I would call this the mental strength round. All our players are playing opponents of around equal strength. That means this is the most psychological round so far. You see there is less pressure when you play someone much higher than you. You are expected to lose. There is also less pressure when you play someone much weaker than you. They do not have the technical ability to pressure you.
But when you meet your peers, that is high pressure indeed. Either side can win. Our top players competing for honours know that. The pressure increases exponentially in the last 2 rounds when you have a chance for championship, when you have the chance to make the team. When you are in the band of your peers. That is why a culture of pakat draw is so damaging to our National players. You can pakat here. But when you meet your other peers overseas, you will not have the mental strength/training of those that refuse to pakat.
Our IM's have simply forgotten what that is all about. Back doors do that. Among the juniors we have been encouraging them over the last 2 years that pakat draws is bad for their chess. And now you know why our juniors will overtake our IM's soon. But only if selection remains. And if we don't put it back in, you will see this type of results again. Can perform when there is less pressure ie against super GM's and very weak opponents. But crash against their peers.
And furthermore it now seems the Captaincy has been usurped. Ref: Here. The Captain is the conductor that must have the respect of the players. I said Jimmy doesn't have it. He breaks down too easily. Too many imagined fears and still living in 1986. That is so obvious but our decision maker had no clue. And now the decision maker that made that lousy decision wants to take over the helm. This is really cartoon and the players will all get confused. Now which one of the 2 that do not know how to make decisions are they going to follow? Command changes hands in the middle of the war. There is no game plan and there is little trust between the team members.
What do you think Captain Greg? If you cannot think before you make decisions here, what makes you think you will do any better there?