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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) What is the best way to analyze your games? (Read 37250 times)
Pawnpusher
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #66 - 12/24/19 at 11:18:32
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I am very fond of Nibbler too, I think it is very useful in going over games.
  
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Zenchess
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #65 - 12/24/19 at 09:48:37
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I have found the chess GUI Nibbler to be very effective to analyse your games in a totally new way.  It's a chess gui for leela.  What's unique about it is it will show about 5-10 arrows on each move with a percentage for each one.  You can just click on the square the arrow points to and it will make that move.  So it is very efficient to quickly look over some variations and get an idea what moves are good or not.
  
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LisaStew
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #64 - 05/08/19 at 13:03:16
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When I was training I was recording all my games, and then by rewatching the games I was making notes! I think this method works very well as you analyze your own game, what worked well and where you messed up, so in future you will escape from making the same mistakes
  
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #63 - 09/07/16 at 11:36:49
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Also Ch 12 of The Chess Instructor: The Apeldoorn Analysis Questionnaire
  
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Sylvester
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #62 - 09/06/16 at 00:32:54
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See The Zugzwang Method by Daniel Munoz (an inexpensive Kindle book)
  
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #61 - 04/06/15 at 06:55:07
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dfan wrote on 01/26/15 at 13:31:02:
ReneDescartes wrote on 01/26/15 at 05:05:03:
@hictenunc Agree. Heisman's recent collection of amateur games should be called Houdini Analyzes Amateur Games. Heisman is afraid to offer his own assessments. And this is a guy who wrote a book on evaluation of positions! You get the feeling that computers have corrupted his brain.

Yeah, that was really weird. I think Heisman has a lot to offer beginners, and I enthusiastically recommend A Guide to Chess Improvement to everyone under 1500, but The World's Most Instructive Amateur Game Book (nice title, yeesh) is a real missed opportunity that encourages thinking about the game in a really unproductive way.


I'm not sure what happened with Dan Heisman or if anything have changed in his writings last years. But he is one of the best free resources you can find on the net, if you are a low rated player. But I have also noticed when Dan analyse games on ICC, he is talking about "and the computer says ...". It's like he don't (anymore) trust his own judgement?! Or is it only laziness?

In contrast to this I have found Nigel Davies lectures on Tiger Chess be very good. Pupils can send in games for analyse by him and he always gives his own opinion on the moves. And not what the computer says. According to Nigel if you don't have access to coach, use computers for finding tactical errors, and nothing else. Because computer plays in a computer style, not in a human style.
  
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #60 - 04/01/15 at 18:07:41
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Sylvester wrote on 04/01/15 at 16:49:25:
So, what is a club player to do when he/she does not have a stronger player around to insert the timely comment “Have you thought about this?” 

Such a person would not be a "club" player nor would he be reading this forum. 

I presume a "club" player belongs to a club that has other human chess players.  Pretty simple to approach a stronger player or a peer and ask, "Hey would you mind looking at my game with me?".  I also presume a person who has access to chesspub.com has the means to publish games online with comments and to invite human feedback esp. for losses.  I note that receiving feedback is far less important than the act of publication because publication promotes honesty/objectivity rather than ego-stroking, excuses, and other forms of wishful thinking.  Anyone can publish video analyses/re-caps of games in a blog or on YouTube.

The above is just my 2 cents based on my experience first setting foot in a chess club or seeing a chess clock at age 25 and making USCF "expert" in 3 or so years while working professionally full time.  I reviewed games with equally-rated peers (1700-2100) and published game analyses on a blog and video forum.  I engine-checked my games only after several phases of human review.  YMMV.  We mainly play to have fun, so my advice is to do whatever you find enjoyable.
  
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #59 - 04/01/15 at 16:49:25
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This is an interesting conversation on a complex topic that has been discussed in books devoted to this process.

As is often the case, the OP does not include an accurate description of himself/herself. This is an important element to know to give an adequate response. JohnG, quite correctly, points this out.

“Well I disagree pretty strongly with the advice that's been given so far. These things depend upon one's current level of play, which the OP doesn't give us.”

And, JohnG makes another valid point as well.

“Regarding advice from Botvinnik and the other old masters, let's be realistic. They did not intend this advice for sub-2000 adult club players….Even if they were addressing us, there's no reason to believe that they had particularly good insight into how middle-aged club players can best improve. A given piece of advice from them may or may not be applicable to the play at our level...”

I respect ReneDescarte’s comments. He is able to bring isolated chess concepts, found from various sources and periods in chess literature, together. He adds quality to the Forum commentary and he is one of the reasons I come back to visit the Forum from time to time.

Still, Rene writes with assumptions that, I think, JohnG was addressing, at least partially.

I don’t think anyone can dispute the futility of letting the computer do all the “thinking” for the player.

