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.