Chess

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The Independent Culture
TAXONOMIES of blunders have been attempted from time to time by chess trainers and psychologists, presumably in the hope that categorising the reasons behind blunders will help players avoid them. In practice, however, it seems to be no help at all.

All such lists include the Blunder Due To Relaxation, where a player has surmounted the major difficulties of the game, then makes a crass error which throws everything away, and the Intermezzo-Missing Blunder, caused by missing an intermediary move, for example not moving a threatened piece, or not making an immediate recapture. But even if they had also included the Blunder Caused by Underestimating Little Girls Wielding Knights, the human propensity for error would still lead to such mistakes as cost Lev Psakhis his game against Judit Polgar in the Reshevsky Memorial tournament in New York last month.

After accepting Black's pawn sacrifice and defending superbly against her threats (22. Nd4] is particularly fine), White was a sound pawn ahead. Under no pressure, he threw the game away with 28. e5? expecting f5 or fxe5, missing the interruption of 28 . . . Na3]

Here are the full moves, with Psakhis playing White:

----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 d4 Nf6 22 Nd4 Nxd4 2 c4 g6 23 Bxd4 bxc4 3 Nc3 Bg7 24 bxc4 Nb2 4 e4 d6 25 Bxa7 Nxc4 5 f3 0-0 26 Rb1 Kg7 6 Be3 c5 27 Bd4+ f6 7 dxc5 dxc5 28 e5 Na3 8 Qxd8 Rxd8 29 exf6+ Kf7 9 Bxc5 Nc6 30 Rb3 Nb5+ 10 Ba3 e6 31 Rxb5 Bxb5 11 Rd1 Rxd1+ 32 Be5 Rd3+ 12 Kxd1 b6 33 Kb4 Bd7 13 Kc2 Ba6 34 a4 Rd2 14 b3 Nd7 35 Be4 Ra2 15 Nge2 Rd8 36 a5 Ra4+ 16 g3 Bxc3 37 Kc5 Rxe4 17 Kxc3 Nde5 38 a6 Re2 18 f4 Ng4 39 a7 Rc2+ 19 Bg2 Nf2 40 Kb6 Bc6 20 Rg1 b5 White resigns 21 Bc5 Nd3 -----------------------------------------------------------------

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