The causes of blunders

May 2, 2009, 10:22 PM |

Reviewing the following game, I found (with the help of computer analysis) a huge number of blunders on both sides. Why did I have so many? Lack of familiarity with the position was certainly a factor. I also often blunder when I go into long thinks (see white's move 13 below). It is not like I hang a piece, but I end up picking a second or third rate move. Another factor contributing to blunders is tunnel vision. In this case, I failed to see my pressure on f7 from my knight on d6 and my rook on f1. When I feel I am under pressure I play defensively and fail to consider possible counterplay (see white's moves 19 and 25 below). Finally, of course, time trouble is a major factor (see my game ending blunder in my game against Norwester5 posted in an earlier blog entry). Luckily in this case, my opponent tried to hurry through the endgame to take advantage of my time trouble and ended up making a game-losing blunder himself.

So, how can I avoid such blunders in the future? I don't think there is any silver bullet, but being aware of why I miss good moves and make mediocre ones is the first step towards improvement.