Memorable deflection tactic and Reflection
When I first learned and started playing Chess, I had a concept called the one pawn advantage. It simply meant that I will win pawn (somehow) and proceed to mass liquidate the board and let that 1 pawn win me the game. Don't look for mates, don't look for combinations, just trade, trade, trade and queen that one extra pawn. And back then, I did win a lot of games that way.
Unfortunately, that background has somewhat stayed with me all these times. In a great tactical complication, I often look to just bail out with minimum risk free gain, rather than shoot for the maximum reward, in fear of mistakes that will backfire. Afterall, oversights are one of my biggest weakness.
However, playing this way is draining the life force out of Chess I feel like. Chess is a game. And game should be fun. Winning is fun, yes. Even in the ugliest game, if I win, I am, at least, not upset. But what's even better than winning is, winning the fun way.
I decided at the beginning of 2014 that I will always play sharp/aggressive/adventurous/energetic Chess for the time being, even at the cost of high risk of losing. This is so that I can really nurture my tactics, which is one of the foundations on which you build the rest of your Chess skills. On the internet, you should practice Chess, not practice winning.
But at some point, I fell into the the rating-trap. Not necessarily fear of losing, but wanting to avoid getting upset/mad, which is what happens when I lose. And as such, I can feel that this has influenced my playing style to more risk-free, conservative manner.
Below is a very simple tactic that won me a game today, and it affected me a lot.
Because although it's a painfully basic tactic, I realized that I really don't employ this kind of tactic in my games that much. In fact, I rarely look for possibilities of this either. My first instinct is to just trade and go to endgame (which is probably my strongest area of the 3). But this kind of checkers (he takes, I take) routine moves are robbing the game of its beauty. This tactic touched me, because I almost didn't find it. I saw a line where I can win a pawn, and I almost played it. But at the last second, I decided to see if I can get anything more. And indeed there was more to be found in the position.
This game reminded me that in Chess, beautiful gems are always there...hidden underneath...waiting to be dug out, by those who care to put in the time.
I also realized how weak I am tactically. I plan on putting myself through some tactics boot-camp, because my tactical eyes and senses are not up to snuff.
Lastly, I once again came to appreciate the beauty in Chess. Like I said, this tactic is not even some super-jaw-dropping combination or anything. But even something as little as this has inspired me that sometimes, it's worth putting your win on the line for something beautiful.
You won't remember how many games you've won.
You will remember neat combinations and tactics.