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Lichess: The Ultimate Chess Board for Analysis and Learning

Chess Analysis: What, Why, and How

Chess is a game of strategy, tactics, and calculation. But how do you improve your chess skills and become a better player? One of the most effective ways is to do chess analysis. Chess analysis is the process of examining your own or other players' games to learn from them. In this article, we will explain what chess analysis is, why it is important, and how to do it. We will also provide some examples of chess analysis and some tools that can help you with it. Finally, we will give you some tips on how to make your chess analysis more effective.

chess analysis

What is Chess Analysis?

Chess analysis is the act of reviewing your own or other players' games to find out what went well, what went wrong, and what can be improved. Chess analysis can be done after the game (post-game analysis), during the game (in-game analysis), or before the game (pre-game analysis).

Post-game analysis is when you replay your game after it is over and try to understand what happened. You can look for mistakes, blunders, missed opportunities, and better moves. You can also compare your moves with those suggested by a chess engine or a database. Post-game analysis can help you learn from your errors and improve your skills.

In-game analysis is when you analyze the position on the board while you are playing. You can try to calculate the best moves, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both sides, and plan your strategy. In-game analysis can help you make better decisions and gain an advantage over your opponent.

Pre-game analysis is when you prepare for a game by studying your opponent's style, openings, strengths, and weaknesses. You can also review your own games and look for patterns or tendencies that you can exploit or avoid. Pre-game analysis can help you gain confidence and surprise your opponent.

Why is Chess Analysis Important?

Chess analysis is important because it can help you improve your chess skills in many ways. Here are some of the benefits of chess analysis:

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  • It can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses as a player. You can see what aspects of your game need more work and what aspects are already good.

  • It can. It can help you develop your chess intuition and creativity. You can discover new ideas, concepts, and patterns that you can apply in your games.

  • It can help you improve your chess knowledge and understanding. You can learn from the principles, strategies, and tactics of the best players in history.

  • It can help you improve your cognitive abilities and mental health. You can train your memory, concentration, logic, and problem-solving skills. You can also reduce your stress, anxiety, and boredom by engaging in a challenging and enjoyable activity.

How to Do Chess Analysis?

There are many ways to do chess analysis, but here are some of the most common and effective methods:

Write Down Your Thoughts During the Game

One of the best ways to do chess analysis is to write down your thoughts during the game. You can record your moves, ideas, plans, and calculations on a piece of paper or a digital device. This way, you can review them later and see how accurate and logical they were. Writing down your thoughts can also help you focus and avoid distractions during the game.

Replay the Game on Your Chessboard and Consider Other Alternatives

Another way to do chess analysis is to replay your game move by move on a physical or digital chessboard. You can try to recall what you were thinking at each point and compare it with what actually happened. You can also consider other alternatives that you or your opponent could have played and see how they would have affected the outcome. Replay Replaying the game can help you spot your mistakes, blunders, missed opportunities, and better moves. It can also help you understand the logic and psychology behind your opponent's moves.

Use a Chess Engine or a Database

A third way to do chess analysis is to use a chess engine or a database. A chess engine is a computer program that can calculate the best moves and evaluate the position for both sides. A database is a collection of chess games that you can search and compare with your own. You can use a chess engine or a database to check your moves, see how they score, and find out what other players have played in similar situations. You can also use them to learn from the games of the masters and see how they handle different positions and problems. Some of the most popular chess engines and databases are Stockfish, Komodo,, and Lichess.

Pay Special Attention to Key Moments in the Game

A fourth way to do chess analysis is to pay special attention to key moments in the game. These are the moments where the outcome of the game was decided or changed, such as a checkmate, a blunder, a sacrifice, a fork, a pin, or a stalemate. You should analyze these moments in depth and try to understand why they happened, what you or your opponent could have done differently, and what you can learn from them. You should also look for patterns or themes that recur in your games and see how you can improve them.

Look for a Higher-rated Player or a Chess Coach to Analyze the Game for You

A fifth way to do chess analysis is to look for a higher-rated player or a chess coach to analyze the game for you. A higher-rated player or a chess coach can offer you valuable insights, feedback, and advice that you might not be able to find on your own. They can point out your strengths and weaknesses, suggest improvements, and teach you new concepts and techniques. You can find a higher-rated player or a chess coach online or offline, depending on your preference and budget.

Chess Analysis Examples

To illustrate how chess analysis works, let us look at some examples from famous games or puzzles. We will use Stockfish as our chess engine and as our database.


The Immortal Game (Anderssen vs Kieseritzky, 1851)This is one of the most famous games in chess history, where Anderssen sacrificed his queen and both rooks to deliver a stunning checkmate. The final position is shown below:

According to Stockfish, Anderssen's last move 23.Bxd7+ was not the best move, as it gave Kieseritzky a chance to escape with 23...Kxd7. The best move was 23.Qf6+, which would have forced 23...Kxd7 24.Rd1+ Kc7 25.Qd6#. However, Anderssen's move was more brilliant and beautiful, as it led to the famous checkmate 23...Kxf7 24.Be6+ Kxe6 25.Rd1 Qf6 (the only move to delay the mate) 26.Qxf6+ Kxf6 27.Rd7 mate. According to, this game has been played 18 times in their database, with Anderssen winning 11 times, Kieseritzky winning 3 times, and 4 draws. The most common move after 17.Qh5+ is 17...g6 (played 9 times), which leads to a draw by perpetual check after 18.Qxg6+ hxg6 19.Bxg6+ Ke7 20.Bg5+ Nf6 21.exf6+ Kd6 22.Bf4+ Kc5 23.b4+ Kxb4 24.Bd2+ Ka4 25.Bc2+ Ka3 26.Bc1+ Kb4 27.Bd2+. The move played in the game, 17...Kd8, is the second most common (played 5 times), but it gives White a decisive advantage.

The Evergreen Game (Anderssen vs Dufresne, 1852)This is another famous game by Anderssen, where he sacrificed his queen and a bishop to deliver another stunning checkmate. The final position is shown below:

  • Do your chess analysis with an open mind and a critical attitude. Don't be biased or defensive about your moves, but be honest and objective. Don't be afraid to admit your mistakes, but also don't be too harsh on yourself. Learn from your errors, but also appreciate your achievements.

Do your chess analysis with a clear goal and a plan. Decide what you want to achieve from your analysis, such as improving your opening repertoire, finding your weaknesses, or learning new concepts. Then, choose a method and a tool that suits your goal and your level. For example, if you want to improve your opening repertoire, you can use Chessable to le


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