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How To Save A Losing Game, Part 3

How To Save A Losing Game, Part 3

Feb 8, 2010, 12:00 AM 14 Strategy

In this game, White plays the initial phase of the opening well enough, but then he starts to drift with some questionable and unnecessary moves, which allow Black to work up a strong queenside initiative.  At that point, White: recognizes the problem, evaluates its severity, examines options, chooses one and implements it.  All of this is done without panic or self-recrimination.  It's more of a self pep talk: "It looks like you may have messed up here, and you have to do something about it right now.   It looks like you can't stop what he's going to do, so let it go, think of your best shot, and keep your fingers crossed."  The good thing about this game is that it helped me defeat a master 13 years later from the exact same position this game had after move 11.  I eliminated the unnecessary moves and played much more directly.  That game can be found on chess.com under the title "Playing On Both Sides Of The Board", which has the game Till-Collier (2005). The link is http://www.chess.com/article/view/playing-on-both-sides-of-the-board

So once again, the steps for saving a losing game are: A) Realise you are in trouble, B) Stay calm, C) Solve real problems, and D) Look for counterplay.  The sooner you realise that you have made a mistake, the more options you will have for dealing with it.  Just burying your head in the sand and hoping your opponent won't capitalize on your errors won't work.  A bad plan is better than no plan at all.  So just go for it.

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