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How did players of the past train?

So take someone like young Paul Morphy, there is no stockfish and no KID, no Dragon, no 1953 or My System, and yet he got to a level where he was playing several people blindfold etc. So what was the routine? Sit down with a strong player and throw pieces around? Did he have a notebook and write positions and games in? What old books were around then?

Books and columns never explain HOW to practice. Like for example I was reading Alekhine’s best games collection, and Alekhine writes to the effect of: “I played with a classmate during classes, then when teacher took the board away we played without a board”... How did he get to the level where he could play blindfold... and so did his friend? What is the training regimen for that? I peaked at 2120 so far and can’t even comprehend how people play blindfold at all.

Paul Morphy did not train, he played on pure talent.

#2 I read somewhere that he read chess books and published his own chess column for a while. Obviously he trained. I just wonder more specifically how. HOW does one obtain an ability to play blindfold etc. Like as in what is the exercise, and how many times does one have to do it and so on.

How do players train to play blindfold? Like with anything, practice, but I believe all grandmasters could play blindfold just by their memorisation and visualisation skills , so partly it comes naturally as you get to a high level.

I'm a 1600 player: (From memory) 1.pawn to d-4...a dark square. 2.pawn to d-5...a light square. 3.pawn to c-4...a light square. pawn exchange on c4...leaving d-5 unoccupied. 4.knight to c-3...a dark square. 5........etc. A Queen's gambit accepted from memory... ( I can get about ten moves in before it becomes a bit overwhelming. ) - Practice makes perfect, as they say. I think the old time players were big into contemplating the games that they found interesting and this naturally involved visualization. Most amatuer players these days don't spend more than 5 minutes doing a post-game review... they just move on to the next one. Modern players treat chess with a sort of 'fast-food-psychology' gobble, gobble and into the trash. Imagine playing a game that lasts 2 hours and afterwards you spend you spend the rest of the day contemplating the game like one thinking about an old lover. So , I guess I'm saying that true love of the game eventually leads to contemplation, visualization, and blindfold chess.... it is a natural progression. Just me pondering: for what it is worth.

i think playing against oneself was more of a thing back then and the less material to study the more u focus on it.

funny thing is Paul Morphy and Capablanca came from wealthy familys who could afford to spent most of their life studying chess, yet both are considered to spent the least amount of time studying chess amongst the greatest players of all time.
they were just born with intuition.

You implied one of the answers in your question: with less theory, there is less to learn. With only the basics learnt, my first rating was ~1500.

There is effect of repetition that causes improvement. After seeing a position and its subsequent play, you learn what to do in this and similar positions. (ie. There was a time where adding 2 and 2 was a challenge, now it seems really simple to you.) This was proven by the Polgar sisters in creating "geniuses" from all of them.

Also note that different people learn differently. Many people learn best from seeing (video), while others learn by writing (taking notes) or even just reading.

look at his games. almost all his games were against weaker opponents. he just attacked,gambled saced,they accepted,blundered and lost..
1800s can defeat morphy or alekhine today

the real era of chess begun with fischer. 95% of the games before then are not worth studying or taking an example from.

LOL at not too deep LA.

Alekhine would wipe the floor with you with his eyes closed 100 out of 100 times while playing 20 other blindfold games and sipping coffee.

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