Post Mortems

Post game analysis sessions (aka ‘post mortems’) are an interesting area. Most of them are not very worthwhile unless you want to get to know your opponent a bit better, though observing them can offer some deep psychological insights.

What happens during the average post mortem? Well they are usually highly political affairs with one (or both) of the players attempting to dominate the other (regardless of the result), the winner trying to make the loser feel better or the loser attempting to exact revenge.

Very strong players, on the other hand, tend to focus on a search for truth in order to deepen their understanding of the game. There may be a political element, but this will just be seen as silly if attempted against a knowledgeable adversary.

So should we go through a game afterwards or not? My take is that a post mortem is worthwhile against a MUCH stronger opponent or to have a social element to tournaments. But as a learning tool these sessions are deeply flawed and can lead to tiredness if there’s another game to play on the same day.

The following post mortem video was sent in by one of my Italian readers and has a look of great objectivity and mutual respect:


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: