During a long chess game, it's difficult to maintain an emotional balance. In some positions we feel comfortable, and in other uncomfortable.

But, do you have some tips to stay emotionally balanced? And more important, any tip to enjoy the game and maintain the competitivity ?

  • 1
    Whatever the situation, focus on your tasks: play sharp and precise opening moves, calculate variations, assess positions, make plans. Enjoyment comes in the post mortem after you have won :) Jul 1, 2017 at 23:09

4 Answers 4


There are quite a few things to do to improve your results as well as enjoy the tournament.

On the physical side stay well rested and well hydrated during your game. Eat plenty but keep it healthy. When it's not your move walk around and look at other boards, resting your tired eyes and getting the blood circulating. Do a light exercise in the morning before your games even start. Lastly if you didn't sleep well maybe have some caffeine ready to go.

As for mentality, don't worry about anything except having interesting, exciting games you can show your chess friends when you get back from the tournament. Win or loss, make sure you play what you think are the best moves, even if they get very complex. Don't look at your opponents rating just briefly glance enough to see your board color and the table you're playing at. Knowing their rating and letting it distract you won't let you make better chess moves over the board. Keep your entire focus on the game you are playing. Once you finish a game, win or loss, don't think about it too much and relax. You just played a physically exhausting game, recupe the best you can and focus on getting your energy back. As long as you tried your best that's all that matters. Results are just check marks for one side or another, what really matters is being brave and showing determination to play the best move you can see, and improving your understanding using those games once the tournament ends.

At least I try to do all these things when I play tournament chess, I've even come first in my section a number of times.


I find that first of all it pays to be well rested before I play. Opening preparation for various contingencies helps inspire confidence. Some anxiety before the game is natural, but once I start to play, that seems to dissipate. I try to play quickly but soundly, not falling behind on the clock. A sense of panic is less likely to occur if you don't feel pressed for time. I initially look for obvious things, like unprotected pieces, then simple tactics, for both players. If the position is very complex, I try to make sound decisions and not see imaginary threats. If I can't see a combination, I don't try to defend against it. If there's something there that I can't see, so be it. I'll learn thereby and hopefully be better prepared for a future game. I keep in mind that some losses are inevitable and are not the end of the world. If I find that I have to stand up occasionally during a game to stay alert, I do that. I try to keep in perspective that it's a game and not of overwhelming significance in the great scheme of things. If you play regularly and try to apply the general principles throughout the game, progress is inevitable over time. Chess is to be enjoyed, so I try not to let anything detract from that attitude.

  • 1
    'Chess is to be enjoyed, so I try not to let anything detract from that attitude' Great motto :)
    – Mr.Joe
    Jul 3, 2017 at 12:44
  • It's work sometimes, but I keep trying. :)
    – CConero
    Jul 3, 2017 at 19:25

My tips to enjoy long game tournament matches:

I faced this situation many times.

I play short timed games(5-20 mins) more than long games. But in some tournaments we have to play long games. In that situation I will use opponent's time(not more than 5 mins) to think well that what will be his/her move and decide what will be the best respond move for me. It will work 80% for me. In that case I will walk around and sing some melody song(note: which only I can hear), drink little water and just see other board people face expressions(not the board to confuse with mine).

Then after some time I will resume back to my board and get back to normal.

Hence I won't have pressure more than 5 minutes and I will get my mind relaxed often.


There can be many ways where you can enjoy a tournament depending upon the number of participants, the weather, which influences a lot especially in India, how many of your friends are playing, the number of rounds, the location and many others. These are technically not the original parameters, but definitely to some extent factors .

The natural way to enjoy a tournament is to enjoy playing chess and observing the chess games of others. You need to love the game more and more, and watching a game between two players should be a treat. If you have friends talking about chess history, different openings, who is the best chess player, strengths and weaknesses, and exchanging of ideas can make you lively and should never tire you.

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