Everybody has had a bad tournament at some time in their careers and sometimes it can be very bad indeed. But how should someone recover so that it turns out better next time?
First of all I think it’s important to be objective about what might have gone wrong and respectful toward father random; one or two random losses can make a big difference in terms of rating performance. It’s also important to be kind to yourself, too much self recrimination can lead to a permanent loss of confidence.
One of my own nightmare tournaments was the Hastings Premier of 1987-88 in which I finished with just 3.5/14 after facing opposition that was rather stronger than I was used to. But this turned out to be a useful workout as three months later I made my first GM norm in Oslo. Here’s my most important win from this event: