Even GMs Are Human

Even GMs Are Human

| 77 | Strategy

Many a myth has been discussed about the "superhuman" power that a grandmaster holds over the chessboard. Amateur players tend to look at us GMs as untouchable geniuses that cannot put a foot wrong when shuffling our pieces about.

I am now going to destroy that perception by showing you some of the worst mistakes that I and other GMs have made over our beautiful board.

Beware: What you are about to read is not pleasant, not clever and certainly not to be repeated.

Welcome to the dark and twisted world of the GM patzers.

So there I was leading an international tournament with 3/3. My next -ound opponent was FM Peter Sowray, a good player but still a player that I should beat. After some complications I found myself two whole pieces up for nothing. Yes, that is right, folks, TWO WHOLE PIECES! Then disaster struck...

The emotion of pure embarrassment that I felt after committing this deadly sin can not possibly ever be matched.

Imagine the scene, 20 spectators gathering like a hungry pack of wolves around the board. What was this GM doing!? Had he really just fallen into stalemate? Yes I had.

Paint my face red and let me cry like a baby folks...

If only the earth could suck me up, then this was the time to do so.  And you know what made matters worse? Well, after you mess up at the chessboard, it seems to me that there is always one vampire waiting in the darkness to push that dagger just a little bit deeper into you.

On this occasion such a vampire moved straight towards me just after I shook my opponent's hand: "Oh my, Simon, I have never seen a G=grandmaster play so badly!"

Thanks for that observation, "Mr Vampire," just what I wanted to hear.

If you think that is just a one-off blunder, then you would be wrong. In the past I have had a tendency to blunder my rook. Check out the following error against GM John Shaw.

Then there was that time earlier in the year against IM Sam Collins...

Then there was the following travesty...

To be fair, the last game was played on New Year's Day. The night before, being a young chap away from home, I may have overdone things.

Life can be hard and cruel sometimes. For me the best way to deal with this is make light of the matter, have a little laugh and then head towards the bar.

It seems to be a fact that most jokes are at someone's expense. Have a think about that for a moment and then you will realize that there can even be light in the most unfortunate situations.

At least I am not the only GM to make such terrible blunders. Even world champions can have moments of madness.

First up, it is Karpov.

Then Kasparov.

Of course Kasparov, quite possibly the greatest champion of all time, would not make the same mistake twice. Or would he?

Can you find the worst move for White?

Well done Garry, for maybe the only time in your career you have managed to find the worst move on the board! (Again in a blitz game, but let's not hold that against him.)

And even the current world champion, Magnus Carlsen, has made mistakes (albeit in a blitz game from 2006!).

Magnus missing a mate in one! How can such a great GM do such a thing!? Well he is not the first, over to you Big Vlad.

What can we learn from the above collection of chess atrocities?

Well for one, do not beat yourself up too much after making a horrendous blunder. As you have seen here, it happens to all of us! Instead, try to laugh it off and reassure yourself that a number of world champions and other GMs have done worse than you.

We all blunder and make terrible mistakes, but as the saying goes:  "It is not about how many times you fall down. It's about how many times you get back up." -- Jamie Escalante.

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