Playing through master games is a proven method of improving. One
method is to take one side, usually the winning side, and try and
guess the next move. With practice you will correctly predict
more moves. Doing so helps develop chess fluency.
When I was a junior I played through many master games, in many
cases guessing the moves. It helped me to become national
One suggested approach was not to take too long on the moves, say
about 10 seconds or so. You could score correct guesses. If the
move was totally unexpected, then it would be a good time to see
if you could understand why the move was played. Every move
should have a clear idea behind it. If you cannot see the idea,
there is a learning opportunity there.
Some books contained similar exercises as well as some columns in
magazines etc. The exercises here are a little different.
Instead of having to look at all possible moves, you will be
given between one and four choices. This is similar to a multiple
choice exam. This makes the task easier than having to look at
all moves and may mean you examine some moves you would not have
There are some advantages to using games from the pre-computer
era. The games are not so theoretical and not cases of players
relying on deep computer assisted opening pre-game preparation.
They are a selection of games which demonstrate a lot of positional ideas.
Initially all the details of the games will be displayed.
For a number of opening moves you will not need to guess the
move. The number will vary from game to game and will generally
be between 8 and 12 moves (for each side).
After these opening moves have been played, you will then try and
predict your players moves. Your choice will be selected from a
number of candidate moves. In a few cases you will only have one
move to choose from. In this case you shall get the correct
answer. In most cases you will be presented with the maximum number
of options which is 4. In same cases there will be 2 or 3 options.
If you guess correctly you will score points which will range
from 1 to 6. This depends on the approximate complexity and
difficulty of the move. If you score incorrectly you will not
score for that move. Regardless of whether you are correct or not
the correct move will be played. You can either write down or
otherwise keep track of your total score and see what category
These are based on the FIDE (The international chess federation)
rating system developed by Professor Elo.
The rating of 2400+ is only an approximation of the strength
needed to be an international master.