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by Mandeep Saggu 09 Apr 2023 0 Comments

As the title said, the first step in playing a tournament is definitely to find someone. Wow! Playing a chess tournament for the first time can be fun and of course it can be a challenging experience. You can start from a local chess club. While playing for the first time in competition you will certainly feel devastated by the rules and the chess format. Few try to stay away because they do not want to deal with any hassles. For that you need to hop on to this article and learn new things before playing your first ever chess tournament. 


The first step in playing in a tournament is to find one. Many players start playing tournament chess by participating in a tournament at a local chess club. Few chess clubs hold regular tournaments. Here one round is played at every meeting.  Few other tournaments are played over the course of a day. You can find these chess clubs through their websites or you can even visit a local club and get all the information. Maintain the list with you. The best and easiest way to find is by looking at listings and announcements in chess publications. The information on tournaments throughout the United States is from Chess  Life features a Tournament Life Announcements section and this is also available on the USCF website.


It purely depends on the tournament which you want to register for and it can be available in several forms. You can pay just before the tournament begins in many local clubs and enroll yourself. But for the bigger events, pre registration is only the way to enroll, either online or by mail. Sometimes Pre registering can give you an on site discount as well. The discount depends on club to club or in some cases registration might not be offered at all. When you register for a bigger tournament, there can be many options for levels that you can join. We suggest that if it's your first tournament, you should join a section that allows unrated players to participate. Opt for an open section where anyone can play. This will surely boost up your ratings and move on to another level. 


First you will need to become a member of some chess club, chess organization or federation that is rating the tournament. In the United States, you can join the USCF before attempting to play in any USCF-rated tournaments. You can also get online membership in your national federation with some additional benefits such as magazine memberships or discounts on equipment. One very important thing is that if you forget to join the membership before the tournament you are still able to join up at the tournament site.


It is always a good idea to bring a full set of chess equipment with you when you enter a tournament. Some chess tournaments will provide Chess sets but most do not. To be on the safer side it is better to carry your own. A good chess bag contains wooden chess pieces and handmade chess boards. You can easily buy these products from They provide you with all kinds of chess sets. For example, hand-carved wooden chess sets, Antique chess sets, Luxury chess sets, Ebony chess sets, and many more. Make your life and game easier by having your own equipment. A chess clock will help you a lot. This will definitely improve the game. A book and pencil are required for recording your games. It is certainly worthwhile to purchase your own set if you will be participating in many tournaments. 



Make sure that you are registered properly when you arrive at the tournament. While playing online tournaments the information is posted on a wall. This also includes a list of all registered players. The pairings will go up before the first round starts. The pairings will tell you whom you are playing, and where your game will be held. It will also let you know if you are playing white or black. Along with the ratings your opponent’s name will also be listed. After that find your board, sit down, and set up your equipment if necessary. The tournament director tells you to start your clock. Listen to the important announcements carefully. Shake your opponent’s hand, once the game is ready to start. Enjoy playing your first tournament game!


Make sure to record your result on the pairings sheet, after finishing your first game. It is easy for the tournament director to need this information and to pair the next round. Do not leave the tournament if you've ever lost the game. Players will never be eliminated from chess tournaments for losing. They can continue to participate until the final round ends, regardless of their result. A new pairing will be listed at the start of each round. Every piece of information will be regularly updated and record your performance. The participation and withdrawal of the game totally depend upon you. But when you withdraw it is very important to tell the tournament director so that they know and not to pair you for any future rounds.


When your final game is over, report your result. Claim your winnings, if you have an idea that you will have a chance to win the tournament. Take the game with a spirit of sport as it is unnecessary to win every time and win prizes every time. Once the prizes have been awarded, your first tournament is completed! You'll receive a rating based on your results within a week or two. You can look this up in the United States on the USCF website under the Member Services Area.

It is really important for a novice player to understand these important factors. This will really guide and give you the confidence to play Chess. Do visit for such interesting and amazing articles.

Happy Chess Playing!!

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