Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How I use Fritz to analyze a game. part 1

I am going to spend the next few weeks writing posts about how I analyze a game using Fritz 12. At the end I will have a script for my second chess video. The first post (this one) is the technical details of  how to use an engine and the settings I use to analyze my games. The second is a short post, which talks about using the output to identify key points in the game where I need to improve. The third post focuses on some of the tools I use to help understand how I can improve.

The first step is to bring a game into Fritz. If you have the PGN, you can paste it under new game. I enter games from tournaments by hand under infinite analysis.

Update: I have added new discipline. At this point I now go through the game adding comments (Ctrl+a) on my in game thoughts while they are fresh in my mind. I pay particular attention to areas I thought were key while I was playing, and useful comments my opponent may have made after the game. This means that I need to have unchecked "Erase old annotations" in the Analysis Options window. I also do some hand analysis at this time. I am now using the free Houdini engine, which takes advantage of both processors on my computer.

The next step is to have Fritz analyze the game fully, from which I will take clues to investigate further. Analysis is kicked off by Analysis=>Full Analysis and a window pops up.


  • Annotations: I have selected "Opening reference", which will add a few opening lines that diverge from the game for consideration and "Erase old annotations", which will leave only new annotations(update: I now mostly want to keep old annotations). "Verbose" adds language comments, but I rarely find them useful. "Graphical" will sometimes add arrows or other decorations to the board. "Training" will select places where a combination was made or could be made and inserts a problem for the view to solve.


  • Calculation Time: I have asked for Fritz to work on this game for two hours, and to let it vary the amount of time it spends on a move. I find this is enough time for my current skill level to deal with. 


  • Threshold: is in hundreths of evaluation difference. Fritz will only create annotations for moves that are this much better than the move I made. 30 is approximately 3/10s of a pawn.


  • Last move: is the last move of the game for Fritz to analyze.


  • Side: I played white in this game, and I am not too concerned with where my opponent could have made a better move in this game.



  • This is the notation window, after I removed the opening variations. I could not get a picture of the larger list to fit in the blog. 7...d4 is a novelty according to Fritz, so it is decorated with a 'N'.

    I don't find these short variations to be illuminating enough, so in my next post I will write about I do with Fritz next.

    link to next part

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