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taufiq 41 ( +1 | -1 )
Annotated games.. How to improve ? Hi there !
I'm trying to improve the quality of my annotated games.. But it's quiet hard to find out what people like about the annotations..
Is it the depth of your analysis, is it the commentary, perhaps your funny remarks ?
Or something else ? Or a mix of everything ?

Btw, it's very nice to read the annotations of other players ! Really helpfull to learn how other people are calculating and analysing their games and stuff !
bonsai 48 ( +1 | -1 )
What do you like about annotations yourself? That should be a good pointer.

Of course analysis should be correct (in part to do with depth), but who wants to see endless variations (okay, maybe if it's early on in an opening variation I also play, or if the variations are truly fascinating)? I usually am not just looking for "this variation is +- that variation is =" commentary, but some insights into why variations work or do not work. The funny bit of course is also entertaining at times...
novagold 49 ( +1 | -1 )
Entertainment is important as well as the game actually being interesting. The thing I most like is reading the thoughts about why a certain move was made. Not the variations it'll turn into just a simple comment like 'this move was made to make sure my opponent couldn't get to this square' or something like that or 'hoping to start an attack on this side'. That way I can actually see the thoughts going into the game and why it either worked or didn't.
marinvukusic 155 ( +1 | -1 )
IMHO There are several factors that you can try to monitor if you want to have a good score on an annotation (4 stars).

1. The game itself should be of solid quality (not too many mistakes) and interesting. Games that are one-sided tend to be uninteresting (usually opponent makes gross mistakes and gets pummeled).

2. Annotation has to be correct. It lowers the score when commentators point out obvious mistakes in the annotation, for example when the annotator proclaims that normal development of the opponent is a "big mistake". Critical moments should be covered by a few important variations (not too much). Explanation of moves can be instructive.

3. Annotator should always refrain from insulting his opponent (whenever I see that happen I give the annotation 1 star).

4. The annotation should be objective. I find it annoying when the annotator proclaims that normal development of the opponent is a "big mistake".

Additional comments:
- I personally like to have some "learning points", which are basically reasons why I even bothered to annotate the game (it takes me a lot of time to do it so I am satisfied with the annotation). I habitually analyze all my OTB games and those that were the best ended up on GK as annotations.
- I like to explain the plans and psychology behind some moves, especially in situations where several moves of almost equal could have been played.
- It is interesting to note that sometimes comments can raise the quality and score of the annotation.
- The simplest way is to check out annotation with 4 and 4,5 stars and see what they have in common besides what I have mentioned.
marinvukusic 29 ( +1 | -1 )
Clarification Correct - I meant mostly moves/variations
Objective - I meant mostly verbal evaluation of moves/positions (stating your opinion)

If a good move gets an "?" and then the annotator explains that the move is bad for incorrect reason, his annotation is BOTH incorrect and not objective.
ccmcacollister 280 ( +1 | -1 )
marinvukusic has mentioned items to consider, that I completely agree with and look for as well. So these are some additional consideration I make when evaluating someones game annotation(s). Some more things which I really like to see are:
Annotator explains his thought processes at some important point(s) of the game, especially if he made a mistake or was surprised by an opponent move. This can include speaking of his planning, position evaluation, aor opponents expected plan.
Makes mention of moves/goals/ or plan, which are thematic to the particular opening being played. [for eg, the common attempt by WT to play for a c5 push vs the Mar del Plata King's Indian ... or the fight for control of e4 that happens in the Dory Defense, etc.] Bonus points for pointing out any plan alternatives to the one which was chosen in the game, or the ones typical to the position.
That he DOES mention any moves overlooked during the game which would have won material for either player, or significantly altered the assessment or character
of the position, especially if involving the Initiative or creation of any serious positional weakening, particularly if Permanent. If someone wins the game, but fails to point out where the opponent might have won his Queen (which I Have seen in the GK Annotated Games! :) , then the annotator will definitely go down a star or two. I feel that is too big a matter of integrity of the game notes, to completely bypass or gloss over, and a bit too self-aggrandizing. [On the other hand, if they catch the oversight & mention it in the notes, I do not down-grade them for having erred during the game. Imo errors are to be expected from players under 2700 ... ( and Grandmasters playing against computers :) ]
I like to see an annotator point out the importance of specific matters of technique
that occur during the game. Also if someone embarks upon a faulty plan or concept
. And also the presence of any factors beyond the moves upon the board, which influence the game. This might be: Tournament Standing/Strategy, Time Pressure,
or unsurmountable noise from the Oriental Stick-Dancing Class starting right next door to the tournament room at the Omaha Public Library, during the middle of the final round of play . . . Or the fact that the "Metro Tornado" Swiss tournament actually Had to be evacuated to my basement and finished by candle-light due to issuing of an unexpected Tornado-Warning & associated power outage~!
So there are some more ideas, tho I feel like I'm still missing a lot. Oh yes, it is nice if one can mention any GM game(s) that the players are following. And some references to alternative "Book" moves aor home improvements/TN's , besides the game moves. And especially any very interesting looking lines/moves that were avoided as unclear during the game, that seem to have merit.
ionadowman 180 ( +1 | -1 )
All these ... ... are invaluable for any quality annotation.

But maybe one might tend, then, to infer that the standard required is so high only someone with a rating of, say, 3000 ELO is really qualified to annotate a game.

No, I exaggerate. I think ccmcacollister and marinvukusic are really describing ideals to aim for. No one, if he or she has something to say or to share about a game, or even wants to brag and tell a story, ought to be discouraged from annotating a game.

Nor need the game be of high accuracy to be worth annotating or telling us about. I recall annotating a GK game a while back. It had quite a lot of mistakes by both players, but some fine moves as well, and some very interesting ideas and motifs emerged that were fun to explore. I thoroughly enjoyed playing through the game, following its twists of fortune, building to a climax, with the result in doubt until almost the end. A great story.

I mentioned exploring some ideas and motifs. This is one of the reasons my comments on games feature variations, sometimes in considerable depth (tho' I don't go nuts about it). Often it takes specific moves to illustrate the idea.
It's not a bad idea, too, when giving move details to be more explicit than you would consider necessary, to help a less experienced reader to follow the action.

It needs to be borne in mind - something one is apt to forget - that what doesn't happen on the chessboard but could easily happen, is as much part of the game as what does happen. Both sides are continually making decisions, and it is the quality of those decisions that determines the result.