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Luck in Chess

How many percent do you think luck affects in chess? Do you consider yourself as a lucky player or not?

Abhi yadav

Abhi yadav 1 week ago

I am never lucky in anything. I won every game by super efforts. No one gave me free points. On the other hand I lost my all games by blunders. So, I have no luck.

David Flynn

David Flynn 1 week ago

Chess is a game of some luck. I think because there is no 'inside' random element such as a die or what cards you are dealt, it's misunderstood as a game where luck doesn't figure (those that play poker will note that while bad cards are not something that can be controlled and ultimately could undo the best player, a fair part of the game is how those cards are played - a bad hand on its own isn't a problem if you can convince your opponents to fold).

Because playing perfect chess is beyond the human mind, and for at least sub-super GM is often more complicated that our skill level allows us to work out, there is a luck element.
Take a sharp position that neither side really know what's going on - one of two things might happen:
My opponent makes an error and I see it - and v/v
My opponent makes an error and I don't see it - and v/v

If I'd calculated some other line (when both lines looked appealing and there wasn't time to calculate both) and this means I would have/would not have seen the error, then there is luck/bad luck that I chose that line to calculate.

Another luck example is the opponent plays an opening I've been studying or falls into my pre-game analysis so I get a good position.

I do subscribe to the make your own luck point of view, but that is about being successful over many events (critical moment where the right/wrong decision factors highly) not just the one. The chance of success in any one particular event could be down to you, but it's a game of numbers (the better you are, the better prepared you are, the better state of mind you are in, the more events you'll succeed in overall and the better you'll play).

I think 40% of luck. Do I consider myself lucky? never :(
We're all lucky, but sometimes we notice it, sometimes not. It depends on where is our attention. 
David Flynn

David Flynn 1 day ago

Good point, I'd not thought of it that way.

Your own outlook (and mental health) can affect whether you think you have luck. Five good things happen, one bad thing happens (nothing too serious), do you see yourself lucky or unlucky?