Anger leads to the dark side
There is some wisdom in Yoda's words -- even when it comes to chess. In one of my recent games, this was clearly demonstrated. My opponent outplayed me in the opening and got a completely winning position. Then I got a tiny bit of counterplay, and he lost his composure and became visibly upset at the fact that he had lost control, albeit only by a small margin.
As the game progressed, he shook his head and mumbled to himself -- clear signs of frustration. And he started playing too fast and incorrectly. In the end I managed to get a winning position and he resigned.
Although I was ready to resign around move 18, I played on and managed to score a full point (I do not consider this a win; my opponent lost). My perseverence paid off. On the other side of the board, a psychological mistake let emotions get the upper hand, and a won position slipped away.
This reminds me of a story that I heard somewhere. A woman stepped out into the street, wanting to cross. She was almost hit by a bike, but the biker just kept going. She turned towards the offending biker and shouted in anger. And with her back against traffic, she was hit by a bus. A small accident can lead to a bigger one, if you're not careful.
So this points to a couple of important lessons.
- At an amateur level, anything can happen. So play on until it is over.
- Don't lose your temper. You can recover from being hit by a bike. Don't let the bus get you.