Fritz is Not Your Friend! / Ready, Set, Notes! (Pt. 2)

Fritz is Not Your Friend! / Ready, Set, Notes! (Pt. 2)

Feb 20, 2009, 7:09 AM |

This topic seems to have generated a lot of conversation and personal messages, so I will elaborate here to the group.

Let me begin by saying. Saving Fritz evaluations in the notes field is not recommended for the following reasons:

  1. You are creating notes for yourself to help you remember and understand your plans at the time you were making you moves or plans.
  2. If you review your notes three (3) years from now the computer won't evaluate your position any differently than it does now. So storing computer evaluations is a waste of space.
  3. The point of creating notes is to help you improve.

Let me say it like this.  Your note field is similar to a diary.  Albeit a technical diary, but a diary nonetheless.

The opportunity for you to document all types of things in this area is available to you.  Here are some examples of possible notes that might be included during various stages of the game.

"This is the first game of the tournament and I have been paired up.  I am going to attempt to play the same line that Anand played in Linares 2009."


"I really feel uncomfortable in this position.  I am equal in material however, I can't see a clear plan.  I think I am going to shuffle my pieces for a few moves and see what develops."


"This position is totally lost.  I shouldn't have made those rushed moves last night.  I thought he was going to fall for my trap on the h7 square, but he didn't even consider it."


"This is my first attempt at playing the Modern Defence.  I found this game in the local newspaper and it felt like my style of play.  Let's see what happens."

Your notes will prove invaluable to you at a date in the future.  You should treat your notes like messages to your self should you experience amnesia.

The benefit to this level of note taking is that you might stop playing an opening now and take it up again several years later.  It is helpful to know what inspired you, what was going on around the game, how you learned the opening, if the line is your pet line, etc.

As you grow in your understanding, looking back and seeing when you made mistakes or couldn't come up with moves will also prove to be beneficial.  These will be direct areas that you can focus on for improvement.

Finally, documenting your games in this manner will help your chess coach should you get one.  The coach will not be interested in computer evaluations. They will however be interested in your thought process at various points during the game.