I've got the latest issue of Super Hanjie, and I was intending to sit down and do puzzles this morning, but both my propelling pencils have run out of lead, so I had to do something productive instead.
What I did, in fact, was my final two qualification attempts for images in the XMT - here's a video of the one that was successful:
I'm very happy with that, because those last two images I placed I was very unsure about - I couldn't remember seeing the one that ended up in position 20 at all, and 24 I was pretty dubious about, so it was sort of half guesswork. But it was right, and that's what counts!
Images is really a great leveller - it's new to everyone, obviously, so nobody's had much time to prepare systems and techniques to improve their times. And even if they had, it's memory sports on the most basic level - you're given pictures, and just have to picture them in the right sequence as quickly as possible. And having managed a good time myself, it does wonders for my self-confidence; I do now feel more like I have a right to be at the XMT this year and I'm not just qualified for it on the strength of my past performance.
So now I can turn my fretting from 'should I be there at all?' to 'how are they going to work out the seedings for the group stage draw?' - See, if they go on WMSC rankings, and Wang Feng or Sengesamdan Ulzhiikhutag don't leap into the qualifying at the last minute and come to the XMT after all, I'll be the sixth seed and thus end up in the all-important pot 1 for the draw. But if they base it on something like 'the top four from last year's XMT and the best two quarter-finalists based on their group-stage points', I have a sinking feeling I could end up as seventh seed and thus end up in a group with Simon Reinhard and a couple of names-and-faces experts again.
No, actually, what I need to do is get over the mental block that I'm not as good as Simon Reinhard! That's entirely the wrong attitude, and I hereby slap myself on the wrist for it. I don't have this kind of inferiority complex with Jonas von Essen, and he's the world freaking champion, why am I automatically assuming that I won't have a chance if I'm paired up with Simon? Think positive, Zoomy - imagine you're the best in the world and maybe one day you will be; that's what the motivational speakers say, and who am I to argue?