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Chess is a game of wits; every single move a person makes goes a long way in determining the match’s outcome. To win, a player needs to constantly think ahead of the opponent. However, there will be occasions when you see players committing errors during the play of the match.

In chess terminology, errors are usually categorised under two specifically designated terms – ‘chess mistakes’ and ‘chess blunders.’ The common questions at this point are, number one, ‘What is a blunder in chess?’, and number two, ‘What is a mistake in chess?’

Then one may wonder how a chess blunder is different from a chess mistake.

What is a Blunder in Chess?

In simple terms, a chess blunder is a grave move. It is called a ‘blunder’ since the ill-timed move can lead to the loss of the match. Blunders mainly occur when the player faces an overwhelming situation and loses the focus needed to make a sound move. At times, a blunder could also take place if a player is overconfident and careless.

In chess jargon, a blunder is denoted by the symbol ‘??’, a double question mark. Players committing blunders immediately lose out on a good position and give away solid ground to their opponent. An example of a chess blunder would be when a player makes a move that immediately gives away a strong position that could have led to a sure victory.

What Is A Chess Mistake?

Now that we have dealt with the question, ‘What is a blunder in chess?’, it is time to turn our attention toward a chess mistake.

Chess mistakes are the common mistakes every chess player makes during a game, and these are the substandard moves that we see players committing frequently. A chess mistake will see a player lose a bit of momentum and hold over the game.

A common chess mistake occurs when a player attacks the opponent without first developing the pieces. A chess mistake is depicted on the screen using a single question mark – ‘?’. These symbols are in place to help readers to follow a game of chess. Chess has a set of notations that commentators rely on to explain a match.

Chess Blunders Versus Chess Mistakes

Chess blunders and mistakes can be detrimental to a game of chess. But the two affect the game to different degrees.Even though chess mistakes are undoubtedly a cause for concern to players, they are still seen as situations from which players can recover. 

Newbies in chess make many mistakes when they begin learning the game. However, when an experienced player commits the same error expected from a fresher, it is seen as a blunder. At the end of the day, blunders can completely change a chess game’s course, whereas mistakes can alter the course of a match only for a while.

How Do You Stop A Blunder In Chess?

Now that you have a decent idea of what is a blunder in chess let us talk about how you can try and avoid it while playing. One of the sharpest tactics that you can use is the ‘visualisation technique’. This means you need to picture your next move on the board and think of all the possibilities that it could bring forth.

Keep assessing the moves that your opponents make. You never know what threat may be lurking behind a benevolent-looking move that your competitor has played. Finally, do a last-second check before going forward with your move. During many instances, you may lose focus for a moment and forget about an enemy piece standing somewhere waiting for an unprecedented blunder from you.

Do Chess Grandmasters Make Blunders?

All chess players are human beings, even if they are grandmasters or world champions. The world’s top players keep making blunders in their game.

In a famous game between former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov and Christiansen, Karpov committed a blunder by playing his bishop in a precarious position. Christiansen immediately seized the moment and made a sharp move with his queen. The result was that Karpov understood that the game was lost and accepted his defeat. He resigned from the game, even without bothering to finish the match.

So, now that you know ‘what is a blunder in chess’, it is time for you to apply the knowledge you have gained here in your play. The next time you commit any of these errors, keep your calm and think of a way out of them. You never know; maybe your opponent could miss out on taking advantage of your wrong moves!

Remember that blunders and mistakes are part and parcel of chess, and it is only through these experiences that you can become a better chess player.