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Anger leads to the dark side

Anger leads to the dark side

Oct 6, 2016, 11:48 AM 1

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.

  1. At an amateur level, anything can happen. So play on until it is over.
  2. Don't lose your temper. You can recover from being hit by a bike. Don't let the bus get you. 

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