Monday, February 21, 2011

Victorian Team Championships

A little while ago I put together a document which outlined in my view how the 2011 Victorian Teams Championship should be run, keeping the good features and trying to resolve the weaker parts of the 2010 competition. I have just found out that Chess Victoria are happy with my proposal and in their wisdom/folly have accepted me as a tournament director for this event for this year. So my first role in this position will be to put the format for the 2011 competition into the public domain, and try to generate the same sort of interest that the competition created last year. Any feedback will be useful, and any offers of help in the running of the teams event will be greatly appreciated.

Here is the proposal that Chess Victoria have accepted. I will be trying to contact Victorian Chess Clubs directly this week, though the tournament is not due to start until May.

2011 Victorian Teams Championships


This event is for teams of 4 players. Each team may consist of a squad of up to 7 players. All players must be registered with the competition before they play, and all must be members of Chess Victoria. Teams may deregister players, and register new players at any time.

Each team must designate a captain who is responsible for organising fixtures with other teams, corresponding with other teams and with the league’s administration where necessary. The captain doesn’t have to be a player, and doesn’t have to be registered with Chess Victoria. The captain must lodge their contact details with the league administration including an email address.

The League will run as 8 team round robin divisions. (It is planned to have 3 divisions in 2011). Each team will play all the other teams in their division once. Teams are to play home and away matches, the home team having white on even boards. The scoring for the league will be 3 points for a match win, one point for a match draw and zero points for a match loss. The top team from each division is to be promoted to the next highest division for the following year. The bottom team in each division to be relegated to the next lowest division for the following year. In the case that only 7 teams play in a division, no team will be relegated, and one shall still be promoted from the division below.

Tiebreaks will be decided by the most game points, followed by the individual match result between the teams. If a tie is still unresolved a play off may be necessary.


There is to be roughly one match per month played between May and November. The first round is to be played at a single venue arranged by the administration. Then each team will have 3 home and 3 away games, and the final round is also to be played at a single venue.

Teams are to play in rating order though players within 100 rating points of each other may choose their positions. Once the playing order has been set, it cannot be changed for the season. Players may only play for one team per season.

The games are to be ACF rated, and the time control is to be 75 minutes plus a 30 second increment from move one. All games must be recorded by both players, for the whole game.

Each team need only announce their team composition directly prior to the match, though they must play in their set order and all the players must be registered with the league. Any player not pre-registered who competes for a team will automatically forfeit their game, and the game will not count for rating purposes.

Arbiters do not need to be provided by teams, the captains of the teams can each take on that responsibility. An arbiter can be assigned by the home team if desired. Any disputes that arise which cannot be settled on the day of the match should be addressed to the league administration stating as much detail of the incident as possible. The league administration shall then make a decision which will be final on the matter, pending an appeals process.

It is strongly encouraged that the fixtures for the year are arranged early as this is the best way to avoid forfeits. Matches can be rearranged if an issue arises with the original date.

Forfeits: If a player forfeits a game by not showing up for a match, then the game shall be scored as a zero. If a player does this twice during a season, then they shall be disqualified from the event for the remainder of the season. Should they forfeit again in the following 2 years, they will be immediately disqualified from the event.

The forfeit time for games is 30 minutes after the start of the match.

If a team does not show up for a designated match, they will lose the match 4-0. If this happens twice in a season, the team shall be disqualified for the rest of the season. The following season, if the team wish to re-enter the competition, a bond may be placed on the team returnable on completion of all matches.

Appeals and Communications:

Each team captain, as a representative of their team, may challenge any decision that the league takes. This shall take the form of an appeal, and if necessary the matter will be dealt with by an appeals committee, made up of the league administration, a representative of the State body Chess Victoria, and a member of a club not involved in the dispute.

All communications are to be directed to the league administration.

Team results should be sent to the league administration within 48 hours of the match, by both captains via email.

The league will endeavour to send out a monthly report on the progress of the competition, an end of year review, and a tournament advertisement prior to each new season.


  1. 3 home, 3 away rounds and one round tacked on at either end makes 8 rounds. Am I missing something, or shouldn't there be just 7 rounds for an 8 team round-robin?

  2. No, you are missing nothing. When I wrote this I was part copying some stuff from last year and part changing things and there was talk of altering division sizes, so it was my mistake. I think there will be 5 rounds of home and away, but there might very well be 6 if CV can't arrange an opener.

    Sorry for any misunderstanding, and thanks for pointing this out. :)

  3. There still seems to be a problem with forfeits. Teams are able to wait until just before the match to declare their team. If they do not have 4 players, there doesn’t appear to be anything to stop them leaving one board empty, not declaring a player on that board and forfeiting on that board. Then, there is no player for the league administrators to apply forfeit penalties to. The only reason a captain would declare the name is if they knew that the player was coming, but arriving late. I can’t see any player being penalised by this new rule.

  4. Forfeits were a problem last year, and they need to be tackled. I welcome any ideas that limit the amount of forfeits and it is a tricky issue. Perhaps the above system would work if teams had to declare 4 players before commencement of the match? Or perhaps teams need to be declared 24/48 hours prior to the match?

    Or perhaps there are other solutions that I am missing?

  5. I would prefer no rule, but I think that there needs to develop an ethos amongst players and captains that forfeiting a game and requiring the opposing player to turn up for no game is downright rude. OK, mistakes happen, players forget, misunderstandings occur, but forfeits should be a rare occurrence and a team that is regularly forfeiting is an indication that they haven’t got their act together and shouldn’t be in the competition.

    Perhaps a meeting of team captains before the competition that went through expectations about decent behaviour in regard to forfeits might be useful. I think if a captain knows that they do not have a full complement of players, then they use the players they have got to fill the top boards first and they should notify the opposing captain as early as possible and let them know that they don’t have to provide players for some boards because they have forfeited those boards.

    For those who believe that a rule is required, because some chess-players are too competitive and not open to courteous behaviour, what about this:

    Team nomination rule:
    Team captains are required to nominate their team and email a copy to the league administrator at least 48 hours before the commencement of the match. If a team does not have a full complement of players 48 hours before the match, then the listed players must fill the top boards first and the remaining boards are forfeited. The team captain must email the opposing team captain at least 24 hours before the match to let them know which boards they will be forfeiting and that the opposing team will not be required to provide players on those boards.
    A team may change who their players are after the 48 hour deadline, but may not add to or reduce the number of players on their team list for that match.

    Penalties: Teams that fail to comply with this rule, or comply with the rule and then have additional forfeits to the ones notified, will be penalised by having one league table point removed for each infraction. Teams with 3 or more infractions over the competition will be asked to explain to the league administrators and their club may not be allowed to compete in that grade in the following year’s competition.