In order to play good chess you need to be rational at each and every moment of a game. A slight compromise can cause a lot of damage. What I mean by this will become clear with the following examples and discussion:
This is my game against GM Thipsay Praveen M. During the game I was comfortable until move 29. On move 30 I played …c4 and realised that now his rook will be active on the ‘b’ file and that puts pressure on me, even though it was not bad move. I then lost the game in the next five moves.
After the tournament, while analysing my games, I came to the conclusion that if he was not GM, I wouldn’t have made the mistakes I did. It happens with most chess players that rather playing the positions we are people! Here I was playing against a much higher rated player but similar things can happen when you are playing much lower rated player, consequently underestimating his strength.
Here is the example in whichI was playing a lower rated player. I could have won with a6 but rejected this idea because during last few moves he had created some play on king-side. The main reason for losing this game was that I had responded to the threats which I should not.
The lesson to be learned is to be rational and play the positions rather than the person sitting opposite you. On each and every move the position changes and you should play it rationally. Don’t be influenced by an opponent’s rating or play.