Monday, July 21, 2014

Chess Clock, winning and Ethics

You are down a piece or 2 and at a decisive disadvantage. However, the time on their side has expired. You can either claim win or press on. What should you do?
To many, this question is more than a little deal. So is it okay to cash in? Is that the right thing to do? Like many answers in life it depends... On the other hand the most difficult choices are also simple at times

Why are you playing the game?

90% of the time if you know the goal of playing the game to begin with, the answer is a bit obvious. As far as I am concerned, if it is a tournament match I will claim without hesitation. Honestly I play with the confidence that losses are due to mistakes, not my ceiling. My goal is playing to win. Perhaps my opponent is a better player than me overall. However, I am apparently better at winning in the moment and that's what the tournament is designed to tell.
Many unrated games I start are for practicing specific elements in my play to improve. Even though they are indeed unrated, my goal is to focus, learn and win. The difference is that I will benefit very little by claiming a win where in tournament I am expected to overcome the situation (Most players playing to win aren't so careless). Since there is no tangible nor practical benefit to clicking a button where the situation is quite rare, I tend to play on. If my opponent however is stalling and I have proved the point I am aiming towards I will claim the victory. Perhaps I have not found the best answer and I may have walked into a trap, however that is why it is important to analyze your games anyways.

Should I not claim a win in tourney If I am trying to prove myself?

Taking the highroad in tourney does not make you a schmuck. Your goal for entering the tourney may be to prove to yourself or practice as opposed to earning the win. Again, it all comes down to knowing why you play to begin with.