Monday, July 29, 2013

Is prosopagnosia related to "amaurosis scacchistica"?

Prosopagnosia (which Keith Ammann taught me how to pronounce) is a fancy word for "face blindness."  This is my third day at the U.S. Open, and it's embarrassing to me to speak to a new friend for ten minutes while desperately trying to remember who that person is.  So when you come to Middleton, Wisconsin, this week to play in the Open (or just to visit), kindly reintroduce yourself as you shake my hand.  It's not you, it's me, and I'll be grateful.

Amaurosis schacchistica is Dr. Tarrasch's tongue-in-cheek term for "chess blindness."  Wikipedia's definition: "the failure of a chess player, during a chess game, to make a normally obvious good move or see a normally obvious danger."  Well, that summarizes my Round 2.  In the position below, I have a clearly winning position, and managed to lose. 

Bill Brock - Mohammedreza Hajiarbabi
White to Play
My good-natured opponent apologetically showed me the move I missed, and a couple others.

But I'm having fun nonetheless. Immediately after drafting this blog entry, International Master John Watson (whose face I recognized!) sat down next to me in the hotel coffeeshop.  We chatted about this position, Daniel Kahneman's Thinking: Fast and Slow, and ways of thinking about chess positions.

Edit: here's the game.


Anonymous said...

patzerpagnosia is when you look in the mirror after losing a winning position and fail to recognize that you are not the great player that you thought you were...............r.lang

Bill Brock said...

sad but true

Anonymous said...

but I didn't mean you Billy Babe....R Lang

Frederick Rhine said...

And how are those conditions related to xylothism?

Bill Brock said...

1.Rc7! wins (Black can give a couple checks, which are harmless).

1.Bh3!? is not a bad move.

Both 1.Bxd5?! and 1.Nxd5?! sacrifice a piece needlessly and dissipate most of White's advantage. If I'm afraid of Black's two bishops, I should be even more afraid of them when I'm a piece down.

Frederick Rhine said...

Uh, yeah. Stop playing crazy piece sacs!