You are here

Tournament Rules

Ties and Tie Breaking

Where possible, the chess club will divide prizes evenly amongst tied competitors. However, in some cases prizes aren't divisible (trophies, championship titles, free entries, etc.). In those cases, we will adopt the same tie break procedures that the Continental Chess Association, which should reduce confusion and add to the uniformity and familiarity for players.

The tiebreak systems used are:

  • 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’ scores are counted as well (Solkoff Tiebreaks).
  • If the players are still tied, the computer then adds each player's score to his/her score from the previous round (the Cumulative System). Thus, if a player won his first game, lost his second, won his third, won his fourth, and drew his last game, his score in the tournament would be 1 point after round 1, still 1 point after round 2 (he lost), 2 points after round 3, 3 points after round 4, and 3 ½ points after round 4. His Cumulative Tiebreaks would be 1 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 3½ = 10½.
  • To break ties among players who are still tied with the same Cumulative Tiebreaks, the computer then 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 System rewards players who win earlier when the opponents are easier, then face tougher opponents.

Full-point and half-point byes

A player may earn a full-point bye in a round. This happens when there are an odd number participants in the tournament (or section of a tournament). Typically the lowest ranked player receives the bye and earns a full point in the tournament standings.

A player may request one or more half-point byes in an event if that tournament allows half-point byes. FIDE events may allow more than just one 1/2 point bye if published in advace. All requests for byes should be made to the the chief Tournament Director by the deadline, which is typically prior to round 2. Byes will be allowed in any round unless the TD specifies otherwise. In both USCF and FIDE events, even if a player has requested or taken a half-point bye(s), a player is still subject to receiving a full-point bye in any round.