Analyzing chess games is one of the most important training methods, and analyzing your own games is an absolute must if you are trying to improve.
And still, most players on low levels, who want to improve, don’t do that or don’t do that properly. Analyzing games allows you to correct your mistakes. Now, logically, if you don’t correct your mistakes, you are probably going to repeat them. Any if you repeat the same mistakes, you are not likely to improve or increase your ELO. That makes looking at your own games in great detail and with great scrutiny a must. It’s the absolutely most important training method there is.
Chess study consists of two parts: gathering new information (learning, reading…), and correcting mistakes. In theory, you should combine both evenly. In practice, most people focus on learning and significantly neglect working on their weaknesses. Analyzing games makes it easier to spot the weaknesses in your play. Correcting them is, believe it or not, the easier part! Once you know what you are doing wrong, you can make sure not to do it! If a problem is more complex, such as not being able to spot weak squares, or not understanding your opponent’s threats, it will take longer, but it will be improved upon every time you play or study! Being aware of a problem does half the job already.
When it comes to analyzing GM games, the approach and the use is slightly different. That serves as the other part of chess learning – gathering new information. While analyzing games played by strong players, you will be able to get new ideas, reinforce your understanding of the opening, structure, attacking pattern, or whatever else was played. That way, you will have gained more experience without having had to risk a defeat yourself! You are basically playing a game every time you do a thorough analysis of a Gm game.
You are learning from their mistakes, you are gathering info on how they think, how they plan, what they are afraid of, how they plan an attack, how they defend. You are gathering info on all your future enemies for free! There is a countless base of games to learn from. Imagine if you spent 1 hour on each game played just in August 2019!? You would have 2500 strength!
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