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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) tips for playing your best chess in a tourney (Read 2840 times)
Stigma
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Re: tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
Reply #10 - 04/19/09 at 10:02:56
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LeeRoth wrote on 04/18/09 at 20:57:34:
When I have White and am paired down in the first round, I'll sometimes trot out the Tromp or the Colle-Zukertort to avoid revealing my regular opening prep.  But I suspect that this may not be the best strategy.  If Black plays reasonably well, you don't get much in these openings and then you're sweating over whether you're in the process of blowing half a point by handing a draw to someone you're supposed to beat.  Undecided          

I sometimes do this as well (specifically with the Tromp and the Colle-Z!) and I have no complaints about it. If the opponent is weak enough I will win anyway. A sligthly more advanced version I use is to have both 1.e4 and 1.d4 with more or less main lines. Then I can choose to rely on, say, 1.d4/2.c4 in a particular tournament, but still play 1.e4 against opponents I expect to beat easily. All to avoid revealing too much!

I think Tony Miles once said or wrote that his notorious surprise weapon 1.e4 Nc6 was a good opening to play early in a tournament, since then his opponents for the remaining rounds would waste time preparing for it!  Grin
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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LeeRoth
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Re: tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
Reply #9 - 04/18/09 at 20:57:34
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When I have White and am paired down in the first round, I'll sometimes trot out the Tromp or the Colle-Zukertort to avoid revealing my regular opening prep.  But I suspect that this may not be the best strategy.  If Black plays reasonably well, you don't get much in these openings and then you're sweating over whether you're in the process of blowing half a point by handing a draw to someone you're supposed to beat.  Undecided      
  
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nyoke
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Re: tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
Reply #8 - 04/15/09 at 19:32:50
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Very good question, zoo !
But I would advise the very opposite. If you have an adversary with ambition he will very likely be thinking that he can't afford to fall behind from the very first round. So playing solid as if for a draw seems best.
  
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zoo
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Re: tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
Reply #7 - 04/15/09 at 15:31:39
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Sleep well, take a walk in the cold or go to the swimming pool beforehand if you can. In long games, when you're having a good position - or just stay in the game - in an important game, go splash yourself with cold water and then stay at the board. Don't burden yourself with "weak players" stuff, nobody but you will care against whom you win or lose. To prevent from collapsing in the second half of a blitz tournament, perhaps an idea is to take a half-time break (like in EU football) and then coach yourself : "OK guys, what went wrong, what went right, what will we do next, any replacements ?" etc... try to take a new start.

I have a question regarding tounaments with 1 game a day : how do you best negotiate the perilous first round, with its unique opportunities of catching a big one or falling yourself to small prey ? many players seem to ditch game 1 and start playing chess by day 2. My best remedy so far is to play a gambit (preferably one with no name) or an unusual opening just to put myself in danger, but this can't be optimal. Any good advice around ?
  
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lnn2
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Re: tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
Reply #6 - 04/15/09 at 01:52:46
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Don't obssess too much over opening preparation :p
  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
Reply #5 - 04/15/09 at 00:16:06
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parisestmagique wrote on 04/14/09 at 21:16:02:
For me the best thing to play well is to sleep well !

I agree with this, and don't drink much the night before! Roll Eyes
  
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parisestmagique
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Re: tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
Reply #4 - 04/14/09 at 21:16:02
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For me the best thing to play well is to sleep well ! Not an easy thing when you have a  2 month's old daughter ... I remember that before a crucial last game in a world championship (that he needed to win) Kasparov said his preparation was to sleep, he didn't shaved and played a Réti opening.
  
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TN
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Re: tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
Reply #3 - 04/14/09 at 03:57:43
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Perhaps the most important tip is that no one method works for everyone - each person has to find their own way of (legally) producing their best chess in a tournament. As the saying goes, what one person finds extremely beneficial, another could find counter-productive.
  

All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
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Seth_Xoma
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Re: tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
Reply #2 - 04/13/09 at 02:34:10
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Some random tips:

1.) Concentrate one game at a time. Don't think about future pairings, or past results. They only serve as distractions.

2.) Regularly clear your mind to get a fresh perspective on the current situation. Taking brief walks can help.

3.) Don't give two figs about who your opponent is, whether he be Kasparov or a beginner.

4.) Kick your opponent hard in the leg before every move.

5.) Some physical exercise before a tournament can't hurt for endurance sake...those 6 hour games can be mental drainers.

6.) Never beat yourself up. That's a sure way to put up several 0s on the crosstable.

7.) Realize beforehand that you're not going to avoid bad positions in all your games. Remember that bad positions can also be won!

8.) Ignore tip #4.
  
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exigentsky
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Re: tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
Reply #1 - 04/12/09 at 21:51:04
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I will play in the Las Vegas International Chess Festival in early June so I also welcome any tournament tips.   Grin
  
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cyronix
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tips for playing your best chess in a tourney
04/12/09 at 20:05:45
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I am grateful if someone wants to add some tips Smiley

Lately I played an official blitz tourney, I began good, beating some good players, but then I just lost my head ... I scored 5 zeros in a row ...
my big problem is I can't get over losing against weaker players, or losing in won positions, and when this happens I easily get emotional,
but then you get emotional, especially in blitz, the tournament is over for you, you lose like 30 % of your chess strength, after getting emotional. So I really recommend to myself to keep a cool head when losing a game, to accept it, it just happens, also against very weak players ...  I have to be like a machine Smiley, so I can play the next game at full strength.

Also when reading Rogozenko's Anti-sicilians book a note in the Alapin variation made an impresson on me:
"I was annoyed with those equal postions and tried to complicate matters. This usually ended up badly. Now that I am more experienced I can permit myself to give some advice for those who aren't happy with a quick draw: reach a level position and play on, but without crossing the line. Continue to play the equal position. If your opponent plays well until the end, then just let it be a draw."
  
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