Playing Over Annotated Master Chess Games

Purdy maintained that the best way to get better at chess was to play over annotated master chess games. Below is Purdy’s method for going over chess games:

1. Take the side of the winner (or either side if the game was a draw).

2. Cover the moves with an index card, and when it’s your turn to move select a move based on the position on the chess board.

3. Uncover the move, and compare it to your move. Review the annotations and understand why the text move is better than the move you selected.

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2 thoughts on “Playing Over Annotated Master Chess Games

  1. This is a good technique. I use one that is a little bit different. I just read through the moves and annotation until I get to a complicated position (usually I have scoped out the text of the book beforehand to make sure I do this on a position in which the author gives a LOT of annotation).

    Then I do a deep think on the position, 10 to 20 minutes, and then compare my thoughts to those of the annotator (and Fritz’s evaluation).

    I then read through the rest of the game with annotations.

    I find this technique helpful, as it has helped me get better at visualizing into the future and gives me lots of feedback (I pick the high-annotation moves) right when I am done.

    Either way, active reading versus mere passive looking at the game and annotations is the key to getting more out of annotated game collections.

    I am not sure this is the best way to improve. I think an even better way (if you had to choose one, and you don’t) is to play as many slow games as possible, and go over them with a coach.

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