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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Jan 2004

    What do you do with your games?

    Interested in seeing what different people here do with their tournament games after they have finished. I'll give some basic questions and my own answers to them to get the ball (hopefully) rolling.

    1. Do you keep them?

    I've played 818 tournament games at main-list rated or ratable time limits (not all would have actually been rated, for various reasons) since I started in 1986. I still have at least partial scores of 773 of these.

    (The breakdown of the remaining 45: 7 not kept from my first ever tournament, 16 lost (mostly during 1991-2 when I tended to just chuck them on the floor of my very messy room), 1 thrown away in disgust after I lost the ending from knight and four pawns up when aged 15, and 21 where the unrated opponent was too weak for me to bother keeping the game - typically players who would be a piece or more down inside 10 moves).

    I don't keep the original scoresheets - I just transcribe them into a folder. For a long time I was typing them in by electric typewriter so I could easily add them game by game, but now I wait until I have a page full and do them as a word document.

    I don't bother with anything faster than main-list-rated. I seldom record them let alone keep them and don't consider them part of my record against an opponent. I can't believe it that there are people who save online games played at a time limits below five minutes and analyse them in detail.

    2. Do you analyse them?

    I give all my tournament games a brief Fritz-assisted run-through so I can put reasonably accurate !!s or, far more often, ??s, on moves when I add the game to my folder, and so that I know where I could have done better. I also like to check up how my opening went in comparison to theory, eg if I mixed up lines (a very common event.)

    3. Do you annotate them?

    Historically I've only annotated them where they were of some kind of interest for publication somewhere. However, at the start of 2000, I started a project of annotating all my games in the order they were played starting from the beginning, using Fritz. This is a very low-priority thing, and because the rate at which I play new games and the rate at which I annotate old ones are about the same, I am not sure if I will ever catch up (although it may get faster once I get up to post-2000 games which I sometimes have saved annotated versions of already.) Annotating games I had forgotten ever playing is great fun. Sometimes I find amazing resources that both players missed, or amusing things like my opponent resigning a won position. If I ever do catch up there will be all kinds of useful things I can do to look at things like stats by opening line in more detail than I can now.

    4. Do you use them in preparation?

    I index my folder of games so I can look up all the games I have played against a specific opponent before a game. Whether I flick through them or not will depend on the player I am up against and whether I think this will be useful. Often it is good to feel prepared against whatever openings that opponent has played against me before.

    Also I keep an eye on my scoreline against each opponent, and use this for motivation purposes. I particularly like to turn a minus score into an equals or an equals score into a plus. I've recently equalised (or better) a few minuses so that now only one opponent on the current Tasmanian rating list has a plus against me. That's one too many as far as I'm concerned.

    5. Do you have a "best game"?

    I find this a difficult question because I have had a few very spectacular games but most of them had flaws - one move where the opponent could have been winning. I always want to play one game that I am really totally happy with but it's never yet happened. The one in this thread would have some sort of claim to be my best so far ... which doesn't say much for the other 817.

    Over to you.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 15-08-2005 at 11:19 PM.
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  2. #2
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    The multiverse
    1. Yes.

    2. Yes.

    3. Some but i certainly have no goal to annotate all of them.

    4. Most definitely. I play mostly at a small club and so preparation is worthwhile and hugely possible just based on my own database of games.

    5. I have favourite games but no best game. I don't think any of my games deserve the name best. Maybe one or two correspondence games might come close. At least in general less blunders than in OTB games. However, when I think of favourite games they are almost all OTB games.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    If it's not confined to OTB and team events are allowed then the best game I've been involved in was the NZS-Tas draw in the Australasian Internet Challenge.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 01-01-2008 at 06:32 PM.
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  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    1. Yes, I keep all of them, but not in paper form ... I transcribe them into ChessBase. When I was a junior I kept a score book.
    2. Yes, I analyse them, mostly using a brief run-through in Fritz. Now that I am getting some better-late-than-never coaching, my coach is also analysing them for me. He tends to find the more positional ideas. Fritz finds the tactical stuff.
    3. Yes, I annotate them. Mostly variations and/or ideas that were possibilities but never made their way into the score. Occasionally I record what was going through my mind at the time, or events that happened around the board whilst playing. That makes it easier for me to recall the game months/years later.
    4. No, I don't have enough recorded (yet) to warrant using them in preparation. I rely on club websites with games played by the opponent for that purpose.
    5. No, I don't think I could say that I have a "best game". Hadn't really thought about it...
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  5. #5
    CC International Master Carl Gorka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    I've lost a number of my games over the years due to the fact that I've moved around a lot....born in England, lived in Holland, France, back in England and now Aus.

