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Question of the day
Sunday, 21 December 2008


Many chess players usually suffer from defeats or overall tournament failures. I think, one should stand defeats philosophically, because it is impossible to win all the time and be among the winners. But on the other hand, if you prepare comprehensively for the competition and aim at struggle, then there will be more successes than failures, or, moreover, you will have no defeats in the tournament. As for me, I easily stand failures, defeats, and I try not to get stuck on it. I consider such an attitude to failures as one of my fortes. I prefer not to think too much and about my victory or draw in the lately played game, and not to revolve in my head some separate moments of it. More...


Teimour RADJABOV: - I also try to treat losses philosophically. Failure is one of the three possible results in the game, and from time to time it happens anyway, no matter what the player wants. But no defeats are alike, there are losses which you feel very bad about and it is very difficult to switch from them. For example, yesterday I lost to Ernesto Inarkiev because of the blunder under the time trouble, though throughout the game I had a clear advantage. I regretted the outcome very much, so I cannot give any advice about the way to overcome such offensive failures, as far as I cannot master my emotions, I feel very bad in such situations. I would prefer to lose the game due to the opponent’s flawless performance, but not to experience such a disappointing loss when you have done everything to win, but a single incomprehensible blunder in the time trouble ruins everything..


Rustam KASIMZHANOV: - A defeat is the most upsetting, I would even say, the ugliest thing for a player, at least, for a professional chess-player. I even think that grandmasters are happy not to face frequent life stresses comparable to a defeat in a significant and important game. After the upsetting loss one needs time to recover not only morally and psychologically but physically as well. It happens this way to me actually. I cannot offer any ready recipe for feeling better after a loss.


Peter LEKO: -
Like any sportsman I don’t like losing. This year I held the traditional commercial 8-game match in Miskolc, Hungary. Magnus Carlsen, the 4th in the world ranking, was my opponent this time. Unfortunately I lost the match without a single victory. The game was a utter frustration: I missed a number of opportunities and made awful blunders. Certainly I was very much upset about a defeat and my poor performance. This was, I remind, an unofficial match of no sport importance. I recovered from it only after the victory in the traditional Dortmund Super Tournament.


Evgeny ALEKSEEV: - I try to forget the defeat as fast as possible and concentrate on the coming game. Some times I cannot do it however. Yesterday I lost to Grischuk, for example, today once again I was defeated by Cheparinov. I don’t know how I will overcome this failure but of course I’ll try to compose myself and aim at struggle in the coming game. One should fight until the very end.


Ernesto INARKIEV: - Of course failures occur in my tournament practice. I cannot say anything new on the point: you should toil at the preparation, theory, analyze a lot in order not to lose but to win. The basis of  success is nothing else but elaborate and comprehensive theoretical preparation.     


Shakhriyar MAMEDYAROV: - Speaking about defeats in the tournament and not just some losses in some games, I should say I am not satisfied with my performance in ten tournaments out of the last eleven I participated in. Still I believe that very soon there will be victories. Such is the life of a professional chess-player.


Defeat is an ordinary phenomenon. Everyone can lose a game, and you shouldn’t take failures too close to heart as life goes on. Any defeat can teach us a lesson and not only in chess. You should of course make a comprehensive analysis of the lost game to find the cause, but preferably not in the course of the tournament. You just have no time for this, you got to prepare for the coming game. Yesterday I lost to Eljanov, but today I managed to rally my thoughts and defeated Alekseev.


Etienne BACROT: - Defeats do not put me out that much. Even after a most unpleasant loss I come to the next game as if nothing had happened. You should treat chess as a game but not as a cutthroat battle.


After any failure, whether it is a defeat or an offensive draw, I try not to pay attention to it and am thinking about my coming game. In case I fail my last game … my thoughts switch to the following tournament. It is the only way for me to overcome the unpleasant consequences of sport failures.


Pavel ELJANOV: -
Yesterday I played the longest record game in my tournament career. It lasted no less than 7,5 hours! Though it ended with my victory it’s been a stress for me because the resistance was very stiff. After the game I had a sound sleep and got up only at 11 a.m. I haven’t even had lunch before today’s game because I spent the rest of the time preparing for the coming game and analyzing my opponent’s opening variations. I recommend a sound sleep, ideally 10 hours, especially after a defeat to get rid of unpleasant thoughts. During such enduring and tiresome tournaments sound sleep is especially useful. Furthermore this tournament has a strict rule that forbids the players to offer a draw. Many games drag on for long and blunders and disappointing breakdowns take place. After failures you shouldn’t give up, just pull yourself together and recover fully to do your best the next game..


Vladimir AKOPIAN: -
Losses and defeats are a part of a professional chess player’s life just like upheavals and victories. Of course I‘d like to have fewer defeats. For me losing a game or an overall tournament failure is not a tragedy. But there are chess-players who are extremely hurt by failures and take it too close to heart. I have on quite a few occasions seen players who were totally down-spirited after a loss. Every sport and every game means defeat for one of the parties. Someone succeeds and someone fails. It’s normal and we have to take it philosophically.


Wang YUE: - Life is life, chess is chess. OK. I lost. So what?







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