Practical Decision - Making - Part 1
GM Boris Chatalbashev
Every move in every game is a decision time - we make a choice according to our strength, understanding and preferences. But quite often the decision is determined by various psychological factors. It certainly affects our game, for example, if we play only for a win or consider a possible draw as a decent result. Or if we become afraid of opponent's attack. Or even in better positions - we might not go for a favourable ending, deciding that it is a draw anyway or not trusting enough our technique. How top do players deal with such situations? Well, generally if they feel a certain move to be the best one - they make it no matter what. But in many positions there is no absolutely best move - the engines might evaluate even 4 or 5 moves the same. In such situations, a good GM tries to understand which is the best practical decision, which moves poses most problems (both chess-like and psychological) . And it is a universal approach - one should try to make it tough for the opponent in every position - better, equal, worse or even lost.
Sometimes a player might favour such a practical decision, even in cases when he realises that a certain move is objectively suspicious. So there is some risk involved, but he hopes it might pay off.
In this article, however, I shall deal only with cases when the players find the best practical chances, make everything possible to confuse the opponent - but their moves are correct, they have just taken the best practical decisions! And even not being the 1st or 2nd choice of the computer, their moves are absolutely best when playing a human.