If you take your games serious, and you play slow games, it can be real beneficial to analyze these games later on with a critical eye to see what you may have done wrong.

What is analysis?

Picking apart a game move by move, and checking it out under a microscope to see what you may have done wrong and could have done better.


Which games should I analyze?

Slow games, preferably tournament games where you spent a lot of time asking yourself: “What’s the best move?” We recommend tournament games because those are the ones you really care about winning. If you lose those games you are really going to want to know why.

Games that you lost are extra important that you analyze. Why? People tend to be less critical of their mistakes when they win. All of your games will have mistakes. Some mistakes you will be able to see, some you won’t. It’s finding the mistakes that you can’t see that are so valuable.

Tools for Analyzing your games

  • A chess computer. Did you know Gary Kasparov uses Fritz 8 running on a fast laptop computer to analyze his tournament games? In fact, most of the grandmasters who can afford computers use them as analysis tools. If you have a computer at home, all you need is software and you can have the strongest available analysis tool. All of the commercially available chess programs have features where you enter your game and they analyze them for you. In fact, that is why most chess players buy chess computers!
  • A stronger human player. If you were beat by a stronger player in a tournament, it is always a good idea to review the game with him after the game so you can see what he was thinking and find all of the things about the game that you may have missed. If you have a friend who is a stronger player, show him the game.
  • A coach. If you are lucky enough to have a chess coach, the best private lessons are the one’s where you carefully go through your games.

Tremendous Analyzing Exercise #1

Here is an effective studying method utilizing computer software:
Play a slow hour long game on ICC. Once it's done, print it out and enter the moves into a grandmaster strength playing program. Have it analyze the game overnight and show you all the variations you missed. Go through the analysis slowly and thoroughly.


Tremendous Analyzing Exercise #2
Enter a tournament. Think your brain until it hurts. Lose a game against a player who is better than you. Ask him to review the game with you right after the game.

What do the Chess masters say about analzying your own games? Wave your mouse over the brain to find out!

That's what chess is all about. One day you give your opponent a lesson, the next day he gives you one.

Bobby Fischer

 

"One bad move nullifies forty good ones."

Horotwitz

"Half the variations which are calculated in a tournament game turn out to be completely superfluous. Unfortunately, no one knows in advance which half - :"

Jan Timman

"Chess mastery essentially consists of analysing chess positions accurately. "

Botvinick

 

 
 
   
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