World Chess Federation - FIDE

Monday, 26 September 2011

Reviewing Lost Games

It is very important to write down all the moves from the games that you lose and get Fritz or Chessmaster etc. to suggest alternative variations if you can't find them yourselves. I write down the moves of my "lost games" in a special "Lost Games Book" (must include 'Opponent', 'Date' (when game was played), 'Position' (move # where I went wrong) and the alternative variation(s))

Example:
Opponent:
Date:
Colour:
Opening:
Position where lost (Move #):
Reason for Loss:
Alternative Variation: 

Hopefully after reviewing the "Loss Book" after 3 - 6 months, trends will start to appear regarding how you lose most often.  Whatever the reason, it is up to you to take remedial action and look at ways of correcting your play ...  This can be dealt with directly by taking the common reasons for losing and consciously working on those areas until improvements are made.


Reasons for losing
- Time Trouble
- Hanging Pieces and / or Pawns
- Failure to see a checkmate against me
- Failure to see a checkmate that I could have played
- Failure to see a tactical combination to win opponents piece and / or pawn
- Failure to see a tactical combination that caused me to lose a piece and / or pawn
- Inferior Opening leading to weak position
- Inferior Middlegame Strategy
- Inferior Endgame Technique

Only by admitting to yourself that you have weaknesses (even against lower graded players) and taking remedial action by reviewing your games, will you become a better chess player in the long term.  In the next article I will examine ways in which you can study and train to improve on the above areas.

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