A blind-spot refers to an area of your vision that is impaired while driving a car. When you change lanes you are supposed to look over your shoulder to make sure there aren’t any cars in your “blind-spot.”
Well, there are blind-spots in chess as well. Whenever a move is made that you didn’t see coming, it was in your blind-spot. Especially if it was a move that could have easily been seen, for example a move that was just one move away. They call these blunders.
You don’t have to make these blunders. And if you learn what types of blunders you make–or if you examine the blunder after the game–you might discover something about your chess blind-spots.
A chess player I know decided to keep a log of all his games and after examining them all in order he noticed that he tended to make a blunder on the 30th move every game. This made him more aware of one of his chess blind-spots. In a recent game of mine I found myself completely surprised by a simple check that should have been easy to see. At first I was mad at myself and thought I had lost all discipline. Then after looking at the game later I realized that I was playing a very unfamiliar opening and since I am used to playing my opening moves by rote, I failed to look carefully at every move. I decided that in the future if I am in an unfamiliar opening I need to examine every possible move before deciding on a move. This includes every possible move of my opponents. I should be especially attentive to piece captures and checks.
Being in an unfamiliar opening is essentially one of my blind-spots, since I am used to making developing moves more out of habit in that phase of the game. What are some of your chess blind-spots? See if you can begin to determine a pattern by looking at your games.