I do think that ReneDescartes’ comments assume a certain level of proficiency on the part of the player who should analyze his/her games.

The short list that follows is not for Rene as I think he knows it. It is for those, interested in this topic, who may not know it. I am referring to Bloom’s taxonomy of learning domains:
◦Knowledge
◦Comprehension
◦Application
◦Analysis
◦Synthesis
◦Evaluation

In analyzing a position you, at some point, must make an evaluation.

JohnG could probably have posted from the following viewpoint. How can a club player who is deficient in knowledge and comprehension expect to be able to analyze effectively, let alone evaluate?

I also think that ReneDescartes is making the assumption that “discovery learning” is best. Rene would probably agree that “most growth occurs at the edge of one’s comfort zone”. I also agree with that concept but only up to a point.

In offering suggestions for help with analysis, I would want to know the size of the person’s comfort zone so I could determine where this “edge” was situated. Even then, the “discovery learning” often needs to be guided. That is, a platform (stronger player) has to be put in place so the ‘voyager to discovery’ doesn’t fall into the abyss!

So, what is a club player to do when he/she does not have a stronger player around to insert the timely comment “Have you thought about this?”  I recommend (as if this is novel) that this club player consult his/her chess engine, but with an important stipulation. 

The chess engine should be used to:
a. offer feedback
b. push the boundaries of your present level of comfort

The first point assumes you have made an initial attempt at analysis yourself and therefore agrees with much that has been already written in this thread and others on this topic. If JohnG uses his engine to see whether or not he has missed a tactic during his game, I see that as a legitimate use of the chess engine. He is getting feedback. If he was using the engine to find the solutions to tactics exercises, I would think differently.

The second point also assumes an initial effort on the part of the player and the engine acts as the strong player asking, “Have you thought about this?” A few years back I studied the Art of Attack as intently as I could. I came to this book with a fairly good background in tactics (for my level) and an undeveloped understanding of attack. I went through the book using a chess engine to help me answer the questions that start with “What if Black/White had played …?” I don’t apologize to anyone for doing so. I was using the engine to push the boundaries of my level of comfort at that time. The engine allowed me to become an active reader of the material. Before computers, and I’m old enough to know, I was more of a passive reader. The chess engine allowed me to get answers to typical dedicated learner questions. When I finished the book I knew more than what had been written on the pages. Mind you, Vukovic continually led the way and, without him, my learning would not have taken place but I was transported safely beyond my comfort zone thanks to the chess engine.

I recall reading a post by GabrielGale which fits into the second point. Basically it was an episode where the computer was used to find a missing candidate move for a position.

This is only another aspect of this topic. It’s time to get off the soapbox.
  
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #58 - 01/27/15 at 18:58:35
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hicetnunc wrote on 01/26/15 at 22:17:56:
Nigel isn't a crazy calculator anyway, so I found it extremely instructive to see how he coped with some of the messy positions that arose in my games. He didn't always find the best line per the engine, but he never let an advantage go, and that was usually with few and fast calculations  Roll Eyes. I found it way more instructive than seeing the first line of the engine, to be honest. It was also instructive to see when he was cutting the lines of the tree.


This is my experience with GM Khenkin too except he sometimes calculates on a high level I only can admire. If he would find always the best line he would be 2700+ or 2800+. This is not the point. The point is human thinking and how to improve it. Now I went in 3 1/2 years from 1820 to 1998 and I'm 61yo now. Younger players could get more out of it.

Tactics are sometimes impressive and probably every chess player loves them. But you don't need a trainer for tactics on my level. Solving training positions each day 15 min till 30 min and writing down the themes you didn't get is enough.

But the importance a GM lays on each single tempo, the reasoning over silent positions, this is something a trainer should show you.

When analyzing my games I have always two questions: Which tactics did I miss? And more important: What made this tactics possible? If I don't understand a position mistakes follow systematically.
  

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ReneDescartes
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #57 - 01/26/15 at 23:12:06
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hicetnunc wrote on 01/26/15 at 14:48:10:
Provided the coach is strong enough (like your elo+300 and at least 2000), his tactics are good enough to provide new common patterns for you. At the same time, it's interesting to see how he analyzes : which line he goes for first, when he stops, how he assesses positions. Even if at the end of the day he misses a couple of ideas, or even if his evaluation isn't completely right, I believe it's worthwhile to see how the guy at the next level thinks about the game.[...]I believe human ideas that won't work in a specific position still have a lot of practical value for improvement, both because they are probably applicable in more positions than weird engine tactics, and because that's how your next opponent may think too.

I think that's it exactly. For the same reason, an unchecked book by Tarrasch is chock full of useful, typical, memorable ideas,  solid gold. If an engine finds some subtle, exceptional, unmemorizable sequence that refutes this particular application of the idea, what of it? If a superb teacher like Tarrasch thinks the idea is worth mentioning, then I want to see the idea, period. And I would gladly play like Tarrasch--mistakes and all!

