Have you ever played a chess game where you resigned, and then when analysing with your opponent you find out that you had a draw or even a win? How painful was it for you? How frustrated were you when you knew that you resigned a game which you hardly could have lost? You need not be too hard on yourself for this, because this happens even for top grandmasters and some of the best chess players in the world!
Today we are going to learn about this with the help of some examples. We’ll understand why this happens.
Vladimir Kramnik vs Peter Svidler – 2004
Svidler is down a pawn, and he ‘decided’ that there’s nothing left for him in this game as he resigned in this position. Do you think he is right? Take a look at the resources that Black has – opposite-colored bishops, pawns locked in the kingside. What do you think?
Deep Blue vs Garry Kasparov – 1997
White is attacking Black’s queen and his bishop on d6. Kasparov has to do something about it. But he resigned. Do you think he had any little chance against the computer? Do you think Black can hold this position?
Anish Giri vs Samuel Shankland – 2019
Shankland resigned here because his knight is trapped on h3 by White’s king and bishop. He failed to think a bit more to see if he can hold the position. We can see that White has a doubled pawn – does that mean Black can fight for a draw here?
After calculating all possible variations, you can find the beautiful video analysis of this games by Manuel Ocantos. From this video lesson you will learn why it is so important not to resign/give up too early!
Conclusions – don’t resign too early!
1) Analyze your games where you resigned prematurely and to find the reasons that cause that For instance,
- Is it a lack of ending knowledge?
- Is it a tactical error?
- Is it a misevaluation of a position?
- Is there more than one reason for this? If so, which?
2) Important: DO NOT RESIGN TOO EARLY if you don’t see a CLEAR and EASY win for your opponent, no matter how strong your opponent is or how confident he looks from the outside (his body language) looks like. Respecting your opponent too much could be harmful.