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  1. 25 Oct '17 14:20
    Most of you will say: "wtf, we are not GMs to think about it, if we play, we play for fun..."

    But some avid amateurs take it seriously, to compete on an open. It's by the rule twice or trice a year, sometimes rather expensive, and if one invest also some preparations in it, it would be nonsense not to be careful of tournament daily routine.

    Before afternoon round.
    30 minutes before round
    Yoga or watching at some green, sea (if you are blessed with venue at the sea) or simply resting, deeply breathing by the window.

    4 hours before round

    If possible, make some chess preparations. If your opponent's games can be found in some database, prepare an opening or two.
    If the opponent is strong and has more games in database, try with some surprise deviation.
    Don't worry about tiredness, you play tournament chess so rarely, you are hungry for chess!

    On double rounds days.
    Before morning round
    Go to the breakfast. Take at least some fruits and coffee.
    Prepare for the game late night, and put analysis under the pillow.

    Pause - if any - should be used for exercise and relaxation.
    Frugal lunch with no alcohol. Quick search for next opponent.
    You'll probably have half an hour for "preparation". If possible, at least chose which opening to avoid! Better is to surprise than to be surprised!

    After second game, treat yourself with rich dinner and wine and/or Scotch.

    If venue is by the sea with warm water - swim every day!

    No alcohol before the round.
    Players who bring beer and wine at the chess table are only worth contempt.

    Before last morning round
    Never accept quick draw! Fight for the blood. if possible, book the flight two days after last round. You will get chance to move around a bit.

    Before tournament

    Do exactly like Fischer. Just for fun. Study list of applicants at chess-result.com, and study the games of first 10 best rated players. You'll probably play way bellow their tables, but just in case, imagine games with them, and prepare yourself. You can opt for some specially drawish variation in their repertoire for example, or on the contrary you can decide to surprise them with sharp sacrifice.
    24 hours before tournament, based on the list of competitor, you can see with 45-65% of probability (*depending on cancellations and late enrolling) who your opponent will be.
    Prepare for both colours,

    Special preparations
    Botvinnik couldn't stand tobacco smoke so he forced Ragozine to smoke until the latter died of ling cancer. (Brezhniev did the same with some of his body guards...but that's nother story.)

    You can do the same with some features on open tournaments.

    If you are specially accessible to irritation by table shakers - play with yourself on the water bed. It sounds dirty, I know... Or kick the table at your home while analyzing.

    If you get nervous by spectators and kids running all over the venue, take a pocket chess set with you and go to a park with children and dogs and sit on the bench and try to analyze while surrounded by nasty kids and barking dogs.

    Variation of this at home ---> you can use DVD and show some horror with sound turned on.
  2. 25 Oct '17 14:48 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @vandervelde
    Most of you will say: "wtf, we are not GMs to think about it, if we play, we play for fun..."

    But some avid amateurs take it seriously, to compete on an open. It's by the rule twice or trice a year, sometimes rather expensive, and if one invest also some preparations in it, it would be nonsense not to be careful of tournament daily routine.

    [b]B ...[text shortened]... s.

    Variation of this at home ---> you can use DVD and show some horror with sound turned on.
    Yes, there are many little things one can do to prepare. I never sent in an advanced entry, fearing that if I slept badly the night before, it would be a waste of money. Always made sure to get good exercise in the morning of the event, triple checked my carrying case that morning for books, equipment, food, drink, and always left my dwelling neat and clean as I hate coming home to a dirty house.

    After years of OTB I came to the conclusion that I could eliminate 99% of this idiocy by carefully setting up things at home, sitting in my very comfortable chair, green lamp on my desk, and playing higher quality chess due to slower time controls. Just as the Beatles stopped touring, and did their later work in the studio, I've done the same via correspondence chess. Thank You Red Hot Pawn for making a good thing, even better! 🙂
  3. 25 Oct '17 17:32
    Hi Mchill,

    Don't you miss the face to face contact and those incredible butterflies.

    I'm back to playing league games (it's a disaster) I was too long away.
    I'm trying to knock myself back into shape but I no longer have the talent
    to force myself to study and study and study. But I'll stay at it.

    Usually took a ½ point bye on the first round. Tried to get to
    my board early on and sit there getting use to the pieces and put
    myself in the zone. If I arrived late I'd not move till I was ready.
    Think 15 minutes was the most time I took before 1.e4.

    Loved the butterflies, knew I'd play a good game if I had them.
    No butterflies and I'm doomed.

