Analyzing games with Komodo (Part two)

by Albert Silver
11/13/2014 – In this second part of the tutorial exploring the automated options to analyze your games, you will see how to get quick and efficient analysis of your online games in just seconds, or full analysis with opening references, and human-like verbal commentary. You will also find tips for preferred settings to get you started in this step-by-step guide with a new video tutorial.

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Analyzing the game

There are two ways to automatically analyze a game using your engine, though they can be configured as you prefer. First you have the Blunder Check, which is a cut-down, no-nonsense analysis designed to highlight mistakes, then you have the Full Analysis, which is the most complete analysis with natural language comments.

Complete video tutorial


Video instructions on how to analyze your game with Blunder Check or Full Analysis and the options to choose.
The video is recorded in high-definition, so be sure to set it to 720p or 1080p and maximize it on the screen.

Blunder Check

If you are reviewing blitz or bullet games played online, this will be your most commonly used analysis tool. It will give you a quick and clear overview of how you did in your game in record time.

To use this, go to Analysis and select Blunder Check. Blunder Check is ideal for quick analysis
to highlight which moves were mistakes, and by omission, which moves were not.  You can
set it to analyze only your side, both sides, and more.

On the  right side you can see Time or Depth, which is to choose whether you want each
move analyzed for a specific number of seconds, or instead prefer a determined depth

How much time or how deep is good enough? As a rule, I use a fixed depth of 14 plies and just let it zip through. 14 plies is far deeper than a human will see as a rule, and on a modern computer will be reached in a fraction of a second. This means that the entire game will be analyzed quite literally in seconds.  You can have the machine spend more time, but it would be silly to have it analyzing longer than you spent playing it.

The next significant choice is the Threshold, which determines what the engine will call a 'blunder'

The default setting is 60, which means 0.60 pawns. Although a difference of 0.60 may indeed be a mistake, you might really be interested only in flagging moves that lose a little or a lot of material. If so, set it to a higher value such as 90 for a pawn (remember it might calculate some minuscule compensation for the lost material, lowering the value). This is my personal setting.

It should be mentioned that you can use the program to check your analysis as well. Suppose you wanted to analyze the game yourself without any computer help (an excellent exercise), and entered the variations into the annotation. You can ask the engine to not only analyze your moves, but your analysis as well.

To request analysis of the variations as well, put a check in Check variations

Although these are the essential choices, feel free to consult the Help button in the pane for a more detailed description of all the options.

Blunder Check of Anand-Carlsen (14 plies / Threshold 30):

[Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.11"] [Round "3"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2863"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 c6 8. Bd3 b6 9. b4 a5 10. a3 Ba6 11. Bxa6 Rxa6 12. b5 cxb5 13. c6 Qc8 14. c7 b4 15. Nb5 a4 16. Rc1 Ne4 17. Ng5 Ndf6 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. f3 Ra5 20. fxe4 Rxb5 21. Qxa4 Ra5 22. Qc6 bxa3 23. exd5 Rxd5 24. Qxb6 Qd7 25. O-O Rc8 26. Rc6 g5 ({0.94 Komodo 8 64-bit:} 26... Ra5 27. Rxe6 Rf5 28. Rc6 g5 29. Bg3 Rxf1+ 30. Kxf1 Qf5+ 31. Kg1 Qd3 32. Qa6 Qb1+ 33. Kf2 Qf5+ 34. Ke2 Qg4+ 35. Kd3 Qd1+ 36. Ke4 Qb1+ 37. Kd5 { 0.44/14}) 27. Bg3 Bb4 28. Ra1 Ba5 ({1.34 Komodo 8 64-bit:} 28... h5 29. h3 g4 30. h4 Ba5 31. Qb8 Bb4 32. Qb7 Be7 33. Qa6 e5 34. Bxe5 Rxe5 35. dxe5 Rxc7 36. Rxc7 {0.71/14}) 29. Qa6 Bxc7 30. Qc4 e5 ({3.14 Komodo 8 64-bit:} 30... Ra5 31. Rxc7 Rxc7 32. Qxc7 Qxc7 33. Bxc7 Ra7 34. Bd6 a2 35. Kf2 Kg7 36. Ke2 Ra6 37. Bc5 f6 38. Kd3 Kg6 39. Kc2 Kf5 40. Kb2 Ke4 {1.57/14}) 31. Bxe5 Rxe5 32. dxe5 Qe7 33. e6 Kf8 ({4.51 Komodo 8 64-bit:} 33... Qxe6 34. Rxe6 Bxh2+ 35. Kxh2 Rxc4 36. Re8+ Kg7 37. Rxa3 Rc5 38. Ra7 h5 39. e4 Rc4 40. Ra5 Kg6 41. Rg8+ Kh6 42. Ra6+ Kh7 43. Rxg5 Rxe4 44. Rxh5+ Kg7 45. Ra8 {3.16/14}) 34. Rc1 1-0

