Summer is 100% underway! Kids are out of school. Parents don’t have to drive somewhere every night. Everyone has free time to study! Charlottesville, The US Open, and the State Championships are all happening over the next 8 weeks. What’s the best way to invest this free time into chess? If your rating goal is currently 1400-1800, I suggest you watch whole games, (wins, losses, and draws) in a gambit you’re interested in, or whole games, (win, loss, and draws) in the openings that you intend to play.
Gambits help you with the Magic 10, (Range, Speed, Power, Force, Time, Space, Mobility, Initiative, King Safety, and Material). Using your openings will exponentially increases the number of errors you notice in all openings. Gm’s are looking to make sure they stay properly anchored. We are studying games to become properly anchored! It’s a lot easier than people think!?! A 1200’s – 1800’s growth is about increasing their depths. Conversations that used to be a move and a half move bark, or just one area of the board, ( play this move, then I play this, then they play that or look at that square…) have to become 4, 5, and 6, move variations and sequences that explain and justify, variations, transpositions branchpoints, and errors!?! Going through whole games is how you stop wondering what to do so early in your games.
What is the purpose of a maze!?! The affects is that every creature will experience their way out of a maze even when thinking their way out was an option for some, most, or all the time!?! Playing is a maze, studying is not!?! Studying properly is exponential, Playing properly is not!
This is the way I approach the analysis of a game I did not play. 1st I watch the whole game. If you are using a book, and books are best, that means the moves in bold. 2nd I go through the game again questioning which moves I want to improved for each color. 3rd I take the game explorer database to where the branch points are for what’s played. 4th Back to the board. With my new understanding of the variations, I try to understand when the game actually reached it’s branch point and which branches I preferred and hated. 5.) I try to correct their mistakes were with 3, 4, and 5, move sequences for all the moves I had questioned. 6.) I put the game on an engine to check my work . 7. After checking my work, I go through the game move by move with the engine to see If what they played or what I saw was in the top 3-5 best moves. 8. On the board, I watch the game a final time. 9. Write in my notebook what I think I learned from the game. 10. repeat!
That’s the end of the lesson. Once you finish 25 games using this procedure, you should feel very confident using or very confident throwing away the variations you have studied. The good news is you get to keep all the tools, weapons, strategies, and understanding that you anchored. Keep your notebook of this procedure. Come back to it in 30 days and reread your notes, thoughts, and ideas about the games. You’re almost better just thinking about it, aren’t you!?!
This is the game that inspired this article.
- d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. e4 Bb4 6. Bg5 c5 7. e5 cxd4 8. Qa4+
Nc6 9. O-O-O Bd7 10. Ne4 Be7 11. exf6 gxf6 12. Bh4 Nb4 13. Qxb4 Bxb4 14. Nxf6+
Kf8 15. Rxd4 Qa5 16. Nxd7+ Ke8 17. Nf6+ Kf8 18. Ne5 h5 19. Bxc4 Kg7 20. Nfd7
Rhc8 21. Kb1 b5 22. Bf6+ Kg8 23. Rh4 Be7 24. Bxe7 Rxc4 25. Nf6+ Kg7 26. Rxh5 *
A Branch point is when you have 2 or more variations that are equally good but will never transpose.
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