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1.  Ramned
The Rams
18 Jan '09 19:05 / 9 edits
THIS POST IS FOR ALL YOU BEGINNERS OUT THERE WHO STRUGGLE TO ANALYZE AND THINK AHEAD! I'm just offering what I do when I play, so maybe it will help you. Read the whole thing though, I'm extending an example through all the posts.

Note: Instead of using the analysis feature, I recommend doing this on a real chess board. Then you'll help your OTB game. 2 birds - 1 stone.

How to analyze in a defensive situation

This analysis process is really simple. Basically, consider your opponent's attack. Then react!

When it was my move, I would set up a chess board (or use the analysis feature) and consider my opponent's next move. I would (when I had a lot more time on my hands) consider each and every legal move my opponent could make on his next turn. I would then figure out how I could oppose that move, and through this process I would decide whether or not it makes sense. If his move gives me the advantage, then you need to assume he will not play that move. Through this process I was actually able to predict my opponent's next moves ahead of time and win alot of games. The more time you put into analyzing of course the better you'll do.

More to follow
2. 18 Jan '09 19:10
That's a pretty nice approach, especially for correspondence chess. I try to avoid using the analysis board, though, because I feel as though it adversely affects my OTB chess. At one point in time I did try to go through that process for all my moves in my head, though. It's probably slightly quicker, but probably a little less accurate as well when compared to actually seeing a position on the board.
3.  Ramned
The Rams
18 Jan '09 19:17 / 9 edits
How to analyze in the opening

If you're one of the people who hate reading opening books, here's how to analyze without depending on knowledge of openings.

Say you're in the first three moves of a game and are white in this position.

The first thing you need to do here is figure out what you're trying to do (this should be a given if you play this all the time). Here's a sample plan. You're going to push a pawn to f4. This is a key idea of analyzing. You need to have a plan!
4.  irontigran
Rob Scheider is..
18 Jan '09 19:18
Originally posted by Ramned
If you are one of those people who:

A) cannot figure out what their opponents are thinking
B) cannot plan an attack
C) is a beginner

or just wants help analyzing, I would like to present how I analyze in correspondence. When I had a lot of time on my hands, I was able to achieve 1600+.

[b]How to analyze in a defensive situation

When it was ...[text shortened]... games. The more time you put into analyzing of course the better you'll do.

More to follow[/b]
you tried every legal move and got only +1600?
5.  Ramned
The Rams
18 Jan '09 19:23 / 2 edits
Analyzing in the opening cont'd

The next step (in my thought process) would be to ignore black and set up a board, and move the pieces around to make an "ideal position." Taking that position above, I would re-organize the pieces as follows, ALL IN AN EFFORT TO SUPPORT MY PLAN: An F4 pawn-push.

The board above shows what is, in my opinion, the best set up available to achieve the f4 push.

The purpose of this is to DEFINE YOUR PLAN. This is where a lot of beginners go wrong, especially in correspondence. They come up with a basic plan, but then don't try to figure out the best way to execute it.

More to come...
6.  Ramned
The Rams
18 Jan '09 19:30 / 1 edit
Analyzing in the Opening cont'd

Step 3. Now you must consider black's moves. Say he plays Qf6. (I've seen this move a lot lately.)

You see here that your analysis (in step 2 looking ahead) has been ruined already. You can no longer place your knight on e2 as idealized (or you will lose, mated). Now you must consider what you CAN do. First, you need to defend that F-pawn or you will lose. So consider how you can do that.

A) You can put the queen on e2.
B) You can put the Knight on h3.
C) knight to f3
D) Pawn to f3.
E) Queen to f3.

Key idea Your goal now is to choose which choice is best. How?

More to come...
7.  Ramned
The Rams
18 Jan '09 19:41 / 4 edits
Originally posted by Ramned
A) You can put the queen on e2.
B) You can put the Knight on h3.
C) knight to f3
D) Pawn to f3.
E) Queen to f3.

Key idea Your goal now is to choose which choice is best. How?

More to come...
Analyzing in the opening cont'd

So this is how you choose.

You know your goal is that f4 push. And it's pretty obvious that black is attempting to stop that (or go for check-mate in the process).

So which choice A-D best helps you get that f4 push AND helps approach that ideal position I mentioned in 2 posts above?

Eliminate Choice D. Moving the pawn to f3 is a possible move, but it gains you nothing. It blocks your knight and diminishes your planned bishop fianchetto: And it also kills your f4 push.

Now it's a bit harder.

Choice C seems O.K. because it develops the knight well. Problem is, it eliminates f4 altogether. ALOT of people would choose this move. But it's the wrong move because, although you develope, you lose your plan altogether.

Choice A seems even better to me than choice C. It actually is a playable move. Since it appears to be a playable move, you need to now flip the board and look at the response black may give!!! Doing this, we see that if black plays N-c6, he is set up with a potential to really destroy your position.

See next post (to come) to see why Choice A is wrong.

--------------------------------------------------

I'm taking a break now, hope some of you get something out of it. And iron-dude, lol @ your post. I actually got to 1740 ... heh, just joking. Keep in mind these posts I make are for novices who are not wishing to read the books at the moment (like myself).

To get to 1800 you need to have studied the game.
8. 18 Jan '09 20:59
Curious, do any of you visualize the fake position like Silman suggests in HTRYC? I try to but seem to keep going back to analyzing. The analysis board is great for it though because you can just plop the pieces where you think they look best.
9.  Ramned
The Rams
18 Jan '09 21:44 / 2 edits
Originally posted by Ramned
Analyzing in the opening cont'd

see 4 posts above this one.
Yes deeploser, that's what I did here. I think that it helps in planning ahead. Glad you said that, now I know I'm not the only one who does that
10. 18 Jan '09 22:23