Preparing For Your First Chess Competition

by Clive Jenkins

Chess competitions occur regularly, and you may even find there's one taking place near you. Ranging from competitions purely for fun to international level sporting competition, chess is a seriously competitive sport the world over. If you're looking to get a head start in the game, the best idea is to start young and research the game to learn how to play it and how to play it well. Additionally, there is no real substitute for practice, and it is advised that before considering entering a chess competition, you play plenty of games, particularly against players better than yourself were possible.

Chess is a game requiring extreme concentration and strategic thinking. Participating in a chess competition requires even further concentration over a number of matches, and should only be the reserve of the more accomplished player. Those who join clubs may find themselves presented with the opportunity to participate in chess competitions, although these are normally particularly competitive environments, where only the intellectually strong can survive.

Before considering entering a chess competition, it is pivotal to ensure your game is up to scratch. If you find it difficult to beat players in your own club, perhaps you should focus on learning from the experience, rather than setting your sights on victory. Players tend to up their game for the competition, and some less experienced players find the nerves too hard to handle, and lose their game at the last minute. Either way, the experience of playing in a chess competition against more skilled or more experienced players is beneficial to anyone's game, and will most certainly help strengthen your strategic thinking and gameplay.

It is important to be realistic about your expectations before going into a competitive environment to avoid disappointment. For many, a chess competition is the first time they realise there are better and more experienced players out there, and is the real motivation many players need to improve their game and work on their strategy. If you're looking to improve your game, there are a number of books and videos available from the minds of the grandmasters, which aim to give you some useful tips in improving your game, as well as focussing on constant practice with a buddy, or a specialist coach.

Many people devote years of their lives to learning and improving their game, so don't expect to win straight away. However, with continual practice and input, you will surely reap the rewards eventually as you begin to get further involved in the game and its more competitive side.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and play the game, learn from it, but most of all enjoy it. Although it's a competitive game, at the end of the day it is only a game, and so it's important not to get too wrapped up in the game Having said that, to see any real improvement in your game you have to maintain a routine of practice and expand your knowledge of the game and the theories behind it. Nobody said it was going to be easy!

About the Author

Clive Jenkins recommends the Chess Clock website which provides comprehensive information on all aspects of the game of Chess. To find articles,
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