Saturday, March 04, 2006

Post-game analysis notebook

Pre-Script: I decided not to post a game tonight (Sunday night). I'll just post 'em on those Sundays when I had one worth posting that week. This week my games were all very short and not very interesting (I won them all, though!). I'm not gonna play tonight as I'm...tired after last night's post-game mourning.

In the last month, I have finally started to analyze each game I play at ICC, or at least each of my losses. Some of my wins are not worth analyzing, as they are due to opening destruction I sometimes wreak with the Fried Liver Attack. Here's what I do:

Step 1: Create an evaluation profile in Fritz to determine my key stupid moves.
This involves opening the pgn of the game in Fritz and analyzing the game in Blundercheck mode with the threshold set to 0, depth of 4 moves (at my level, I don't think I need to analyze much deeper than 4-ply), being sure to select 'Save evaluation profile.' I then quickly go through the game, checking out the evaluation profile and trying to figure out the reason for each large fluctuation.

Step 2: Fritz deep position analysis of each position in which I screwed up.
Once, in Step 1, I have determined my dumb moves, I then run deep position analysis for those positions right before my bad move. For this, I go 10 moves in. I then do my best to figure out why Fritz chose the move(s) it did, and why my move was dumb. I sometimes use the Windows-->Panes-->Explain all Moves function in Fritz, in which it provides a brief natural language evaluation of each move.

Step 3: Enter the position in my game notebook.
Using Fritz's useful File-->Save Position function, I save an image of the position(s) analyzed in Step 2. I then save them into my notebook which is in MS Word. On the left I put the image, while on the right margin I list three things. First, what Fritz suggested and why, second what I actually played, and third which step of Chessplanner (my thought process) I didn't correctly apply in my actual move. (The five steps of Chessplanner, briefly, are 1. Pattern recognition, 2. Board evaluation and planning, 3. Real Chess (select best candidate move from Steps 1 and 2), 4. Blundercheck, 5. Make the move).

I find the above steps take about 15 minutes per game, and hopefully will provide a helpful record for me to go over to discover my main weaknesses.

The main concern I have is that I am placing too much trust in Fritz's evaluation profile: is it heavily biased toward material, and hence, will it tend to highlight only my tactical weaknesses? We'll see. Despite that concern, this analysis certainly won't hinder my chess development, though it just may bias me toward tactical play.

So far, most of my games are lost because of tactical mistakes or a failure to blundercheck. For the games where I still don't understand what the hell I did wrong, I'll probably pay someone at ICC a few bucks to provide analysis. When I can afford it, anyway. I did this once already with Salinnikov, a Russian IM. It was pretty darn good analysis, but set me back 15 checkels.

I predict Duke will destroy UNC tonight in the season finale. Ummm, boy was I ever wrong.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe it is an indication of the state of your mind. making everything more difficult and impossible instead of simple and easy.

make the blog simple and easy. white background.

make your chess simple and easy. it will allow your mind to find new moves and solutions to the chess problems.

what is your uscf or ICC rating.

do you want to be better at blitz or in chess tournaments.

I can not read anything in your blog. Why do you do these things to yourself. You need to love yourself. give yourself a readable blog as a give of love to yourself.

3/04/2006 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Could this be my first troll? That would be quite a milestone! Thanks for the web design tips and the psychotherapy, anonymous.

3/04/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Temposchlucker said...

With your first troll that is:)
He anonymous, treat yourself with a real name. You're worth it.

3/05/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger King of the Spill said...

Your doing something that has been on my todo list for a long time. I haven't answered those how-much-computer-analysis-do-I-try-to-use questions fully myself. I am leaning towards putting a subset of the mistakes, just noting the ones whe analysis is at least somewhat understandable from looking at it just for a few minutes.

It just takes time, but people recommend it frequently.

3/05/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger David Glickman said...

Your wife must be loving life today! If I were you I'd focus on housework and hope she shows pity on you and doesn't shove the UNC upset in your face all day.

3/05/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

It was an awful, awful night for basketball. UNC was the crowd favorite, even a mile away from Duke. There were three of us Dukies there cheering, but alas we sucked.

Duke played like a cheesy JV team.

3/05/2006 04:05:00 PM  

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