A Grandmaster’s Guide to Over-the-Board Chess | Etiquette and Behavior

In this second part of my OTB guide, I take you through the process of playing your first over-the-board tournament. I talk about how to find your board, what a tournament looks like, and I cover all aspects of over-the-board etiquette, including how to make moves, touch-move rules, how to offer draws and resign, how to settle disputes, and much, much more!

Make sure to check out part I:

Link to weighted tournament set:
Link to DGT North America Clock:

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236 Comments

  1. Why doesn't the opponent have to acknowledge the 3-fold repetition if you actually make the move with the piece, but they do if you write it down?

  2. "nothing alcoholic" you've never been to one of my prestigious tournaments, I see.

  3. Have my first tournament in Vancouver in 2 months, I am super nervous haha thanks for the video

  4. Can we use any other normal notebook instead of a scorebook?

  5. If you checkmate your opponent and dont stop the clock right away (say you are not sure if it is mate or if you are afraid of stopping the clock and its not mate. ) Is there a penalty?

  6. Sigma male grinder, refuse to even acknowledge the betas offer of a draw

  7. A collaboration with Chessbase India (Sagar Shah) would be epic.

  8. You can’t castle with two hands in blitz, it’s same as impossible move and opponent gets extra 1 minute for the first time, if you done impossible move already before then you loose this game. Same for rapid and classical game, but 2 minutes instead of 1

  9. Can you bring any chess board to a tournament? Or do you need some specific size or set of pieces.

  10. Are you allowed to keep your scoresheet after, or are the moves recorded somewhere that I can find after the tournament? I'd love to be able to review my games but don't trust myself to memorize them. Amazing video, thanks Danya! Playing my first tournament this weekend in NY!

  11. You haven't mentioned promotion. What do you do if there is no extra queen/piece? Is there a customary way of doing it?

  12. Hello. Thanks for the video, really useful. One question can anyone help. You say call tournament director, but what are the penalties they can give. So someone let go of a piece and then moves it back and moves another piece, or makes an illegal move etc. What sort I’m implication can they give the person making the errors?

  13. Hi Danya. I know I'm kinda replying late, but what if black doesn't show up to the board. Do you start the clock, even if you are white, or do you wait until they show up?

  14. Playing in my first tournament in less than 10 days. Thank you so much for making this video as well as the preceding part 1 video! These were a great help in getting over the anxiety about the unknown!

  15. Good video. You may also add that if the player needs to leave the tournament before playing his last game or games, he needs to notify the TD so that the TD will not pair him with other players for the remaining games of the tournament. If the player does not notify the TD, the TD will be pair him with other players, and these games will be considered as lost games for him (forfeits).

  16. "Assuage" a word that was read but never heard spoken aloud. I love hearing those kind of words. But I notice you also added the extra syllable in a different video with the word "Diss-u-ade". Bonus syllables!
    Cool video btw, sorry to make fun of your words.

  17. On-line can be great, of course, but over-the-board is real chess : D

  18. What about pawn promotion? How is it done properly?

  19. Should you announce "Next victim…" every time you win a game? That's what Robbie Fisher did in Chinese checkers.

  20. What are the annotations used for? What happens if your opponent annotates incorrectly?

  21. What happen of you touch a piece but that piece has no where to go? Do you lose? Or as there is no option you move another piece?

  22. I have one more question – despite having played otb tournaments, I‘ve hardly ever seen grandmasters do it: how exactly does one promote a pawn? Place the new piece first, then remove the pawn? Or remove the pawn and put down the new piece? Thank you! You are an amazing teacher Danya!

  23. 32:08 Let's say you win the tournament and the director gives you a check. What to do if it turns out to be a checkmate and he takes over the first place?

  24. I am a senior citizen. When I was growing up, chess notation consisted of P-K4 rather than e4. Is the old form of notation (P-K4, Kt-KB3, etc.) still in use? If not, when and how did it change?

  25. wow…i thought i know the bloody rules.. but the castling rule what to touch first was suprising. I was taught "rook always go to the king, than king jumps over the rook". This way it was somehow easier for me (as a child) to remember how to long castle… (put the king on b file or on c file ?). I even wasnt lazy to check the official rules of fide (well..czech federation translation), because i thought that maybe you Americans have some special customs, like you always do 😀 Seems like you were right. 🙂 I plan to go to my first ever tournament this month, so you saved me from trouble!

  26. 25:40 I believe the actual rule is that you must hit the clock with the same hand that moved the piece.

  27. Can I give my king and put it in my opponents hand like in the Queen's Gambit movie?

  28. Also want to note that tournaments can provide accommodations to people with disabilities

  29. First ever OTB in 2 days, I'll let you know the results. Tnx Dannya!!!

  30. What happens when your opponent does an illegal move? Do they lose on the spot?

  31. Had my tournament at school again after 3-4 years, my lichess rating is 2000 but when i played the try outs my rating feels like 1000 so yeah im nervous af but was able to manage to win tho.

  32. There's an anecdote in our family. When my mother was a university student, she played chess with her friend once. After the game, they have approached their professor with a question: "If one player has checkmated another, but none of them has noticed the event, and the game continued, who has won?"

  33. Hey Danya, one question. How the hell are you supposed to keep notation when you are scrambling with 30 seconds on the clock? Or with 5 seconds? That is simply NOT humanly possible. NOT even if you are Usain Bolt. Are you supposed to just accept the loss on time, with the crushing knowledge that there is nothing you can do about it? If so, that's just utter bs.

  34. Regarding touch move rule, if I touch a piece of mine, and then touch my opponents piece, do I have to capture the piece I touched? Also what happens if I touch his piece first and I can capture it with multiple pieces, can the opponent claim touch move?

  35. Good to know not to engage with opponent in dispute, just let TD sort it out. Great video.

  36. amerish video….. my brotha, you're a GM. nonetheless, i appreciate the insight. thank you !

  37. do not put your coffee cup on the board lol

  38. Why do people put both kings in the middle of the board when they are done? I've played tournaments 20 years ago and I remember we put the king of the winner in the center, or both in case of a draw. But when I look at professional tournaments nowadays both kings are always in the middle even when it's not a draw?

  39. Thanks for the content Danya! Taking the jobava to my first OTB tourney at my local club in 2 weeks!

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