I was enormously pleased to have won the very first tournament I entered (King's Indian Defence tourney with 100% score on 22 games. I have since won three more tournments, with pretty good scores, and this gives me the greatest pleasure because I have never won a tournament prior to this.
If you asked me what's my secret, I would say that it only dawns on you when you find yourself among the last 6 players and none of them is 200 points above you. You develop a determination you don't always express or feel; you see and pounce on every mistake your opponent makes - you are in the zone.
Then after its over you go back to losing to minor opponents. Isn't chess beautiful?
Has anyone else got any 'secrets of success' tale to share?