Improving Chess Analysis Skills with Stoyko Exercises

This content was buried in a post for Kotov’s Method for Chess Improvement, and since it is such an important chess improvement tool, I figured I would promote it to its own post.

Stoyko Exercises

from Dan Heisman’s Exercises page

A summary of Stoyko exercise:

1) Find a fairly complicated position

2) Get out a pen/pencil and paper

3) You have unlimited time

4) Write down every (pertinent) line for as deep as you can see, making sure to include an evaluation at the end of the line. This will likely include dozens of lines and several first ply candidate moves. Evaluations can be any type you like:

a) Computer (in pawns, like +.3)

b) MCO/Informant (=, +/=, etc.)

c) English (”White is a little better”)

5) At the end state which move you would play and it’s “best play for both sides” line becomes the PV

6) When you are done, go over each line and its evaluation with a strong player and/or a computer. Look for:

a) Lines/moves you should have analyzed but missed

b) Any errors in visualization (retained images, etc.)

c) Any lines where you stopped analyzing too soon, thus causing a big error in evaluation (quiescence errors)

d) Any large errors in evaluation of any line

e) Whether the above caused you to chose the wrong move

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