A “Good Enough” Loss

By Carl Danner

Sometimes it can be an achievement to get close to a top player, or someone rated much higher than you. A close loss can also demonstrate that you can compete at a higher level to which you aspire. At the same time, players sometimes make the mistake of mentally celebrating such a “victory” while a match is still underway, and the outcome theoretically in doubt.

I say “theoretically” in doubt because an opponent’s victory is usually assured once his challenger accepts a close loss as sufficient. The underdog’s fate may further be sealed by the fact that high-level players often come on strong at the end of a tight match, and can be defeated only by a similar show of strength from an opponent.

Here’s a way to stay focused when you may be tempted to accept a close loss as good enough. You already have in hand whatever credibility you seek by your performance up to that point. But, that credibility having been gained, you also have a real chance to win the match by pushing yourself hard at the end and attacking. Why not have a run at that opportunity? After all, it doesn’t come around every day.