Monday, March 06, 2006

Mental Toughness, Pt. II

This is what I was talking about! Vaselin Topalov, a half point out of last place after the first cycle of the Morelia-Linares Tournament, has won three straight to get into a tie for second, one point back of leader Peter Leko. Only the mentally strong are able to pull off this sort of comeback.

Interestingly, this is shaping up to be a replay of Santa Monica 1966, a tournament of similar strength and format, when Bobby Fischer suffered three straight losses at the end of the first cycle, only to come back with an amazing series of wins and pull within a half point of Boris Spassky at the end.

I'm just zero for one so far at the Reno CC Class B Ch., but there's no reason to wait until it gets any worse before starting my comeback!


Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Robert, I agree. "Mental Toughness" is the mark of really good players. Karpov avenges all his losses in so much as it is possible when the next encounter presents itself with the same opponent and has even written a book about it. "Mental Toughness" can help shake off defeat as if it meant nothing, allow one to play well after an error in judgment, and also allow the player to "bear down" in tough and or delicate positions as well as imbalances. I think this is one of the aspects that separates the World Title Candidates from the average to above average Grandmaster. Look at the World Champions Fischer, Karpov and Kasparov. If I was allowed only one word to describe them, I would describe them in this manner:

Fischer: Domination
Karpov: Accuracy
Kasparov: Intimidating

Eric Shoemaker said...

Hi Robert, good luck in game with Laroy O'Doan tomorrow. I will be watching. I'm expecting 'mental toughness' tomorrow. Double wins from Pearson and Shoemaker! See you tomorrow. Eric Shoemaker