Chessplayers' eyes

Have you ever seen someone play lots of other players at once, and moving very quickly?

Good chessplayers can do this because they can spot most of the important things quickly.

Train yourself to do the same!

1. 8 queens puzzle

Put 8 pawns on the board so that no pawn is on the same rank, file or diagonal.

If they were Queens, no Queen would attack or defend any other Queen.

-p------
--------
-----p--
--p-----
----p---
-------p
---p----
--------

I've managed six -- can you do seven? Eight is possible!

To solve this puzzle, you have to look all round the board and see what's being attacked.

That's what you should do in a chess game, too!

2. Count the captures

Find a chess position on a website or in a book.

Count how many captures there are for each side -- it doesn't matter if they are rubbish captures, just make sure you count them!

r--q-rk-
-p---ppp
-bp--nn-
pP-pp---
P--PP-b-
-BP--N--
-B-N-PPP
R--Q-RK-

I make that 5 for White and 6 for Black -- can you find them all? Can you find any I've missed?!

Professor Chess offers some practice sheets at http://www.professorchess.com/downloads/ and I've attached one to this page.

3. Solitaire Chess

The free Solitaire Chess app gives you puzzles where you have to spot captures but also think hard about which captures to do first.

r-q-----
--------
-n------
--p-----

So, Black captures a piece on every move until there is just one left.  The pawns are going up the board.

Solution: NxQ, RxN, RxP

Too easy? Try this one:

-rq-----
---p----
bn------
p-------

attachment: