Big think

When I play a much stronger player, somewhere between move 10 and move 20 I usually go into a Big Think. It doesn’t correspond exactly with being ‘out of book'; it’s more like we reach a level of complexity where I can’t figure out either 1) what the requirements of the position are or 2) how to meet them. So I burn 20 minutes, destroying whatever faint chance I might have had because of the resulting time pressure.

But you see, I like to think. To mull. “Let it roll around in your head for a few minutes,” as Chris Rock says.

Politics – or better put, the challenges of governing a big country with a diverse population – deserves less knee-jerk, partisan yapping and much more mulling.

The bailout evidently needed much more mulling.

The future of journalism needs a Big Think.

Note – a Big Think doesn’t preclude action. It just means your actions should be well-considered. Time pressure be damned.

4 Responses to “Big think”

  1. 1 Pete November 17, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    When I was a kid, I never got into time pressure. Hans used to chide me because I’d lose games after expending 25 of my alloted 90 minutes for 40 moves. Ironically, back then I was better at speed than regular play because I was playing speed 4-6 hours per week.

    Nowadays, most of the (infrequent) events I play are G/30 or G/60. With G/30 the game starts in time pressure. Moreover, I’m not playing at clubs at all, so now I’m much worse at speed than regular play. (And I’m cold, and my back hurts, and my vision is poor, and I need my nap…).

    Speed isn’t so great. Mulling gives a much better shot at getting closer to the Truth (whatever that might mean).

  2. 2 Derek Slater November 17, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Hans. The Giant Twinkie. Once in a DHater tourney, an expert arrived after registration closed & the pairings were up. Hans was playing me, so he offered to play the expert at the same time on an adjacent board. He beat both of us.

  3. 3 Matt P November 18, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Once I was 45 minutes late for a 40/90 SD/30* game and I won effortlessly. IM Igor Foygel told me, in his lugubrious Ukranian accent, “Is good. You don’t have time to think of bad moves.”


    * For you non-chess players, that means each player has 90 minutes to make the first 40 moves, then 30 minutes added to finish the game.

  4. 4 Derek Slater November 18, 2008 at 8:32 pm


    *More specifically it means you have 3 minutes for the first 14 moves, then 85 minutes for the next 9 moves, then 2 minutes to play 27 consecutive sucky moves before resigning.


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