For those who is the first time playing their first chess tournament can be stressful sometimes but take it as a step for you to learn & progress. Don't bother about the amount money you paid for & take it as investment in it. I remembered my first tournament was the USM Individual in 1995 which I scored only 2 points.
Step1Get enough rest. It will do you no good to enter a tournament in the situation tired and with a fuzzy brain. Go to bed about an hour earlier than you normally would to ensure that you feel invigorated for your first game.
Step2Do not study the night before the tournament. Take a break–watch TV, read a book, go to the movies. Do anything but study. This type of last minute work does not work well. Just don’t think about chess, don’t look at chess, don’t play chess same like Coke slogan except the other way round.
Step3Have a good breakfast. Flying through a fast food joint and a cup of coffee is likely not going to help your creative juices flow. Try to get some fruits during the lunch break if possible. Get up a little early and have a well-balanced, healthy breakfast that will keep you full for a while.
Step4Take a sack or backpack in with you. In the sack, there should be extra pens/pencils, a snack or two, bottled water or juice, and a sweatshirt or light jacket in case the tournament hall gets cold.
Step5Play the openings you know, and studied so far. It is a big mistake to try something new at a chess tournament unless if the tournament you took part is for fun. If you get into positions you are not familiar with against a stronger player, things will probably not end well. The best way is to complicate the positions & hopefully your opponent will run out of time! Make sure when you complicate, make sure you got space & development to move around. Trust your instincts–play what you know!