Ready, Set, Notes!
Some players have not utilized the "notes" feature available on every turn-based game. The "notes" tab is located next to the "details" tab on the right side of your game screen.
This is a good place to document your ideas while you are thinking about them for further analysis. Using this feature will cut down on some of the quick blunders that so many players complain about.
More importantly. The notes area can be used when you review your game after it is over. You should already be reviewing each and every game after they have been completed. Remember: your notes are private so other players will not be able to see them even if you want them to. Take advantage of the analysis feature offered by chess.com.
If you find yourself not knowing what to include in your notes, start off with the basics. What opening did you play? What variation? Have you played your opponent before? What's your score against him/her? These are just simple notes that may mean something to you six to nine months later. It is especially a good idea to take notes if you are playing in tournaments. Tournaments last over several months and your rating should fluctuate from the beginning to the end. It will be revealing to see how you were thinking when you first began the tournament.
Engage in conversation with your opponent at the beginning of the game and especially after the game. Some players don't like to talk during the game, so its best to determine what type of player you have early. Some players won't say anything at all. Stay respectful regardless.
I encourage that you save your games locally to your computer. Next we will talk about how to create a personal chess database without (chessbase or other software).