Recently one of my students got a fide rating of 1325. We were expecting something much higher than that as his standard rating on playchess has been above 1800 for most of the last 6 months. In order to know the reason for this difference we have analysed his games. What I found should be useful to those who are going to play their first tournament game.
Don’t go alone. While playing in your first tournament it is better to go with your coach or group of friends. Coaches can guide and motivate you while friends can support you. For example if you lose your first game very badly, that can affect your other games too if you’re alone.
Intuition can be used to identify candidate moves or can be used when the position is very hard to calculate. But that doesn’t mean that you can just rely on it as otherwise there wouldn’t be any place for creativity in chess. Most of time positions demand concrete calculations.
Your physical fitness level has a huge impact on your performance because of energy levels. If you are not fit it is difficult to find a good moves over a long period of time, simply because you will be tired.
Selecting tournaments: Don’t select a tournament where there is a vast different between your local weather and the weather at the place of tournament. However if you would like to go, just go 3-4 days prior to the event.
Just focus on your natural game as the pressure of a first tournament can badly affect your performance compared with playing at home on the internet. Rather than thinking about outcomes try to play good chess. Don’t expect too much from yourself and just enjoy the games, and in this way you are likely to play well.