How to analyze games and predict opponents moves?


I'm 19 and a beginner at chess. I've often read in these forums that analyzing famous games helps the learning process. my question is, how do you exactly go about analyzing a famous game? When I go about move by move, how do I know what the players were thinking at that time? It would be good if someone told me a good way to analyze chess games.


Also, when I'm playing someone, I have ifficulty in planning a few moves forward. I can never get how chess players correctly anticipate the moves of their opponents. There just seem to be so many options available, specially in the openings and midgames. Can someone tell me how I can anticipate an opponents moves correctly?


I'll take a stab at your second question as the answer tends to be more concise that the first one :)

=> You're over-thinking this.   One key thing that separates good players from weak ones is that the good ones:

1- Look at all their opponents checks, captures, threats after selecting a move.

2- Make sure they can sufficiently deal with that , i.e. not end up making their position worse while dealing with that. Once you are sure you can, play the move you wanted. If you suddenly notice something really bad ... well, your choice of move is incorrect and you'll be able to quickly change that!

3- Most importantly => doing (1) + (2) on EVERY move, not 4-5 times out of 10 or when they feel this might be an important position. 

This is basically what NM Dan Heisman calls "Real" chess vs. "Hope Chess" (which is doing the opposite, namely ignoring all forcing moves/responses to them and hoping you can deal with them once they get made) 

Doing 1+2 takes less than a minute on 99% of the positions because there AREN'T that many forcing (check/capture/threat) moves per position to watch for.

So the next time you see 10-15 opponent moves in a position, don't sweat it ... just look for the forcing ones and make sure you can deal with them upon playing your selected move.  You'll probably narrow the list down to 2-4 and you can confidently play on after you know your move is safe.    

Looking at any non-forcing variation is rarely justified until you become a strong player ... 99% of the chess players out there play "hope chess" any how, so you want to be able to beat them first by playing "real chess" and then worry about anything more advanced  AFTER that :)


I think the most important thing in analyzing games is to ask yourself what the move accomplishes.  A move's purpose could be to develop pieces, set up attacks, build up defenses, or something else I did not list here.  When it comes to these famous high level games you speak of, rarely will you see a move that accomplishes pretty much nothing.


As for predicting your opponent's moves, that's not easy, but it's certainly doable for the very next move.  The way I do it is that I try to look at the game from my opponent's perspective, and try to see how I would counter my own moves.  Most of the time, I can narrow it down to a few potential moves and try to plan accordingly.  It may be hard for you as a beginner, but after some time you will be able to tell which moves are better through better board analysis.



Assume your opponent will make the best move. What is the best move? The move that pisses you off the most.


1) I would recommend a good book such as Chernev's Logical Chess: Move by Move.  Since you're a beginner, however, I think it's worth mentioning that tactics should be your primary focus.

2) When it's your move, pretend for a moment that it's actually your opponent's move.  What good moves does your opponent have here?


With infinite time, yes looking at every possible move will create an inefficient, but successful victory. When you add the factor of time and patience, well that seems to be cut down. I would learn where good places pieces should go and what separates a good position from a bad one. Personally, I have many times placed a piece in a spot for no particular reason at that moment, just knowing that that spot a particular piece should go and turn out to be the crippling move (like a fianchetto). Tactics also help. Don't count on youropponent missing something or falling for a trap (unless you have made a contingency plan, in which case it would be more like a tactic). Find an opening and learn the theory. As far as analyzing a game goes, you first need to learn how to write and interpret chess notation. The better you get the better at predicting moves you can get. Really good chess players have recommended trying to play games blindfolded, using chess notation to communicate the moves and keeping their mind attentive to the location of all the pieces. Fun fact: Marc Lang holds the record for number of simultaneous mental chess games (46).


There are no moves that you may make on a chess board that do not complete the mental construct of reality that you subject yourself to when you say, "I can never do....."

Never is forever. There is nothing beyond it. You may not escape it until you decide that you may someday actually understand. Denying your education with self defeating proclamations  is a black hole of learning, because it denies you your chance at the reality you want. 

Change your language, change your game.


i use cryatal ball. got it at target


The first question must ask yourself is, " What my opponent threating?", this alone will eliminate blunders. You must study chess without chess knowledge you won't understand the position.  A great book will for you, Logical Chess: Move by Move by Chernev, this book alone will you give enough knowledge to play better chess and predicting your opponent moves.


For your first question, you probably won't be able to understand the famous games that much at first. So I would recommend looking at annotated games (games that have comments to help the reader understand what is going on). You can find annotated games in books, online and in videos on YouTube.


You have to learn many things to start .