Never resign, never give up!
Last week I played a couple of games against a fellow club member. We are relatively evenly matched, but he has a bit more experience with playing over the board, so he has a slight advantage when we meet. Usually, I lose. And this bugs me, because I can see that he does not really understand the game better. However, I tend to make stupid mistakes that costs me material or the entire game.
I managed to get a winning advantage in both of the following games, but as it turned out I blundered it all away - both times.
In this game I got a winning position because my opponent blundered his queen. I played the opening quite poorly, so I did not even deserve to survive the game. My opponent was very tense and focused during the entire game, and when I finally played my horrible queen-blundering 34th move, he stood up and panted heavily in relief. Ok. He outplayed me in the opening, so he deserved the win, but that was just a very bad game, from both of us.
In the second game, I played much better. After reviewing the game, I would go so far as to say that I outplayed him throughout the entire game. This time, I got a winning position by simply playing better. The problem here was that I was tired and made a horrible miscalculation. Or at least I thought it was a miscalculation at the time. In hindsight, I believe that I may have made mental slip and thought that there was another rank below the first rank - or something like that. I do not see how I could have thought that I could stop the pawn in time. Oh well. All things considered, I am satisfied with my play in the second game (but not in the first one). Apart from the miscalculated game-blundering 39th move, I think I played ok.
So what have I learned from this?
- See the entire board. Do not only focus on the area where you are attacking. Long range pieces may be sniping at the position.
- Always double-check each move to see if there is a counter that stops your plan. Even for the simple two-move plans. If you think you have a mating attack, check another time.
- When the position calls for calculation, have a break. Stand up, walk around, get some oxygen to your head. And then take a look at the position. If your head hurts during the calculation. Take another break.
- Brush up on endgames!
- Never give up, even if you blunder your queen in the opening.