Call An Ambulance...But Not for Me!

Call An Ambulance...But Not for Me!

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You're down material. You have no compensation. Your opponent is objectively winning and you have a lost position. We've all been in this kind of situation. You may feel hopeless, waiting for your opponent to finish you off. You make a few perfunctory moves and end up resigning soon after. But wait... was there anything else you could have done to make the game messy? Could you have turned things around?

Could you have saved the lost position?

Many people find themselves in worse or lost positions and simply give up. They get annoyed and angry at themselves, bemoan their bad luck that they blundered earlier in the game and ended up in a terrible position and then they end up resigning too soon. What these players don't realize though is something that former World Champion Emanuel Lasker understood:

If this is true, then this means that your opponent has a tough task ahead of them. Yes, they're ahead material. Yes, they're in a "winning" position. However, the game isn't over yet. No handshake has occurred, the scoresheets haven't been signed, the clock flag hasn't fallen and you still have a chance to turn things around. Seize the opportunity! How so?

1. Make the game messy and complicated
2. Attack your opponent's king
3. Sacrifice with no fear

I was able to apply all of these things in a recent OTB tournament game I played in an International Master norm event. Let's see how that worked out for me:

Chess is a cruel game. Did I deserve to win this game? No, but also yes at the same time. My opponent was winning in the starting position above and at various moments throughout the rest of the game but all it took was one or two key mistakes for me to turn the game in my favor. Keep in mind: Our opponent's are not computers! We're not playing against perfect-calculating, cold-hearted engines but instead we're playing against other warm-blooded human beings who get nervous, scared, worried, fearful and these are things we can use against them. Our opponent is less likely to mess up their winning position if we don't put them under any pressure so it is up to us to create that chaos and fear on the board. We're already in a losing position, so what do we have to lose?

Hopefully this has inspired you a bit to play without fear yourself, especially when you are in a losing position. Whatever you do, don't give up and resign too early! If you are interested in learning more about how to save lost positions, I have enjoyed the course "The Art of Saving Lost Positions" from ChessMood and would highly recommend it. You can find more information about it though clicking the link above.

See you in the next blog! happy

Hey everyone! My name is Dalton Perrine. I am a chess coach and FIDE Master who runs the popular website where you can find a lot of information on how to take your game to the "Next Level"!