Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Touched-Piece Blunder

Chess is a game that requires much concentration and less impulsiveness. Young players love blitz and bullet games but in classic chess they make the mistake of playing too quick.

I have a friend who uses to say to young players: “Seat on your hands!” In classic chess, you don’t need to hurry in playing your moves because players have plenty of time. when playing classic chess, I always repeat that advice to myself.

However, not always is possible to seat on your hands because towards the end of the game players usually run short of time. That is what happened to Karpov in his famous touched-piece blunder.

In the Chess Olympiad in Chennai (India, 2022) the teams from USA and Armenia met in round 7. After three finished games, the score was 1,5-1,5. Only the game Samuel Shankland (USA) vs GM Robert Hovhannisyan (Armenia) was still playing. A draw would be enough for winning the match and the team USA taking the lead in the competition.

Shankland was suffering a difficult game but at some point he managed to equalize reaching the following position after 86 moves and 6 hours of play:

Shankland forgot to “seat on his hands” in an important moment of the match and not only lost his game, but also did not give his team the chance to take the lead

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