Help Yourself By Helping Your Body
As with all activities that involve the brain you have to make sure that it gets energy and that oh so important blood to transport that energy. There are several ways to do this and some of them have other interesting side effects.
The basic one is to make sure that you have eaten properly. It is detrimental, at least to my play, to feel the blood sugar plummet to a new all time low in the middle of a tight game. My belly starts to make noises as the acidic juices that long for food to dissolve gets into place and the breakfast I skipped to get to the game in time seems like the thing that will decide the outcome and not my skill.
When all the carbohydrates you can muster have been gulped down and you have taken the time to let them flow into your system you will most likely enter what I prefer to call "the food comatose state". This is the time to get ready for the game and maybe study some openings or problems just riding that nice flow of new energy knowing that your brain definitely won't starve even if you end up in that tiresome third ByoYomi.
During the game you can do some small things to help that grey thing between your ears perform as a perfectly tuned F1 car. Make sure you sit in a good position. Don't slump forward like a sack of potatoes unless you feel that you really need to dive in and almost touch the stones with the tip of your nose.
Play the game in a relaxed state and you show your opponent that you are on top of things.
Further more you should use your time in a good way. If the game has entered some phase where your course is clear you can allot two minutes to just stand up, flex your arms and pump around the blood in your body with the muscles in your legs.
While you are standing up you also get a new perspective on things. For me it means I all of a sudden can view the board as if I was sitting in front of my computer. Since I play most of my games on NNGS this is, for me, the way I'm used to see things. When I did this during the last and tiresome match of my first tournament I found several flaws in both mine and my opponents structures and I could then sit down and take the match to victory. -- Joorin (18k)
chrise I've often wondered how the pros prepare for the match. I presume they don't have a few beers beforehand...
Vincent: A good nights sleep also couldn't hurt. (I'm glad someone besides myself seems to have an understanding of how the state of your body has an effect on your mind.)