Full Analysis

This is the grandmaster in the house so to speak. With it you will get opening commentary accessing your database, more natural commentary including moves that were correctly avoided. In other words, why a certain move that was not played, would have been a mistake. Finally, you get text commentary to emulate a human annotator to a degree, that will point out threatened material, passed pawns, and more.

To activate it, click on Analysis and then Full Analysis

When you do this you are presented with a minimalist pane that just shows you a time to
spend analyzing. This presumes you wish to use the previous, or default choices. To modify
them, click on Advanced.

Here, a new pane opens. Most options are self-explanatory, but not
all. If you put a check mark in the Opening Reference, you need to tell
the program which database to consult.  To do so, click on Reference-DB.

A pane opens in which you point it to a database it will consult this time and all future
times unless you change it. In this case, I have set it to Mega Database 2014.

The threshold is the same as in the Blunder Check above, and is the minimum difference between its choice and yours, to highlight a move as an error.  In practice, I use this only for a rapid game or slower, and turn on all the options and let it analyze for 5-10 minutes.

Full Analysis of Anand-Carlsen (Time 1 minute / Threshold 30):

[Event "WCh 2014"] [Site "Sochi RUS"] [Date "2014.11.11"] [Round "3"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2792"] [BlackElo "2863"] [Annotator "Komodo 8 64-bit (1m)"] [PlyCount "67"] [EventDate "2014.11.08"] {D37: Queen's Gambit Declined: 5 Bf4} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. c5 c6 8. Bd3 b6 9. b4 a5 10. a3 Ba6 11. Bxa6 Rxa6 12. b5 cxb5 13. c6 Qc8 14. c7 b4 15. Nb5 a4 16. Rc1 Ne4 17. Ng5 $146 (17. Nd2 e5 ( 17... Nc3 18. Nxc3 bxc3 19. Rxc3 b5 20. O-O Nb6 21. Qb1 Qd7 22. Rfc1 Ra5 23. Qb2 Rfa8 24. Rc6 Nc8 25. Nf3 f6 26. Qc3 R5a6 27. Rxa6 Rxa6 28. Ne1 Ra8 29. Nd3 Bd6 30. Bxd6 Qxd6 31. Nb4 Kf7 32. Qd3 {Villuendas Valero,A (2176)-Labena Bernal,A (2003) Pamplona 2006 1/2-1/2 (67)}) 18. Nxe4 dxe4 19. Bxe5 Nxe5 20. dxe5 Bc5 21. Qd5 bxa3 22. O-O Qa8 23. Qd7 Qc8 24. Rfd1 Qxd7 25. Rxd7 Raa8 26. Nd6 h6 27. Nxe4 Rfc8 28. Nd6 Bxd6 29. exd6 b5 30. Re7 b4 31. d7 b3 { Jendrichovsky,P (2147)-Goumas,G (2315) Fermo 2009 0-1 (36)}) 17... Ndf6 18. Nxe4 Nxe4 19. f3 {White threatens to win material: f3xe4} Ra5 20. fxe4 Rxb5 21. Qxa4 Ra5 {Black threatens to win material: Ra5xa4} 22. Qc6 bxa3 23. exd5 Rxd5 24. Qxb6 {Black has a new passed pawn: a3} Qd7 25. O-O Rc8 26. Rc6 g5 27. Bg3 ( 27. Be5 g4 $16) 27... Bb4 28. Ra1 Ba5 (28... h5 29. h3 $16) 29. Qa6 Bxc7 (29... Bb4 30. Rb6 Rxc7 31. Bxc7 Qxc7 32. Rxb4 $18) 30. Qc4 $18 e5 (30... Ra5 $142 31. Rxc7 Rxc7 32. Qxc7 Qxc7 33. Bxc7 Ra7 $18) 31. Bxe5 Rxe5 32. dxe5 Qe7 33. e6 Kf8 (33... Qxe6 {the last chance for counterplay} 34. Rxe6 Bxh2+ 35. Kxh2 Rxc4 36. Re8+ Kg7 37. Rxa3 Rc2 $18) 34. Rc1 1-0

