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  1. 08 Jun '11 17:25
    Game 8262351

    This was an exciting game and a lucky win for me!
    I beat a higher rated opp after a battle that saw both of us make mistakes.
    Early on I had to find a plan, white(me) to move:



    i thought i better trade the bishop on f5 for my knight so I played Nh4?! without seeing that the knigt is en prise. I was shocked to see my opp take the knigt until i saw that the knight on b6 was now unprotected.
    LUCK #1

    A few moves later my opp sac'ed a bishop in this position



    19...Bxh3?! and now he can make an easy draw because my king cannot escape queen checks on h3 and g3. Fortunately for me my opp played decided to play for a win: 20.gxh3 Qxh3+ 21.Kg1 Qxe3+ ?
    LUCK #2

    I was able to stop his attack and start one of my own.

    After 34 moves we reached this position, black to move



    My opp decided to play 34...Qc8??
    LUCK #3
    Now g7 square is insufficiently defended, allowing me the decisive 35.Bxg6!

    I won in 42 moves.
    Don't say that chess is not about luck also!
  2. 08 Jun '11 18:02
    No sure about the existence of luck, but we all make mistakes 😉
  3. 08 Jun '11 18:02 / 3 edits
    The better you are at chess, the less you rely on luck. We find moves, but sometimes we do not see the ramifications of our moves beyond the immediate obvious reason for the move. Sometimes we make really good moves when what makes the move really good isn't what we were intending to do.

    Of course one of the best ways to get luck is when our opponents make horrible moves! Recently one of my opponents got really lucky, while it just goes to show why I shouldn't make moves without seriously looking at the board.

    I know Greenpawn, check to make sure the move isn't a blunder before you hit send. I really hate the feeling of "did I really just do that" when it is too late. It really sucks when you open the game back up and you realize, yes I did just do that.
  4. 08 Jun '11 19:21
    Hey,

    enjoyed your post and thanks for taking time to post the diagrams. Allows a bit of understanding 🙂

    by the way, you nicely lined out what the nature of 'luck' is. for a gm or similar those moments become more rare, because he and his opponent just make 'blunderous' moves less often. so luck is something unexpected to happen, and even more pleasant, if some 'bad luck' happened just before.

    T.
  5. 08 Jun '11 19:25
    Originally posted by watchyourbackrank
    until i saw that the knight on b6 was now unprotected. LUCK #1

    If we call such things "luck" then what does that mean for positional play? It is no accident that you moved your bishop to e3 rather than leaving it on c1. Sure, at that point you could only justify it positionally with something like "to make my bishop more active" and not something concrete such as capturing the knight. But when a more active piece happens to have some useful moves, that is a deliberate consequence of setting it up earlier. The common saying "tactics flow from a superior position" is not a reflection of "luck" but the reason we play positionally.

    Fortunately for me my opp played decided to play for a win... LUCK #2

    That is not luck - he made a conscious decision to play for the win. When an opponent makes a mistake, it is a reflection of their ability.

    My opp decided to play 34...Qc8?? LUCK #3

    Again, he simply wasn't good enough to play a better move. If you really believe in luck for #2 and #3, imagine him analysing the game afterwards from an improvement point of view and commenting such moves with nothing more than "I was unlucky"! That is simply not true. Instead, he has to put it down to e.g. poor calculation; lack of concentration; wrong evaluation; etc.
  6. 08 Jun '11 19:36
    When an opponent makes a mistake, it is a reflection of their ability.



    I'd say that it is also a reflection of being human. We are not machines. We make blunders. We aren't always careful.

    If the mistake is not simply a blunder, then the mistake is a reflection of a present understanding of chess and present board vision.
  7. 08 Jun '11 19:37
    Originally posted by Varenka
    [b]until i saw that the knight on b6 was now unprotected. LUCK #1

    If we call such things "luck" then what does that mean for positional play? It is no accident that you moved your bishop to e3 rather than leaving it on c1. Sure, at that point you could only justify it positionally with something like "to make my bishop more active" and not somethin ...[text shortened]... o put it down to e.g. poor calculation; lack of concentration; wrong evaluation; etc.[/b]
    however, luck seems to be defined by the subject, what is 'luck' for one is not 'luck' for another.

    in the end, luck is just a relatively improbable follow-up of certain things happening. when one likes such an incident, it is called luck, in the opposite case is called 'bad luck'...
  8. 08 Jun '11 22:36
    V is right, you cannot say a player making good moves and putting
    his pieces on good squares is lucky just because off a combination.

    Nor can you say a player who is making bad moves is unlucky.
    At the endof the day a blunder is down to bad play.