    With analysis, I try to analyse games myself, and then run an analysis engine over it to check for tactics I might have missed. I try to add some annotations where I think thry're necessary.

    I use the games to learn openings better, so I suppose I do use them for preparation purposes.

    I haven't played my best game yet.
    I've never been so broke that I couldn't leave town

    I'm trying out a new blog site...

    Victorian Team Championships

  6. #6
    CC International Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    1. No
    2. Not really
    3. No
    4. No
    5. Yeah in a blockaded position sacked a bishop and then the exchange to win
    No this is silly, the whole premise is silly and very badly written. I'm the senior officer here and I've not had a funny line yet so I'm stopping it.

    Sydney International Open

    Parramatta Chess Club

    Manchester United - In decline since 92!

  7. #7
    CC Candidate Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    1. I keep many scoresheets except those where both: I played badly plus the opening info will not help me in future. Some easy wins against ppl lower rated also get discarded.
    2. Usually I only analyse with my opponent or briefly with my wife (I should use Fritz).
    3. Annotate my games (very rarely done), it seems like a lot of effort and too much self-criticism for my precious ego.
    4. Occasionally I use them to prepare, I store them by year with one white pile & one black pile and ordered by surname.
    5. Yes a few best games - too few and far between

    With more WA rated games going on the net these days then more ppl like me should get prepared.

    Thanks Kevin, for helping me admit that I'm kinda slack - note to self: do more chess study

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Penrith, NSW
    Resurrecting an interesting old thread.
    1. Yes, but with some big gaps. My career began in 1968 as an Under 14 school-boy. I have my first 119 games neatly rewriten out in a hard back exercide book. Then the enthusiasm ran out and the next lot of games I have are both looseleaf and in scorebooks, but dating at least 3 years later. Then its more regularly (but with gaps again) in exercide books. One thing that has helped me find some missing games is a New Zealand chess games database in ChessBase format compiled by Peter Stuart which I bought. In it I found some lost games of mine - more losses than wins sadly, but one of my best wins included (see later).
    2. Yes, but not enough.
    3. Very rarely , like when annotaing for NZ Chess magazine when I lived in NZ.
    4. Not nearly enough. I have to hunt to find games by an opponent unless they were recent. One day I must index my games!
    5. Yes,. I have a favourite game where I sacc'ed a Bishop (unsoundly) then Rook (completely soundly!!) for what turned out to be a winning attack against a reasonably good player (who expected to beat me). Here is that game - sorry I haven't got a tool that will paste it in PGN format. Found the game again in Perter Stuart's database. My own copy is loose somewhere! Marred by a blunder by him but the kind of piece sacrifice by me that though it could have been refuted can give good practical chances.
    Jonathan Adams - Hamish Gold, NZ Major Open, Dunedin, 1999.
    1 b4 c6 2 e3 d5 3 Bb2 Bf5 4 Nf3 Nd7 5 c4 dxc4 6 Bxc4 e6 7 Nd4 Nb6(?!) 8 Nxf5 exf5 9 Bb3 Qg5 10 0-0 Bxb4 11 f4 Qg6 12 Rf3 Nf6 13 Rg3 Qh6 14 Qc2 Ng4 15 Bxf7+! (unsound, but it worked out well! Better 15 h3 Qh4 16 Rf3 Nf6 17 Qxf5 0-0 with a slight plus for White.) 15...Kxf7 16 Qxf5+ Nf6 17 e4 Qh5?? (Much better is 17...Rhe8 18 e5 Qh5 19 Rxg7+ [ or 19 e6+ Kf8 20 Rg5 Qe2! -+] 19... Kxg7 20 exf6+ Kh6 -+) I guess you can all spot White's 18th now. 18 Rxg7+! Ke8 (of course if 18..Kxg7 19 Qxf6+ followed by mate) 19 Qe6+ (+_) 19...Kf8 20 Qxf6+ Ke8 21 Nc3 Rd8 22 Rg5 Bc5+ 23 Kh1 1-0. I have too many threats! One of my more enjoyable games.

