I didn’t expect myself to be here. It’s the day of the selection of the 2022 HangZhou Asian Games Hong Kong representatives. I’ve never been to such a luxurious and formal arena before. There were these dazzling lights on the ceiling, shining down onto our chess boards. I was beyond scared, but I tried my best to take it as an opportunity to learn more than an opportunity to lose. Besides, it is luck, in a way, that got me here. Before the finals there were the heats. I really wanted to get into the finals, partially because I was expected to do so by some, including myself, and I also wanted to grasp the chance of playing matches face-to-face after so long of being forced to play matches in front of the computer. But more importantly, I wanted to prove myself, since these two years of the pandemic I’ve been studying hard on my own, and especially the two or three months before the competition I was taking extra classes just to prepare well for it. The stakes weren’t low. 64 players were divided into two groups. The upper half of each group gets to compete in the finals, and after doing some simple calculation I got to the conclusion that I had to win three out of five matches in order to get into the finals. The day of the heat finally came. I slept surprisingly well the night before and had an advantage, since the arena wasn’t far from my home, and I could rest longer. It looked as if I was a lock to be in the finals. That was until I lost the first two matches. The first match I was up against a strong opponent who eventually got first runner-up in the whole competition. It was reasonable how I lost. But then in the second match I faced one of my friends. At first, I didn’t think much since he hasn’t beaten me without handicap before. However, that was the sign of me underestimating the opponent. When we were playing the final moves of the endgame, I counted the points on each side and figured I wasn’t winning. That scared me, but I believed I was still leading by a little bit. When we were counting at last, the result was clear: I lost by half a point. That devastated me. Not only did I lose by such a small margin, It also meant that I had to win all the matches after lunch, and judging by how I did under pressure in the past, I didn’t like my odds. By that point I had really given up the thought of getting into the finals, and it was logically a small chance too. But perhaps that was the best thing that could happen to me – I didn’t put pressure myself to win the last few matches since I had barely a chance to do so, and I was able to put aside my thoughts of winning and focus on doing the best I could. I didn’t get ahead of myself and it was crucial for me to do well. After winning in the third round, I didn’t have to play in the fourth round since my opponent had left the arena and I won by forfeit. After a while I did something unimaginable – I went back home and had a shower, since it was only a fifteen-minute walk from the arena to my home and went back half an hour later. I felt refreshed and that boosted my strength in the final match. I felt like I could defeat anyone at that point. The last match was a victory. I was going into the finals. And that is what got me here. The huge arena, with more than two metres separating each table, still struck me to this day. But it couldn’t have affected me too much back then, since I won three out of five again in the finals and got the tenth place in the competition. It was such a memorable moment for me. Even though I was disappointed that I couldn’t be selected to represent Hong Kong in the HangZhou Asian Games, I learnt a lot through this experience, especially not to be overcome by the thought of winning if you have not done so yet.
我沒有預計自己可以在這里。 今天是2022年杭州亞運會香港代表的選拔，我從來沒有在這華麗和正式的宴會場地比賽過。天花吊著巨型的水晶燈， 光芒照耀在棋盤上，讓它閃閃發光。 我非常害怕，我盡力把它當作為一個學習的機會，多於失敗的經驗。某程度上，是運氣讓我來到這里。 決賽的前一天進行了預賽。我真的很想打進決賽，一部分是因為別人的期望（包括我自己）。另外，長時間被迫面對電腦下棋，我也想抓住面對面的比賽機會。更重要的是，我想證明自己，疫情這兩年我一直在努力學習，尤其是比賽前的兩、三個月，我為了備戰而加強訓練，付出並不少。 64名選手被分為兩組，每個小組的前16名可進入決賽。簡單說，我必須在五場比賽中贏得三場，才能進入決賽。 預賽的日子終於來了。前一晚，我睡得出奇的好，因為場地離我家不遠，我可以有更長時間的休息。看起來，我認為能鎖定進入決賽⋯⋯ 直至我輸掉了前兩場比賽。第一場比賽，我遇到一個強勁的對手，他最終獲得全場亞軍，我輸是合理的。但在第二場比賽中，我遇到了一個朋友。起初，我並沒有多想，因為他之前從沒有在沒有讓子的情況下擊敗過我。然而，我低估了對手的表現。在官子的階段，我點了每一方的目，我發現自己沒有占優，這讓我很害怕，但我以為還是領先一點。最後點目的時候，結果很明顯：我輸了半目。 那讓我很崩潰。不單是因為只輸了那一點點，還意味著我必須在午後贏得所有三場比賽，根據我以往在壓力下的表現來看，我對勝出的機會率並不樂觀。那時候，我放棄了打進決賽的念頭，機會實在很低。 或許這對我是對我最好的事——我沒有給自己壓力，要勝出余下的幾場比賽，因為近乎沒機會出線，我能夠把勝的想法放在一旁，專注、盡自己最大努力，沒有操之過急，這是令我做好的關鍵。 第三輪勝了之後，因為第四輪的對手離開了，我輪空獲勝。等待了一會兒，我做了一件意想不到的事——回家洗澡。因為從比賽場地到我家，步行只要十五分鐘。我回去後，感到神清氣爽，這增強了我的力量去迎接第五盤比賽。那時，我覺得我可以打敗任何人。 最後一盤比賽順利獲勝，我進入決賽了！ 這就是我來到這里的經過。寬敞的場地，每張桌子相隔兩米多，今天仍然印象深刻。最後，在決賽中再次贏得了五分之三，獲得了第十名，這對我來說是一個難忘的時刻。雖然，未能代表香港參加杭州亞運會，我也失望的，但從這次經歷中，學到了很多，特別是勝負還未知的時候，不要一直想著要贏。