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  1. 20 Jul '06 10:26
    "One good move doesn't save a bad game.
    One bad move can ruin a good game."
    - Fabian Fnas

    Usually one says that the rating reflects how good you are in playing chess. But I'm not so sure about that anymore.

    When do I win?
    Very often when my opponent have blundered. Not so often when I have played well.
    When do I lose?
    Very often when I myself have blundered in certain moves.

    I can have a pretty good position and *wham*, there I go, not remembering that my Knight was en prise or something. Losing a game that I was sure of winning eventually.

    I have a rating around 1550. But is that how good I am?
    No, it doesn't. It just show how often I discover others blunders and how seldom I do mine own.

    If I just get rid of my blunders, I'm sure that I can rise myself another 100 points in relative short period of time, right?
    And if I only discover my opponents blunders before I make my own move, I can rise my rating even more.

    So by this method I can rise my rating not even to be a more skilled player but just learn to identify the blunders of my own and opponents. I don't even have to play better chess, not a bit...

    Forget about open diagonals, bad and good bishops, sound territorial maneuvering and such silly things. The most important is to discover blunders.

    Any comments, anyone?
  2. 20 Jul '06 10:35 / 2 edits
    I was very impressed with the following piece from Grigory Sanakoev's "World Champion at the Third Attempt" - the 12th World Correspondence Champion (ICCF) (1985-1992)

    "I am convinced a chess-player's attitude to his own mistakes can serve as a guage of his strengths and his prospects.
    The weak player tries to forget his mistakes as quickly as possible and is soon committing fresh ones which may be even cruder. The strong player treats his mistakes with an attentiveness that borders on love. They become the object of prolonged painstaking analysis; he constantly remembers them , but looks for ways to avoid meeting them again. Sensing his attitude, they migrate to the games of other players."
  3. Standard member wormwood
    If Theres Hell Below
    20 Jul '06 11:14 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    If I just get rid of my blunders, I'm sure that I can rise myself another 100 points in relative short period of time, right?
    that's exactly what happened to me. I started systematically blunder-checking on every single move all my pieces against being en prise, forks, double attacks and 1-move mates, and lo! I didn't lose a single one of the next 30 games. my rating jumped from 1550 to high 1600's (there was a couple of previously lost games hindering the rise, dropped pieces against 1300's and 1400's). the change in strength happened overnight.

    I don't do it anymore, and have started to drop pieces again. not nearly as often as before, but maybe once in every 10 games. but I still win most of my games. although my rating hasn't risen anymore, it's pretty conclusive what blunder-checking did for my performance: in the on-going april 1600-1699 tournament my score is 8 wins 4 losses so far, and the last 4 games are going pretty well (only 1 is undecided, others I'm winning). in two I dropped a piece, in one made a pointless sac, and one won game I just pissed away little by little (that disturbs me the most). I would've won at least 2 of those if I hadn't blundered the game away with elementary one-move oversights. would've won the group too, but now red house is taking it unless he loses one of his three games, and he won't. so there still is room to be more careful.

    but now there's the new challenge: - what to do when your opponent doesn't drop material? I'm figuring that out now, and I guess it's the thing that separates 1600's from 1700+, just like dropping pieces separated 1500's from 1600's...
  4. 20 Jul '06 11:19
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    "One good move doesn't save a bad game.
    One bad move can ruin a good game."
    - Fabian Fnas

    Usually one says that the rating reflects how good you are in playing chess. But I'm not so sure about that anymore.

    When do I win?
    Very often when my opponent have blundered. Not so often when I have played well.
    When do I lose?
    Very often when I myse ...[text shortened]... d such silly things. The most important is to discover blunders.

    Any comments, anyone?
    “Chess is a fairy tale of 1001 blunders” -Savielly Tartakower
    “The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake” -Savielly Tartakower

    Making blunders and spotting your opponents blunders is an essential part of your strength.
  5. 20 Jul '06 18:15
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    [bUsually one says that the rating reflects how good you are in playing chess. But I'm not so sure about that anymore.
    I think you have some interesting points. Ratings, according Prof. Elo, reflect results, not ability. Case in point: In my 30 or so games here, I haven’t played anybody over 1600 so even a 78% win record here gives me a 1550 rating. A 70% percent with the postal organization I play for gives me 2000+, and on another server 2100+. Years ago when I played OTB I got to 2095, but moved to another city and my rating dropped into the 1800’s. I didn’t get worse, just had worse results because of the large pool of strong players in the new city. In a tournament, and chess in general, of course, better players have better results. Google Claude Bloodgood for an amusing illustration of this point.

