I'm playing in my first ever "serious" chess tournament soon. It's a two day affair at a local hotel/resort. I've played in several smaller tournaments but nothing of this stature.
What can I expect? For those of you who have participated in weekend-long tournaments, do you have any tips or recommendations?
I'm not looking for theory prep or sleep advice, but a general idea of what is going to happen. Thanks :)
You'll maybe lose some game, maybe you were winning and blundered really bad. This happens to many chess players. But the next round will come soon and it is important to play that game as fresh minded as possilbe to play your best chess.
If you want to improve don't offer or accept draw before it's dead drawn.
Thanks I think that's a great piece of advice!
Honestly, I've only played one OTB tournament in my life, but I think
- treat opponents with respect and friendliness, makes the game much better
- focus on whatever you went there for, to improve? or to have fun? or to win money?
Hope this helps!
If you're going to play OTB and pay lots for the venture, then say to your self you're going for a workout, not going to try something new. It's not time to try a new opening.
When you go, make it count. It's your real name and rating in play.
Bring a very thin chair cushion. If your sitting on something hard, you'll be happy that you had your cushion.
Bring a pencil or pen to note your moves. If you have a clock, remember, you can use your clock when you have the black pieces. You also get the choice on which side to place the clock. Chess is played by one hand, and so touch a piece and play it or capture it. Touch a piece and with that same hand ... you touch your clock.
The standings and pairing will most likely be on a wall. Expect that there could be more than one chess hall for different levels of players. The masters and experts could be in one room , while the others in another. You can still visit silently in each room. Know where the analysis room is. Know where the washrooms are. Know where you can take a breath of fresh air outside, during the game, when your head needs a break.
Go to the tournament link and see if they have a video or pictures to see their layout.
Don't be late. Think of where you will park your car.
Leave your cell phone off. Not even on vibrate. Turn it off before the tournament. If someone hears a sound from an electronic device or sees you access it during the match, you'll most likely get disqualified.
Never forget to press your clock, and you don't need to tell your opponent to press their clock. If they don't press it, you don't play your move. If you must get up and walk around while seeing if the opponent presses the clock. Be patient ...
Every time you distract your self by walking around, you should look at every piece on the chess board so you get minded back into the game. If I don't do that, I'll probably blunder. When I forget to write a move, it means I need a break or simply a good deep breath. I look at their sheet to correct my move order if I have time on my clock during my turn, without distracting the ones beside me.
Nobody should be eating something that makes noise during the game.
Conclusion: Be sure all your moves are safe moves. No hanging pieces or blunders.
I hope you get a good workout and enjoy your weekend.
That's excellent advice Toscani! That is exactly what I was looking for!
Well said @Toscani !
I would add a couple other things...take all your opponents seriously, no matter what rating they are. People don't mouseslip and drop pieces like they do online (at the same rating level).
Also know the time control, and if it's delay or increment. If it's 5 or 10 second delay, once either you or your opponent get down to <5 minutes, neither of you are required to keep score. If it's a 30 second increment, then you always have to keep score (USCF rules).
Oh, and, as a tournament director myself, if anything unusual happens, or you need to make a claim, stop the clocks and see a tournament director.
Thank you MisterCoffee!