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Analyzing Chess Tournament Losses

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Everyone’s had a bad game in a tournament before. Afterwards, your friends and family all tell you to analyze the game with your opponent, and that’s good advice, right?

In a tournament with multiple games per day, it’s good not to analyze them until the tournament is finished.

Understanding your mistakes is fine, but sometimes they have a psychological impact in the next round. When you review your games, you might see what you should have done in a winning position where instead you played a bad move and blew it.

This can mess with your thinking in the next round, when you spend time regretting your previous game instead of concentrating on the present game.

For example, during the Massachusetts Open, I played against a lower-rated opponent, and after five hours of battle in a complex position, I blundered and lost. I was obviously upset, but I had to move on.

I had eaten a small breakfast and had no time for lunch, with the next round starting in 20 minutes. After a bad game, when you want to move on, it’s a good idea to walk around outside and get some fresh air, which is what I did.

The next round, I won my game quickly against a national master.

He also had suffered a terrible loss in the round before, and he kept talking about the game and analyzing with his opponent. This shows how knowing what not to do has a big impact on your performance.

Of course, everyone is different.  Understanding your emotion is very important in finding the right behavior.

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