Saturday 22 August 2015

Losing the won game

Throwing away winning positions is a common problem for most chess players. Of course the winning games we lose tend to stick in our memory far more than the losing positions we win, possibly because out losses are tragedies, but our wins are deserved.
Looking back at some of my old games to find such an example, I came across this significant game (which I hope I haven't posted before). It was played in the 1983 ACT Junior Championship and was the game that decided the title. I'd only been playing tournament chess for  around 12 months, so to win the ACT Junior was going to be quite an achievement. In fact I was quite nervous the night before the game, and had a lot of trouble sleeping.
When you look at the game from distance of 30+ years, you realise that both of us had chances to in the game. My style at the time was threat based, so I most of my moves were lining up one or two move cheapo's. My opponent handled most of them easily, but then missed some good moves of his own. At one point I missed a very strong move (20.Qc2) while my opponent missed a win of material with 27. ... Bxd2. Eventually I played the last big blunder (on move 32) and after that my opponent was able to win a piece ahead.
For years I grumbled over playing 32.Nd4 (rather than say 32.Nc3) but on reflection I should take two things away. Firstly, my loss was due to my inexperience as a tournament player, and overcoming this only comes with practice. And secondly, given my choice of moves in the game, I cannot honestly say I was 'winning' in the objective sense, as at no stage did I try and consolidate whatever advantage I my have thought I had.  So it would be unfair to my opponent to say I runied a good position, as I didn't play like I had such a position at all.

Press,Shaun - Marshall,Justin [B86]
ACT Junior Championship, 27.11.1983


Anonymous said...

How about 27...Qa7? AO said...


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If that's too much typing, the old should redirect you there.

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Bye :)

Shaun Press said...

27 ... Bxe2 and 27 ... Qa7 were both good as pinning the rook on b6 was the key idea in both.