    I also once played a game where I should have beaten Jono Sarfati. I played the Pirc, He played the Austrian Attack, I played...c5 line, in middle game won his Queen for Rook and minor piece after he underestimated the strength of letting my Queen go to c4, then I played badly and lost - Jono do you have in that excellent memory of yours the full score of that game? I'd like to keep it.
    Last edited by Adamski; 01-01-2008 at 06:08 PM.
    God exists. Short and to the point.

    Secretary of, and regularly arbiter at, Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club. See

    Psephological insight. "Controversial will only lose you votes. Courageous will lose you the election." Sir Humphrey Appleby on Yes Minister.

    Favorite movie line: Girl friend Cathy to Jack Ryan in "Sum of all Fears". "What kind of emergency does an historian have?".

  9. #9
    CC Candidate Master
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hi all,

    Just recently I have been getting into the habit of using sound and video capturing devices on my computer to record a video of my analysis at the time, recording first personal and then crafty computer lines. I think this is great because I can recall the emotions I felt after certain good or bad moves and it really helps me to avoid making the same mistakes. I do not really use these in preparation as I don't really think I have enough recorded games yet

    It's always hard to pick a best game I think but here is something I felt really attached to:

    PGN Viewer

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Atlanta, GA (formerly Brisbane, and before that Wellington, NZ)
    I lost a lot of my game scores when I moved from Wellington to Brisbane. But has 234 of my games, mostly from NZ Champs, master tourneys and Olympiads, but also has a few blindfold simul games.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  11. #11
    CC Candidate Master
    Join Date
    May 2007
    1. Yes. I store them in a PGN file. Unfortunately, I threw out most of my pre-1997 games, before I got a computer.
    2. Just a quick annofritz, with a deeper, more "hands-on" look at interesting positions.
    3. No. I considered it at one stage, but thought the effort would outweigh the benefit.
    4. Sometimes, depending on recency.
    5. Not really, but I do have games with which I'm pleased.

  12. #12
    CC FIDE Master Southpaw Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    1. Yep, keep all standard rated games and quite a few rapid games in a Fritz/CB database. This only includes rated games from the club, games on FICS are not stored as such, but my FICS gamescores are emailed to my Gmail account and are, therefore, "stored".

    2. I give it to Fritz, which has until recently, been sufficient given the grossly tactical nature of my losses. The last 12 months has seen some improvement here, to the point where the true cause of some losses is strategic - here, Jono's kind analysis in the HICC thread has been and continues to be invaluable.

    3. Not at the moment, but at the moment my losses still tend to be for rather obvious tactical reasons, so annotation is largely superfluous. In addition, I don't really have the knowledge to be able to do this myself - however, I will probably start this year by including Jono's notes.

    4. Not really, except to remind myself of the general openings played by a particular opponent. Generally, the way our club tournaments are run, I don't know who I'll be playing on any given night, so it'd be impossible to prepare in those circumstances. I don't play weekenders where the draw is known, due to family commitments.

    5. Not yet! I'm glad of all my wins in the last 12 months, but not especially proud of any particular game - most of my wins were games where my opponent could've won or obtained a draw but for a blunder of some kind.
    "the other lefty"

  13. #13
    CC Rookie
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    New Zealand
    1. Most of them (90%)
    2. Yes
    3. Most of them (90%)
    4. Whenever I wished.
    5. No
    Markus Goth.

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster eclectic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    if you haven't gone over at a game you played after 7 years shred it; it's not like the tax office will ever want to look at it!

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Melbourne - Australia

    great thread

    I find this thread extremely helpful due to the various ideas, suggestions etc expressed here.
    After a huge drop, I am planning to improve my chess in the future, or whatever has left of it, so learning from my games will assist me toward that goal.
    I have kept ALL my games from the last 3 years in the Fritz database, classified in ELO opening codes. I will take it from here!
    Cheers and good luck!
    ACF 3118316
    FIDE 3201457

    From this day (13-11-20) onwards, I will only be posting, shouting and reading none other than chess related posts.
    Fully vaccinated since October, 21, 2021

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