December 18, 2010

Hou Yifan vs Koneru Humpy

Round 5 Match 1:


Picture taken from the official website



While watching the games from the World Women Chess Championship live on internet, I've got interested in the game analyzed below, between Hou Yifan and Koneru Humpy. We even commented it on facebook with Anish Giri and Parimarjan Negi:) It's always exciting to follow such games, where the stress, pressure and the stake might give a completely different turn to a chess game.
Many times in such situations, the winner is not the one who is stronger chesswise, but the one who handles stress better, the one who makes less mistakes, the one who is psychologically tougher.


A critical moment in the game occured in the following position:


Black to move
Can Black save the game?


The answer is given in the analysis below; it was not the only moment when Humpy could have given the match a different turn (to view the lines, click on the moves):


Of course, sitting comfortably at home, without anything to lose, it's much easier to be objective. It's much easier to analyse from outside of the system than from inside, because we get the whole picture.
Wondering if the chinese federation has a psychologist to help players perform better...I cannot overlook the fact that all the chinese players (and you can even see that they dominate the WWCC!) look very stable and balanced on the outside. You cannot read any emotions on their faces, you have no clue what they are thinking about! That doesn't mean they are robots, definitely not! For sure the stress for them is even higher due to higher expectations. But they manage to keep their emotions under control, showing on the outside only determination and a winner attitude.
We can learn a lot from them, especially how to take our loses less tragically. They probably understood that: "Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success." - Napoleon Hill

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