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:



Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: