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Fear of Losing

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I have met all sort of players. Some of them are eager to play and eager to beat you. The idea of being defeated by you is alien to them. They think they are the best and “you” (whoever s/he is) are worse than him. (I suppose they never fear losing) . Others, are “neutral” : they never speak about his/her feelings. (I suppose , to them, losing is only a possibility) And the third type I call them “philosophical”. They are always considering psychological matters, philosophical nuances, are affected by his/her daily feelings . They fear losing like the plague!. (Of course this cannot be applied to professional Chess, I think…but am not sure…)

Nevertheless, losing is one of the possibilities when you play Chess. At professional or super-professional levels , apart from the psychological blow involved, it may also imply losing a tournament, losing money or both. At non-professional and CC (remember CC = Correspondence Chess)  levels the psychological blow may be devastating or not, it depends!.

When you are a CC player and have also played OTB Chess, you began to feel that the same things are not always “the same” things… I am going to mention only two of them:

1.- Wrong Opening Choice.

2.- Defending bad (even very,very bad ) positions.

Before a game, haven’t you ever let your imagination fly and instead of your customary opening/defence you have played “something different” because you were in good spirits?. And perhaps most of us CC players have done the same… And after that “merry moment” you came back to this world and contemplated a terrible situation on the board: in fact your opponent knew the line better than you ,because  you have even  forgotten even the main line continuation or if in CC the position looks horrid… The long, drab, nearly humiliating task of defending the mess is in front of you.

Well, here appears the difference between OTB and CC. In OTB Chess, your misery will last from some minutes to some hours. At the end of the day you will have to go home with a draw or with a painful defeat and the as of calling yourself an ass while licking your wounds.

But in CC, your miserable state may last for weeks or months, who knows if a whole year or more… Week after week you have to analyse that wreckage created by your stupid flight of the imagination, day in day out you swear to yourself never to play such stupid line again; day after day the game and the position nearly wake you up, sweating cold,  in the middle of the night; day after day you wish to receive the proper smack in the face as your opponent’s greeting message, always thinking about resigning with every move you send… Yes! This is a horrible self-inflicted torture!.

(And in CC unbelievable as it may seem, there is a nother source of defeat: you are playing twenty-thirty games. You have the moves and the positions in the webserver and , moreover, you have written down the moves in a notebook. All in all, you set up the wrong position , choose your move,and  now comes the worst : you send it  only realizing your mistake when you receive the answer…!. Yes, this happens…)

So, my dear CC colleagues, the next time you decide “to make a little experiment”, think twice or re-read this post, because you could be on the brink of turning yourself into your worst, most harmful enemy.

(End of post. Try to solve the problems no matter the time you need.)

(Solutions to problems:

(1)  1. Bg2! (the only square that works) Now mate in 3 follows 1…, Bh3 /2. Bxh3 ba6 3. Bg2 // 1. Bg2  , B-moves 2. c8=Q Bxc8  3. Nc7 mate. Please note that g2 is the only valid square to avoid the Black Bishop checking with …Bh3- …Bg2+  spoiling the task.

(2) A lovely position in which every Rook,King Knight or Pawn move allows the Black King to escape or be stalemated. After seeing another problem I realised there is a move I never had never considered though perfectly legal if not stipulated again. I had a look at the position and so the pieces duly placed for…:   1. 0-0-0!! (Wonderful)  If  1…, Kxa2 / 2. Kc2 , Ka3 3. Ra1 mate!  If 1…Kxc3 2. Ra4  Kg3 3. Re3 mate. I got an immense delight solving this problem after so many months. It´s so easy when you see it…



Written by QChess

October 4, 2012 at 5:55 am

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