Analysis of Your Own Games
Hello Chess Fans! If you read my previous blog, you might remember that I said a lot of things about Analysis and I had also promised a separate blog on it, so here it is! It is very recently that I have started analyzing my own games and I've found a rapid improvement in myself. Infact, most of you think that Analysis is a waste of time because the chances are very less for a similar position to occur in your games, but it did for me! A very similar position had arised in one of my games from one of my previous games and had I not analyzed it, I might have commited the same mistake again! Infact, the Analysis even helped me find the right move in the position! So, delving straight to the topic, Analysis is the detailed examination of one's own game. There is a way to do this examination, and that's what I'm going to tell you today.
1. Mark the critical moments of the game during the game itself
When you are playing a game, mark the critical moments with a symbol in the notation so that it will help you later. The critical moments of the game are the moments where there was a change i.e from Opening to Middlegame or from Middlegame to Endgame. The moment your knowledge of Opening theory ends is a critical moment. The parts of the game where you thought for a very long time are critical moments. The part of the game where you couldn't find a move or plan is a critical moment. It is important you identify and mark these moments during the game.There is an anecdote by a GM in one of his books that he used to write down what he thought during the game in a small notebook. One of his opponents tried to take advantage of this by secretly peeping into his book behind his back. The GM wrote down 'The Knight sacriice on h7 is winning for my opponent'. His opponent immediately played that move only to find the GM write 'But it is easily refuted by Bxf7 and his Queen is lost.' . Who knows? Even you might have the chance to catch your opponents by using this trick!
2.Go over the game and write down your thoughts immediately after the game
Immediately after the game, write down all your thoughts about the game (at each move and critical moment) like what was your plan, what you think could have been better, tactics that you and your opponent missed (if you can find them) and other such things. It is advisable to do it immediately after the game because the thoughts are still fresh in your mind. It is better to write timestamps in your notation sheet so that you can refer to them later.
3.Note down the moments where you couldn't find a move
It is important that you note down the moments where you couldn't find a move or come up with a plan or didn't know what to do whether it is the Opening, or the Middlegame, or the Endgame. This helps know your weaknesses and mistakes and helps you hone them later.
4.Time to do detailed analysis
Now after you've finished the whole tournament, it's time to do some detailed analysis of your games. The first thing you have to do is check the opening theory from the critical moment where the opening ended for you. The next time you face the opening, you know what you have to do . The same is about the Middlegame. After every move, search for tactical and positional ideas yourself. There will be a time when you have to use the computer but the best way to do it is by searching for them youself as it increases your capability and the moves are based on your ideas which will again help you in your analysis (i.e you will know why the idea is correct/wrong)
5.Time to bring in the Silicon Master
This is the time when you have to bring the computer and let it search what you couldn't find. Do not set it on the Full-Analysis mode but rather the Blunder-Check mode which will present you with all the errors done during the game. Go through all the errors so that you will know not to make them again as well as to punish them.
6. Make a combined report of all your games
If you analyze one game, you can know your mistakes, but if you combine the analysis of all your games, you can know your weaknesses. You can study only if you know your weaknesses. This is an easy task. Put together all the critical moments of the game you marked and try to categorise them. If there are more in the Opening, you need to concentrate on the Opening, if there are more in the Middlegame, concentrate on the part that you are weak at. It can be tactics, positional play, attacking skills, etc. If there are more in the Endgame, then try to increase your knowledge about the Endgame you're weak at i.e Rook Endings or Queen Endings or Bishop Endings, etc.Keep doing this till your next tournament and you will miraculously improve but the thing is, you must not forget to analyse the games of that tournament.
Keep doing this, and if you're really talented, you will soon find yourself improving rapidly. The next blogs might talk about my way of studying and my plans, and of course, don't forget about your plans . Try to find out the GM I was talking about in the Anecdote. Good Bye and Good Analysis .