Are you a chess enthusiast and you want to join a chess tournament in the Philippines? If you are yet to attain a master level, there are several non-master chess tournaments you can join to acquire a rating or probably be a National Master in the future. These non-master chess tournaments are usually held in malls such as the Alphaland SouthGate Mall in Makati.
For schedules of these tournaments, you can check out websites such as the Philippine Chess Portal or of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines. Chess tournaments for non-masters are usually held during weekends to encourage more participants.
If you intend to join non-master chess tournaments in the Philippines be ready for a whole day of chess encounters. Usually, the tournament comprise of seven (7) rounds. The first round is played before lunchtime and the succeeding rounds are played at around 1 pm.
There is a modest registration fee before the start of the tournament. Registration usually starts at 9 am and since there is a limit on the number of participants be at the venue at around such time. If you are early at the venue there is a better chance for you to join the tournament prior to reaching the allowable number of participants.
Since the tournament usually consists of seven grueling rounds of intense chess, have an adequate sleep prior to joining the tournament. Lack or inadequate sleep affects your capability in playing intelligent and competitive chess. You have to be at your best when participating in these tournaments. Chess is a game that requires not only intellectual preparation but physical stamina as well.
Traffic in Metro Manila is very unpredictable and is known to be notoriously slow, head to the venue a little earlier than the usual. Have an idea of the traffic. It is always a best move to arrive at the venue early as it gives you time to relax and prepare for the tournament.
If it’s your first time to attend the tournament at such venue, do some prior research of its location and get an idea on how to reach it. If the venue is in the malls, bring a jacket. Given the malls air-conditioning, a jacket is one necessary and useful apparel.
Bring a ball pen. Even if recording the moves is not mandatory, a ball pen is necessary during registration and in signing your score sheet after the game. I noticed that during tournaments, there are players who forget to bring a pen. Borrowing a pen from your fellow chess player should be avoided.
Prior to joining chess tournaments (including those exclusively for non-masters) familiarize yourself with the fide rules of chess. Read the rules particularly the rules on "touch move", "replacing the promoted piece", "claiming for a draw", "displacement of pieces" and the "the clock". Before the start of the tournament, the arbiter explains the rules of chess and the regulations governing the tournament. Listen intently and politely ask questions if there are matters you need to clarify.
During play, follow strictly the rules. Before making your first move check your pieces and the clock if it’s functioning correctly. If you notice some lacking pieces, matters that need adjustment or some problems with the clock call the attention of the arbiter immediately to avoid disagreements during and after the game.
Before the game, shake the hand of your opponent. After the game, win or lose, do not forget to sign your score sheet and submit the result to the arbiter. Usually, it is the winner of the game who submits the score sheet. Before you leave, put the pieces back to their original position. Leave the playing area quietly and avoid disturbing other players whose games are still in progress.
Winning a chess game, just like in any other sport, is something to be proud of. If you win, be humble but appreciate the efforts of your opponent. If you lose, congratulate your adversary, accept it, move on and continue playing until the last round. Do your best in every round and enjoy the tournament.
Before I end, I noticed that there is no strict dress code in non-master chess tournaments in the Philippines. Despite that, chess players playing in these tournaments should endeavor to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts. Chess is a game of Kings and we must always dress the part.