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Publisher: Chess Evolution, 2016, Pages: 256, Paperback

The current book David vs Goliath focuses on an interesting psychological topic, one which most professional players have to deal with on a regular basis when playing in Open events: games against much-weaker opponents, where any result other than a full point is nothing other than a disaster! Under which circumstances can a much-weaker player beat a far-stronger one in chess? Well, from my own experience I can say that there are many! First of all, we all play with the same pieces; a GM doesn’t have an extra almighty piece! So when a lower-rated player is playing well, suffering no time-trouble or making any other major mistakes, the game is usually pretty unclear.
From experience I can also say that not many amateur players actually believe that they can beat a Grandmaster, and of course this lack of confidence stops them from going for a full point — even when the win is very close. There are an enormous number of cases where a GM offers a draw in a completely lost position and the draw offer is actually accepted!
On the other hand, most of the wins by the clear underdog occur when the GM overextends his position, doesn’t take the opponent seriously enough or even thinks that basically “any move” is good enough to win the game. A short example on this: Let’s say I am playing in the first round of an open tournament, where it is clear that it is very important to win the first 3 rounds to at least be able to fight for the top prizes, but the position is just equal. What should I do now?
In the event that I do nothing “special”, the game will most likely end in a draw — which would ruin my whole event from the very beginning. In this type of situation it is clear that a GM has to take all and any kind of risk to destabilize the position. In most cases the GM wins at the very end — but there are cases when the amateur player finishes with a big smile and says “Thank You”.

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David vs Goliath