Category Archives for Chess

10 tips for Analysing your Chess Games

10 tips for Analysing your Chess Games

One of the major ways of studying chess in our Russian “chess school” in the nineties was analyzing your own games. That got me into believing that this is the best way to improve your game. I started doing it without computer, on a piece of paper, but obviously over time tried to use databases as much as possible for maintaining and updating a collection of my games. I also helped several students of mine to learn how to analyze their games in effective ways, so here are a few suggestions that you might find useful:

Maintain a database of all your games. I keep several databases: my games with standard time controls, rapid time controls, internet games

As soon as possible after the game has finished – put down thoughts you had during the game. That will help you later to remember and understand the reasons for your mistakes.

Let the computer engine run through the game in blunder check mode – that way you’ll know immediately about the major blunders you and your opponent made

Identify the critical moments of the game. How many times does evaluation of position change, and advantage shifts from one side to the other?

Analyse the opening, update your opening repertoire if necessary. Evaluate the position after the opening, to decide whether your openings need “repair”

Do not just analyse in terms of variations. Give verbal evaluations of critical positions. If white is better – say why. That helps you to better understand the true meaning of each position. That also makes you stop looking at the computer evaluation and think on your own for a few seconds.

When you’re done analyzing – summarize your the game. Why did the game end the way it did? Where was it decided – opening, endgame, tactical blunder?

Over time – look at the trends in your games. Do you lose more points in openings or in endgames? Is there anything you can study in particular to improve those trends?

Go back to your games, even years after they were played. I do that just to practice my analytical skills, and very often I find surprising how much new little details I can discover (e.g. the endgame I thought was drawn – is actually winning, etc).

As already mentioned – don’t fully rely on the computer engine. Try to find moves and ideas on your own, and only then let the engine give you hints. It is ok to guide the engine, but make sure you’re still the driver.

Clean Your Chess Set With Melaleuca Products

Clean Your Chess Set With Melaleuca Products

When it comes to cleaning your chess board and pieces, we’ve found that Melaleuca products are the best. Melaleuca makes several safe, environmentally friendly, toxin-free cleaning products, and we’d like to highlight a few of them here.

Though we specialize in online chess software, nothing beats owning and using a beautiful chess set. Whether you go for the classic, wooden look or something more modern, you want your chess set to last a long time. That means you have to take good care of it.

If you use your chess set as often as we do, then there’s going to be inevitable wear and tear. That’s to be expected. But regular cleaning and conditioning will extend the life of your chess set for many years. And if you happen to be a clean freak/germaphobe, you’ll want to regularly disinfect your chess pieces, especially if they come into contact with many hands.

That being said, what’s the best way to clean your chess board and pieces? Well, that mostly depends on what they are made of. If it’s all plastic, that opens up a lot of options. Heck, if that’s the case, you can throw the whole thing in the dishwasher.But we’re assuming here that you love chess like we do and have paid for a really nice custom set.

Now, if your set is made of a more delicate material, say wood, or if it is painted or decorated, you need to be more careful. That’s why we like Melaleuca products. Here are four products we highly recommend for cleaning your chess set:

Tough & Tender is Melaleuca’s all-purpose cleaner. It’s great at removing grime that accumulates over time, but it’s gentle enough to even use on natural stone. For those of you who have granite and marble chess sets, this is great news. The great thing about Tough & Tender—as with all Melaleuca products—is that it doesn’t contain any chlorine bleach, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals, so it’s safe on your chess set, in your home, and around your family.

Clear Power is Melaleuca’s go-to glass cleaner, but it works wonders on any smooth surface including stainless steel. It doesn’t leave any streaks, so if you have a stainless steel or glass board, this is definitely a product you’ll want. Like Tough & Tender, Clear Power is super concentrated, so it will last you a good long while.

Sol-U-Guard Botanical is a disinfectant spray that uses natural thyme and citric acid to kill germs, as opposed to bleach or other nasty, fume-producing chemicals. If you use your chess set as often as we do, you’ll want to disinfect your pieces on a regular basis, and we think Sol-U-Guard is the way to go.

If you have a wooden chess set, then it’s all about the polish. Rustic Touch is Melaleuca’s furniture polish, and it’s perfect for polishing up your wooden chess set to a perfect chine. It contains carnuba wax and has a great orange scent.

Melaleuca.com has a lot of other products, but when it comes to taking care of our chess sets, these are our favorites.