    I eliminated gross blunders by doing a scan of ranks, files and diagonals after my opponent moves and before I move. This eliminated all those dropped pieces, etc. It also avoids fixating on one section of the board where you are operating to the exclusion of the rest of it. I just try to avoid serious tactical errors and wait for an opponent mistake…it’s boring chess, but it wins more often than it loses.
  6. 20 Jul '06 20:25
    Originally posted by FabianFnas

    I have a rating around 1550. But is that how good I am?
    No, it doesn't. It just show how often I discover others blunders and how seldom I do mine own.
    What is good then, if not the ability to punish blunders and avoid making them yourself?
  7. 20 Jul '06 20:30
    Originally posted by zebano
    What is good then, if not the ability to punish blunders and avoid making them yourself?
    Right, of course, but it dosn't say anything about my skill in chess - other than my ability to discover then blunders of my opponents.
    I would rather play good chess myself, and be finding the good moves that bring home my game without any blunders. But, yes, that's a part of playing chess too.
  8. 20 Jul '06 20:41 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    "One good move doesn't save a bad game.
    One bad move can ruin a good game."
    - Fabian Fnas

    Usually one says that the rating reflects how good you are in playing chess. But I'm not so sure about that anymore.

    When do I win?
    Very often when my opponent have blundered. Not so often when I have played well.
    When do I lose?
    Very often when I myse d such silly things. The most important is to discover blunders.

    Any comments, anyone?
    this is true up until GM level only the definition of a blunder changes.
    i consider being forked skewered or any other two move combo to be a blunder if i didn't see it even if i only lose a pawn. If this comes after a forcing exchange its still a blunder, once i get to 4 or 5 moves ahead i can forgive myself a pawn or even an exchange but not a piece. If i lose my queen in a tactical combo its always a blunder no matter how many moves. And i only rate myself an 1800-2000 a GM would see a positional error as a blunder.

    Thats not to say i don't make the blunders in this miniature i got so involved in my positional play i forgot to protect my queen.
    Game 2167295
  9. 20 Jul '06 20:56 / 1 edit
    It's a question of what we mean with "blunder". It's a word which indicates it's something you could have stopped if you only looked. A mistake, in other words.

    I think that might be a way to excuse yourself. The point is, you didn't "see" it, so it wasn't a blunder. You either didn't bother looking at your opponents's moves - or you actually didn't notice the possibility of a threat. I think the best way to deal with it is to stop excusing yourself for doing these "mistakes". It's a part of your inability. (The alternative is that you didn't look for those moves, which is isn't excusable either) With that being said, I keep on "blundering" myself. But I know that when I "blunder", it's because I was too lazy not to look at enemy moves. Otherwise, it was really my own inability.

    But yes, you have a point. One can probably have a good positional understanding or "skill" and still lose because you don't pay attention to tactical threats etc. So, chess "skill" is twofold.. to receive and to process.
  10. 22 Jul '06 05:43
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    "One good move doesn't save a bad game.
    One bad move can ruin a good game."
    - Fabian Fnas
    I've heard that: It's not he who makes the most mistakes, but he who makes the last mistake loses.
  11. 23 Jul '06 07:09
    Chess is not about whoever plays the lesser of the bad wins, but the person who plays the best moves win. A chess game is hardly ever perfect; just about every move your opponent makes leaves some space behind. In analysis of my own games I have found that the reason I made a blunder was because I did not stop and think “what is his threat?” “And what is his plan?” I just played though my plan as if he could not move. Against weaker opponents this does not cause much harm, but when you play a strong player they will always be coming up with new plans as the situation changes. I played a tournament (OTB) where in the first round I achieved a winning position against a strong master, but I ended up losing the game. I made a thoughtless move that allowed him to have mate in 3. This is why prophylaxis is so very important in chess.
  12. Standard member Dragon Fire
    Lord of all beasts
    23 Jul '06 09:43 / 2 edits
    Couldn't agree more.

    At least 50% of my games are decided by blunders, often a couple of pawns, sometimes a piece, sometimes even more.

    Often this happens after playing a series of brilliant moves, toyally out playing my opponent.

    The only consolation is it works in my favour as often as not and I have at least 2 on-going games that I am now winning despite being on the verge of resigning at one time. I was three pawns down in a hopeless position in the one and a potential N & Ps down in the other.

    So if I am only a piece down against a lower rated opponent it is better to play on making those moves (that may not be technically best) that give his the greatest chance of blundering.

    Game 2142039 I played d4 in error at move 3. I was looking up another KG game in my book checking that d4 was the correct move but opened the wrong game and made the move in haste. g2 at move 5 would have secured my immediate resignation but he played QXe4+ and slowly allowed me back into the game.

    Game 2167396 Still ongoing but almost over now but after looking at the current position go back to move 31 and prior and my R is trapped on a1 by a N on b1. Neither are going anywhere and black can win the N at any time. Of course he doesn't need to as he can win without taking it but taking it is the easy way. Some moves later he allowed a cheapo N move releasing my R onto his and threatening a K - R fork if he took. I soon win material - game over. The only reason I had not resigned this game was because I was waiting for his p1200 rating to go up a bit before doing so.
  13. 25 Jul '06 14:24
    Wouldn't you say that any inferior move is a blunder?

    For example, a game that Kasparov loses is always when he has blundered, but on a very deep level.
  14. 25 Jul '06 14:29
    Originally posted by lausey
    Wouldn't you say that any inferior move is a blunder?

    For example, a game that Kasparov loses is always when he has blundered, but on a very deep level.
    No a blunder loses a pieces, any other wrong move is a mistake.
  15. 25 Jul '06 14:30
    Originally posted by Xpofer
    No a blunder loses a pieces, any other wrong move is a mistake.
    what if it takes 3 moves to lose the piece?