It seems it would really help my chess improvement if I was fluent in algebraic chess notation. I understand it, but I can't quickly and naturally follow chess discussions that use it. I'm particularly bad when looking at things from the black side.
My coach has suggested playing through a master game (or two) on the board every day for a couple of weeks will make a big improvement. I should be more diligent about trying that.
The Lichess Learn->Coordinates hasn't helped as much as I would have hoped.
Any other suggestions?
Hope you're not paying your coach too much for that...
Start by memorizing files, and then move on to columns.
For example, e7 is back rank, pawn rank, rank after that or middle rank?
Once you can answer those without thinking about it, move on to the letters!
uh..... i'm a 1300 player and i don't see how you would learn to visualize the board, if that's the right term, by going over master games every now and then. actually --- you could go over moron games and probably get the same result....i mean, the goal is simply ot learn the coordinates, what squares are what color, and not what is a good or dumb move...........
i tried the learn coordinate thing on lichess.... didn't seem that wonderful to me. i just saw a streamer here, actually today, the WIM steil-antoni and she and some guy were going over knowing the colors of the squares related to the notation, etc... i assume that's what you're aiming for... but even though she's a WIM, the impression i got from her was she wasn't that good at just visualizing the notation, and esp what color square was there.
i've been trying just to use the notation when looking at my games. so instead of move the night here, then the bishop there, then attack that square.......if i use notation to describe it accurately, i'm hoping that will help, and it seems to. you just get in the habit of doing it, and like anything, you'll learn it, the more you do it. i figure it would be helpful tojust go over the board in your mind, also, what color squares, etc for each coordinate... i haven't done this yet. but i have insomnia, and figure that's the time to do this exercise.................
be interesting what others say.... it's always been impressive when guys can just rattle off coordinates and see what is happening......................
slowly, slowly, by repetition. mostly when looking over your own games afterwards, just get in the habit of naming the square.
"Oh, I had mate on f8 if I had checked on e5 with the queen." "When he pushed his pawn to c5 it created trouble for me." after a while it will stick in your memory.
I began and grew up using descriptive notation. It seems like the default for me, even though I recognize algebraic makes perfect sense and is cleaner, neater, and less crowded. I would just say one thing---I'm not sure speed is the thing you should worry about here. Can you follow algebraic, even if you have to take a second or two? If so, then you are still able to follow games and learn from what is happening. Speed comes with time and familiarity with using it. You will get better the more you use it. Especially if you examine games where it is used. Just my two cents.
Oh, I learned because I was told to notate my games! That was over the board, but I think you can probably do it online too!!
I learned c6, f6, c3 & f3 first because that's where my little horsies go. And then everything else in relation to those
Read chess books without using a board, preferably opening books, where you are always starting from the initial position. Follow every move, and make a picture in your mind. Once you get stuck, go back to the beginning and start again. This might be a bit frustrating and slow at first, but you get better over time.
You can also just use PGN files, open them in a text editor, and read the games from there. In contrast to books, you get the plain notation, Ne4 instead of ♞e4, which I find easier to read. But books often show diagrams in long lines where you can verify your visualization.
Book recommendation: Carsten Hansen "Miniatures in the Ruy Lopez main lines". Lots of short games, plenty of diagrams (more than usual), and you learn something useful.
In shogi notation, if a coordinate is the same as the previous move (often a recapture) a symbol "同" ("dō" or "onajiku") is used instead of the coordinate notation. I wonder whether some people might find it easier if algebraic notation used a symbol, maybe an "@", for the same purpose. Or simply left coords out in that case.
I find algebraic notation a bit tricky from the black side but I think that's to be expected: traditional notation was designed more towards being natural for both White and Black.