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likesforests
23-08-2006, 05:36 AM
Speaking of annotations, how much detail do you put into yours? I keep mine basic, striving for 3-5 lessons per game. A sample:

1. c4 {Time Control: 900+10} e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 Bb4 4. e4 Nf6 5. d3 h6 6. Bd2 d6 7. a3 Bc5 8. b4 Bd4 9. Nxd4 Nxd4 10. g3 Bg4 11. Be2 h5 12. Bxg4 Nxg4 13. h3 Nf6 14. Bg5 a6 15. Nd5 Ne6 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. h4 c6 18. Ne3 Qc7 19. Nf5 O-O-O 20. Qd2 Nd4 21. Nxd4 exd4 22. f3 Rde8 23. O-O-O c5 24. Qf4 Re6 25. g4 cxb4 26. axb4 b5 27. Rh2 bxc4 28. dxc4 a5 29. b5 Qc5 30. Ra2 Qb4 31. Rxd4 Qc3+ 32. Rc2 Qxd4 33. Rd2 Qa1+ 34. Kc2 Kd7 35. Qf5 Rc8 36. b6 Rxc4+ 37. Kd3 Qd4+ 38. Ke2 Qxb6 39. Qxh5 Ke7 40. Qh8 Qb5 41. Ke1 Qb4 42. Qa8 Rc1+ 43. Ke2 Qc4+ 44. Ke3 Re1+ 45. Kf2 Qf1+ 46. Kg3 Qg1+ 47. Kf4 Qe3+ 48. Kf5 Qxd2 49. Qa7+ Kd8 50. Qb8+ Kd7 51. Qb7+ Ke8 52. Qc8+ Ke7 53. Qc7+ Kf8 54. Qd8+ Re8 55. Qxf6 Re5+ 56. Qxe5 dxe5 57. h5 Qd7+ 58. Kf6 Qe6+ 59. Kg5 f6+ 60. Kg6 Qf7+ 61. Kf5 Rf1 62. g5 Rxf3+ 63. Kg4 Rf4+ 64. Kg3 fxg5 65. h6 Qh5 66. h7 Qxh7 0-1

I spent over 60 seconds on each of these moves: 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 17, 19, 22, 27. Too long! I need to choose a move after 30 seconds or so.

I overlooked queen forks, losing a rook, on turns 31 and 37. I can calculate complex tactics, but I still can make such glaring blunders, especially when I have to rush to avoid losing on time.

After 3...Bb4, immediately putting the question to the bishop is best. 4.a3, 4.Qa4 for example. If 4...Bxc3 then 5.dxc3!, opening lines for my bishop and queen. 4.Nd5 would be clever.

After 8...Bd4, chasing away the knight with b5 would have been strong. My d5 outpost is temporary. His d4 outpost is permanent.

14.Bg5, pinning the knight is useful, but 14.Be3 to attack the advanced knight on d4 is better.

ER
26-08-2006, 10:42 AM
Have you looked at 2 ... Bb4? It is full of interesting ideas by Kramnik, Shirov! For me, annotation is a result of analysis. I do not analyse in temporal terms ie so many seconds per move. I don't annotate unless I understand what is going on. Sometimes I look some moves ahead and then I come back to the initial position and understand it easier. But after all I am only a 1487 player!
Cheers and good luck!

likesforests
26-08-2006, 12:12 PM
Thanks, I will look for Shirov's and Kramnik's 1...Bb4 games. I would reply 2.Nd5. It will be very interesting to see how they handle it--whether they pick an aggressive reply or transpose back into the mainline.

Bb4 is a common threat in the 1.c4 e5 English. White's usual defenses are Nd5 and Qc2. Both would have worked well here. 4.e4 was an error, as it creates a hole on d4 for Black's knight to later exploit. 4.a3 would waste a tempo forcing Black to make an exchange that probably benefits him. I'm learning a little each day.

