**PARENTS'
AND COACHES'
**

(More Tournament Rules Appear In The U.S.C.F. Rulebook)

To add to your understanding of how tournaments work, and to answer some of the many questions you undoubtedly are waiting to ask, we ask that you take a moment to read this Chess Tournament Introduction.Welcome to the world of Scholastic Chess!We follow the pairing rules developed by the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) on Swiss-System tournaments. The "Swiss" was designed to accommodate many players competing in the same tournament, while still producing a clear winner, even though the winner cannot play against everyone else in the tournament. This is done by matching together players who keep winning, thus reducing the number of players who continue to win (after each round, if all the players with "perfect" scores-- those who have won all their games-- play each other, and if half the players win their games, while the other half loses, then the number of "perfect" scores at the end of the round will be half as much as it was when the round started). Players who continue to win, therefore, will face harder opponents. Players who lose their games will face others who are doing the same, and their opponents should get easier.How do you pair players together?

This is __not__ an elimination tournament-- even players
who lose their first five games will probably face someone in the last round who
is in the same situation. Players do not face the same player more than once
(except possibly in a very small section). The halving process continues until
the last round, when, in theory, one player has won more games than anyone else
in that section.

A player's score in the tournament shows how he/she is doing. Each time a player wins, he/she gets 1 point for that round, while a draw is worth 2 -point and a loss is 0 points. A player's score is the total number of points he/she has at any point in the tournament. Players with the same score face each other as much as possible, beginning with the top scores down to the 0's.

In the first round, all the players are ranked in rating
order. Unrated players are usually placed right after the lowest rated player,
unless the Director assigns an estimated rating to an unrated player. The top
half of the tournament, by rating, is then paired against the bottom half, in
rating order. The same method follows for the rest of the rounds. Players with
the same score are grouped together and paired with each other, top half vs.
bottom half, in rating order. Sometimes, if there is an odd number of players
with the same score, the lowest ranked player will "drop" to the next lowest
score group of players and play the highest rated player in that group instead.
If there is an odd number of players in the entire tournament, then one player,
the lowest ranked player with the lowest score (a different player each round)
will receive a 1-point bye that round. The halving process continues with this
higher half vs. lower half method, and
**it is not uncommon for
players to face opponents with ratings much higher or lower than their own--
remember, pairings are made by score first, then by rating.**

Occasionally there so many players that it becomes likely
that __more__ than one player will win all the games. In this case, we may
"accelerate" pairings, dividing the tournaments into four quarters, instead of
halves, in the first round. In Round 2, higher-rated players who won may play
stronger opponents than usual, while the lower rated players who won may play
higher-rated players who did not win. This is all to try and reduce the number
of players who start round 3 with two points, reducing the possible number of
perfect scores at the end. Adjustments are made in this basic method, so that
players avoid playing opponents from the same school. In small score groups near
the bottom of the tournament, it may sometimes be necessary to pair players
together with different scores, to prevent players from the same school from
playing each other.

We also try to make adjustments so that players alternate
colors, or at least so that they will have played three Whites and three Blacks
by the end of the tournament. We also try every other legal pairing first,
before we assign the same color three times in a row to a player. However, we
avoid making any switches in pairings if there is a large difference in the
ratings of the players being switched (except to avoid giving 3-in-a-row). The
result is, in theory, that the top-__scoring__ players will face each other
in the last round to determine the winner of the tournament.

* What if the opponent is not there?*
At the beginning of the first round, some players, even though they have already
entered the tournament, are not going to show up without giving advance notice--
a very unsportsmanlike thing to do, which we can penalize them for. The
Tournament Director will decide if and when to make re-pairings among players
without opponents.

* How are scores shown on the wallchart?*
The wallchart shows a
player's cumulative score (how many total points he/she has)

(More Tournament Rules Appear In The U.S.C.F. Rulebook)

** What if several players are tied at the end with the same
score?** The tiebreak systems used
are:

1.Players who have won all 6 games (only) will play a special speed playoff for First Place (in the K-1 Section, a speed playoff will be used to determine the winner among all 5-0 scores);

2.Otherwise, the computer adds up the scores of each tied player's opponents (a half-point is counted for any rounds that the opponent did not play), and disregards the least-significant (usually the lowest scoring) opponent (the Modified Median System). The player with the highest total has played opponents with the best scores in the tournament-- in theory, the hardest opponents. If the players are still tied, the low scoring opponents are counted also (Solkoff Tiebreaks). For players who are still tied,

3.The computer adds each player's score to his/her
score from the previous round (the Cumulative System). Thus, if a player
won his first two games, lost his third, won his fourth, lost his fifth
game and drew his last game, his score in the tournament would be 1
point after round 1, 2 points after round 2, still 2 points after round
3 (he lost), 3 points after round 4, still 3 points after Round 5 and 32
points after round 6. His Cumulative Tiebreaks would be 1 + 2 + 2 + 3 +
3 + 32 = 142
. To break ties among players with the same Cumulative Tiebreaks, the
computer repeats this process, but it adds all the Cumulative Tiebreaks
of the __opponents__ of each tied player (the Cumulative Tiebreakers
of the Cumulative Tiebreakers, or CTBCTB system). This almost always
breaks the tie. The Cumulative Tiebreak System rewards players who win
earlier when the opponents are easier, then face tougher opponents.

** NOTE: **If computers are

**What is the time limit on the game?
Each player has 61
minutes for the game (each game, therefore, takes about 2 hours).
EXCEPTION:
All five games in the K-1 section ONLY are 25 minutes plus 5-second delay, per
player (or 30 minutes each with a non-time-delay clock). Unless the
game has already ended, the first player to use up all his time usually loses.
A clock will be used for each game if either player has one. If neither player
has a clock, start without one. The Tournament Director will assign a clock to
a game, splitting the elapsed time, when necessary.**

* Is it necessary to write down the moves?*
All experienced tournament players are required to keep score of the game;
inexperienced players are not,

* What time is the next round? When is the lunch break?*
The schedule of rounds is posted outside and elsewhere. Here it is again:

SPECTATORS CAN WATCH THE HIGH SCHOOL AND JUNIOR HIGH GAMES, AND THE TOP BOARD GAMES, BUT THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED NEAR THE OTHER ELEMENTARY AND PRIMARY GAMES.

EVERYONE MUST RESPECT HOTEL PROPERTY
AND GUESTS AND MUST COMPLY WITH THE HOTEL'S RULES OF CONDUCT.
__SECURITY MAY EXPEL VIOLATORS FROM HOTEL PROPERTY__!

* How do I find out about other tournaments?*
Everyone in the tournament will be a member of the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF).
This means that they can receive a rating, along with