I'm glad we chose Datmo. More from circumstance than planning. We have spent this morning grading our performance and weapons. Which ones worked? At what level? Which weapons will we keep? Which ones do we discard or modify? Which ones worked or can work in classical and which ones will only work in rapid? Etc. etc.
Datmo was perfect for this. So I consider Datmo as a learning tournament. We had 2 days where only one game was played and two off days. This was important for us for we came to the tournament with 4 new and untested openings. And the tournament gave us the breathing space to do repairs as we went along.
So after grading ourselves today we will submit the rest of our games to our GM trainer for an independent evaluation. Our aim is to prepare for National Junior. So I am curious how our GM will grade us and for us to see if we are closer to the mark or still far off.
However we did have a pleasant surprise. At the last round of Datmo, we faced IM Yee Weng. If Mark had won he would have been best Malaysian. So we did our best. I like to think we presented some difficulties to Yee Weng. I think we surprised him at the opening but that wasnt enough. Our evaluation is we lacked the depth of preparation to beat some one of his strength and depth of understanding. But it was a good testing all the same.
We hit the ceiling but were not good enough to punch through. Yee Weng was also kind enough to show Mark where he had gone wrong. To me he gave us an invaluable lesson and that is the mark of a gracious winner and a true sportsman.
An aside: Yee Weng and Sumant are our representatives for SEA games and they played in the open. Mas Hafizul played in the US. Irrespective of the results of these tournaments they now have a good indication of where their strengths and weaknesses are. If they use the lessons well, they can make a come back for SEA games. But to me this at least show that they are still in the fight.
Ratings mean nothing. You are not going to intimidate anyone at SEA games with your manufactured ratings. The fighters will just view you as a fat cow to slaughter. Mark played 2 unrated National Masters from Indonesia at the Open. Ratings didnt mean a thing to them.
If you are ready for the fight, you will have the chance of taking someone 300 points higher etc. If you are not ready, you will just bomb. We also saw this at Datmo.
Yes I am talking about Jimmy who played at veterans. This doesnt seem right. To me he has checked out. And at SEA games he will not be prepared. This is my personal opinion. I guess his performance at SEA games will be the acid test. Maybe he has a deeper strategy, so lets see.
For the other SEA games athletes/warriors, I hope you will do a good postmortem from your tournaments and come back stronger. So long as you fight there is a chance. And it's not over till the fat lady sings. I hope you will do Malaysia proud. All that can be asked for is that you do your personal best. My best wishes in your endeavour.