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Is there a general method or idea that you do when analysing games? I can often spot a single better move when analysing my games, but I have difficulty with sequences of moves. I presume what you should be looking for is situational, but there any hints or tips anyone could give me for when I analyse my games?
Here's an example of a recent game I had (it ends in a draw) that could be used for illustrative purposes.
Generally speaking, you try to discard the analysis you've build up in your head while playing the game, and try to look at the position with fresh eyes.
Sometimes this is counter intuitive because it means moves you were proud of you try to criticize and moves you thought were poor you look for their strong points. And also in the variations you didn't play. During the game you thought _____ instead would have been strong, but maybe that position required something else entirely, so it's useful to get a bit creative and experiment.
In the final product, you'd like to have mapped out the specific moves where the evaluation changed. This isn't always like what a computer will show, sometimes you take into account practical purposes e.g. a computer may give a superior line, but it's based on a bizzare tactical idea that would never have been found over the board... perhaps useful to professionals but not so much otherwise.
This too can be counter intutitve because you'll catch yourself saying "this move was good" and then on black's reply "my position is bad" Well if your previous move was good, then your position was bad before black's reply... you'll have to go back move by move until you find your bad move that changed the evaluation (or again perhaps that good move was bad afterall if you're suddenly uncomfortable with the position).
It's very useful if you understand some ideas behind the position that are unrelated to any specific series of moves. e.g. in ______ position it's common for white to attack, or in that position black will play for an e5 push. With no general guding idea with which to start, the forest of variations will be endless.
For this reason it's very difficult for a beginner to analyse. It's very useful to have a more experienced player point out these kinds of general ideas and how the game moves did or didn't fit in to the general logic of the position.
The final product should take quite a long time, certainly more than one day of analysis. And as you get better over the years it's useful to go back over these games to search for different ideas you may have missed and to be re-exposed to the lessons you uncovered in the past. Obviously you'd only take this much effort in games where you gave your all.
A natural plan at move 12 would be to develop a kingside initiative based on the pawn advance f5 or by using the weak f5 square for a piece (probably a knight is best). Another plan is to simply trade pieces into a winning endgame, as you are up a pawn.
As for how to analyze, I agree with every thing wafflemaster said.
Thanks for all the advice, I shall try take it on board.
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