It does not mean, however, that the analysis of your own games is the only task a chess player needs to do. Of course, studying classical games, learning elementary endgames, common middle games and some opening theory are also important for becoming a stronger player.
How to analyze your chess game?
However, we learn the best from our own mistakes and the games we played ourselves and thought through. We have solved many difficult problems in each of the games we have played.
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When we engage in the post-game analysis we should double check the lines and variation that we have evaluated during the game. Some of these lines may not be very accurate, some totally incorrect. Sometimes our opponent penalizes us for these inaccuracies, but quiet often they are left unnoticed.
You should start your analysis by identifying critical positions in the game. A critical position can be simply defined as a position where a mistake was made, a drastic change happened, or some big opportunity was missed. The ability to identify critical moments in the game is extremely important skill to master.
By training this skill during the analysis sessions, you will most certainly be able to apply it in actual games. I believe that the ability to find a critical position in the game, is among most important skills that allows competing on the highest level. Often you cannot calculate everything, you need to rely on your intuition. Sometimes, the outcome of the game depends on a single move. Even among the greatest chess players some do not possess this important skill to the full extent.
For example Boris Spassky believed that Bobby Fischer is one of them. Even though Fischer did not have any serious weaknesses, he had couple of minor ones.
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One of them is that Fischer was not always able to identify the critical moment of the game which sometimes cost him. To get rid of this kind of weakness you need to critically study your own games.
Note: in TheChessWorld. Next, you can correct them and start picking up these ELO points. Next you should focus on finding the cause of your mistakes. Whereas in the past it was almost impossible for a beginner to delve into all the nuances of a certain position, nowadays it is just a couple of clicks away. Engines are really helpful in determining the strongest moves and detecting your own tactical blunders.
You can recheck you calculation and see whether you have committed oversights when calculating lines. However, there are certain caveats involved. You see, although the engine does show you the evaluation of the move, it is up to you to interpret it. The engines don't explain the ideas and plans, especially faulty ones, and can, therefore, have a detrimental effect on your chess understanding and creativity.
Not to mention there are positions that even engines don't understand. If you ever kibitzed chess online, you have surely noticed a number of commentators thrashing top chess players solely because the computer engine on the website pointed out a certain move was not optimal. There are beginners but also some more experienced players who use the engines in the similar fashion even when analyzing their own games. They typically go over their game with the engine, read the engine evaluations and usually claim they were somewhere between "better" and "winning" during the entire game.
This is a big mistake because it doesn't help you improve your chess understanding. You simply switch off your logical chess thinking and let the engine think for you. To figure out all the WHY-es of the position is of crucial importance. When you analyze with the engine you should always try to understand why certain move works and not, or why the engine evaluates a certain position in a certain manner.
You should ask yourself what is the principle, the positional reason behind that move. Therefore, a word of caution is required. We definitely don't think you should avoid using the engines altogether. But we just think it would really pay off if you went over your game in some depth at least once beforehand.
This way, you check the accuracy of both your game and also of your game's analysis. One more tip when you analyze with the computer: engines only calculate the scores and don't take the psychological human factor into consideration at all. Sometimes, especially in complicate positions, a safer and clearer continuation is to be preferred than the top recommendation of the computer.
Compare your game with the theory. Analyze whether you felt comfortable in a certain line and see what you could have done differently. Try to identify the positional patterns in the position and check the validity of your plans and the accuracy of your evaluation. You may even play training games starting from a certain position with a suitable partner.
Alas, this step can often be rather time consuming. Non-professional chess players are rarely able to devote huge amounts of time to work on chess in general, let alone to the analysis of the single game. What is there to do? Well, as usual, technological advances come to the rescue in form of chess computer engines and databases. Which brings me to the following point.
After analyzing your game in great detail, you are hopefully able to detect the mistakes and identify the reasons behind them. This makes the task of eliminating them in the future much easier.
In our extra course "Practical Chess" available only to those who subscribed first to the GM Package , we analyze games between players of different levels starting from club player level, up to top grandmasters. We focus a lot on the reason behind the typical mistakes at every level. At this point, you have hopefully learnt something, gained insight about your play, and hopefully corrected your play.
You should store your analysis and move on to the next game! If you love chess, any means to really improve your game should be a pleasure too.
Analyzing your chess game correctly is guaranteed a great opportunity for discovering where you went wrong in practice. To check how good you know the opening, how good you identify the key moments of the game, how good you evaluate the positions and how strong are your plans of play. It is not a very easy task to do but it is a sure way to improve YOUR game Analyze your Chess Games - Why and How One of the most common questions asked by chess players of all levels from beginner to grandmaster is: " How can I improve my chess?
How should I analyze my own games? We live in the 21st century and computers have been invented. Instead of racking my brain, couldn't I just use the chess engine instead? In the course of this article, we will shed light on these and other similar issues.