Game of the Week XX: Lagarde, Maxime (2638) – Kamsky, Gata (2665)

Game of the Week XX: Lagarde, Maxime (2638) - Kamsky, Gata (2665)

“Winning a won game is the hardest thing in chess” is a well-known quote by Frank Marshall. This may be why we often hear when someone angrily exits the playing hall after losing and exclaims, “I was completely winning!”

I have heard of a funny recruiting technique by a coach who would approach parents and first praise their kids, then add that they do not have enough skills to convert favorable positions. Often, the parents immediately think, “Wow, he does know my kid’s weakness, so it would be better to hire him.”

However, it is not only a weakness for kids – even strong players miss great advantages! There are several reasons why this happens:

  1. Relaxation and overconfidence: When a player gets into a winning position, especially if that player is a novice, the mind can lose control over its feelings. The player feels happy in that moment, is not paying as much attention to what the opponent is doing, and boom! They are blindsided by an unforeseen tactic and lose their advantage. Stronger players usually fight back these feelings, but are human and do not always succeed at this. 
  2. Resistance of the opponent: The opposite to the above occurs on the losing side. A player with an inferior position is sometimes like a person on a sinking ship who would hold on to anything! Resistance is especially high if the player is specialized in saving bad positions, like Kamsky.

Game of the Week is: Lagarde, Maxime vs. Kamsky, Gata

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, please click the “Share” button, and if you find any noteworthy games that you think should appear on Game of the Week, please send us a message on Chess.com. Please note that Game of the Week will cover games played from Saturday to Saturday of each week, and any games played on Sunday will go to the next week. See you next Sunday! 

Contributors:

Grandmaster Vasif Durarbayli

Edited by Della Almind

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