Waitzkin and Silman: 2 different accounts of the same game

mattattack99

In the above game, both sides missed the hanging rook on h1. In one of his chess videos, Josh Waitzkin said that after white played 38. Qf2??, he was so absorbed calculating the rook endgame after 38...Qxf2 39. Kxf2 that he never resurfaced, so he missed that the rook was hanging. That seems logical enough; even titled players have temporary moments of blindness.

Today I was reading through How to Reasses Your Chess 4th Edition. In the chapter "Psychological Meanderings" Silman included this game. Apparently, Silman was kibitzing this game in the rafters above the playing hall. Anyway, when discussing the position after 38. Qf2??, Silman claimed that Waitzkin did notice the hanging piece, but didn't take it because Waitzkin thought there must be some refutation that he couldn't find.

What do you think actually happened? I'm more inclined to believe Waitzkin because he was the one playing the game, and because Silman could use this example in his book if it happened the way he told it.

napoleon123456

after qxr white is totally lost. chess blindness?

napoleon123456

its not really a position where it needs thinking about. the rook needs taking. it can only be chess blindness which happens to everybody at some time even world champions and gms like waitzkin.

Loomis

Silman's reasoning is silly. After 38. Qf2? Qxh1 not only is there no refutation, but the white queen is lost as well! Black threatens Rg2 pinning the queen. White has no moves that adequately defend the threat.

If, as Silman claims, Waitzkin considered the move Qxh1 and thought there was a refutation, what possible continuation could he be considering? White only has a handful of moves and they all lose instantly. There is no way Waitzkin considers Qxh1 and fails the remaining calculation.

Waitzkin's account, on the other hand, is believable. As soon as he saw Qf2 he immediately envisioned the position after Qxf2 Kxf2. Therefore he never saw the move Qxh1.

mattattack99
Loomis wrote:

Silman's reasoning is silly. After 38. Qf2? Qxh1 not only is there no refutation, but the white queen is lost as well! Black threatens Rg2 pinning the queen. White has no moves that adequately defend the threat.

If, as Silman claims, Waitzkin considered the move Qxh1 and thought there was a refutation, what possible continuation could he be considering? White only has a handful of moves and they all lose instantly. There is no way Waitzkin considers Qxh1 and fails the remaining calculation.

Waitzkin's account, on the other hand, is believable. As soon as he saw Qf2 he immediately envisioned the position after Qxf2 Kxf2. Therefore he never saw the move Qxh1.


Right. One thing both men agreed upon was that Waitzkin spent a lot of his clock on that move. There is no way he doesn't figure out he is winning unless he didn't notice the rook period.

mattattack99
Firepower8 wrote:

The world must be a place of cruel sick bastards if they critisize a person for the few mistakes they make, instead of the many people they have helped >:(


Calm down. No one is criticizing anyone.

Arctor

How does Silman know what was going on in Waitzkin's head...?

mattattack99

Well he doesn't, so I think what Waitzkin said was accurate.

Campione

Unless you have a different version of that book than me, Silman said no such thing...

mattattack99
Campione wrote:

Unless you have a different version of that book than me, Silman said no such thing...


Yes he did.

mattattack99
paulgottlieb wrote:

I think Silman was there, either as a coach or second


He was a coach

gcprocel

very funny, and interesting though

AndyClifton

Are you sure Silman wasn't joking?  That's what it sounds like to me...

novelman
Campione wrote:

Unless you have a different version of that book than me, Silman said no such thing...


 Yes, Campione, thanks for clarifying this point. You are exactly right. The original poster has completely misread Silman's account. In fact, Silman describes the lapse as just the sort of chess blindness Waitzkin is describing. The two are in perfect agreement as to what happened. Silman uses the moment as an example of getting locked into an idea (the rook is guarded by the queen, so I can't take it) and holding onto that idea even after the position has slightly changed (the queen has moved, so now the rook is hanging). Furthermore, other posters have rightly pointed out that Silman's role here was more than "kibbitzer." He was indeed a coach. I've heard way too much unfair criticism of Silman in various posts on this site. At least let's keep the facts straight.

Bubatz

The story is on page 165 of the 4th edition. It's about the topic "mutual delusions" - which really do happen, especially with unsound sacrifices. I'd say that in the end it's not that important whether said game is an instance of this phenomenon - in the book, Silman gets the point across quite nicely.  

Campione
mattattack99 wrote:
Campione wrote:

Unless you have a different version of that book than me, Silman said no such thing...


Yes he did.


He really doesn't. With respect, I think you've misinterpreted it. I read it again before I posted just to make sure. He described it just as you describe Waitzkin describing it.

mattattack99

Maybe I did misinterpret what Silman said. However, he said this was a good example of falling into the mental state of "I can't", which he goes on to say is when one side gives into the other side's plans or moves.

mattattack99
RoseQueen1985 wrote:

I saw this topic a while back,and I was going to comment on how OP totally misread the book,but I didn't because I was just too tired of pointing someone in the right direction for the millionth time that day. Thanks guys for correcting him for me.


lol, The intelligent are so burdened by society.

Conflagration_Planet

What hidden refutation could there be with so few pieces on the board? Doesn't make sense to me.

mattattack99
woodshover wrote:

What hidden refutation could there be with so few pieces on the board? Doesn't make sense to me.


Well, me neither. That's why I posted this.