Winning does not mean won

Oct 8, 2015, 12:55 PM |

About a year ago, I came very close to getting a big scalp. I had a winning position against a 2000+ player, let it slip, had an objectively drawn position but showed lack of technique and finally lost. This time, I came a step closer. I had a worse position against a player of the same caliber, my opponent blundered, and I had a winning position. Unfortunately, I blundered back and the game ended in a draw. But a draw against a 2000+ player is a good result in my book. Especially since I was wiped off the board the last time I faced the same player. The diagram below shows a critical position of this week's game. 

White to play. What is the best move?

When reviewing this game, I felt that Rd1 had to be a blunder, but I failed to realize how big a blunder it actually is. I thought white went from slightly better to slightly worse, but according to the computer, black has a winning position after Rd1. But as I demonstrated through my game, a winning position does not mean that you have won. And although I did not cash in and take the full point, I am still pleased with my play. Let me tell you why.

  1. I managed to draw a 2000+ player!
  2. I kept my cool in complicated positions and evaluated the position to the best of my abilities.
  3. Many of my moves are the computer's first choice.
  4. I found Be2 over the board.
  5. I did not give up mentally when I realized that I had misplayed the opening and had a worse position.
  6. I realized that I was about to lose a piece for a couple of pawns, but did not give up. Instead, I tried to make my opponent work for the extra material.
  7. I gave my opponent many opportunities to go wrong, and eventually he did.
  8. I managed to draw a 2000+ player!!

There are, of course, several things about my play that could have been better, and there is one thing in particular that stands out. I have to make a mental note about this.

When the position changes, the conditions change. And moves that were impossible before may suddenly become playable.

This sounds like a quote from Captain Obvious, but it is something that deserves to be considered when it comes to chess. At least when it comes to my chess.

As always, please feel free to comment on my analysis or just give me three cheers for my achievement. Wink