This story is dedicated to Lim Zhuo Ren, who told me at NAG that my writing is sometimes too complicated. Thank you Zhuo Ren for your gift of the 2 books and the inspiring words inside for both Mark and me.
Story ( Part true, part fiction )
In walks the dream girls. A team of 4. All very pretty. Accompanying them are 4 GM's, one for each. There is a team meeting just before the game and they do it in plain sight. The girls are all in uniform, with manicured fingers.
They sit down opposite you and before the game starts, each is given a back and shoulder massage by their 4 personal masseur. Then the tournament director starts the tournament, the first move is made and the clock is pressed.
Now reality starts. The rest was just an illusion. What matters now is whether you know how to play chess or not. What matters now was the team that supported you before the game. The depth and intensity of your training. Your mental strength. In hollywood, post Star Wars, the earlier going ons is called the Jedi mind trick. And we know it only works on the weak minded.
When the clock is pressed you face the essence. For if you are the better player you will win. It doesnt matter if you are wearing Ipoh round collar tea shirt ventilated by many holes and coloured by spilled Ipoh white coffee in strategic spots and with splashing of this morning's egg breakfast. It also doesnt matter if you fart during play. Or it shouldn't. :)
The only thing that matters now, is you, the opponent, the board and the clock (together with your training). Everything else is irrelevant. It never was a factor. The only thing that matters now is that you can play chess.