Aug 26, 2011, 12:33 PM |

Well, I have to admit that I chickened out of my game yesterday.

It was a typical thursday night at the chess club, I was paired against an improving adult player like myself, and it promised to be a pretty good match. Early in the game I thought I had a calculated a forcing line that force a trade of queens and leave me in a better position.

Unfortunately, it forced the trade of queens and after he recaputered with a pawn rather than a piece,  I found my position entirely passive and cramped, and I was in real danger of having my one semi-active, but discoordinated, piece trapped and won. I sacrificed two pawns to extract my piece, but my position was still cramped and passive, and now I was down material to boot!

So I went into major defensive mode and did everything I could to remove targets from my opponent's field, to minimize his chances, and to do my best imitation of Lasker.

And it worked, after nearly two hours, I finally got to this posiiton:


So here I am - I have a choice! I've been materially down all game, I can take the g pawn, leave the pieces on the board and try to play with the pieces, or I can take the f pawn, allow the rook to come off and try to play with fewer pieces on the board.

I took the cowards' route and took the pieces off the board and started looking for the draw. Unfortunatley, after defending my way back into the game, I missed the drawing opportunity and white won the game.

And that's the point -- had I kept the pieces on the board, I would have been taking the attitude of playing for a win, but I didn't have the fighting spirit to snatch the victory. I have seen this a number of times after a long staunch defense I am tired and ready to call it a day. I'll play for the simpliest ending, even if it's not the best one.