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A couple of years ago I saw a flyer for a chess tournament at my community college for cash prizes. Since the tournament was sponsored by the school chess club there was no entry fee, so even though I hadn't played chess in years, I entered.I managed to take third in the two-day event, very likely because the strongest players didn't show up on the day of the finals (I assume the $150 prize for first place wasnt worth 2 days of play time for them).
Since then I have been wanting to learn, I mean REALLY learn to play chess. Before joining chess.com a few months ago, I had never studied chess and I didn't really understand any principles. Everything I knew about chess I learned from recognizing familiar patterns in games that I have played (Needless to say every opening was Ruy Lopez or Fried Liver!). I'm not so much of a fool that I'd believe I'd ever attain the title of Master, but I still want to play competitively. There is a tournament being held this coming Sunday, not far from where I live, that is U.S.C.F. sanctioned, and I've decided to enter. It's an open tournament and I know I have 0 chances of winning, but I would like to make a decent showing for my first event. I would like any member who was able to make it through this long-winded post to give me pointers, ideas or any type of advice for how to prepare. If there is anyone who could tell me how live tournaments usually work regarding rules of etiquette, score keeping, etc. it would be highly appreciated. All comments welcome! Thanks for reading!
First of all, you're in for a great experience! An OTB tournament is such an intense experience.
In terms of preparation, I wouldn't do any special studying. The real challenge is to play at your normal strength under stange conditions, and when you're under a bit of stress. You have to remain calm while also dealing with keeping score and dealing with the physical clock. It sounds stupid, but you might want to play some slower internet games and practice keeping score, so that you're used to it.
Be sure to stick to your routine, and don't rush yourself because you're nervous. Just write down your opponent's move, examine the board and come up with your move, make your move, hit the clock, then write down your move. Keep to your routine, and don't hurry!
Sounds like super-sound advice, thanks Paul! Keep em comin' folks.
One more advice , probably overdue.... Play only the favourite opening , only it .
have fun. don't go crazy and destroy your own position. instead, make improvements to your position. your opponents will make mistakes. put a little pressure on your opponent for a long time and you will have your chances.
review your games after the tournament, that's the key to the learning process to improvement is what I have been consistently told at all levels.
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