“I no longer have any fear of pain because I’m the one inflicting it and can decide when it stops.”
It is rather easy to spot mistakes played by others while you are watching their games. Their level matters for sure; however, many a time you can see that in GM level games. Things get interesting when the games are played online; just watch the chat and see how many so called experts are out there questioning the move choices they see in comparison with the engines suggestions. I am not talking about that kind of mistakes spotting. I am talking about comparing your choices with the ones you see being played.
The following play is from round 3 of our rapid chess tournament. On paper White is stronger and should have won the game. Still he has a history of playing superficial or simply bad when you least expect it. Let’s see how the game went on at the beginning of the middle game:
White should be winning without much trouble. That outcome would make the game ordinary, another one decided after unforced bad play on one side. If you are not one of the players involved, neither there was an interesting tactics deployed, the game will never be looked at again. This is not what happened in the game. There is a lesson to learn from it, so let’s continue analysing it:
The lesson here is don’t be cute when a simple, straight forward win is possible. You might say: “… but this is just a club game. It is for bragging rights. I can have my fun…“. True enough! Still I suggest you be careful. We can play tens/ hundreds of rapid games online daily. Having fun is a trap you can fall into and this could creep in all your games. Along the same line is another advice: do not consider the free engine analysis that many servers offer as your main or only tool to annotate your games. I doubt the engine analysis shown below helps either player.