I had to travel out of town this past weekend and decided to play in the Virginia Open . This was my worst tournament in quite a while but like all of life’s setbacks it is rich with lessons. I am going to start with my third game because it demonstrates how emotional factors can cloud our judgment during play, leading to incorrect assessments. I was playing against an opponent whose rating appeared to be much lower than mine. Of course this was completely misleading since he had a great tournament, but that didn’t stop me from thinking that I was ahead the entire game! Fritz, a computer engine, proved my hubris. I’m going to provide the full text and a few positions where white can safely tuck away a draw and live to fight another day. Can you find the drawing lines? Some positions cannot in fact be won no matter how many risks we take. In fact, by trying too hard to win to and ‘prove’ our rating we end up with nothing!
The fourth diagram is interesting. How do you evaluate this king and pawn endgame? Do you see my plan? Even in this admittedly hopeless situation I am confident in the position’s resources.