How to Analyze Chess Games Effectively
Chess, like any other sport, requires careful planning and analysis if success is to be achieved. Chess is a logical game, and as such, every move has to be well planned, and its consequences logically weighed before it is executed.
A good chess player must understand the concept of analysis and how to analyze chess games.
What Is Analysis In Chess?
Analysis in chess is a careful and systematic assessment of any given position on a chess board. It requires careful observation of a position to determine the best possible move or moves to be played.
Analysis can also be done after a game has been played to review the game, discover errors and inaccuracies and find out the best way to tackle them and ensure they do not repeat themselves in subsequent games.
A significant distinction between top-level players and amateurs or beginners in chess is analysis. All top-level players understand the importance of analysis, and as such, they put in hours analyzing both their games and the games of other players.
We have already established that analysis is crucial to success in any chess game. The question now is, How to Analyze Your Chess Games? Some ways in which you can Analyze your chess games include:
1. Write Down Your Thoughts During Every Game
Most beginners and amateur chess players forget about a chess game immediately after they’re done. This practice defeats the whole essence of analysis. This is because they will be unable to see where mistakes were made, and as such, they have a high tendency to repeat such mistakes in their other games.
By writing down your thoughts during the game, you will be able to review the mistakes you made in your previous games and ensure you find the best moves.
2. Use A Chess Engine
Humans generally are prone to errors. While analyzing, it is not impossible that you might omit some important details or make errors. This is where a chess engine comes in.
Chess engines are chess-playing and analyzing systems that make use of sophisticated chess software. They assist in adequately evaluating positions and determining the best moves.
Using a chess engine to analyze your chess game is the most efficient method you can think of. This is because the speed at which a chess engine runs the calculations and brings results is much more advanced than what the human brain can do.
There are a number of chess engines you can consult to help with your game analysis. Engines like Stockfish, Houdini, Komodo, Fire, and Shredder are good examples.
Another perk of chess engines nowadays is that they are mostly free to use. All you have to do is download and install the software, and you’re good to go.
3. Get A Chess Coach
Sometimes, when using chess engines for analysis or even without engine aid, a beginner or intermediate player may find it challenging to understand some concepts.
This is why in learning how to analyze chess games, having a chess coach is quite important.
A chess coach is someone, usually a retired player (some chess coaches are active), that has vast knowledge and experience of the game of chess. A chess coach will help you review and break down chess engine suggestions into simple terms that you can easily understand.
4. Review The Game By Replaying It And Considering Other Options
An excellent way to improve your analysis skill is to replay a game and consider better options. This means that after you’re through with a chess game, you should replay it on your own and try to play better moves as opposed to the ones you make.
You can do this by getting your chess board, which you can then use to replay previous games. In doing this, you can find better moves than the ones you played since you are under less pressure and you also have some analysis aids. Doing this regularly will significantly improve your overall chess skill.
5. Make Use Of Chess Databases
A chess database is a collection of multiple chess games that are organized for players to review and learn from.
Chess databases are divided into categories. For example, in a chess database, you can find chess games featuring chess openings for the white pieces, openings like the Ruy Lopez or the English Opening.
Chess databases are crucial for learning how to analyze chess games. To put the usefulness of chess databases into perspective, one can imagine a chess player who is preparing to play a game where they will be playing as white. Such a player can simply access a chess database and go through the analysis of openings for the white pieces.
Multiple chess databases can be found online on chess websites, and quite a number of them are free.
Another advantage of a chess database is that it provides players with a systematically organized list of different chess games featuring various opening, middlegame, and endgame tactics. This, in particular, is very useful when it comes to learning how to analyze chess games.
6. Put Your Mistakes Into Writing After Games
One important step concerning how to analyze chess games is to always write down your mistakes after every game.
Writing down the mistakes you made in a particular game helps to engrave them into your memory and makes sure you do not repeat such mistakes in your subsequent games. Therefore, after using a chess engine or other analysis aids, you should write the errors you discovered.
You should also describe the nature of your mistakes, for example, not castling early, a blundered piece, or a missed checkmate.
There’s a saying that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This saying also relates to analysis in chess. A player who doesn’t understand the concept of game analysis in chess can never improve. Therefore, when you understand the concept of analysis, you’re on your way to a massive rise in overall chess ability.