This past weekend I played in a state tournament for my school chess team. In the regular season I believe I went 15-1. We won our conference and were seeded extremely high in our State Tournament. However something went terribly wrong. I, once considered a crucial asset to win started the 7 round tournament, 0-3, and finished 3-4. I felt well prepared but obviously it was not enough. I studied opening and in only one of my loses can I find conclusive data that I just could not win in my postion. My question is how do you prepare? I googled this a week before the tournament, I did practice of endgame, midgame tactics, and making my opening more solid. I thought that I was going to be well off, and hoped at the least 3 wins 2 loses and a Draw. It was partialy my fault, and other boards who also did not win, why we ended up placing in the 50's where as the year before we placed in the 20's. I want to get better at chess, and obviously I am doing something wrong. I am only 18 and have only been playing chess competitively for 1.5 years yet I have improved dramatically. But, I am a creative player, where as book lines do not appeal to me. I love it when grandmasters tatter thier pawn structure but has an overall goal and purpose to go along with it. Its simply baffling. Any ideas as to what I can do that has been stuck in my position. Going from a conference Champion to placing better than only 50% in the state, or transitioning from a decent player to a great club player.