The Resignation - A Preservation of Dignity
Prior to this game, I didn't fully understand the tendency for professional chess games to end, not by checkmate, but by resignation. The game I played with Gene on April 31, 2011 at the Babylon Public Library was a loss from the beginning. Caught up in his tempo of the opening I blundered and lost a knight. Throughout the course of the game I put up a good fight, but was unable to recover. I made two huge mistakes.
1. I lost the knight
2. I continued to trade though I was down in material.
(...3. I'm sure you'll see other reasons, so please include some post-mortem evaluation in your comments)
Toward the end, his pawns were approaching promotion and I knew the end was near. I resigned.
I felt a sense of resolve and esteem in that resignation. It was the first time I resigned during an in-person match. Though, as a beginner, I often misinterpreted the resignation as simply a lack of perseverance and hope. But what I have come to realize is that the resignation is the tactful, peaceful, and resolute end to this war.
When you are losing don’t undermine your dignity by desperately clinging to a pipe-dream. Holding onto the chance of your opponent making a ridiculous blunder or mental blip at the end of the game does not express a character of perseverance, but a lack of stock in one's own skill to actually win the game—and it’s just annoying.
I would argue that any waste of time in what you can rationally agree is a no-win situation will lead to deplete one's dignity and esteem. Our inherent value is intrinsically linked to how we spend our time. Our time is the currency of our worth. How we "spend" our time is the true testament of what we love, who we love, our values and commitments. When you calculate and rank how you spend your time, you will get an itemized list of your true priorities; and not what you "intend" to do. When we think we are left with nothing, we have our breath, our life, and our life is measured in time.
Know when to resign. Shake your opponent’s hand and wish him well. Your time will be better spent playing a new game. Whatever you do . . . don’t lament about how you “should have won.” You should not have won because you didn’t! Just commit to a better game the next time. #