The secret [of playing decisive games] is simple: you must conduct the game as though it were of precisely no importance, but at the same time instill in each move all of your internal energy, concentrate extremely hard, and attempt to foresee anything unexpected. – Lev Polugaevsky, Grandmaster Preparation
Il n’existe pas de grand talent sans une grande volonté. – Honoré de Balzac
After a few minor-major real-life crises over the past few weeks, I’ve been off my feed, so to speak, lately, playing clumsily and absently.
Last night I attempted to put into practice Polugaevsky’s advice (and Balzac’s!) and aimed for a decisive game. Well … I didn’t play clumsily and absently, but I played woodenly.
Part of the problem may be that I was working harder on the second part of Polu’s advice, to the neglect of the first part, ascribing too much importance to the game. I should have played something lighter and enjoyed the game more, instead of treating the opening oh so seriously.
My best games have almost always been my most fun games, one where I was able to muster a playful spirit, precisely what is missing in the following opus.