I've taken up correspondence chess again, and planning has always been one of my biggest weaknesses. It's still something with which I struggle. Besides analyzing specific variations, how do correspondence players keep track of the plans they want to execute, or prevent their opponent from carrying out, during a game?

For example, in a recent game, I knew I needed to not let my opponent put his rook on the 7th rank, as he would likely win another pawn, which I let happen a few moves later.

  • I'm not sure about the question. That depends your position? Do you have an example? – SmallChess Aug 7 '17 at 4:02
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    Correspondence players are allowed to make notes during the game. – bof Aug 7 '17 at 4:07
  • No, I mean in general. As I mentioned, I have trouble with making plans, so it's difficult to give an example. – Herb Aug 7 '17 at 4:11
  • @bof I'm aware of that. Basically l'm wanting to know what types of notes, or see some concrete examples, other than just a line of analysis. – Herb Aug 7 '17 at 4:14
  • So the question isn't really about correspondence chess: it's just about chess. – gented Aug 7 '17 at 14:25

I write a short description in my notebook for each move I make, unless it is a trivial move (e.g. a forced recapture, an opening move I know already or an endgame that I know already).

I try to imitate the style used in Logical Chess by Irving Chernev.


Although it's been many years since I participated, I used to play postal chess by snail mail. For each game I would write down and keep analysis of significant lines each time I moved so I didn't forget them in the interval. I would also write notes concerning what ideas I had in general for the position. I also tried to keep the number of games to a manageable amount to avoid confusion, generally 6 to 12 games at a time. I always had good results with this method.

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