My Utterly Disastrous Rapid Tournament

Dec 15, 2012, 6:28 PM |

One thing every chess player should know: rapid chess tournaments are very different than standard chess tournaments. For one thing, its so much more tiring. Physical preparation like jogging and swimming is essential if you want to do good in the tournament. 

In standard chess, you plan 1-2 games per day. Consistant concentration is not as important because you have a long time to compose yourself. The atomsphere is nice and traquil. Action chess on the other hand requires constant endurance and concentration with 6 games a day. Also annoying is that you are not given time to recover from a loss. People have a tendency to suffer straight losses because they simply cant regain composure.

Being used to the 2 hour time control, I didn't pay too much attention to how much time I was spending until it was absolutely too late. As a result, I managed to turn 2 winning positions into losses.

As the games drag on, you start to experience serious fatique. As a result, you stop calculating and this leads to disaster. Lack of concentration and blunders under time scramble were the main contributers to my failures. 

One good thing about rapid chess: the strong players are usually super strong while the weak players are usually uber weak. This means that despite my bad form and tendency to turn wins into losses, I still managed an even score. 

Because my wins were against super weak opposition, I will mostly display my losses which I find most instructive. 

Round 1

Heres another example of blundering a winning position. These are the most painful losses. I could not concentrate in this game owing to serious fatique. 

Round 4: I was totally lost, again, because I couldn't concentrate. Every bone in my body was so exhausted. This is why physical preparation in rapid tournaments is so important. How can you calculate why your brain is thinking of white bedsheets.


And this is the perfect example of what happens why you get to tired to look for your opponent's moves:

I played badly in this rapid tournament. Its very important to train one's body to be able to concentrate for long periods of time in chess. I have demonstrated the serious consequences of losing focus and spacing out. 

Time management, physical preparation, and intense focus is the most important things in these tournaments. You can be the best tactician, but if you are too tired to calculate, prepare for the worst.