Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Embarrassing End
Imagine a runner competing in a marathon. He/she has to run for 40 kilometres which take more than 4 hours. It is a huge physical and psychological effort. Physical because of the long distance and time spent in the competition. Psychological because the sportsman/woman experiences critical moments being at the limit of his/her strength. Besides that, competitors trying to overtake him/her also contribute to the stress.
Now imagine that the finish line is only 50 meters away. Our runner runs close in front of his/her chaser. 30 meters and he/she keeps the first position 1 meter ahead of his/her chaser. 20 meters before the end, the distance between both runners reduced to 80 cm. Approaching the end, 3 m before the line, our runner unluckily stumbles and finishes in the second position. What an embarrassing situation!
Chess players feel similar embarrassment when they lose winning games. After struggling for playing the best moves and fighting to obtain an advantage, one moment of relaxation is enough to spoil the game.
That is what Vishy Anand for sure felt in today’s game. He played a brilliant attacking game, with a piece sacrifice beginning in move 12.
Actually, in the critical moment, his position was not dominant, but with the accurate move, he could draw the game. Instead, he lost.
Bobby Fischer once stated that “Chess demands total concentration”. This quote perfectly applies to this game.
Another aspect of chess is the objective assessment of positions. Probably Anand wrongly assumed that his position was dominant and could even win the game.
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