across every rank, then pick another corner and look up and down every file, each individually. Then, look down every diagonal in one direction, then look down every diagonal in the other direction. Remamber there are two sets of diagonals, the ones that run parallel to a1-h8 and those that run parallel to h1-a8. I am finding this difficult to explain to someone with out being able to show a board, so I hop this makes sense. Your #9 seems close to what I mean about the diagonals, but looking at a width of one instead of four.

Also, another thing that helps one not miss things is to go back and review both your own games and those of others (espically Masters and above). This will help you to recognize winning and losing positions through experience. This is probably more valuable then any pattern of examining the board.
tyekanyk 54 ( +1 | -1 )
Personally I never gave much importance to looking at the board. Sometimes I analyse aveugle so staring at the board just doesn;t do it for me. However let me offer you some advice. It really doesn't matter from what angle you observe the board or how many times you do it. It is quality that makes the difference. If you can a spot a combination from a simple glance at a given position or if you can formulate a 20 move plan just by considering the pawn structure, then you are on the right track. It is just like not seeing the forest from the trees.
ketchuplover 4 ( +1 | -1 )
I have 64 eyes. 1 for each square :)
ccmcacollister 254 ( +1 | -1 )
Somestimes helps to: 1>Just to take a look from Both Sides, BLack and WhiTe side.
2>OTB watching your Opponent's eyes often tips off what/where his thinking is focused. (and has alerted me to many tactical things to be coming at me).
.....
3>For otb, analyzing four moves deep (moves, not half-moves) is usually sufficient. Unless specific combinative lines must be reviewed. Even then seldom over 8 moves is required. But analyze beyond material win, to be sure something undesireable does not come just after.
......
4>I work outwards from the center. With double time given to any moves possible for Q's, K's or center pawns.
5>But I like "snake-man's" way too. Think that says alot. More than how you approach it, the need to be consistent and systematic, at least until definate positional feel, "danger sense" etc exists. If you are missing things you must go back and reapply. (I'm sure,In general am not playing as well as once. Right now I am missing B-B5 moves for some reason. Eg vs Coyotefan and another that is ongoing. Just total amnesia. - So most imprtant, note What yoiu Are missing. Get it stopped)
.......
6>You might read Kotov's Think like a Grandmaster. Which describes tree analysis and Candidate Move selection excellently IMO. However, some suggest it difficult to understand fully if 'under 1600' or so? I can't say otherwise but to master it is certainly worth some effort IMO. I use the techniques there so often, so integrated to my play, that I no longer know for sure which came only from there, or elsewhere as well. Without a reread.Tho admittedly apply it much better to Corr Chess than OTB. And go much beyond that in Corr. Often to look at every incoming capture possible.
.... Outbound capture/sac tends to be the first thing I see however. Fairly instantaneous. From practice and tactical nature/attitude I suppose. But can't say for sure. That is only ina game i'm playing tho. Not a study or "mate-in-xxx" come upon "cold". For me it is almost always harder to find a "quiet" (non-check, non-capture) move that leads to a faster mate or win, for eg.
.......
6>Once feel is developed you may often find your subconscious or "hand" may resist a move greatly, that you are just dying to make! Hand is seldom wrong, I find. 8-) Good Skill to you. Craig A.C.
PS 7> Besides looking at ALL Checks and Captures, alone & together, to also look at moves where you put a piece en prise may bring some delightful sac opportunities to light.

spurtus 18 ( +1 | -1 )
Scary On this subject.... One CAN actually ( as I have in OTB games ) use opponents eye movement to determine if the tactical threat has been recognised!

Spurtus


Ps. if you oppponent is staring at you, look at something silly!
anaxagoras 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Seriously, this is a question for an empirical psychologist. It would not be surprising to discover that an amateur's or master's eye movements did not completely correspond to what he had to say about it. Perception and conscious focus are *discontinuous* and are full of *gaps.* This is a pardigm of human knowledge where first person reports should be taken as data and not determining.
ccmcacollister 72 ( +1 | -1 )
Spurtus; i know an otb player ... who wears a baseball cap pulled low for all tmt games! Works well too, to hide the windows to the soul. He is 2150 to almost 2200 otb.
..... Another of the same high Expert standing will "screw-up his face", look with concentration Away from his threat etc. Since I know what he is doing, I not only look toward the opposite side of board to see what he seeks to hide, but find it extremely amusing and hard to keep a poker face. Particularly since he has always been a much better otb player than I anyway, and have never scored more than a draw with him. Tho he beats me more often. He does it to others too. So maybe there's sumthin to it?! On the otherhand, he has his own TV show . . . 8-)
alice02 205 ( +1 | -1 )
Thank you all so much for your advice snake_man
I tried and liked your suggestions. I realised that I look at the chess board like I am reading an English book. I never make right to left eye movements and I am trying to change that.
I cannot see very far forward in a chess game yet and when playing back a game I cannot see very far back. I miss the significance of the movement of a pawn or of the gain of a space. But playing back is good for openings - because I cannot miss where the skilled sequence of moves starts:).

