There’s a familiar phrase, “Pressure makes diamonds.” And it’s true. You take some ugly rocks, put them under intense pressure for millions of years and boom, you’ve got some pretty diamonds. At the same time, as I tell people whenever I can, “Yeah, pressure makes diamonds, but it also makes balloons pop.”
What can I say, I’m a cynical optimist.
Coming back to chess, I have a long-standing theme on this blog: most amateur games are decided by blunders. You can win a heck of a lot of games just by looking for enemy mistakes. Now, if you just sit there and do nothing, your opponent might blunder, but he or she probably won’t. Just like anything else, blunders can be created.
Of course, you can’t physically force your opponent to blunder, but you can make it much more likely. If you are under pressure, you start thinking different, you start to worry, you start feeling the danger, and then blunders follow almost automatically. In today’s game, I do exactly this, making a single attacking thrust and then having my opponent contort into a ball out of fear.
Let’s take a look. Continue reading
The most common way to win a chess game at the amateur level is through your opponent’s blunder. We would like to think that we win because of our brilliant abilities, because that makes our egos feel good. In reality, most games are simply one side noticing and taking advantage of the other’s mistakes.
Here I will show different examples of blunders from my own games. These are all mistakes I made. I didn’t think it very fair to show blunders from my opponents, as no one wants to admit to blundering, so I’ll use my own mistakes from my own games. Some of them are quite … well, I was much younger at the time. Continue reading
Most chess games are decided by blunders. That is, one side makes a silly move or completely overlooks a threat and then loses a pawn or piece, and the rest is just ‘a matter of technique.’ No problem, right?
Ha! It sounds so easy, but every chess player knows that there’s nothing harder to win than a won game. For this game, I will show how I simplified the game after a blunder into an easily winning position. This game isn’t as exciting as some of my other ones, but winning won games is a skill in itself.
Some background: my opponent blundered a piece out of the Bogo-Indian as White. That’s pretty much it. That said, my opponent was rated nearly 2100 at the time, and he is the highest-rated player I have ever beaten. It also shows that even good players blunder, so don’t think they don’t! Continue reading