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So, I recently signed up for the Madison RBO on October the 1st, and I can't help but wonder what to expect from people rated 1000-1100 USCF (RBOs are sub-1200 or unrated. I am unrated, having never done a tournament before). I consider myself a decent player that pales in comparison to most of the people on this site, but I can beat everyone at my high school and I know several openings and am tactically strong. Also, I don't hang pieces or blunder (...often. Everyone blunders). I've been studying a lot the past month or so, and my rating on Chess.com has improved by about 400 points.
Could an 1100 USCF player fit the same description? I've looked at some of the rating comparisons on the forums, but those are based on opinion. There's no statistical evidence to back up anything.
Would anyone be willing to post a standard RBO game that they might have played? Also, I'm playing in the open section (I'm 15) with the adults and other teenagers.
I have played USCF tournies before. From my experience, expect the players to play at a strength far higher than there rating. It will depend on how much OTB practice they have had prior to the tournament.
Thanks. I appreciate it. I was getting to think that no one was going to answer it seeing as it was left so long during prime American hours.
So you say that I should expect a strength much higher than their rating. Say, 200 points higher?
In addition to actual playing strength, the following are traits/behaviors of "actual tournament players" that most online players will either not bother with or not worry about:
1. Better concentration skills over slow-time controls. Not easily distracted.
2. Better time management (not too fast, not too slow either)
3. Stamina to play long games back to back for the whole day
4. Diet/food management ( a sugar crash mid-tournament could spell DOOM!) ... experienced tourney players manage their sugar levels by eating mini-meals between rounds and don't go all out with a burger+fries+shake during their lunch break.
5. Dogged persistence/never-say-die attitude : An online chess monkey can hit "resign" the minute he drops a pawn/piece because beyond the time invested, there really isn't any more skin he puts into the game (unless his ego is enormous).
Compare this to a OTB/tourney player. If he's an adult, he pays for parking/hotel and transport. Probably puts off 1-2 days of his weekend to INVEST in this chess activity so you'd better believe they are often tough as nails and won't roll over and die just because you happen to be winning.
6. Delay trained : Most USCF Tournaments mandate use of Time Delays on digital clocks. What does this mean? Well, a good opponent who is trained to use the delay can actually win cleanly won games with seconds left on his clock purely by playing on this delay. Some of the strong players are really good at it ... so don't assume that your mad online blitz skills will shine at an OTB tournament ... it's not that easy to flag somebody or hustle them on the clock.
Ah, thank you! That was exactly what I was looking for.
One question though: Are sub-1200 players really going to be delay trained? Seems rather unlikely, but you're the expert here.
What is the atmosphere like at an RBO? Should I expect something competitive or maybe it's more like a club?
One more thing: Notation is mandated (obviously). I haven't had much practice with it. Just recently I've been notating my OTB games for practice, but it's really affecting my game. Is there any way around this? I'm assuming I should just keep at it and hope I'm comfortable by tournament day. Thoughts?
Sub-1200 players who have only been sub-1200 players for a short while => Not likely to be delay-trained.
Talented Kids and players who have been at the 1200s for a while => Probably more so.
Not sure about the atmosphere as I attend USCF tourneys in Texas and have never been to a RBO at your location. Though I'd expect library-levels of quiet in the tourney halls and lots of skittles discussions in the rooms outside.
On notation, if the TD is nice enough, he will waive this requirement for first-time tournament players, so don't worry too much about that. (Though in the future, you need to make this a habit for 3 reasons :
a) You get to analyze/go over your games afterwards for a MAXIMUM instructive experience at getting better
b) You get to show a stronger / player (or coach) your game and get valuable critique.
c) In case there's a dispute or if you're playing a slimeball who cheats and then denies it, the TD who gets "summoned" to arbitrate will use the scored moves as the ONLY evidence he has of foul play or who was "right" about stuff. If both of you don't notate moves, he doesn't have to agree with either of your versions of what may have happened.
Alright, I have played in over 60 tournaments.. Most of them have been for U1500 but for the ones before I was very good, I played in U1200. Pretty much what you can expect is that you are playing people who:
1. can move the pieces
2. Have a reasonable thought process
3. Who commonly drop pieces
4. Who fall for basic tactics
5. Who are Not great in general
6. They are about equal to the 1100/1200 here.. as the ratings go up on this site, the USCF also increases exponentionally. a 1700 here is usually equal to a 2100 OTB so if you don't have problems with them, you should sweep. Good luck btw
I suppose it's thoughtful that you want to know the opposition, but in reality it doesn't matter. Would you simply not show if a certain person did? I hope not. Your beginning rating is 1200p and can fluxuate a lot depending on who you play and your results. Don't really worry about that because it's as steady as a rollercoaster before you get your 26 provisional games in.
Regardless of who is there or how good they are you simply need to do your best. Worrying about who's there is how low rated players get their wins off of higher-rated ones. The high-rated players or even the players that think they're the best player ever change their attitude depending on who they're playing and it ends up costing them points.
Just go and play. Whatever happens happens, so just have fun.
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