Sometimes it's O.K. to be Angry

May 19, 2011, 10:08 AM 5,280 Reads 25 Comments

[previous round]

Despite my professed goal of not getting upset after losing, there's a way I sometimes get upset that I won't correct. That's when I think my opponent has played "wrong" moves, and my position should be great, but I'm not able to find the variations that match my intuitive evaluation. Then when I lose that game, in which I would have liked to "teach my opponent a lesson," I am very upset! The truth has been obscured by my own bad play! My opponent will carry on his day to day life, without realizing the errors of his ways! The horror! The horror!

I am not going to try to stop being upset in these situations, because to me a very important dimension of chess is as a battle of ideas. I am largely interested in chess because I want to discuss ideas. I love playing a game against an opponent who believes a certain position is good for them, while I think it is good for me. Or similarly to play them again and again and again in that position, e.g. have a heated analysis session, trying to get to the truth. I have produced a lot of my best chess from the passion this dimension of the game awakens in me. And so, I was upset after this round 7 game, and I won't apologize or try to change that.

Overall this was a piece of a very fun and productive event. There are always going to be disappointments as well as achievements in any endeavor. That the endeavor is difficult enough to include errors and disappointments is part of what makes it interesting to begin with. So, here we are, one of my "learning experiences" from this event:

And that's that. I haven't studied my games for a while, but if I ever do study a game of mine, it will probably be this one!

This same round something very difficult happened for Kayden: he lost abysmally, hanging a piece and then a queen in the opening. He needed 2/3 to get a norm, which seemed quite doable, but after this debacle he needed 2/2 on the final day, when he'd be playing IM Taylor and the strongest player in the tournament: Yankovsky. Meanwhile, Yankovsky only needed another 1 point out of 2 on the final day to make his norm.


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