Entering My First Tournament

Anyone have any advice on how to go about training for a tournament? This would be my first tournament and it would be great to get tips on how to go about preparing for it. The tournament is 1 month away and this would be my first experience in tournament play.

A couple of questions I have are:

  • As an unrated player should I enter the Open or U1400 class? (I estimate my playing strength to be approx. 1500 ELO)?
  • What should I focus on during my preparation?

Any advice would be appreciated.

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2 thoughts on “Entering My First Tournament

  1. DPJosh says:

    My 2 cents:
    Unless you’re sure your over 1500ish I would play in the U1400 section. However, if you know your stronger than that OR won’t mind not winning a single game, then play in the open section (stronger competition is supposed to be better for your game but if its too strong I don’t think it helps… plus, personally, my ego would take it hard if I lost every single game in my first tournament).
    If you try to cram opening study your liable to trip yourself up, I would focus on tactics.

  2. Qxh7# says:

    Play the U1400. If you win all your games hands down you will end up with about an 1800 probation rating most likely, and the next time you play a tournament you can play in the open.

    Enjoy it. If its not fun its not worth going even if you win the 10$ prize for your section. Expect to be tired. Weekend tournaments can be a REAL grind. Its harder than one imagines to put all of your concentration into the board all day long for 2 days. (Even just 1 day for those Saturday only events).

    As for preparation, you may want to brush up on what you plan to do for an opening as white. Have at least concidered what you will play against 1.e4 and 1. d4. Beyond that I’d just go play chess. Decide after your first exposure to a tournament how much work and preparation is right for you.

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