How to analyse your games

The point of analysing your game is to see where you need to improve for next time, not to see if the computer disagrees with you, or to produce a set of notes suitable for a magazine.

  1. As soon as possible after the game, write down your thoughts as you remember them during the game, concentrating on critical moves and mistakes. There may have been only one critical moment; so be it.  Also, make a note of where you ran out of 'book' moves that you can remember.
  2. On Lichess or your home database (DO NOT TURN ON THE ANALYSIS ENGINE), enter the moves of the game and your thoughts about the critical moment(s).
  3. Do not turn on the analysis engine.
  4. Go through the moves again, this time trying to decide if your thoughts during the game at those moments were correct, and if not, what is correct.
  5. Still don't turn on the analysis engine.
  6. Make a note of any improvements in moving or thinking.
  7. Now you can check your analysis against the computer's.  You may now have three comments to compare about a critical moment: "Me then", "Me now", and "Stockfish".  
  8. Again, make notes of any more improvements in moving or thinking.  A mistake in calculation (I missed a check at the end) may also have a mistake in judgement (there was no way this was going to work because I was not as well developed as my opponent).
  9. Also, when you ran out of 'book' moves, use the book/database to see if you missed any good ideas.
  10. If you made a mistake (as if...), or if you disagree with the computer, think about how you are going to avoid that mistake next time, and make a list of tips for yourself at the end of the game (e.g. don't rush through the opening, don't assume recaptures are forced).
  11. You can also make a longer list of tips from all your games.  If you keep giving yourself the same advice, stop giving the same advice, and start taking it!

N.B. You are allowed to disagree with the computer.  Computers will tell you what the best move and likely result is, computer vs. computer.  You are trying to decide what is the best move for you.

Club player example: HICUP

GM Example:

More advice on game analysis from the Chess Dojo:
5m version:
25m version: