What Counts as a Healthy Tournament Schedule?

Growing up around tournaments have always made me wonder – what counts as a healthy frequency for tournament play? If there were multiple tournaments within a single weekend… should you play both tournaments?

Up until tournaments began to interrupt my ability to complete all my schoolwork, I would compete in what tournaments I could almost every week. I was always completely fine with it as I enjoyed going to tournaments and thus taking breaks from academia. I always thought that such a schedule was normal but now that I look back, it seems almost crazy to be playing so often, especially as school curriculums become more and more difficult.

So what counts today as a healthy schedule for tournament play – especially for students? Per usual, this is dependent upon what the students themselves are like – but I still believe that there is a threshold that people can use to determine what’s best for their kids or for themselves. The most important thing in my opinion is that as long as you are still interested into playing the tournament by the end. The worst thing one can do to oneself or one’s kids is force them to continue playing when they are already having issues concentrating during their current games.

One thought on “What Counts as a Healthy Tournament Schedule?

  1. For teens, school will probably naturally limit how much a player should play. Younger kids under 12 probably need to be held to a single tournament per week, unless they show that they can play their best in more than one event per week. We have a number of the top yougsters, e.g., U8, at the Boylston Chess Club, and I have noticed that they have a hard time playing their best on a weekly basis. They simply lose resolve to play, lack attention, and whatnot because they don’t feel like each individual game is so important.

    For me, three full-length tournaments per weekend and four weeknight monthly swiss games per week is healthy for me. My rating, game quality, and performance jumped upward when I started playing at least two events per weekend. My ritual has been one shorter control tournament on Friday night at the Waltham CC (rapid or blitz) and then a standard control event at the Boylston.

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