Do Masters Slog it Out Like Me? Some musings on highly contrstained engames

Dec 27, 2013, 8:31 AM |

My good friend, who got me back into the game and hence into suffering again, and i are often surprised by the complexities of the game even when the end game appears determined.  For those of you who also suffer, this of course is a well-known fact; the game is beastly.  In one such case in our pondering, he noted that there are few things one can in fact be pretty sure of (which are in and of themselves awesome).  For example, he said, that while the determination of the outcome of game still unfinished is, well, not yet determined, that he can count on a freshly laid chicken egg becoming a chick if placed in the right temperature for the right amount of time and said hatchling will walk, peck and eat without apparent training.

I have played endgames that are highly constrained (only two king moves after a check). The game appears to be won and i can count the moves to victory. And yet, there is that one little detail (you all know what i am talking about as fellow chess players) - another player with a brain - don't you hate when that happens?

So - Do Masters Slog it Out Like Me?

In these moments of the unexpected response to my check, i wonder if the masters have it all worked out or if they slog out each move as I do.  Because when you look at a classic tactical game in retrospect, everything seems forced and determined and so peaceful for the mind of the attacker.  The aggressor appears to sit back and push a piece now and then knowing the exact sequence of moves that will take place.  I am sure in some cases there is the inevitable but I suspect in many cases there is a general board view of life (fantasy) and then there is the moment to moment of move by move play (reality).  In fact, I feel I have just come to in my mind to a proof of this at least up to a certain point – if the inevitable checkmate was lurking (certainly in a few moves), masters would lay down their king as they often do. And they do this.

The question not yet answered is, do cases occur when the attacked lays down his king prematurely?  I am sure there are but the number of cases in master games must be pretty low.  It would be an interesting piece of data to uncover if it does not already exist.  The matrix to fill out is this:  [Anyone have such data or general ideas on this?]


Defender Resigns                                     Defender Plays On

% games with inevitable checkmate         % games Defender losses

% games where draw of better possible   % games where draw

                                                                       or better occurs