"The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made." - Savielly Tartakower
I recently played a rather captivating game. It was an engaging theoretical battle that featured unusual tactics, a fine king hunt, measured attacks, and inspired defense. A victory would have left either me or my opponent feeling like a million bucks, and even a draw would have been a satisfying creative achievement.
The only problem? I blundered the game away in one move!
Black to move and self-destruct!
In severe mutual time pressure, I played the indescribably awful 36...Rb6??, walking straight into 37.Qa4. Game over!
Needless to say, I was upset with myself. How could I labor over a game for hours and blow it with one bone-headed slip? I had never blundered into a mate in one; not even in my early days of scholastic chess.
Then I got to thinking about the contest as a whole. It was actually a rather well-played game! My opponent and I managed to advance theory in a key line of the Anti-Moscow Variation, and the depth and beauty of the struggle was greater than anything I had experienced in my recent games. The blunder only cut the fun short.
I guess my point is that one need not look at blunders in a purely negative light. Mistakes are inevitable in chess, just like anything else. What's important is viewing that blunder as part of your entire chess experience, not just a cringe-worthy moment that needlessly weighs on your conscience.
Besides, I can take solace in the fact that many a player far stronger than myself has fallen victim to the 'ole mate in one. Observe, for instance, a former World Champion experiencing a memorable lapse:
Blunders happen! Roll with 'em.
That said, to my knowledge Magnus Carlsen has never walked into a mate in one. Based on this stat alone, I'm going on record to predict a Carlsen victory tomorrow to decide who challenges Vishy Anand for the World Championship this fall. Sorry, Vlad