ketchuplover
Do your 64 eyes only watch their own squares - or do they follow the subsequent movement of the pieces that lhave landed on their square? :)

ccmcacollister
Your comment about a sytematic and consistent approach explains why I haven't been having much success. Reversing the board didn't help me because I changed the approach for looking at it every few moves. When I read about playing four full moves ahead I thought "that's far too complicated". Then I realised it didn't matter if I didn't get it right. I haven't been able to try it yet as I want to develop the habit of looking at the board systematically and consistently before I start playing ahead. Analysing beyond material win - yes I have had the experience of winning a piece and then gazing in dismay at the consequence. So I am going to have to implement that.
I was interested in working out from the centre. I shall try to assess risks to my king from the centre first.
I was comparing anaxagoras' comments on perception and conscious focus being "discontinuous" and your "you may often find your subconscious or "hand" may resist a move greatly, that you are just dying to make! Hand is seldom wrong, I find". I need to think more about that.

anaxagoras

Do you know of any eye movement studies of chess players?. (Similar to the ones they do with advertisements where they video eye movements to see where the person actually looks.?)

Again thanks to you all. You have given me much to think about






anaxagoras 6 ( +1 | -1 )
No I do not, but it sounds like an interesting research topic alice02.
spurtus 75 ( +1 | -1 )
Body Body language tells much more than eyes, you should might find a general appreciation of recognising body language can assist you at some levels, as long as your not playing a statue! And it all depends on the natural animated level of the player.

Determining when a player has genuinely fluffed a move is dangerous with this though!... often it can be the start of the trap. I have learnt to beware quick moves followed by sighs and then quick moves again, followed by smiles!

The ONLY mileage is to employ such eye techniques yourself, and to use your brain to work out the oppostions move regardless of what their body or eyes says if you want to stay safe.

I think?

Spurt.
anaxagoras 6 ( +1 | -1 )
spurtus, how is that eye movements do not count as body language?
bartlebie 187 ( +1 | -1 )
Tactic views and strategic views on the board.

Looking on the board has something to do with plan-finding too, so only diagonals and rows won't make it. The first idea is to look who is better and then to look for the appropriate plans.
That is: Checking material,
checking pawn structure,
checking weak and strong pieces (the weak bishop for example)
checking weak and strong pawns (passed pawns, isolated pawns etc.)
checking the kings positions (looks like mate in 10?? active king? Perpetual check?)
looking for better endgame (who would be in favour if the pieces would be taken away? Which particular pieces?)
Which plans are the standard plans in this position? (kingside attack, center attack, attack the base of the pawn-phalanx and the first pawn too, playing against the isolated pawn in the center, minority-attack in the queens gambit.....)

That's what's going on after looking for direct tactics (checking threats and that stuff).

Just had a nice examination of body language:
Playing a rare-played line in the opening and looking at the more and more nervous opponent, his way to breath, the eyes here and there on the board looking for plans and ideas and the ideas of the opponent, seeing the time ticking away, awaiting the worse endgame and finally being content to draw against a really weaker opponent.

In the modern russian chess the players learn to combinate without looking on the board, so they won't be irritated by pieces that will be taken away in 5 moves or anything else, that will take place in the coming action. In your mind there is a less big chance to be irritated by those pieces.
And your opponent doesn't know what you are looking at in your mind, that seems to be a good point too.
ccmcacollister 5 ( +1 | -1 )
Anaxagoras ...Per your Question: If your eyes are "not in your head" of course !
........[ -)............8
fmgaijin 40 ( +1 | -1 )
Research on Chessplayers' Eye Movements Major research has been conducted by psychologists, cognitive scientists, and yes, even philosophers--including major theorists such as de Groot, Simon, Gobet, etc., in US, UK, Nederland, Russia, etc. Just go to Google (T) and try a search such as "chessplayer's eye movements" "research" "psychology of perception" and you'll be able to peruse to your heart's content (which for some of my students reading academic articles is about 30 seconds).