Friday, June 18, 2010

Top 10 Tips for playing well in Tournaments

1. Registration - Find out by when you need to register to the Tournament and take care to complete and confirm your registration well in time. If possible, complete paying the entry fees as well. And carry your registration confirmation copy to the Tournament.
In case of Age-category tournaments, it is useful to carry a copy of the Birth certificate.
In case of Rated tournaments, it is useful to carry your Registration card.

2. Contact Person - Note down the Names and contact numbers of the important people for the Tournament like the Organizers, Arbiters and Committee members. Also, collect directions how to get to the Tournament Hall. Which route to take (if you are driving yourself)? Which Bus/Train to take (if you are taking public transport)? Do all this before itself and do not leave it to the last day!

3. Sleep - Get adequate sleep before the tournament. Good rest helps in thinking well. Even during the tournament, sleep on time and ensure that you are fresh for the next game. Carry some drinking water with you and some snacks in case the game is going to be a long one.

4. Result - Do not get affected by the result. If you win, no need to get excited. If you lose, no need to get depressed. Try to approach the next round with a balanced mindset. After all, it is only a game! After the Tournament is over, try not to miss attending the Prize distribution (even if you may not have won anything).

5. Equipment - Try to take your own chess-set, chess-clock, scoresheet-pad and pen to the tournament. Be prepared and carry your equipment to every round. It is important to play with the correct chess set, so ensure that your pieces are of the standard size. After a game, MAKE SURE YOU COUNT ALL YOUR PIECES AND PAWNS BEFORE YOU PACK YOUR SET.

6. Time Control - Set your clock to the correct time and make sure the clock is functioning properly (specially important in case of Analog clocks). If there is any time-control that requires the clock to be readjusted, do not forget this. In case you want to claim a draw in a drawish position and you are down to the last 5 minutes, call the Arbiter to observe your board to support your draw claim.

7. Writing - Write all the moves neatly and clearly on the scoresheet. When the game is completed, write the result accurately, put your signature and take your opponent's signature near the result. After the game, preserve your scoresheet so that you can analyse the game later with your coach. Even if you can stop writing for the last 5 minutes (in rapid games), try to tick the move numbers on your scoresheet. This helps in draw claims.

8. Pairing - Check your pairing before every round. Also, your table number and colour of pieces you will be playing with. It is annoying to be asked whether you are white or black. Most of the tournaments are swiss league - you can play all the round irrespective of win or loss.

9. Arbiter - In case of any doubt or clarification, always ask the Arbiter (or Tournament Director) immediately. Do not assume anything. If if it seems silly, better to be safe than sorry. After the game, DO NOT FORGET TO REPORT THE RESULT TO THE ARBITER. In case of any dispute or confusion, do not start arguing with your opponent, go to the Arbiter immediately.

10. Etiquette - Do not leave your board too long. In case you need to visit the toilet, complete and return to the board quickly. Avoid unnecessary conversation with others in the tournament hall. Maintain silence and speak in low voice. Maintain good behaviour over the board - do not make unpleasant sounds or faces. Greet your opponent before the game and shake hands after the game is over (even if you have lost!).


  1. Nice points. Along with this we can also have one more point of building or knowning various openings in Chess.This will help alot to gain the initial advantage.

  2. Really nice points!
    Another point taking proper breaks and have something during the game will boost the energy and players fresh.