7 Faces Chess Players Make When Losing

7 Faces Chess Players Make When Losing

| 57 | Fun & Trivia

One thing nearly all chess players have in common is that they hate to lose.

Losing, while it might be good for our long-term chess development, is a short-term disaster for our ego.

Unlike games such as Monopoly or poker, luck is not even a temporary factor in chess. The person who played best always wins every game. (Sure, your opponent might have missed a mate in one, but if you won the game, you played better by definition.)

And unlike in team sports, there’s no one to blame for a loss but yourself.

Different players handle losing different ways. Some are gracious, and some pout. Some play it cool while burning up inside, while others get visibly upset for a few minutes and then forget it ever happened.

Here’s a look at how some of the world’s best players react when a game is lost. See if you have anything in common with the grandmasters in how you handle defeat.

Let us know how you react to losing a game in the comments or on Facebook.

1. Vishy Anand loses to Magnus Carlsen

The classy Anand definitely falls into the gracious camp, at ease and smiling here just after Magnus Carlsen was first crowned as the world chess champion in 2013. 

2. Nigel Short loses to Garry Kasparov

Short seems more contemplative than upset here, wondering what wrong after losing this sixth game in his recent blitz match against Kasparov in St. Louis. 

3. Rauf Mamedov loses to Wesley So

It's almost as if GM Mamedov is gasping, unable to believe he lost this game in Shamkir 2015. His face here might be closely related to number five on this chess hand-positions list.

4. Alexander Onischuk loses to Hikaru Nakamura

Onischuk lost this game at the 2015 U.S. championship, "with a wry smile as he fell into a tactic," said Peter Doggers. His opponent, Hikaru Nakamura, won the championship after this game. 

5. Vladimir Kramnik loses to Magnus Carlsen

When two of the greatest chess players ever meet, sometimes one of them loses. Here Kramnik takes on a pensive look after round seven of the Shamkir super-tournament, while Carlsen seems distracted altogether. 

6. Daniel Naroditsky loses to Ray Robson

We are so used to Naroditsky being one of the best chess writers in the world that it's shocking to see him lose a game over the board. Alas, it does happen. Here Naroditsky covers his eyes as he realizes the weakness of his position, moments before resigning the game at the 2015 U.S. chess championship.

GM Alex Yermolinsky offers a comprehensive video review of this game. Click here to watch the full video.

7. Harika Dronavalli loses to Mariya Muzychuk 

GM Dronavalli may be shaking hands, but she can't seem to look straight ahead after losing to the new women's world champion. 

Do you make any faces when you lose a chess game? Let us know in the comments. 

More from Pete
Can You Solve Our 2023 Holiday Puzzler?

Can You Solve Our 2023 Holiday Puzzler?

Can You Solve Our 2022 Holiday Puzzler?

Can You Solve Our 2022 Holiday Puzzler?