The Importance of Swift Redemption

The Importance of Swift Redemption

GM gmjlh
Jun 13, 2012, 12:33 PM |

In the recently concluded World Championship match, there was one moment more important than the others: Game number 8, in which the eventual winner Anand won a quick victory.

In post-match interviews, Anand credited that game as the most important moment for him. He had just suffered a devestating loss in the previous game, and so his self-esteem had gotten a real blow. It was crucial to get back in the match - as soon as possible.

He got what he needed in the 8th game, and the match score was equalized. Anand eventually kept his World Champion title by winning the tiebreaks.

This has been an example of how important it is to strike back after a loss. You may feel sad. You may feel sick of chess. Sometimes you just want a timeout. But chess is a harsh game, and the ability to master losses can do wonders for your tournament performances.

Step one is coping with the loss, but there's also a grueling step two: Channelling your frustration to positive energy, and fierce determination.

Recently I played the invention "Death Match". Three hours straight of online blitz chess. You lose some, you win some - but the ability of striking back after losses is a key skill.

In this match, I was completely unsucessful. At one point I lost seven games in a row! Losing can completely ruin your motivation and self-esteem. It's especially tough when you have a new game starting the second you lose.

I lost the match against Jorge Sammour-Hasbun 17.5-11.5. You can read Danny Rensch's summary here.

As I'm advocating swift redemption, I wanted to use my newly gained experience to win the very next Death Match. Unfortunately, my FIDE-rating was not high enough to qualify. The two contestants will be Robert Hess and Gawain Jones.

However, even when things don't go your way, it's important to extract the positives from the situation. I cheered myself up by this sweet finish:





















You can comment on the game at's game page.

My payback came this weekend, as I played the Norwegian Team Championship. I represented my team OSS on the 1st board, and made 5/5 - a perfect score. Partly thanks to my good score, my team won the event!

My team at the prize giving, with yours truly holding the winner's trophy.

See my individual results and play through my games from the event.

As you get your mojo back, you leave your poor results behind you. I promise I will not think about my seven consequtive losses to Sammour-Hasbun - after all, I have bigger things on my mind: To win the Norwegian title this summer. This result certainly kick-started my confidence.

I was especially happy about my game against IM Hansen, in which I pressured him from move one, both on the board and on the clock. A queenside expansion helped me to achieve a commanding advantage, but against all odds, the game was decided on the kingside, as black's bishop suddenly got trapped.