Gotta Be Sure
Ok everyone be honest how many times have you been in a game situation and you click that mouse....pick up that piece....drag it over...let it go....and crap!!!! It was a mistake! I am by no means a great player. In fact most games I don't even feel like a good one but I can see a bad move when I make it and it really bites the big one. I have found that there are two main reasons for blunders like that: 1) I spend so much time thinking about a position and my plan of attack that somewhere in that mental process I get turned around and lose sight of my goal, or 2) my opponent is making rapid moves and for whatever reason I feel the need to do the same in kind.
I have two games that I will show to illustrate these points and the consequences that they can have.
This is one of the longest games I've ever played at 74 moves so for the sake of time I'll draw attention to move 27. At this point I had pretty much dominated the game. I was a piece up and was threatening to promote and then Qxh5+. I have no explanation except that I got giddy and just moved without thinking. After that it just snowballed and I lost a ton of material. Fortunately I didn't collapse and played on and somehow pulled out the win.
This final example is another game I played against a higher rated opponent and while I was playing a pretty decent game I moved a little too quickly at the end of the middlegame and gave up superior position to a more equal one.
For the sake of time I'll direct you to move 29. Had I moved 29. Bxe3 fxe3 30. Bxg4... I would have been up a piece instead of even.
The point in all of this is this: make sure the move you're about to make is the one you want to because it can mean the difference between a great win and a loss that will have you beating your head against the wall for days!