How to analyze a chess game?

We all want to improve our chess, become better players and obviously to win more games. A game analysis is a " powerful technique" which you can see the weaknesses and developing strengths.

Game is over. Maybe you have won , maybe it was a draw or maybe a painful defeaet. Regardless of the result and feelings it is neccessary to act like a professional chess player when approaching analysis in order to get maximal gain from the game. You need to write down quick notes about the game as soon as possible afther the game has finished, when its still fresh in your memory. Especially, concentrate on moves when the game dramatically changes. (positional ->tactical)

It is a good idea to separate a game into 3 parts : Opening , Middle Game and Endgame. These 3 stages of the game require individual analysis and must be treated separately.

OPENING :

When analyzing an opening you nees to say, was that line you played a home preparation, or maybe you were tricked out of the opening book by an opponent who played unusual variation.

Write down your thoughts on the line you played. Was that line sound? Only after you write down your thoughts you should refer to the opening database to check the existence of the line in the theory. It can also be useful to check out Video Series on Chess 24 on different lines too learn new ways to play.

MIDDLE GAME :

Thats a stage of the game that comes right after you run out of " theoretical" opening moves or in the end of your preperation for the game. Write down why you have considered and you reasoning behind it.  (For example, I was thinking about playing Bd7 but was afraid of e5 with a strong initiative). Indicate tactical ideas that you saw, including possible sacrifices you were considering. It is important to formulate the plan of the game. For example it may be a minority attack, a queen’s side pawn attack on the opponent’s king, pressure on isolated pawn or something else. Remember the Botvinik’s saying “bad plan is better than no plan at all”.

ENDGAME :

In endgame you should take notice of the initial position and try to come up with a winning plan or drawing plan if your position is worse.  If you get into time trouble often you may  want to analyze  what type of the decisions took you longer, and where excactly have you burned most of your time. You need to have time recorded on your score sheet in order to do time analyzes. Avoiding time trouble is a crucial part of the game of chess.

Hope you find this article useful 




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