Learning to draw

Recently I realized that I lose many chess games only because I’m desperately trying to win.

“Isn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t one always try to win?” you might ask. Well, yes, of course you should. But many chess games reach a state where winning is not possible anymore, but getting a draw is a very reasonable outcome. However, if winning is driving your thought process, you may miss good moves and strategies that achieve a draw.

Magnus Carlsen, after round 8 of the recent tournament against Anand, where he won the world championship title, said: “I didn’t particularly mind a draw, as was evident from my play. ”

“Learning to draw” is something we have to get used to. We typically get introduced to this notion when we learn about “state mate” and how to look for such opportunities in an endgame.

I find that it’s typically not our natural tendency to look for a draw. It requires focus and practice. So spend some time in your chess studies, and learn how to draw.