Chess Tournament Tips

Chess Tournament

November 18, 2020

A Chess Tournament is a series of chess games played competitively to determine a winning individual or team. Since the first international chess tournament in London, 1851, chess tournaments have become the standard form of chess competition among serious players.

Today, the most recognized chess tournaments for individual competition include the Linares chess tournament (now defunct) and the Tata Steel chess tournament. The largest team chess tournament is the Chess Olympiad, in which players compete for their country's team in the same fashion as the Olympic Games. Since the 1950s, chess computers have even begun entering the tournament scene.

Most chess tournaments are organized and ruled according to the World Chess Federation (FIDE) handbook, which offers guidelines and regulations for conducting tournaments. Chess tournaments are mainly held in either round-robin style, Swiss system style or elimination style to determine a winning party.

Information About Chess Tournament

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Swiss System Of Chess Tournament

A tournament that has too many participants for a round-robin format is commonly conducted as a Swiss-system tournament. In the Swiss style, players are paired with opponents who have done equally well. For example, players with six points will play other players with six points (if possible), so that the player with the most points at the end of the tournament is the winner. Pairing players for Swiss system tournaments is often quite complicated due to some nontrivial constraints:

  • Players don't face the same opponent more than once.
  • Players often don't play with the same color more than twice in row, and in the end, the difference between the number of white and black games should be no more than one.
  • Players of the same federation cannot be paired in the last round to avoid match fixing, or for political situations, players of certain federations cannot face each other.

Nowadays, tournament organizers commonly use a chess tournament software to pair players, such as Swiss manager.

Due to the high percentage of draws and the small granularity of the scoring system which is entirely based on the final results, it is relatively common for players to have the same score as the tournament finishes.

Although it is often not an issue, as the tied players often split the prize equally, in case of necessary (for trophy, qualifications to other tournaments, etc.), there are a few ways to achieve tiebreak, such as (listed in no particular order here):

  • Sonneborn–Berger score
  • Rating performance
  • Number of wins, number of black wins, etc.
  • Tiebreak games, often involving the players playing a series of games with increasingly faster time control until one player scores higher point (explained in more details in Elimination section)

In case of more than two players tie, a combination of above the tiebreak rules apply to resolve the tie.

Rate Of Play Of Chess Tournament

The rate of play for each player is 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game; with an increment of 30 seconds per move from the start. In every group there will be played nine rounds, based on the “Swiss system”. Every day the games will be started at 14:00 hrs the last round will be started at 12:00 hrs.

NB: The FIDE Laws will apply, except article 6.6a. The rule will be instead: A player, not present at the chessboard within one hour after the scheduled time to start, loses the game, unless the arbiter sees a good reason to decide otherwise.

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