chess strategy

Chess Strategy

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mary875 38 ( +1 | -1 )
Chess games analysis Hi folks,

I would like to start analysing chess games. And in particular my own games, since I would like to stop stagnating at my low chess level. So it seems a good way to spot my weaknesses. However, I've no the slightest idea on how to proceed and where to begin. And I would like to be able to do the analysis without the help of a computer... Has somebody any tips?

Thanks in advance, Yannick
tyekanyk 48 ( +1 | -1 )
Get a notebook (a paper one) and start playing through the game. Very slowly. Try to analyse every single mive no matter how trivial it may seem. Write down every line you calculate. Also try to find the psychological reasons for the moves not just the practical ones. This is very important in the sense that it allows you to spot your psychological weaknesses and strenghts. And maybe in a year or two you can pick up the notebook again and see at what level you were playing.
sly_lonewolf 16 ( +1 | -1 )
Compare.... ..that's how I try to analyse my games. I'll take a few master games and try to see what is it that I've missed and what general ideas are behind those positions on the board...

eurookie 92 ( +1 | -1 )
I am not an ...
... expert in analysing games at all, but i don't think comparing your games to master-level games will help you in any way. they wouldn't help me either, as i wouldn't understand really why moves are made. Maybe comparing your games or just analysing games of players with ~300 rtng pts above yours will help you to understand where your weaknesses are.
moreover, i think players w rtng under 1900 should try to study tactical play. of course basic principles of positional chess play will help you to improve your game as well, but i think most mistakes on our level are tactical nature.
Yannick, if you really want to improve, you should join our team :-) we discuss strategy and tactics and try to improve everyday - this is much more worth than being team #1 on the team table (just my opinion).
yours, eurookie
soikins 284 ( +1 | -1 )
analysing Everyone has his own favourite method, so it's hard to tell you the "right" one.
First, if you analyse your own games don't "analyse every single move no matter how trivial it may seem" as tyekanyk said. You'll get bored too soon.

1) Choose just 3-4 candidate moves and calculate some lines (without moving pieces) that now come to your mind but you did not look at during the game, put the lines you calculated down in your notebook. Try to understand why some of the moves didn't come to your mind during the game (bad calculation, evaluation problems, psychological reasons, lack of time).

2) Now play the moves you calculated on the board. Look at the positions at the end of the variation and at the middle of it. Is there something you did not notice when calculating?

Go through all the game like this (It is not necessary to do it for every move, just for the key positions, that changed the course of the game, or where you had to make a binding decision). This will improve your calculating skills.

3) Now you should use a computer (or a coach if you have one, but I assume the you don't). Do aproximately the same you did before, check your calculations with computer. What tactics did you miss? Where your evaluations differed from the computers? Why? This will improve your anlytical and evaluation skills.

When going through masters games. Go through the games, not looking at commentary and not looking at the next move. Try to predict the next moves played by white and/or black. Put down the lines you calculated, notice the moves that you wouldn't play. When you have done this. Take a look at commentary. Do they give you a better understanding why the move was played? The idea behind it? Look at the variations given. Compare them to your calculations. When you have gone through the commentary, not everything is clear. The unclear things you should check with a computer. If it is still unclear (no tactical flaw in your variation), then, well... it's just unclear. Ask the question here at forums. Maybe someone stronger than you might explain it to you.

Regarding the last -- I wonder why in this forum nobody does this? Maybe there just aren't many people who analyse masters games the way I just described it? At least some discussions have taken place after Kasparov's books were published. Kasparov found a lot of flaws in analysis that as done before him. Some flaws have been found in Kasparov's analysis. If there would be more people who had questions about masters games and wouldn't be too shy to ask, maybe we would have a much better understanding of the games and chess itself. It largely depends on people like us. Who want to understand, get down to it, don't understand something and discuss it on the forums.
tag1153 30 ( +1 | -1 )
The magazine........ ......Chess Life has a great monthly feature written By Bruce Pandolfini called Solitaire Chess. You try to predict the moves of Grandmaster games (usually beginning in the middlegame). BP gives his insights as to why the moves were made. It is a great tool to improve your game and is a lot of fun. Good luck....
reggiesharpe 34 ( +1 | -1 )
Post Your Games Post your games here for everybody to take a look at and give you some feedback.
That way you could end up with a complete analysis from lot of perspectives, including your own. Don't worry, if nobody else responds you might try finding someone to help you one on one via email. Oh, by the way, computer analysis is very helpful at times so don't shun it.
baseline 127 ( +1 | -1 )
Yannick here is the method I use.

First I go through the entire game and write down everything I can remember that was going on including external factors, how I felt about certain moves, what ever analysis I remember, any kibitzing after the the game.

Second, I check and see where the game leaves opening theory, I note some games to review later and move on.

Third and this is where the real works starts I play the game back in reverse. In addition to looking for improvements as I move backwards I am particularly interested in finding the losing move (if there is one) and how a draw could have been preserved. I am also interested in finding moves for the losing side that makes the win as difficult as possible. Once I've located this turning point I continue backwards looking for more turning points, improvements etc. until I reach the point where the game left opening theory.

Forth I compare my analysis with my comments about the game (First step) this is often very revealing.

Fifth I evaluate the opening and play through some master games from that point to get a better understanding of that position and if I should try to reach it again in a game.