Kevin Bonham
26-08-2006, 02:39 PM
Speaking of annotations, how much detail do you put into yours?

A reasonable amount but I try to avoid the trap that many who use computers in analysis fall into of supplying endless analysis of irrelevant alternatives (often followed for far too many moves). My typical analysis usually goes like this:

* Mentions of important alternatives in the opening, especially at the point where one player goes out of the main book lines.
* A few high-level descriptions of what is going on positionally or strategically at various points.
* Key tactical alternatives. I like to examine these in enough detail to get to the truth of the position in terms of missed chances for wins, draws or significant advantages by each player, and also identify only moves that are not obviously so. I analyse them using a computer on infinite analysis but manually entering alternatives, or sometimes using deep position analysis to get a list of possible alternatives to look at if I don't trust my own initial judgement about what the candidate moves really are. I follow variations several moves down because often a different view emerges by doing that - often moves a computer initially flags as better than a human's chosen move turn out not to be so with more analysis.
* When there is an interesting ending I like to analyse it more or less into the ground and include as much or as little detail as is necessary to tell the story of what could have happened.

Davidflude
28-08-2006, 04:08 PM
I play lots of correspondence so spend hours analysing. the real test when analysing is to annotate a game for publication. This really is tough. How much
should you include. What variations should you show. it is tough but really rewarding.

If you have the time than annotating your own games is a good way to improve.

1) Use a utility such as Chessbase or Chessbase Light. Store the games in a personal database.

2) enter the game and save it without any annotations.

3) check the opening using your chessbooks and database if you have one. The aim is to see whether you played the opening correctly and even more importantly whether you understood what you were doing. Look for anniotated top grandmaster games especially those by correspondence Grandmasters and compare how they played the opening compared to how you played the game. The aim is to build an opening repertoire which suits your style.

4) Now look at the middle game. Worthwhile is to use Silman's techniques of looking at imbalances before you start looking for candidate moves. Then try and find candidate moves that you missed when you played the game. Look especially hard at any positions that you consider critical. Then look for any tactical errors.

5) Now start a chess playing program. It needs to have an infinite analysis mode and to be able to show what it considers to be the best move and alternatives at the same time. Start at the beinning of the middle game and move forwards through the game seeing what the computer comes up with.
You should now annotate the game with what you have found.

6) Last look at the ending. This is difficult. Someone else may like to give you pointers. I suggest that once you have annotated the game to the best of your ability pass it to your coach. At a subsequent time you should go through the game with your coach.

FireGarden
30-08-2006, 10:48 PM
I have a database set aside for positions where I overlooked a move. It's better than saving whole games. What's the point of annotating your good moves?

I use chessbase light, which allows you view the positions in training mode. The effect is much like CTS, only the positions are "tuned" to my weaknesses -- because they are my oversights/mistakes.

For the mistakes, I replace my name in the "players" field with "What's wrong with 26.Kh7?" or whatever my mistake was. In these positions, it's not about finding the best move. It's about seeing why the move I chose earlier is an error.

I do the same thing for my weak moves in openings. I don't study opening books anymore. I never found them useful.

ER
31-08-2006, 03:20 PM
[QUOTE=likesforests]Thanks, I will look for Shirov's and Kramnik's 1...Bb4 games. I would reply 2.Nd5. It will be very interesting to see how they handle it--whether they pick an aggressive reply or transpose back into the mainline.

2 Nd5 Be7 3 Ne7 and Black recaptures with a tempo almost immediately equalising. I think this is the main line.
Cheers and good luck

likesforests
01-09-2006, 06:36 AM
2 Nd5 Be7 3 Ne7 and Black recaptures with a tempo almost immediately equalising. I think this is the main line. Cheers and good luck


1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Bb4 3.Nd5 Be7 4.d4. White delays the trade on e7 until Black expends a tempo forcing it. Clever, huh? Kasparov-Shirov, 1-0, 1994 is a good example game.

likesforests
01-09-2006, 07:02 AM
Mentions of important alternatives in the opening, a few high-level descriptions of what is going on positionally or strategically at various points., key tactical alternatives, when there is an interesting ending I like to analyse it more or less into the ground.

