This round roughly encapsulates the gist of the talk I had with the boys at FGM's SEA games training. Our players are capable of immense feats of brilliance. For me this shows talent and latent potential. I have seen many of our top players beat very strong players only to lose to someone much weaker than them. Plus one, minus one still equals zero. And until we can find a way to stop that, we cannot begin the journey into strategy. Too many hits and misses. This same phenomena also explains why our IM's cannot make even one GM run. And that has been the focus of FGM's investigation. Why this happens and how can we stop it?
I suggest that the answer is found in our chess culture. We need tough training and tough selection. We need to set high but achievable goals and we need honest postmortems. The back doors have weakened us tremendously. Consider what the difference could have been if we had a tough selection for the Olympiad? If we had just made 2 simple changes even at the last minute. Nicholas Chan instead of Jimmy. Eng Chiam instead of Li Tian. Would the results be different?
Would there be a stronger team spirit if there had been selection? Would that have counted when the pressure mounts? Knowing that you have team mates who deserves to be there. Team mates you can count on and trust. Really that is the only way to set a National goal. If there is doubt, individual players will go for individual glory for they will have no confidence in the team goal. And worse if there is no confidence in the leadership.
Jimmy cannot be the Captain. Jimmy is breaking down all over the place. You can see that in his writing. Just go to his blog. You saw that at Datmo rapid. He is simply propped up by people with hidden agendas as the deal maker for the players.
It's really that simple. We have the talent but we do not have the culture. A suggestion to Mok and Yee Weng. Get out from under the influence of Jimmy and the GM in you will find room for expression. It's a decision only you can make. Insist on selection. Face your fears here before you go into that pressure cooker. Mental strength.
Never make excuses. Face reality. Look at it hard in the eye and you will shine.
Having said all that you guys will need to regroup now. What I said above is water under the bridge. What you need to do now is to still try to get the best result with what you have. That will also help to develop your mental strength. Fight back. All my best for the rest of the tournament.