    Get married then you have someone to tidy up the house. (though
    do not let her near your wee study else you will never find anything.)
  4. 26 Oct '17 14:55 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @greenpawn34
    Hi Mchill,

    Don't you miss the face to face contact and those incredible butterflies.

    I'm back to playing league games (it's a disaster) I was too long away.
    I'm trying to knock myself back into shape but I no longer have the talent
    to force myself to study and study and study. But I'll stay at it.

    Usually took a ½ point bye on the first roun ...[text shortened]... dy up the house. (though
    do not let her near your wee study else you will never find anything.)
    Don't you miss the face to face contact and those incredible butterflies.


    Yes, I'll admit, I do miss it sometimes. There are many things about it I don't miss:

    * Getting blown off the board by some 16 year old whiz kid, then having to shake his hand, when I'd rather take a pick ax to the back of his skull.

    * Losing a close game, then listening to my former opponent explain to his friends what a superstar he is because he won one game.

    * Having to be ready to play on someone else's schedule

    * Sitting in a hard chair for hours, while my lower back gets progressively more painful.

    * Being in a minority of 15% of folks over 60 in a tournament hall, while everyone else speaks in a language that consists of "dude" in every sentence (many of which are deeply skeptical when I tell them Paul Mccartney was in a band before Wings)

    Yes, there some things I miss, but many that I can do very well without.
  5. 26 Oct '17 19:26
    Originally posted by @mchill
    * Getting blown off the board by some 16 year old whiz kid, then having to shake his hand, when I'd rather take a pick ax to the back of his skull.

    * Losing a close game, then listening to my former opponent explain to his friends what a superstar he is because he won one game.
    [/b]
    😀
  6. 27 Oct '17 14:06
    Hi mchill,

    Yes all those things and more...I hate travelling to away league games.
    I have one next year in Dunbar which is 30 miles away.
    I'm planning to stay overnight in some hotel and make it into a wee holiday.

    However one must stay with it, it keeps the game alive.
    I hope at least you still get along to your local club, it's
    does one good I think to visit and chat with fellow players.

    Also you post all about losses. You have to forget these and
    remember the wins and the moments you have set a trap that
    mouth watering glorious wait to see if they would fall into it.

    Even on here you can get that.

    I'm still walking on air when my opponent walked into
    18.Qxf7+ in Game 11823787 a trick/trap that has
    caught OTB players from 1921 to 2008 (and possibly later)

    Tell them Paul's first band was 'The Quarrymen'.
  7. 27 Oct '17 17:11 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @greenpawn34
    Hi mchill,

    Yes all those things and more...I hate travelling to away league games.
    I have one next year in Dunbar which is 30 miles away.
    I'm planning to stay overnight in some hotel and make it into a wee holiday.

    However one must stay with it, it keeps the game alive.
    I hope at least you still get along to your local club, it's
    does one go ...[text shortened]... ayers from 1921 to 2008 (and possibly later)

    Tell them Paul's first band was 'The Quarrymen'.
    Your continued dedication here has no doubt sharpened your skills and should put you in a good position to walk into a tournament hall as a relative unknown and leave with some newfound respect.

    For myself, I've not played a rated OTB tournament game since the late 90's. Things outside the world of chess, such as finances have caused a lot of worry, and though things are improving here, I'm not yet in a place where I can feel good about going to an OTB event, when so much yet needs to be done.

    Few things are more thrilling in OTB than grinding out a hard fought win against an opponent 200+ points higher than myself, also the thought of ruining a young hot shot's day as I crush his position as one would crush an egg shell is most appealing, and I've had more than a few of these. OTB may happen again one day, but I want to be better prepared both in chess strength and in my personal life before I do. In the meantime RHP is helping me get stronger.

    I'll take a long look at the game of your's soon. It might be a good one to file away for later 😀
  8. 28 Oct '17 02:07 / 1 edit
    Hi Mchill,

    Sometimes I really wish I was unknown, I was Scotland's Player of the Year in 2010.

    Of course my hatred of endings is legendary so
    I meet dry openings with wood getting chopped
    so I have to cook up some OTB gambit and sac something
    (usually unsoundly) sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.

    When the dismay of losing overtakes the joy of winning then
    I'll know it's time to hang up boots. But till then.....happy days.

    If you start up again don't worry about booking up. Your old openings will be
    OK, they will get you to a middle game, then your experience will take over.