Bad, Bad Blunders!

So unlike my other posts, this post won’t spend so much time describing metaphorical connections between life and chess, but take a connection and simply run with it.  I don’t think I am even positive where I’m going…I guess we’ll just have to find out when we get there!

One bad move nullifies forty good ones.  –  I.A. Horowitz

In chess, one detrimental move can have significant repercussions.  Even if you’ve been playing excellently until this point, one poor choice will leave an everlasting impact.  Your position may improve, and you may even regain the advantage, but that one move and the poor effects that comes with the move will leave an imprint on the game.  (To avoid chess mistakes check out this link describing a book by Larry Evans)

This aspect of the game happens in life all the time.  We all make mistakes at some point and sometimes it is extremely difficult to recover from them.  It’s amazing how one decision can drastically change the course of one’s life.  Sometimes, the mistake’s effects can be permanent and it can be hard to overcome them.  Despite the mistake, however, there can  be opportunities to make things better again. 

Confidence is very important – even pretending to be confident. If you make a mistake but do not let your opponent see what you are thinking then he may overlook the mistake.  –  Viswanathan Anand

This is VERY true in chess.  Chess can be like bluffing in poker in this sense.  I can make a terrible mistake, and my heart will start pounding so loud I feel like my opponent can hear it.  One slight unusual movement of the body however can signal to the opponent that I made a mistake. If your opponent senses any sense of insecurity, the opponent will focus even harder to look for that devasting blow.  So despite my racing heartbeat and the added energy I have due to nervousness, I need to remain calm and look not only indifferent, but confident.  I should act like my mistake was the best move I could have made and that there is no move to properly refute it. 

How does this relate to life at all?  Vulnerability.  I feel that some people do their best to make themselves invulnerable to things (seemingly at least).  People make mistakes everyday, but sometimes we pretend that these mistakes are nonexistent and act as if nothing happened.  I think it’d be better to embrace these mistakes and use them to learn from.