Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Chess Tournament Checklist

It's 5 more days to the Penang Open !!

What are your preparations?

First off, the Penang Open is a serious long time control tournament and it's best used to gauge one's performance AFTER all that practice and preparation.

Still, there is time for last minute preparations. Here's a common checklist :-


Tactics
The most exciting and entertaining as well as most important aspect of chess. Strong tactics is an important edge to have over your opponent. You can do that thru chess software like CT-Art or online chess tactic puzzles from Chess Tempo. Frequency and duration is up to you but a good record to see how you've improved (or not!) is important.

Sparring sessions
Some use friends, some go online. Whatever works for you, it's important to test out yourself how your opening and tactics preparations are so far.

Openings
There are huge volumes of books written on this so be sure your opening repertoire contains solid as well as those risky/agressive openings when the need arises. You know the feeling of getting caught unprepared playing what was supposed to be your pet opening.

Database
The list of players registered is on Penang Chess Association website. You can check it out and use ChessBase Megabase / Chess Assistant / GigaKing (from ChessKing) or some online database like ChessBase onlne to narrow down and  create a tidy database of all your potential opponents. This beats querying the entire 6 milion game database for one particular name all the time. Also you can carry the smaller database in pgn format on your tablet or phone without having to connect to the internet so you can review any game even when you are not in front of the computer.

Software
I know many go without even a notebook but I am always of the opinion strong players must have their toys/tools like ChessBase, strong engines like Houdini etc ready on their notebook. This can be complemented by engines and chess apps on the phone and tablet. From experience too I've seen strong players have all the essential tools on their notebooks. A good example is my room mate and 2nd place winner for last year's Penang Open - GM Susanto Megaranto. He brought along a shiny brand new notebook and I saw all the major tools that I am familiar with. It shows that a good machine and proper software is important to this GM. Sad to say,I don't see the same for some of the local players I shared rooms with in the past.

One thing to note, Megaranto does use the notebook frequently but very briefly. He checks up something and then closes it. He doesn't stay glued to the computer for long periods of time (not like me anyway :) ). He spends more time on the phone whatsapping someone rather compared to the computer.

Disclaimer:
I am just a chess patzer and the above is just an opinion. The check list is nothing new and pretty common knowledge. And preparation is not about chess but about you - the chess player and you or more accurately your coach (if you have one) should know what preparations work best for you.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In most tournaments, expect the unexpected..

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