“But this ship can’t sink! She’s made of iron, sir, I assure you she can. And she will. It is a mathematical certainty.”-Titanic
There is a moment in every chess game where the final outcome is deemed imminent. Black or White will win. The ship will sink. The best players see it before everyone else, same as moves. That is why one of the truest tells of a good player is how quickly they resign.
“People should know when they’re conquered.”
“Would you, Quintus? Would I?”-Gladiator
One of the most humbling aspects of Chess is something I’ll call the 50/50 phenomenon. It applies to all games, theoretically – All games with good matchmaking systems, that is. But chess is a particularly elegant example given the dual nature of the game to begin with… It’s being reduced to an average player no matter your skill level. What I mean by that is, as you improve you get matched against players who have also, improved. Such a perfect system as to make you feel like you are always playing against yourself. Against your doppelganger, if you will. Unless you are Magnus Carlsen you should expect to win exactly as many times as you lose… Take a moment. Let that bomb shatter your ego to smithereens like the parliament building in V for Vendetta.
Unless you are THE BEST player. The SINGLE best player, basically, of a game played by BILLIONS of people, you will feel perfectly average. Read about the psychology of the big fish in a little pond. Gladwell wrote about it in one of his books.
This is similarly why I adore Fortnite; it’s a perfectly modern reminder we are all losers. For those unfamiliar, it’s what “the kids” are playing these days. You get dropped onto an island barren of love, and laden with guns and ammunition, where your objective is to outlast all the other players. Win or Die, essentially. The same words are inscribed on the United States Constitution, I believe.