Thanks for the explanation, and sorry about the colourful language( now edited out). You touched a raw nerve, that was all.
Let me tell you a story: I was a late developer in chess - still an IM in 1995 at the age of 33. Players are expected to peak in their 20s or 30s. I don't fit that mould, but instead have been fortunate enough to continue to get stronger. On two, possibly three occasions I believe that I should have been selected to represent England in Olympiads and things like that. I never was. Not once.
With the wonderful introduction of 50+ chess came an unexpected opportunity to put this to rights in some sense. I had already represented England on first board in the 2014 World Senior Team Championship, leading us to a silver medal with my score of 6/8, but the competition lacked strength in it's inaugural year.
But then, last February, I got the chance to play alongside those who were like heroes to me during the early stages of my climb up the chess ladder. In 1989 Nigel Short, Jon Speelman and John Nunn were ranked 3,5 and 9 in the World! Here was my chance to show that I had progressed sufficiently to belong in their company. My credentials were good. I had finished Joint first in the World Senior Championship a couple of months earlier and was the current European Senior Champion. At the age of 53 I had performed at not far off 2600 all year, gaining about 100 ELO points in doing so.
But then something very strange happened. I froze. I just couldn't think or analyse at all. I mean ok I won my first 2 games, including somewhat luckily v GM Espig, but then in this crucial match v Slovakia, with my illustrious team-mates having already drawn, I played like an imbecile and threw away a completely won position. That one result put the Gold medal we coveted out of range. With a further loss against GM Tishbierek of Germany and a final personal tally of just 4.5/8 I registered my worst result for years, and in the event that mattered to me the most. In retrospect I guess it mattered too much to me. I tried too hard.
Afterwards, Jon Speelman gave me some great advice: 'Don't worry, just make moves and let your talent do the rest' or words to that effect. He also wrote a very nice piece in his Independent column about having me as a team-mate.
Anyway,16 months went by until there I was, last week, facing Slovakia again, and my team-mates- bless them, gave me the chance to redeem myself. Three draws with just my game left. I felt like Stuart Pearce stepping forward to take his penalty kick for England against Spain in the Euro '96 quarter finals, having missed in the World cup semi- final against Germany. Like Pearce I succeeded and a big weight fell off my shoulders. After that I relaxed, played my normal game and cruised to 6/7. I proved I could be relied on and that the Feb 2015 episode was just one of those things.