It’s just a flesh wound!

When you can’t avoid checkmate or you can’t find a reasonable move, it may be time to consider resigning. Many beginners and even improving players will play on all the way to checkmate even when there is nothing they can do. Maybe it’s because that is the way they have been taught? Maybe it’s because they are praying for a miracle? Maybe it is because they hope their opponent will make a massive mistake? Maybe it’s because they think they will learn something from being checkmated?

It doesn’t happen that often in over the board games played under slow play conditions, but I’ve found talented juniors doing it, which surprised me. I can’t help thinking this never-resign attitude reflects a misunderstanding about the chess. What does it say about your chess skills if you don’t know when you’re hopelessly lost? Isn’t it better to preserve some energy for the next game, or some constructive post-mortem analysis you might learn something from?

The Black Knight in this amusing video clip remained ridiculously over-confident throughout the fight.

Angus James