Chess taught me not to keep failing.

May 24, 2019

There are three types of screw-ups in chess: inaccuracies, mistakes, and blunders. An inaccuracy is a move that was okay but wasn’t the best choice. A mistake is a bad move, but it doesn’t mean you’re completely losing. A blunder is a horrible move that loses the game immediately.

Often, I make small mistakes or inaccuracies in chess, and then I get flustered and make more mistakes. Sometimes I even self-sabotage and resign the game, even though I still have a chance to win. I see my opponents do the same; they lose a pawn and immediately think the game is over. It isn’t.

Watch Fabiano Caruana, one of the best chess players in the world, as he plays online. He makes mistakes but never gets flustered. He keeps playing and wins. 

The best players don’t care that they made a mistake on the last move—they care only about avoiding mistakes on the next move.