It was the Tal Memorial. We all watching knew that Carlsen knew exactly what he was doing as the punchdrunk Ponomariov kept staggering to his feet to make one more awful move. It was too easy. It was SO easy.
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It was the Tal Memorial. We all watching knew that Carlsen knew exactly what he was doing as the punchdrunk Ponomariov kept staggering to his feet to make one more awful move. It was too easy. It was SO easy. Carlsen could make such a slow move in the middle of what looked like delivering a series of knockout punches?
We were all too impressed for words. The kid really knows what he is doing. And that was it. Ponomariov had a reply which would have put him right back in the game. Carlsen got back on track and won 9 moves later.
If you were a chess child of the s you would have. Kotov was the man. Think Like a Grandmaster was the book. The one we read a hundred times. It was the book that made us all feel like Russia was the place to be. And that. And, oh dear.
Arrive at the table definitely the worse for wear. Never got close. Little did she know it, but her luck was about to change. The arrogance of youth. What does it matter what I do? Any random collection of moves will be enough to win this game.
I make some random moves. And suddenly, when it is too late, I realise that the position is so closed that I have no way of breaking through, not now, not if the game is to last a hundred more moves. Sorry, I was born vulgar. We adjourn. I investigate various ways of putting myself into a losing position in order to have the possibility of a win.
I go back to the game. I have to hand it to her. She wants this half point far more than the hypothetical one point I offer her. At 2am I grimly shake her hand. Big Bertha continued to play national championships and this was her only half point ever. What a lesson!!! Fantastic lesson which I will take to my grave. Never again will I ever be over-confident. Kotov told me. But the bottom line is you have to do it. Moreover a striving after brilliance arises from a wrong attitude of mind.
I have always taken this particular advice of Kotov to heart. Early in the match I am faced with a choice. I can play a simple finesse. I can play a squeeze. The two are even money. So, what do you do? He always is. Beware, beware, beware. I hear you. No showing off against the world championships. I take the finesse. It loses. The squeeze was the way home. So now where am I? Fuck, Kotov. What are you doing to me??? I have no doubt there will be more sins to confess here.
A few days later What are blunders all about? One of the useful pieces of advice Kotov gives here, is having analysed your variations, go back to the beginning, write down your chosen move and look at it as a patzer would.
Could one apply that to bridge? Early s. I think for a long time about whether to bid a grandslam or defend the sacrifice my opponents have made at the six level. I clean forget to double. My partner starts crying. I ask my partner for aces, he responds and I think for a long time about whether to bid a slam. Eventually I decide not to We are not in our suit, we are in his blackwood response. Male partner, in a fit at the five level, comes heroically close to making. I have to explain to our teammates.
They are New Zealanders. Have you seen Once Were Warriors? Then, there is this fascinating blindspot which has never happened to me, but to several of my partners, so one assumes it is a commonplace. Late s. My partner Michael is in 3NT. One by one he calls for me to lead from the suit he is cashing. Eventually he simply forgets to call for the last one. My partner Chris, is in a slam, and he simply forgets to cash a winner which is now stranded in dummy.
One down. This shakes me up more than him, so for the last set I sit myself out and leave him in. We win the playoff. Mid s. We are not in contention, but how we play this match may well decide who gets to play in an Australian team for the Commonwealth championships.
Eventually he simply forgets to call for the last card in the suit. Our opponents get into the team. In this case, as can happen in chess too, one forgets exactly where one is up to and plays moves critically out of order. In the case of a trick being stranded in a hand which no longer has a point of contact, this is disaster!
There is an obvious simple answer in the case of running long suits. Declarer should not call for them one at a time, at least if inclined to make this terrible error. This would be music to my ears as I have become habitually nervous when declarer is running my suit in dummy. Big sigh of relief when that last one hits the deck. I recall, further, one time when I also failed to cash a long cashing suit winner in dummy.
It was like this. Important tournament: Summer Nationals in Brighton. I call for the last of a long suit in dummy, only to discover that the card has completely disappeared! It was there. There is a loser in another suit sitting in dummy instead. It transpires that my well-meaning but rather deaf partner, Joyce, has discarded one of her winners as I was drawing trumps instead of the loser I had called for.
Not exactly my fault, you might say, but I should have been checking. Never blame partner if you can blame yourself.
Books by Alexander Kotov
I clean forget to double. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? He really does a good job of quite honestly showing what it is that makes a player strong or weak. Qxd4 save him, as then Can you remember cases when this happened to you in tournament games? A word of advice: Instead and this is common to all chess players, most good moves are just immediately obvious. I think I was in a particularly obsessive phase when I was reading it, because I highlighted many parts of it and also underlined things. Grandmqster look at the other captures on h6 and g6 again.
"Think Like a Grandmaster" by Alexander Kotov