I play chess just for fun but now I want to get better at it. One suggestion I have seen frequently is to analyse one's own game. I would like to know as to what exactly am I looking for when I re-watch my own game? ( of course better moves , but need some specifics if possible). Also I am a very defensive player , mostly aiming to protect the king rather than take center control ( even when I am white!!) A few suggestions on attacking openings for both black and white( just names will be just fine) would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Kasporov bless you :P :)
eden you can't be a coward! you MUST try to take control of the center. even defenses like kings indian french and caro-kann which don't do much to the center at first RELIES heavily on those central pawn breaks. if you let your opponent take control of the center you will be cramped, have less space, and will eventually lose. why would you not fight for a piece of the center? you have the chances to I reckon you should. and you just said you were defensive so why would you want attacking openings?
if you really want to be defensive really badly you can just do the hippo:
by attacking I think you mean aggressive openings. here are suggestions:
When analyzing your lost games, the first question you should ask yourself is : what was (were) my losing move(s), then try to characterize the mistake and find better moves.
Here is a very simple example :
In this game, the white player may conclude that 2.g4?? was his losing mistake (as it allows checkmate in one). He may conclude that opening the diagonal e1-h4 on his king is dangerous, especially if a queen can land on h4.
He may also remember that in the opening, it's better to put pawns in the center and develop pieces, so 1.e4 and 2.e4 or 2.Nc3 would have been better moves.
Hi Chess 4001 , Thanks for the reply. Though the hippo is very compact and defensive, maybe good for counter attacking, but it leaves the rooks totally unused if the opponent plays fairly well. I tried it against a lvl 1200 computer and by the time I managed to make a fairly 'hippo-like' shape ( regardless of how I achieved it) , the computer was in a very nice position and I really didnt feel that I could even counter attack even if i wanted too. I usually start with kings indian when black and queens gambit when white ( as I do not know many openings) , thanks for suggesting the sicilian dragon, will try it in the near future!! Thanks a lot again!
Is working it out backwards better then? As in , rather than thinking what I could have done differently from the begining , should I be looking to identify moves that put me in a bad position by going over the games backwards?
This is not necessary. Following the flow of the game is more natural and will also bring interesting insights : for example you trade a fianchettoed bishop, and 20 moves later your castled king gets checkmated and you then realize having traded the fianchettoed defensive bishop was the cause of your inability to defend.
The key is to try to objectively identify the bad moves and characterize them and their cause.
When people say they are defensive they are usually really saying they are risk avoiding risks. The problem is that to avoid risk you need to think about preventing your opponent from attacking you. A lot of fear is based on the idea that there are tatics you cannt see and if your safe you can avoid them. when in reality If you play PASSIVELY then your opponent will set up a strong position and you will lose one way or another. Likely at your level if you cannt see a tactical threat then your opponent cannt either even if one exists. Improving at tactics will help this of course. There are very very strong players that were primarily defensive (prophalactic) in their approach and became world champions.
My advice is study Morphy , Capablanca & Smyslov.
Morphy because while he was famous for creating attacks he was also more famous (at the time) in preventing the wild attacks of the players of the romantic era. His style ripped apart the risky, inaccurate attacks of his opponents. He was actually an active defender look at his handling of the amateurs of the time (his lesser known games) and you will see many games that look like people you play and their utter decimation. He ripped apart insanely aggressive moves highlighting their problems and if people were overly defensive he setup a strong attack and flattened them too.
Capablanca was amazing at just stuffing attacks and keeping things under control . take a very close and detailed examination of the Capablanca - marshall match.
Lasker is another good one because he was great at defense. his talent was based a lot on calculation though so sometimes its hard to get your head around. He could grab material and hold on or provoke strong attacks and rebuff them leaving the opponent an overextended and shattered positiion.
Smyslov was a great endgame player and is a lot like a more modern , refined version of capablanca
Petrosian was brillant and not as passive as his reputation there are two great books on him that would impress you.
Karpov is the most modern version but his games are super complex. I would look at his older games as he was moving up the chess ladder
Thanks a lot!! Will go ahead with your suggestions. Is there some website where I can find the games that you have mentioned? I do get some results when i google but if there is a comprehensive collection on a website it would be nice to know.
Thanks a lot again!
a nice way to do too is get a database program chessbase , chess assistant or SCID (free) you can find databases all over the web for free just do a google search.
nice!! got SCID !! thanks a ton TonyH! :)
I think it's easy sometimes to become overwhelmed when analysing your own games, to the point where you can end up confusing yourself more than helping yourself. One thing I've been finding useful lately is something (I believe) Danny Rensch said in one of his videos, which is to try to take one concrete thing away from every game you play. Whether it's figuring out why you blundered away a piece (e.g. thinking a piece is defended, but failing to spot that it's on the same rank as your opponent's queen which left it vulnerable after your opponent discovered an attack while taking the defender, as happened to me recently), or why you failed to spot an easy checkmate, or the key move which lost (or won) you the endgame - whatever it is, if you take one concrete thing away from each game that is simple enough for you to comprehend and manageable enough for you to apply in the future, then I think you'll improve little by little with every game you play.
I agree Y_Ddraig. at least one thing is important. Its hard to look at a games sometimes and your mind spins with all the woulda_shoulda_coulda ideas. here are my thoughts on what to take away
1) any major tactical blunders (I missed one in my game recently , even though i KNOW the tactic, I thought about it, I still allowed it... why?)
2) any minor tactics you might have missed that could have given you a better position but not a clear blunder.
3) any major ideas that you might have over looked for you or your opponent
One of my recent games is below. I removed a lot of my notes but highlighted my point above