Monday, April 24, 2006

Passivity is Death. Fritz is Life.

For the past couple of weeks, I have finally started a database of annotated games in Fritz. This analysis is really helpful, and I am not allowing myself to play another game at ICC until I've finished analyzing my last twenty games. So far I've done about twelve.

My biggest problem is not subtle: I don't consider sequences of moves resulting from captures and checks. I also don't consider simple threats like pushing a pawn forward to attack a piece. This is because I play passively, slowly trying to build up a good position, which means I overlook elementary material considerations. I need to emphasize material considerations in my board evaluation (Step 2 of my thought process), and more carefully think through the consequences of all checks and captures (Step 3 of my thought process).

The sticking point that was holding me back from building this database was that I was confused about how to do some things in Fritz. I'll list them here, and describe how to do them so nobody else can use the same excuses:
1) Saving multiple games in a single database. This is easy. In the menu, click File-->Save As, and save the game you want as a ".cbh" file (not pgn). Then, other games can be saved the same way. You would think this would overwrite the previous work, but it simply appends it so the previous games in the same file will not be affected.
2) Deleting games. This is harder. Right click in the database window (which comes up with F12) on the game you want deleted, and click 'Edit-->Delete'. The game will still be there, but with a line through its name (and note, if you saved your stuff as .pgn, this won't work: it has to be .cbh). To actually delete it, you must then go to Tools-->Database-->Remove Deleted Games. This two-step process is a safety net.
3) Adding commentary. Again, easy. Right click on the move in Fritz's move window, and then click 'Text after move' or 'Text before move' to add the commentary.

I do all my analysis after running blundercheck for both sides, with the threshold set to 0 and 'Store evaluation' checked, so I get a nifty evaluation profile. That way, when analyzing the game I really take my time and think about what I did wrong when the profile jumps against me.

I have one question for the Fritz experts out there: anyone know how to remove the Fritz annotation of all the moves in a game without also removing the evaluation profile? When I do 'Delete Fritz Commentary' in the move window, Fritz also removes the damned evaluation profile! Hence I have to go through each move and remove the Fritz commentary by hand. It is really tedious for long games. I prefer my own commentary, and that provided with the help of the infinite analysis move suggestions, rather than the commentary provided by blundercheck. The evaluation profile feature, while helpful, is annoyingly sensitive to the most minor parameter changes.


Blogger takchess said...

Since acquiring Fritz you may want to try playing on You get 1 year subscription when you enter you license key. This automatically saves any game you play on this site into a my internet games file. I don't have the Fritz answer for you but J'adoube might. As for playing passively and slowly building, I have the opposite problem. I have to be carefull not to have an overextended attack by move 4.

4/25/2006 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I use SCID, but i had the same problem with removing variations without removing the "evaluation profile" graph.

To solve this, I make 2 game files-- one with the machine output, and another bare pgn that i manually edit.

I create the machine output first. Then, i open another instance of SCID so the windows are tiled vertically. I refer to the machine version for variations and ideas and manually type my own comments and lines, while engine-checking.

It takes me about 30-45 minutes to fully analyze and annotate a tournament game.

4/25/2006 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

I also take a screencap of the evaluation profile using Irfanview and then save all those in a folder of JPEGs or PNGs.

Just another idea.

4/25/2006 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Pawn Sensei said...

Hey BD,

Just wanted to drop a suggestion. Most strong players recommend analyzing your game without computer help first then running a computer engine. That's what I do and it works for me.


4/26/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

That's a good idea, PS. Unfortunately, it already takes me about an hour a game. When I'm done with the circles, I'll spend more time.

4/26/2006 08:11:00 PM  

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