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  1. Forum
  2. General Chess Discussion
  3. advice for OTB tournaments

Do not talk during a game, no explaining your moves, no telling your opponent to hurry up, no bragging to onlookers. Saying "check" is usually discouraged as well. The only things that you should be saying are things like draw offers, resignation, and such, and those should be said quietly.
To offer a draw, you have to make a move and say "I offer you a draw" on your turn and then press the clock, holding out your hand is improper as it pressures your opponent to accept your offer. I believe that the chess rules should introduce "draw chips" of some sort that can be placed in a designated spot next to the board to non-verbally offer a draw, but that is not in the rules.
Staying hydrated may be a good thing but there is a big drawback to drinking anything before or during a chess game.
You are allowed to not write your moves if you have less than 5 minutes on your clock (unless this event uses different rules).
Make sure that you get some practice with a 3D board, as playing online shifts the geometry even if you have played on a 3D board before, so it would be quite disorienting if you have not.
Writing down the moves can be tricky if you are not used to it, if possible use a board with coordinates around all four sides of the board.
Also, while online chess is often (not always) relatively rapid, over the board tournaments tend to use long time controls, sometimes several hours for a game. If you are not used to playing at such time controls it is easy to play too fast and to make bad moves. Remember that time that you have left over on your clock is time that you could have spent on thinking about your move.
Good luck in your tournament!

@Allonautilus Thanks for the excellent feedback!!

If you play with increment (30 secs extra) you HAVE to write down the moves.

It is allowed to reply a tempo but only once. We had this in our last team match.

A had moved (didn’t write it down), B replied (without writing), A replied, B stops the clock and claims instantly. Because this incident had happened in mutual time trouble B was awarded two extra minutes by the arbiter. A violated against FIDE 8.1.3.

The rules for recording:

Article 8: The recording of the moves
In the course of play each player is required to record his own moves and those of his opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, in the algebraic notation (Appendix C), on the ‘scoresheet’ prescribed for the competition.
8.1.2 It is forbidden to write the moves in advance, unless the player is claiming a draw according to Article 9.2, or 9.3 or adjourning a game according to Guidelines I.1.1
8.1.3 A player may reply to his opponent’s move before recording it, if he so wishes. He must record his previous move before making another.
8.1.4 The scoresheet shall be used only for recording the moves, the times of the clocks, offers of a draw, matters relating to a claim and other relevant data.
8.1.5 Both players must record the offer of a draw on the scoresheet with a symbol (=).
8.1.6 If a player is unable to keep score, an assistant, who must be acceptable to the arbiter, may be provided by the player to write the moves. His clock shall be adjusted by the arbiter in an equitable way. This adjustment of the clock shall not apply to a player with a disability.
The scoresheet shall be visible to the arbiter throughout the game.
The scoresheets are the property of the organiser of the competition.
If a player has less than five minutes left on his clock at some stage in a period and does not have additional time of 30 seconds or more added with each move, then for the remainder of the period he is not obliged to meet the requirements of Article 8.1.1.
If neither player keeps score under Article 8.4, the arbiter or an assistant should try to be present and keep score. In this case, immediately after a flag has fallen the arbiter shall stop the chessclock. Then both players shall update their scoresheets, using the arbiter’s or the opponent’s scoresheet.
8.5.2 If only one player has not kept score under Article 8.4, he must, as soon as either flag has fallen, update his scoresheet completely before moving a piece on the chessboard. Provided it is that player’s move, he may use his opponent’s scoresheet, but must return it before making a move.
8.5.3 If no complete scoresheet is available, the players must reconstruct the game on a second chessboard under the control of the arbiter or an assistant. He shall first record the actual game position, clock times, whose clock was running and the number of moves made/completed, if this information is available, before reconstruction takes place.
If the scoresheets cannot be brought up to date showing that a player has overstepped the allotted time, the next move made shall be considered as the first of the following time period, unless there is evidence that more moves have been made or completed.
At the conclusion of the game both players shall sign both scoresheets, indicating the result of the game. Even if incorrect, this result shall stand, unless the arbiter decides otherwise.

It is considered poor sportsmanship to deliberately fart while playing a tournament game. If it's accidental, and quite audible, an apology is good etiquette.

In case of a big fart approaching the pros consider a preemptive „J’adoube“.

@morphyms1817 unless you are joining some competition where security check for electronic devices is established, you should take care of your smartphone. Everyone nowadays has one, and capabilities of that piece of electronic device are vast when it comes to analysing chess positions.
At my first OTB tournaments there were no security check, so it was enough to switch off sound on phone and keep it in pocket, nevertheless, when I was leaving playing room to go to toilet, I was leaving also my phone on the chair next to me, so no suspicions might arise from the opponent.

Eat and drink, take your time you have planty of it. You have always to do the "blunder check"

But only eat on your time. Eating in general is illegal according to the FIDE rules but when it's your move it's fine (in the sense that no one is going to run to the arbiter because you are eating when it's your turn).

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