26 August 2006

Capablanca is 'outplayed'

What's the worst way to lose a chess game? A blunder? A terrible blunder, like hanging your Queen?? In my opinion, the worst way to lose a game is to be outplayed.

In his notes to the game with Janowsky from San Sebastian 1911, Capablanca commented after his 13th move,

In this game I was for the first time in my life to have the feeling of being completely outplayed by my opponent; time after time up to my 23rd move, I would figure out some reply of my adversary only to find out immediately that I was wrong, and that some other move that he had made was superior to the one I had thought best.

That is an excellent definition of 'outplayed' : to find out time after time that some other move of your adversary is superior to the one you thought best.

Why is it the worst way to lose? Because it means that there is something about chess you don't understand, something that your opponent understood, but which you didn't. You don't even know what it is that you don't understand.

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