Learning from Loss
Losing is no fun. But without loss, what meaning would victory have? The chess journey is like climbing a mountain. The chess climber falls many times, but also reaches incredible heights through sheer determination and resilience. After all, standing atop Mount Everest without having done the (masochistic?) hard work to get there just wouldn't quite bring the same satisfaction. That said, I'm sure there are those among us who wouldn't mind getting an air lift, taking a larger-than-life selfie at the top, then hightailing it back to the lounge for some hot cocoa. Yet shortcuts aren't allowed in chess 99.9% of the time!
But I digress. Loss determines character; when we fall, we can make excuses or we can reasses and clarify our goals, then work all the harder to achieve them. National Master Dan Heisman said, "Don't be afraid of losing, be afraid of playing a game and not learning something."
This recent game was one such "learning loss." It began with dynamic play; I threw two pawns into the fire (the ascent) to develop a strong initiative and came out on top with a comfortable edge (the vista). I then misplayed the position, allowing the advantage to fade (the slip). My opponent didn't miss his chance to generate winning chances, which he exploited to decisive effect (the fall). I now take the reader on a tour of my thought process -- both when it worked and when it didn't so much -- suggesting how the cognitive process could have been improved to win. Hopefully the reader can do the same and avoid the mistakes that I made, turning would-be losses into great victories!