Learning to Laugh at your Worst Chess Mistakes

Chess is a demanding game. For many of us, the game represents a never-ending sequence of challenges. We grow fixated on losses, obsessing over every imperfection in our play, agonizing about the missed opportunities and how we destroyed our rating. In this way, we hold ourselves to unrealistic, if not humanly impossible, expectations. Give yourself a break. Relax and enjoy your chess games. Be proud of your brilliances and learn to laugh at your blunders rather than beating yourself up for not being perfect.

As an example of this philosophy, I present an absolutely atrocious move I made in a recent game that resulted in my own chuckling amusement.

I was black and had a mate in 1.
But instead of playin Qd8 checkmate, I moved my rook from h8-e8.
My opponent replies with Bh3+ which uncovers a rook threat onto my queen.
My king steps out of check.
And my opponent gladly plays Rxa8.

So I missed a mate-in-1 directly leading to the loss of my queen. However, I likely enjoyed the moment more than my opponent!? Why? Because erroring in such a dramatic fashion is worth a good chuckle or two. Just remember to laugh at your mistake and not at yourself and you will be on the path to a lifetime of enjoying chess to it’s fullest.

And if you didn’t find that as amusing as I did, here is a riddle about the knight.:

Riddle: Which knight invented King Arthur’s Round Table?

Answer: Sir Cumference.

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

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