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Game of the Week: Blunderfest

Game of the Week: Blunderfest

Sep 23, 2016, 10:38 AM 6

Often, it can be very easy to focus on the games where we played exceptionally well, but the truth is that not all games are so pretty. In order to truly get a good picture of your own skill, it is important to analyze all your games--even the ones that make you cringe. So for this week's analysis, I dug deep into my own archives and pulled out a game from a year and a half ago. Compared to today, I was really a horrid player, still making the most basic of mistakes, like hanging my own pieces!

The game in question was one of my first real competitive games on the site. (My rating of 1377 was grossly inflated, due to the fact that I had really only played one other member up to that point, winning most every game. In reality, my rating belonged in the 1200s.) To see how I stacked up against other chess players, I decided to join an official chess.com tournament, which at the time was a thematic, Sicilian Dragon tournament. Much to my surprise, I stunk! This game was my only win in the tournament.

As I said above, viewing games like these always makes me shudder--it's really amazing how awfully I used to play! For this game in particular, even at the time, I knew how badly I had played. I was so excited when I won, because I felt like I'd caught a lucky break! Looking at it today with fresh eyes, I see that that was true only to a certain extent: I played badly, but my opponent did too. I almost wonder if he would also cringe at this game! I'm happy to say that I have come a long way since playing this.

Well, without further ado, here is the train wreck of a game that helped to first set me on the path of improvement. I hope you enjoy it, and perhaps even learn something from it.

A quick note I feel like sharing: I can say from experience that only analyzing your best games can leave you with a false sense of confidence. Those games are your best games because you did exceptionally well; in other words, they are better than you normally play! Analyzing only these games can make you think that this is the way you normally play. In order to improve as a chess player, though, you must know your real skill level, spotting the mistakes you commonly make in order to improve upon them. Of course, you should certainly still analyze the good games, but this is why analyzing bad games is also important.

Thanks for reading today's post. Please feel free to leave a comment about the game! (Don't worry, I won't be upset if you totally roast me. )

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