how to study past chess classic games?

Hi, am a beginner in chess i have always read and seen people saying that you have to study the games of past chess masters etc my question is where does one start by doing so and also which players should i start studying their games and also what are the examples of ways i should start by studying this chess games?.

There are tons of books, go and get them. But always remember: you will need thousands of hours of practising as well.

Go over master games slowly and try to understand the ideas behind every move. You start doing it when:
1. You reach at least 1900 established lichess puzzle rating. Usually the problems rated below 1900 are very easy. You need a great understanding of tactics to be able to understand the master games. All 2700+ rated master level players have tactics rating at least 2500;
2. You solve all chess basics problems;
3.You solve all chess practice problems.

Check out CHESSGAMES.COM: it is a great resource for master level games. Personally I only study game collections that correspond to my current opening repertoire, i.e. , sicilian collections; nimzo-indian collections, and english opening collections. I have checked out some of Karpov's games to acquaint myself with positional play. I usually spend 5 to 10 minutes going through a game and I've studied upto 50 games in a single day... to me it is about getting exposure to many different kinds of positions and playing styles. I think watching top rated rapid or classical time control games on lichess T.V. can be good as well. Spending more than 5 or 10 minutes studying a game seems like overkill to me... it's like someone who just bought a new car deciding to read the owner's manual from front to back... a bit wonky and anal. Just check out lots of games and follow your sense of curiousity and desire. HAVE FUN! JMO.

It is kind of cocky to spend only 10 minutes to study a game that 2 grandmasters spent 4 hours to play…
50 games in 1 day will teach you nothing.
Study 1 game per day only.

Watching rapid games is no great help either: you have no time to grasp what is going on.

The best way to study is to take one side, preferably with a chess clock, look at the position, decide on your move, then look at what the grandmaster played in the game. Play the move of the game and the grandmaster reply, then think again about your move.

You pick games according to a player you like or an opening you like, but always play through top grandmaster games: learn from the best, but take your time doing so.

#5... I don't claim to acquire a deep and nuanced understanding of a grandmaster's thinking process through a ten minute study of a game. I guess that is not what I am going for... if that was my objective than I'd spend 2 or three hours studying a single master game. I have no desire to imitate grandmaster games or the playing style of a particular player. In a ten minute study I am able to glean quite a bit and it is more fun and practical than the ' study 1 game per day' approach... I'm just collecting tools to put in the toolbox: When I study a game I'm looking for something I have not seen before or something I have not considered before... I'm looking for something practical: A new tool that can be brought into my thinking process. Imitation has it's plus side but in the long run it leads to limitation... eventually you've gotta break through and find your own way of thinking things through. JMO.

Uhmm...I don't think that binge-clicking through gm games is a bad thing. But as a beginner? Some guidance would not hurt (books, later annotated games) because the games are not that easy either.

I would not recommend following random high rated people on lichesstv unless they are verified IM+ (and are playing somewhat seriously). You can get lucky and get a IM/GM hiding his rank or identity - or unlucky and get one of many high rated players who lack the basics/ are trolling.

Taking 2-3h per GM game - might work if you are really dedicated, but make sure the game is annotated.

Edit: don't forget the practice part (and better not 1+0 or 3+0)

@AgadmatorsDoggy #1
I suggest to *not* study by yourself non-annotated games, since you are a beginner.
Instead I would recommend to read through annotated games from books, magazines, or chess videos.
Preferably annotated by chess masters. Also as a beginner it makes sense to avoid top GM games as those can be hard to understand and follow.
And since you are a beginner I would also recommend to study with a chess coach, or chess buddies, join a local chessclub if possible, so that you don't have to study all alone, and can share thoughts easily with others, and can learn from stronger players while analysing and going through chess games.
Of course you can also start a Lichess team which studies chess games, or join one such team.

GL & HF!

I did what ever little I could achieve in chess solely by studying master games.
So here is what worked for me
1) Use a physical board and setup pieces/position rather than using a computer
I say this because by setting up pieces you get a better grasp of the notations and can more easily recall the squares on the board
2) Buy any good quality annotated game collection , preferably of a single player.
I had used My 60 memorable games initially. By choosing a single player you stay consistent with one playing style. Choose a player whose playing style which you would like to replicate.
Preferably choose a player from the pre-computer era because what players play now a days is a bit too sophisticated and deep.
Based on my experience I will also suggest to choose books written in the computer era as there is very little chance for human bias.
I have personally experienced Informator Annotations containing !! by a Top 10 GM but upon engine checking it was a blunder. Shocking but true.
3) Play through the main line of the game in say 15 -30 minutes. Take longer if you wish. Ensure you read the verbal comments of the player while playing through.
I do not recommend books which do not contain verbal comments because many times I played through Informator annotations and found a player like Shirov saying something like 22 e6! (Unclear) or say 27 b5!! white has an advantage and I spent hours trying to figure out why white is better.
Play through a few games a day playing only the main lines and complete the book.
4) Now you have a fair idea of the games in the book and a reasonable time has elapsed since you played through the first few games. Now again replay the games this time going through all the variations mentioned in the game. Take close to 1.5 hours to 2 hours playing through just one game and repeat this process for all the games in the book
5) You shall appreciate the games in a much better manner the in the second pass. Also there will be a few games which you would be attracted to and the kind of game you would like to replicate.
Go through those games again on a regular basis studying it deeper.
Also try to play through the variations in your head first before moving pieces.
6) Check online sources like or watch the annotated video commentary on that game and read through the comments and you will find questions which people have asked about the game. Ponder on them or Analyze it without any engine.
After say 5-6 months play through the game again
What we are effectively doing is,over a long term deeply analyzing the game and deepening our understanding.
7) Stop playing bullet and blitz for some time and play only slow games on the internet , atleast 25 mins. After the game annotate the game you played similar to what you read in the book (without an engine) Write down what exactly you were thinking and why you played a particular move. Never make any move without a plan, however silly the plan may be. Once annotated engine check your analysis. Maintain a PGN or Notebook of you analysis.
The games you are playing are also classic games ;) atleast for you
8) After some time revisit your own analysis and have a good laugh at your thought process

I have read very little books but have managed to do better than many of the people I know who have read thrice the number of books I read.
My two cents , it is not the number of books which you read but it is what you absorb out of a book which matters.
Good Luck

Just some general thoughts on this topic: It is kind of cocky to spend a semester studying Marce Proust's Rememberance of Thing's Past when it took him most of his adult life to write that beautiful novel... An aspiring artist should choose 'preferably' a single artist to replicate, perhaps, Andy Warhol because we all really need more Andy Warhols in the world. A 'wanna be' philosopher shall become Aristotle... keep out the poets. what?