Kevin, it sounds like we have similar processes. I have opening books, endings books, and a chess computer--the most difficult part for me is determining whether I made a positional mistake. Sometimes a higher-rated player looks at my games and points out an innocent-looking pawn move that apparently wrecked the whole game for me!

likesforests
01-09-2006, 07:18 AM
Use a utility such as Chessbase or Chessbase Light. Store the games in a personal database.

Good tip. I have some 200 PGN files and it's painful looking for trends. I should download Chessbase Light or SCID.


The aim is to build an opening repertoire which suits your style.

Only yesterday I simplified my repertoire by eliminating "best" moves and replacing them with strong moves I understand.

http://likesforests.blogspot.com/2006/08/openings-83106.html


Worthwhile is to use Silman's techniques of looking at imbalances before you start looking for candidate moves.

Another good tip. I should pick up a copy of HTRYC.


Now start a chess playing program.

This part's easy.


Last look at the ending. This is difficult. Someone else may like to give you pointers.

This part's also easy for me. I own Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual.


Go through the game with your coach.

I don't have a coach. I figure I'm motivated, progressing, and can spot my weaknesses... with occasional help from higher-rated players.

Thanks for the advice.

likesforests
01-09-2006, 09:26 AM
I have a database set aside for positions where I overlooked a move. It's better than saving whole games. What's the point of annotating your good moves?

Sweet. I already record which errors are due to not looking for a tactic vs not seeing a tactic. The second class of error would make a great training set! As you say, it's tuned to your weaknesses and towards positions more likely to arise from your openings.


I don't study opening books anymore.

I studied my own games, and noticed in the openings I know 6-8 moves deep I score 80%. In the openings I know 3-4 moves deep I score 50%. In the openings I don't know I score 20%. When I'm out-of-book, I often still play good moves, but I tend to use up clock time which kills me later in the game.

For me, spending time on my opening repertoire is wise. I'm trying to both understand and memorize the moves. I use Bookup to train against it. If my move and the book differ, I seek to understand why. If my move is strong and I understand it better, I change my book!

A complete Expert-level opening repertoire probably requires 750-1000 positions. Mine has about 300.

Alana
01-09-2006, 04:20 PM
It's sad to say, I put a LOT of work into annotations. I dunno why... :|

likesforests
01-09-2006, 06:56 PM
I put a LOT of work into annotations.

Well, If you enjoy it, why not? For me it's mostly a tool for improvement... I get embarassed every time my neighbor's golden retriever beats me. Do you have any sample annotations?

Kevin Bonham
01-09-2006, 08:12 PM
Kevin, it sounds like we have similar processes. I have opening books, endings books, and a chess computer--the most difficult part for me is determining whether I made a positional mistake.

I am pretty good at picking clear positional errors in my games. I do however sometimes have moments when my game just drifts a bit (usually in +/= or +/- positions); over the course of three or four moves my position has definitely got less strong, but it's difficult to pick exactly what the error was that caused this, or if each move was just subtly suboptimal in some mysterious way. (Incidentally, if a computer thinks you're drifting, sometimes the reason is it overestimated your position to begin with.)

MichaelBaron
04-09-2006, 11:16 PM
I am pretty good at picking clear positional errors in my games. I do however sometimes have moments when my game just drifts a bit (usually in +/= or +/- positions); over the course of three or four moves my position has definitely got less strong, but it's difficult to pick exactly what the error was that caused this, or if each move was just subtly suboptimal in some mysterious way. (Incidentally, if a computer thinks you're drifting, sometimes the reason is it overestimated your position to begin with.)


I think this is why we need to involve Fritz, Rybka etc. to help us out with analysis. While Fritz's positional assessment may be inaccurate at times, some of the tactical flows in our games become transparent:hmm: