Automatic game analysis in Playchess

by Albert Silver
11/30/2017 – Whether a pro or an amateur, after a blitz game online, we want to know where we went wrong. Was our attack right? Was the opponent’s? Did we miss a simple shot or defense? Sure we can stop and turn on an engine to analyze it, but that still takes time. Not anymore thanks to the new automatic analysis in Fritz 16. Read on to find out more!

Fritz 16 - He just wants to play! Fritz 16 - He just wants to play!

Fritz 16 is looking forward to playing with you, and you're certain to have a great deal of fun with him too. Tense games and even well-fought victories await you with "Easy play" and "Assisted analysis" modes.


A helping hand, when you need it

Every chess coach, with no exceptions, recommends analyzing your games. To be fair, they usually mean analyzing on your own, as an exercise in introspection and self-discovery. I.e. Understand our foibles and strive to eliminate them. However, blitz games are not usually subject to such painstaking analysis. We do want to know what happened, since some mistakes are repeated unknowingly, again and again, out of ignorance. Perhaps not something as drastic as the loss of a piece, but possibly a simple idea that we are missing. Blitz is very good at reinforcing pattern recognition — both good and bad, it must be noted.

The engines — those wonderful tools that we both hate and love so much — are quick and merciless in pointing them out, and consulting them can help us not only see where we are going astray, but improve via pattern recognition. The problem is that, just like interrupting our reading to consult a dictionary on a word, it means stopping the flow of our enjoyment to go over various key parts. Or at least it used to.

One of the coolest new tools in Fritz 16 is its ability to automatically analyze our games in Playchess … while we are playing them! Now don’t worry, neither you nor your opponents are privy to this analysis before the game is over, but as soon as the game is done and the clocks are stopped, Fritz 16 will immediately show you the full automatic analysis it made.

What kind of analysis? You have no doubt seen by now the automated analysis in the Live Broadcasts that are now featured regularly in our news pages. It may not replace a grandmaster explaining the deepest ideas of a game, but they do serve to highlight the right and wrong in a game and even show simpler ideas such as the threat and why a move could not be played.

As an example, I opened Fritz 16, and just pressed one of the new Blitz buttons on the opening splash screen. It opened Playchess and within seconds paired me with a player. The game went well and as soon as I was done, the game notation was updated to show the analysis that had been done.

Without even looking at the analysis, the bar chart below it shows me how it went. If it had shown a sudden large bar for my opponent for example, I would know that I had been in danger of losing.

As it is, it even adds a diagram to highlight a good move I played, but before it can go to my head, it tells me I missed a good shot just two moves later.

In this position, I mistakenly played 15…Bxd4?, missing the strong and elegant 15…f4! Lesson learned.

As you can see, each and every game played on Playchess now becomes a quick opportunity to learn and improve with no extra effort required to pore over the moves with an engine.

Fritz 16 - He just wants to play!

Fritz 16 is looking forward to playing with you, and you're certain to have a great deal of fun with him too. Tense games and even well-fought victories await you with "Easy play" and "Assisted analysis" modes.


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.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors

notebook03 notebook03 12/1/2017 07:10
@brabo_hf Sadly not; at least, I've not found a way to do it. I've created a short cut in the Customize window, which speeds things up a little, but it's still not as convenient as being able to stop it permanently.
brabo_hf brabo_hf 12/1/2017 07:32
Thanks for the tip. That works. However when I select another random game in the database then the program automatically again activates the feature. Is there a way to permanent disable the feature?
notebook03 notebook03 11/30/2017 11:14
@brabo_hf To switch off the training questions in Fritz 16, when in the Classic Menu, go to the Training ribbon (tab) and deselect 'Enable Training' on the right.
Lachesis Lachesis 11/30/2017 06:24
Appreciate pointing out the new Playchess analysis feature.
prail prail 11/30/2017 04:40
The blindingly bright yellow background and childish iconography is a disappointing choice unfit for the regal game. White text on a yellow background? Mercy.
Bertman Bertman 11/30/2017 03:23
@ajeeb007 - The same analysis tools exist for Classical games of course in even greater depth and detail.

@brabo_HF - The question isn't whether you play better and see more in slower games, since of course you do. The question is helping refine our tactical eye and reinforce good pattern recognition. Blitz is often used as a training tool, and if you have played 60,000 games, then those are 60,000 games in which some patterns, mistaken ones, may be subtly reinforced in your mind. This provides you with a way to combat that.
Ajeeb007 Ajeeb007 11/30/2017 10:34
Analyzing blitz games? I'd be much more interested in how useful it's analysis of classical games is.
brabo_hf brabo_hf 11/30/2017 10:12
"Whether a pro or an amateur, after a blitz game online, we want to know where we went wrong."
I don't really care. I have played more than 60.000 already on Playchess alone (2200-2500 rating) and I know most mistakes are made due to the speed and not a lack of experience.

Besides I notice that my stored games nowadays include very often irritating training questions. You first have to solve 1 or more very simple tactics missed during the game before you can replay the game. Is this something which can be switched off? I am FM so consider this active feature a loss of my time.