The aim of the Test is to reveal the extent to which your operative chess memory has been developed. That is, how successful you can be in keeping track of the numerous chessboard situations which replace one another during the kaleidoscopic counting of variations. The accuracy of visualization of piece positions and movements in the course of imaginary play determines the degree of correctness of the player's positional evaluation and, consequently, his/her decisions. Information about what practical benefit can be derived from the testing results and how to use them to improve your chess skills you can find in the article Blindfold: Interpretation of Testing Results.
Diag. 1. Initial position of a test
The program incorporates the notion of an interacting pair of pieces. The term refers to a chessmen couple in which one protects the other (or both pieces guard each other). In the diagram position Qc6 protects Ng6 and so the two pieces are regarded by the program as an interacting pair. When the commencement of testing has been confirmed by clicking on the Start button, the program makes a move - 1.Ng6-f4. Then all of the chessmen vanish from the onscreen board and the user has to indicate the square occupied by the piece which interacts with the unit that has just moved. In this particular case the correct square is e2, for it is there that the Knight-protected Bishop stands. As soon as you have indicated the e2-square the program makes its next move - 2.Be2-b5 (see Diag. 2).
Diag. 2. Position after 2.Be2-b5
The previous interacting pair (Nf4-Be2) is no more, but a new pair has been created (Bb5-Qc6). You must indicate the c6-square next. If you indeed do so, the program continues with 3.Qc6-f6, making it necessary for you to point to the f4-square occupied by the Knight, the piece which interacts with Qf6 (Qf6-Nf4). Testing continues in a similar way till it's over. Below are some more moves with which the test may continue:
4.Nd3(Bb5) 5.Bc6(Qf6) 6.Qf2(Nd3) 7.Nb2(Qf2) 8.Qf3(Bc6) 9.Ba4(Nb2) 10.Nd3(Qf3) 11.Qa8(Ba4) 12.Bc2(Nd3) 13.Nb4(Bc2) 14.Be4(Qa8) 15.Qf8(Nb4)
A piece between the brackets is one which interacts with the unit that made the last move. The program has been so designed that there is only one pair of interacting pieces at any moment; each move by the program breaks the earlier interaction while creating a new one in which at least one of the pieces was part of the previous pair. A test is always 40 moves long. Only white pieces are employed. Testing is carried out in a "blind" manner, i.e. the user has no chance to look at the position; all there is to see is the empty chessboard and the trajectory of the piece being moved by the program. If you have: 1) erroneously indicated the square occupied by the interacting piece, 2) exceeded the time limit, 3) used a hint, the program regards your response as incorrect, and prompts you to restore the current position. As soon as the restoration is over testing resumes.
The game features two regimes - Visible ("seeing" play) and Invisible ("blind" play).
The Visible regime ought to be regarded as an auxiliary training facility. It is intended primarily for chessplayers of relatively low qualification and low ambitions as well as for children. In this regime the chessboard on the screen correctly displays the current position of the game; the pieces are always there and no operations are performed mentally. The Visible regime resembles the analysis of adjourned positions where the player can make each reviewed move on the board and never bother about calculating variations "in the head." Play in this regime serves primarily to develop one's attentiveness, to provide for an integral view of the interaction of pieces on the chessboard, and to speed up comprehension of that interaction.
In the Invisible regime the chess "characters" stay invisible most of the time; a piece only appears for a brief moment to display the program's latest move. This sort of blind play resembles game analysis under real tourney conditions - when a chessplayer cannot move the pieces about and has to calculate possible lines of play in his/her mind only.
The Test has the Invisible regime only.
To unlock all the features you must register.
The main window of the program looks like this:
Download the latest version (1.1, November 11, 1998)
Blindfold © 1999