Recovering From A Nightmare Tournament

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:


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: