This is written under the influence of a 2001 Cabernet Savignon, so I apologize ahead of time if I slur on the keyboard!
I lost a game today (not vino influenced) that should have been a straightforward win, but I had the 2011 Championship and the 1/14 clan league start at the same time, and the game load caught up with me.
That said, my opponent played with great energy and guts in defense, and deservedly won a great rescue. He was proud, and asked me if I would mind if he posted it.
I thought it was a nice touch, his asking, but my immediate answer was "Of course!"
That's what got me to thinking- I am 45, but would I have had the same attitude when I started at 21?
When I started (1987, but didn't play much until 1991), I was young and competitive, and my ego was deeply tied up in every win and loss- and there were more losses. I took every loss as the end of the world, and I was often devastated.
I worked hard, getting my USCF OTB rating to the mid 1800s in 1995, but then got married, and promptly watched my rating hit the floor at 1600.
Now I am older, with a more serious job and two daughters, and I find that my play has a whole new meaning to me.
I have played so many games that the result of any one game has very little meaning to me, unless it has an effect on someone else-as a result, I play clan games and the US Amateur Team South Championship tournament very seriously, but the rest I play for fun.
Winning and losing are still important to me, but far less than they used to be. I have reached the point where a beautiful loss is sometimes more enjoyable to me than a "junk" win where the other guy just choked, and I happened to be the guy playing him.
I suppose my reason for typing this monologue is that I really appreciate this site because of the personalities I have met here. I communicate regularly with a variety of players from all over the world who appreciate the game, and it seems that each person has a unique perspective that adds to my appreciation.
I have long given up the idea that I will ever be the World Champion, but I have developed a very fond and profound appreciation for "going through the motions" anyway!
There is a reason why I play here, when I could play a game against a computer program very easily, without a recurring fee- it is the other people who make the game enjoyable. I have learned to appreciate the moves as much as the result.
I'm done! Insert punch line here!