Free Lessons from Smirnov: How To Analyze Your Games

I would like to share the following, a free series of videos roughly 30min long from GM Igor Smirnov, where he explains how to analyze your games.  The approach he recommends is basically the same as the one I use, though he has one interesting twist which I don’t use often, and one I will definitely think about.  It’s free, it’s great, it’s Smirnov, take a look.

There’s also a personal reason I’m recommending it.  You see, Smirnov spends a few minutes analyzing a position from one of my games.  Not just any game, either, but my most important game.  Take a look.

Just a quick recap: several weeks ago, Smirnov’s website had a little promotion where if you put in one of your games you may get it analyzed by Smirnov himself.  I, of course, submitted my loss to FM Murad Nuri, where I had a winning position against a FIDE rated 2300 player… and then lost.

I’ve analyzed this game to death, so much so that I have it and all major variations memorized several times over.  I can play it backwards, forwards, sideways.  Set-up a position from the game and I can tell you the move number.  Yes, I’ve gotten obsessed.  Considering I lost a game where the computer said I was up +25 against an FM, I think I have the right.

I was curious to see what a GM understanding would add to my analysis.  I mean, I’ve checked it myself and with about 80 different chess engines, but what does a GM see?  First, subtle brag alert, he said I played very well and “It’s a good sign that you are outplaying a FIDE Master so convincingly.”  Boom, awesome!

Then there’s this position.  I played Qxf6, which is the strongest move.  It leads to mate in 13, though White has to walk a small minefield to prove it.  Case in point, I blundered two moves later and ended up losing my immortal game.

Smirnov suggested here a more practical approach.  Instead of trying to calculate lines 13 moves deep, why not simplify into a winning endgame?  Incredible.  This idea never crossed my mind, neither during the game nor in all my analysis after.  Indeed, why not take a more practical approach, exchange Queens and win an easy endgame?

On the one hand, it’s not mate in 13.  On the other, I’m not going to lose, and even my meager endgame skills can convert up an exchange and a pawn with the more active King.  Wow.  I wasn’t sure what I would learn from Smirnov’s analysis, but learn I did.  A different way to look at things.

I highly recommend watching the short video series.  My game is analyzed in the second half of the second video.  One more time, the link is below.  Use it, analyze your games, reap the benefits.

Smirnov’s free lessons:

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