Sunday, March 16, 2008

Saratoga Open

It's Sunday morning, and I have to play in about 25 minutes. I find myself in a very strange and unfamiliar position. I'm number one on the wall chart, and after 3 rounds I still find myself sitting at board 1 with a 3-0 score. I can't say I'm suddenly playing brilliant chess. In fact I was losing every single game at some point. The brilliance comes in the form of mental attitude. The two posts that I wrote about Thursday's meltdown allowed me to articulate what goes through my mind at times. They helped me realize exactly what I do to myself emotionally and mentally.

Saturday I made the decision that regardless of what was happening over the board, I was not going to let my mind defeat me. If I was going to lose it was going to be because my opponent finished me off over the board. The first round was crucial because I was playing a 1400 who just had a crushing attack. My mind was going "Here we go again. I should have played in the open section." Then I said to myself "Stop thinking like that. Look at the damn position and try to find something." I spent a lot of time really thinking stuff out, and finally decided I would sac a pawn and try to get my pieces on better squares.

At the end of my Tae Kwon Do class we have closing ritual that the master leads us through. It goes like this:

Winners never quit.

Quitters never win.

I'm not a quitter.

I'm a winner.

So as I'm playing every time I felt like I was ready to roll over and play dead I would repeat this to myself. I really felt it helped. Later I will post some positions and one of the games. Wish me luck today. My first opponent this morning is the other 3-0.


Anonymous said...

It's good to hear you are doing so well. You at least have one more person who wants you to go 4-0.

When I did martial arts, we also had a mantra to chant at the end which went like this:

I'm not totally incompetent.

My skills are somewhat adequate.

Don't take too many risks.

Needless to say, we weren't the most feared squad come tournament time.

wang said...

Congratulations Polly! I thought you had kind of a downer attitude lately. I know it's easy to have, I've gotten it alot myself lately, but you have to work through it. Remember your opponents aren't that good either, they are human and suffer from the same insecurities as we do.

Annie said...'s liquideggproduct's bday March 24th. it would be cool if we all posted a nice cheery happy bday on that day. :)