In part three we will look at analyzing several games at once, and the Let's Check game analysis.

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  • The new Deep Fritz 64-bit program interface (+ 32 bit program interface)
  • Online access to the world’s largest analysis database “Let’s Check”, with over 200 million extensively analyzed positions (free access to “Let’s Check” until December 31, 2016)
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  • Premium membership to for six months
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System requirements

Minimum: Pentium III 1 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Windows Vista, XP (Service Pack 3), 7/8, DirectX9, 256 MB graphics card, DVD-ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9 and Internet access for program activation, access to, Let’s Check and program updates.

Recommended: PC Intel i7 (Quadcore), 4 GB RAM, Windows 8.1, DirectX10, 512 MB graphics card, 100% DirectX10-compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 11, DVD-ROM drive and Internet access for program activation, access to, Let's Check and program updates.

Price: €79.90 (€67.14 without VAT for customers outside the EU; $86.62 without VAT). Languages: English, German. ISBN: 978-3-86681-442-4; EAN: 9783866814424. Delivery: Download, Post

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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Pupsqueak Pupsqueak 7/10/2015 04:51
Great presentations. Thank you. I use all of the analysis feature explained here. I would like to see a feature added to the Chessbase GUI that allows the operator to collect data and automatically keep track of "errors" on any analyzed game or batch file. Errors are subjective based on how long, how many plies, etc., we let the program analyze. However, the results can reflect the settings the operator used. It would be nice to do a batch file analysis for example on Fischer and Capablanca and have the program automatically track the percentage of moves that the players made 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc., best moves according to the programs analysis with the option to export to Excel. Also, it could be used if I would like to know where I or my opponent makes the most errors, in what stage of the game, how serious are the mistakes, and after mining the data a little, patterns emerge but without the manual labor of doing it as we must now do.

There are many other ways this can be useful.
Niima Niima 11/13/2014 10:22
@ genem

Love your suggestions. I hope ChessBase listens.
footloose4 footloose4 11/13/2014 03:51
I don't get the "33...Qxe6 the last chance for counterplay" note. Going a rook down doesn't even remotely constitute counterplay imho.
Magic_Knight Magic_Knight 6/5/2014 02:12
Loved the article. They should have had you write the manual to include with it!
genem genem 6/4/2014 08:37
Fritz could be even better if its user interface offered the following new analysis features:

1. Fritz should optionally offer to also calculate the "Best Off-Turn Move" (BOTM). BOTM is what White's next move would be if it were not currently Black's turn to move, if magically it was White's turn to move again. This would illuminate the White's current "threat" that Black must solve, or the defensive solution that White's hopes to play if Black (who is "on-turn") makes a passive move.

2. Fritz should optionally offer an additional second concept of its "threshold" concept. In a chess game on many turns the Fritz recommended move is slightly better than the second best move; but on other turns there is exactly one clearly best move. Fritz should offer to automatically tag all clearly best moves. The second threshold would define how big the evaluation difference must be between the best vs. second best move in order to qualify as clearly best.

Thanks. GeneM
leigh leigh 6/4/2014 06:56
simple and clear! thank you
Nag Kings Nag Kings 6/4/2014 02:15
Very nice