This is the theme of the FIDE World Championship Chess Match this year. For those of you that are sleeping in on this fine Saturday morning, Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi just drew their 7th game of their 14 game match. The game drew on repetitious moves, which Magnus claimed after move 41. However that is not the story, the news flash is that these two woke up to play this morning in Dubai after a record 8+ hour game. Effectively, Magnus gained an advantage in pawns, and traded off his queen for compensation of these pawns and used that to slowly pressure a win. Magnus is a 2855 rated chess player. To put that in perspective, some of the great names that you might of heard of in the past did not have ratings that high even at their highest point. The famous Garry Kasparov achieved a rating of 2851 back in 1999.
At any rate, watching the long death match from yesterday what was interesting is the very end. When Nepo finally resigned on move 136, they immediately began talking. Nepo says something to the effect of what about this coordinate? What if Knight e5 instead. This refers back to a pivotal moment in the game many moves back. They both instantly know and understand what each other is talking about. No reference required, no setup of the board, no intro of “remember on that one move where I had a choice between moving the knight here or there? No none of that, they both knew the moment in question. Two absolutely brilliant minds locked in a struggle for 8 hours.
So the theme is that you are your best moves, but I wonder if that is really true? Nepo and Carlsen are not their best moves, they are a culmination of thousands and thousands of hours of game time, move analysis and practice. Makes you realize what the commitment is to become really good at something.