Saturday, December 31, 2005


A long time ago... a galaxy not real far away, I made a mistakes list to use in post-mortem analysis. My post-mortems consist of me spending 30+ minutes going over the game alone and then with Chessmaster, jotting down the worst of it. I was spotting about a third of the mistakes and Chessmaster was filling in the rest. In doing this it was obvious that tactics were the biggest hurdle, and I pretty much stopped using this list and started on the circles.

The mistakes list was intended to see how someone's performance in standard games was progressing over time. One difficulty in using it is it does not track your opponent's level of play. Even if you are improving, playing someone who is way over your head will likely push you into more mistakes, and those games make the list look like you are slipping backwards.

I present this as freely usable for personal or educational purposes only. Email me if you want to publish this or any parts of this. It may prove useful to someone out there, especially under 1500 folks. Modify to suit your own needs.

Mistakes List

HasteActing like under time pressure when not
Time PressureNeed to manage time better
Mouse SlipOTB - Didn't write down the move first with plenty of time
Opening ErrorNeglecting development breaking from principals
Questionable/Weak Move
Easy Positional ErrorWeak center or squares inaccurate defense Knight on edge etc.
Medium Positional ErrorWhen 2 or 3 factors needed to be considered
Difficult Positional ErrorWhen 4+ factors needed to be considered
King Safety ErrorUnforced loosening of King's defenders or bad King moves
Back and 7th Rank ProblemsBoth offense and defense
Lost TempoWhen other moves were better
Lost InitiativeWhen it could have been preserved
Bad Plan or Tunnel VisionWhen you failed to fully examine what was called for
No Plan
After the Move ProblemBlocking your defenders, accidentally opening or closing lines, etc.
Forgot What I Saw EarlierCould be anything, like abandoning defense of other pieces
Weak/Inferior Pawn Structure
Failed To RetreatWhen there were other alternatives
Moved Into MateCalculating inaccuracies
Missed Mate
Stalemate ProblemsAllowed perpetual check thoughtless promotion etc.
Bad TradeWhen a trade of loses advantage
In Over Your HeadGetting into positions beyond your ability to play
Easy Endgame BlunderWhen a won/drawn game becomes drawn/lost
Medium Endgame BlunderWhen a won/drawn game becomes drawn/lost
Difficult Endgame BlunderWhen a won/drawn game becomes drawn/lost
Easy Endgame MistakeWhen only some advantage is lost
Medium Endgame MistakeWhen only some advantage is lost
Difficult Endgame MistakeWhen only some advantage is lost
Tactical Level of ErrorSimple clear and forced tactics are as below
(Include Missed Mate)Add 1-6 for unclear positions 1-4 for many variations 2-8 for combinations
0Blunder of not immediately taking
2Your opponent takes your hanging piece
4You miss a pin fork skewer or unstoppable threat
6You give your opponent a pin fork skewer or unstoppable threat
8You miss a 2 move threat or tactic
10You give your opponent a 2 move threat or tactic
12You miss a 3 move threat or tactic
14You give your opponent a 3 move threat or tactic
16You miss a 4 move threat or tactic
18You give your opponent a 4 move threat or tactic
20You miss a 5 move threat or tactic


Example game:

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2004.11.05"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Chessmaster"]
[Black "kingofthespill"]
[Result "1-0"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2004.??.??"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Bd3 Bxc3+ 8.
bxc3 b6 9. cxd5 exd5 10. O-O h6 11. Bh4 g5 12. Bg3 Re8 13. Qc2 Ne4 14. c4 Nxg3
15. hxg3 Nf6 16. cxd5 Bb7 17. e4 Qe7 18. Rfe1 Rac8 19. Ne5 c5 20. dxc6 Qb4 21.
Bc4 Rxe5 22. Rab1 Rxe4 23. Rxe4 Qxb1+ 24. Qxb1 Bxc6 25. Re7 Bd5 26. Qf5 Rxc4
27. Qxf6 Rc6 28. Re8+ Kh7 29. Rh8# 1-0 paste below game into this link:

Mistake11/5/04, Black
Time Pressure
Mouse Slip
Opening Error
Questionable/Weak Move7
Easy Positional Error
Medium Positional Error17
Difficult Positional Error
King Safety Error11
Back and 7th Rank Problems
Lost Tempo
Lost Initiative
Bad Plan or Tunnel Vision16, 19, 20
No Plan
After the Move Problem16
Forgot What I Saw Earlier
Weak/Inferior Pawn Structure
Failed To Retreat
Moved Into Mate
Missed Mate
Stalemate Problems
Bad Trade
In Over Your Head22
Easy Endgame Blunder
Medium Endgame Blunder
Difficult Endgame Blunder
Easy Endgame Mistake
Medium Endgame Mistake
Difficult Endgame Mistake
Tactical Level of Error
(Include Missed Mate)

Holy smokes: that is quite the badass analysis you give yourself!!
You gave me this list in another galaxy. I worked with it, and the main outcome was that I had to fix tactical problems just like I found at CTS.
Hence my efforts there.
Interesting way to go about doing your post-mortem. I may give it a try, but I think a shorter more generalized list will work better for me.
Thanks for the comments, and I feel your pain Tempo! I suspect a shorter list would work for most people. I just felt that longer list helps pinpoint long term problems.
If I had more money, I would probably pay someone to make such a list for me. Wouldn't it be cool to have a histogram of the number of mistakes accumulated after 100 games? Then you could REALLY get a sense for where you needed the most work. (OTOH, not all mistakes are created equal: at my crappy level, created doubled pawns, even if I do it all the time, isn't as bad as missing mate in 1). Ahhh, things are never freakin' simple.
My thinking exactly.
Easily got more money, I would personally probably spend a person to help to make Buy rs goldthis type of record to me. Would not it be cool to possess a histogram in the amount of problems accumulated following One hundred online games? Then you may REALLY have a sense pertaining to where you required probably the most work. (OTOH, don't assume all blunders are top quality: within my bad level, produced more than doubled pawns, whether or not I do everthing some time, isn't as undesirable because missing out on spouse throughout One particular). Ahhh, everything is never freakin' basic.Plainly had more cash, I would personally almost certainly pay out a person to help make such a checklist for me. Wouldn't it be awesome to possess a histogram in the variety of mistakes gathered following 75 video games? Then you could Truly get a perception regarding in which you necessary essentially the most perform. (OTOH, don't assume all problems are created equal: within low quality amount, made bending pawns, even though I it all enough time, just isn't as negative while missing companion in Diablo 3 itemsJust one). Ahhh, situations are never ever freakin' simple.
This problems listing was created to observe Cheapest wow goldanother person's performance within regular activities was moving on over time. A single problem with it's this doesn't course the other person's amount of perform. If you are enhancing, enjoying somebody that is far too deep will more than likely drive you actually into more errors, Cheap wow goldand people online games make the checklist look like you're dropping backwards.
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