Edit:Just saw the last post--very interesting about GM Davies.
« Last Edit: 01/27/15 at 13:23:49 by ReneDescartes »  
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hicetnunc
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #56 - 01/26/15 at 22:17:56
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I had the opportunity to work some time with GM Nigel Davies, and I asked him explicitly to not use engines during the sessions, except on a few occasions when we wanted to check the result of our analysis (arguing with your teacher is good fun, because once in a while you may get lucky, not so with the engine !)

Nigel isn't a crazy calculator anyway, so I found it extremely instructive to see how he coped with some of the messy positions that arose in my games. He didn't always find the best line per the engine, but he never let an advantage go, and that was usually with few and fast calculations  Roll Eyes. I found it way more instructive than seeing the first line of the engine, to be honest. It was also instructive to see when he was cutting the lines of the tree.

My concern is when the teacher just let the engine take over. What if Houdini shows a nice tactical shot, and the teacher immediately shows it and post-rationalizes it as 'normal and obvious', when he may have missed it himself ? Isn't he showing his student chess in a distorted way ?
  

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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #55 - 01/26/15 at 19:01:12
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I believe it depends on what is being taught and how.

For me, a chess engine is just a calculator. I would expect my math teacher to do most of the math in her head, but occasionally, especially in higher level math classes, even the best Ph.D level math teachers will pull out the calculator. That doesn't diminish their ability to teach, as long as it's clear they're just checking to make sure the calculations add up.

If the topic is learning how to calculate in your head, you shouldn't use an engine. But if the teacher is just checking his or her math, I don't see why it's necessarily bad.

I enjoyed Heisman's early work, which I saw in Chess Life. His explanations, and even his examples were very similar to my own explanations to my students. But yes, it sounds as if he's gone off the deep end with a silicon weight tied around his neck in his latest book and lessons.
  
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #54 - 01/26/15 at 14:48:10
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Bibs wrote on 01/26/15 at 13:09:12:
Coach = good. Coach + software = good, and checking for wacky tactics.
I play very rarely, but a clear example is from the last OTB game I played, a draw, versus a young IM. I missed a win at the end, we both missed in the postmortem, I found on my iPhone on the train home. Ah, oops!

Seems just bizarre to state that software should not be used by coaches.

Dunno, ask some super GMs, over 2750, see what they say....


Well, I guess when you coach a 2750 you need an engine to follow his train of thought in the first place  Wink

But okay, my point isn't that you shouldn't use engines in your analysis (like you did on your way home), but rather that a coach has IMO a better value by sharing his own thought process and even human calculations.

Provided the coach is strong enough (like your elo+300 and at least 2000), his tactics are good enough to provide new common patterns for you. At the same time, it's interesting to see how he analyzes : which line he goes for first, when he stops, how he assesses positions. Even if at the end of the day he misses a couple of ideas, or even if his evaluation isn't completely right, I believe it's worthwhile to see how the guy at the next level thinks about the game.

If he just goes : "oh Bxh7+ works here because there's this pawn on e5 and if blah blah blah blah blah (engine output)", then where's the added value compared to analyzing yourself with an engine ?

I believe human ideas that won't work in a specific position still have a lot of practical value for improvement, both because they are probably applicable in more positions than weird engine tactics, and because that's how your next opponent may think too.

I'm only a 2000 elo player, so maybe this way of thinking doesn't apply at higher pro levels (where it's more and more about accuracy and exceptions), but I firmly believe being exposed to a human thought process during the first stages of analysis is more beneficial for an amateur player
  

43 yo, 2000 elo
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #53 - 01/26/15 at 13:31:02
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ReneDescartes wrote on 01/26/15 at 05:05:03:
@hictenunc Agree. Heisman's recent collection of amateur games should be called Houdini Analyzes Amateur Games. Heisman is afraid to offer his own assessments. And this is a guy who wrote a book on evaluation of positions! You get the feeling that computers have corrupted his brain.

Yeah, that was really weird. I think Heisman has a lot to offer beginners, and I enthusiastically recommend A Guide to Chess Improvement to everyone under 1500, but The World's Most Instructive Amateur Game Book (nice title, yeesh) is a real missed opportunity that encourages thinking about the game in a really unproductive way.
  
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Re: What is the best way to analyze your games?
Reply #52 - 01/26/15 at 13:09:12
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Coach = good. Coach + software = good, and checking for wacky tactics.
I play very rarely, but a clear example is from the last OTB game I played, a draw, versus a young IM. I missed a win at the end, we both missed in the postmortem, I found on my iPhone on the train home. Ah, oops!

Seems just bizarre to state that software should not be used by coaches.

Dunno, ask some super GMs, over 2750, see what they say....
  
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