How to lose at chess - Part 1: tactics

Mar 23, 2014, 5:32 AM |

Here I'm taking a look at some of the reasons why I end up losing games. The first instalment is, to the surprise of nobody, tactics. In most of these positions there are of course all sorts of positional things to pay attention to, and in some of them I had an advantage, and in others I was probably hopelessly lost anyway. But that's for part 2. First I'm going to deal with short strings of moves where I lose material, throw away advantages, walk into checkmate etc. One of the reasons this seems to happen is that I am not thinking about move orders - I sometimes just assume an opponent will immediately recapture a piece, and miss a different and more forcing variation. In response, I've recently decided to pay for the pleasure of unlimited use of the tactics trainer.

Below are some particularly egregious cases which haven't featured in previous blog entries (e.g. from crushing to crushed in one fell swoop, missing checkmate (twice) and opening myself up to perpetual check, and a series of horrible mistakes in my disastrous moves.)

All examples are from online chess, 2 or 3 days per move.