    However (I'm sure we have had this discussion before)
    luck/chance plays it part in chess like it does in all games.

    Look at the game from the last blog.

    jvecchio - gafford RHP 2007. Black to play.


    Black has mate on in one. 31...Qxf1 mate.
    Instead he played 31...Bxf1 allowing 32.Qe5 mate.

    Black was not unlucky. He blundered, the mate was there, he missed it.

    However White, who could not prevent 31...Qxf1 mate had to hope
    that by chance his opponent missed it. It was either that or resign.

    Bad play by White to get into that postion in the first place but all he could
    do was hope his opponent missed it, there was a chance he might miss it.
    Chance = Luck. White was lucky.

    What other word can you use but Luck.
  9. 08 Jun '11 23:26
    Bad luck is mine at chesstempo today. I went from almost 1900 to about 1760... I keep missing simple queen forks.
  10. 08 Jun '11 23:31
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    However White, who could not prevent 31...Qxf1 mate had to hope
    that by chance his opponent missed it. It was either that or resign.

    Bad play by White to get into that postion in the first place but all he could
    do was hope his opponent missed it, there was a chance he might miss it.
    Chance = Luck. White was lucky.
    You post a position with a mate in 1 and you say the opponent is "lucky" if the mate isn't played. Ok, what about missing a forced mate in 2, I guess the opponent is lucky there too. So, how about forced mate in 3, 4, 5,... at what point would you stop calling it "luck"?
  11. 09 Jun '11 00:14 / 2 edits
    Hi V

    ...at what point would you stop calling it "luck"?

    I'll stop at mate in one.

    White was lucky Black missed it. There was sod all he could about it
    but hope he missed it.

    What one word would you use to describe what happened.

    (Have you never seen a good move for you opponent and hoped he would not see it.?)
  12. 09 Jun '11 00:27
    Originally posted by greenpawn34


    What one word would you use to describe what happened.

    (Have you never seen a good move for you opponent and hoped he would not see it.?)[/b]
    White was lucky Black missed it. There was sod all he could about it
    but hope he missed it.


    But that can apply to mate in 2, 3, 4, ... too. I don't see why mate in 1 is lucky and the rest aren't.

    What one word would you use to describe what happened.

    "Ability" or "lackofability". 😉

    (Have you never seen a good move for you opponent and hoped he would not see it.?)

    Yes, and if they don't play it, I think that they are not playing well and nothing to do with luck. Because that's what determines if they play it or not.... if they are good enough on that move to find it.
  13. 09 Jun '11 00:31 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Varenka
    [b]White was lucky Black missed it. There was sod all he could about it
    but hope he missed it.


    But that can apply to mate in 2, 3, 4, ... too. I don't see why mate in 1 is lucky and the rest aren't.

    What one word would you use to describe what happened.

    "Ability" or "lackofability". 😉

    determines if they play it or not.... if they are good enough on that move to find it[/b]
    With your logic we might as well strike the word luck from the dictionary.

    I think what determines luck is not the mate in one... it's if your opponent overlooks a move that a person of his/her rating would see over half the time. The more obvious the move they miss the luckier you were.
  14. 09 Jun '11 00:40 / 2 edits
    Hi V.

    You asked where I draw the line. Mate in one will suffice.

    White was lucky Black missed it.
    What else can you say?

    Luck/Chance call it what you will plays it's part in Chess.
    All good players realsie that, it's a word banded about everywhere
    when they are being honest in a chess notation.

    Everything is not cut and dried and down to a pure science,
    thank god for that else we will all be resigning after we have made our
    first blunder. It's still just a game.

    And if you don't believe in luck in chess why don't you wish your
    opponents "Good Luck" before the start of a game.
    If you think luck has no part in the game what harm will it do?

    EDIT:

    Posted by you in March 2006: (I found it by luck) 😉

    "It's a very minor point, but I never say "good luck" to my opponent. To be
    honest, I don't want them to be lucky so I don't pretend that I do. :-) I will
    say "good game", etc. and shake hands. "
  15. 09 Jun '11 00:46
    Originally posted by tomtom232
    With your logic we might as well strike the word luck from the dictionary.

    Not at all, I accept that there is luck relating to things beyond our control. For example, I cannot roll a dice and control the outcome. But chess is deterministic; the limiting factor is our ability.

    I think what determines luck is not the mate in one... it's if your opponent overlooks a move that a person of his/her rating would see over half the time. The more obvious the move they miss the luckier you were.

    So, a strong player is entitled to play a game of chess without making any effort and if his lower rated player wins, then it was due to "luck"? When a strong player plays badly, then that's exactly what it is.