Intuition and Analysis
By Chad Lieberman
In order to play chess well a player must have a strong intuition and the ability to analyze variations in a range of positions. Both of these faculties are necessary to reach one's potential.
When you analyze possible variations in positions it is important to inspect your opponent's deviations. For this reason, you must be able to visualize various stages of the variation.
There are not many ways to enhance one's ability to visualize positions. I think the best way to practice is to set up a familiar position on a board and analyze some plausible variations. While doing this, your mind will subconsciously associate pieces based on the geometry of their positions. Then, clear the board, and run through those same variations again.
If you like to solve chess puzzles, try doing them by simply looking at the diagram instead of setting up the position on a board. This way you are forced to visualize the pieces; you may be tempted to move them around on a board.
Once you master your own visualization technique, you will make many fewer errors when analyzing variations over the board. Good luck!