Arrive Early!

The recent zero tolerance defaults at the European Championships suggests that this might be a topic worth exploring. Personally I take the view that it is better to follow Mikhail Botvinnik’s example and arrive early for a game. In fact I’ve often aimed to be the first in a tournament to be seated and ready for the game.

The main reason to do this is to settle in and start focusing. I’ve seen countless examples of players blundering just a few moves after a rushed entry. Once you’re seated and ready to play it’s far less likely that anyone will try to engage you in conversation which is a sure way to dissipate attention. You can also start thinking about how you might play which is an opportunity to start thinking about the game without consuming time on the clock.

With regard to zero tolerance I’m surprised that players can’t figure out that a simple precaution is to arrive early. So here’s a clip with this very advice: