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Thread: Half-point Byes

  1. #16
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    What is old is new again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham in 2014
    Eventually it was agreed that under the Swiss system proper a player can only be intentionally allowed one unplayed game for which they score points - though of course it may happen that a player unintentionally receives more than one, for instance because of an unexpected forfeit.
    Club chess. 7 round tournament. 1 game per week. 2 half point byes allowed in first six rounds.

    Unrated player and one of the bottom seeds received the 'full point bye' in round two, and then has said he can not attend round three. Should a half point bye be awarded for this player in round three?

    I can not find this situation covered in the Swiss Pairing Rules, or discussed in this thread, where the full point bye occurs first.

    What do you recommend as a solution?

  2. #17
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator View Post
    What is old is new again.



    Club chess. 7 round tournament. 1 game per week. 2 half point byes allowed in first six rounds.

    Unrated player and one of the bottom seeds received the 'full point bye' in round two, and then has said he can not attend round three. Should a half point bye be awarded for this player in round three?

    I can not find this situation covered in the Swiss Pairing Rules, or discussed in this thread, where the full point bye occurs first.

    What do you recommend as a solution?
    So all that is now in the General Rules is:

    A player who has already received a pairing-allocated bye, or has already scored a (forfeit) win due to an opponent not appearing in time, shall not receive the pairing-allocated bye.

    Given that, if the rules of the competition say that two half point byes are allowed, and do not place any restriction on that, then I would give the player the half-point bye even if they have already had a full-point bye.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Given that, if the rules of the competition say that two half point byes are allowed, and do not place any restriction on that, then I would give the player the half-point bye even if they have already had a full-point bye.
    I would also do this (and have done). Apart from the rules I think the two most important issues are

    - the bye is meant to be compensation for missing a game; if your half-point bye(s) are netted off the bye then it isn't that, especially as you would also receive harder pairings in the rounds in between, and indeed you may have been better off losing or forfeiting.

    - the half-point bye is the average expected score had the player played, so giving them the half-point gives them no advantage but not awarding it gives someone else a harder pairing (and necessarily someone else an easier one).

  4. #19
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    All good points.

    Example: at the commencement of the tournament, a player requests a half-point bye for Round 5. The arbiter grants this wish and informs the player. Now if we were to permit half-point byes only for players who have not yet received the full-point bye, then the arbiter would need to go back on his ruling and inform the player that their Round 5 half-point bye will no longer be issued. This would be a problem.

    Under the new Swiss pairing rules, all unplayed games (0F, 0.5F or 1F) are treated as downfloats. In terms of pairings for later rounds, there is not that much difference between the sequences (i) 0.5F 0.5F 1F, (ii) 0.5F 1F 0.5F, and (iii) 1F 0.5F 0.5F -- especially not if the last two byes are consecutive. As the outcomes for all 3 sequences are likely to be similar, there would be some inequity in permitting (i), but not (ii) or (iii).
    FA Andrew Hardegen
    Southern Suburbs Chess Club (Perth)
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hardegen View Post
    ... Example: at the commencement of the tournament, a player requests a half-point bye for Round 5. The arbiter grants this wish and informs the player. Now if we were to permit half-point byes only for players who have not yet received the full-point bye, then the arbiter would need to go back on his ruling and inform the player that their Round 5 half-point bye will no longer be issued. This would be a problem.
    That is a very good point. And it seems that there is general agreement that the half-point bye should be awarded, even if the player has received a full-point bye.

    The only remaining issue that I can see is what if a player receives two half-point byes, and also the full-point bye, and then wins a prize? It's unlikely to be an issue at the Brisbane Club (where the rating prizes are not significant anyway), but I could see it happening in a weekender. Something similar did happen in this event, although it's actually a full-point bye and a forfeit win.

  6. #21
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    Chalk it up to the vagaries of a Swiss and not worry about it is my suggestion. Someone has to get the bye, and the pairing rules don't currently prevent that from being a player who has taken half-point byes.
    IA Craig Hall

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  7. #22
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Another half point bye policy question for club chess. Different clubs seem to have different policies, or no clear policies at all. This could come down to the arbiter not cleaning up their pairing file at the end of the event.

    Club announces x amount of half point byes allowed in so many rounds, but no half point byes allowed in the final round.

    Players take half point byes during the allowed rounds, but now this is the question.

    Some players have taken a half point bye in the second last round and then either just not shown up for the last round (club chess remember, one round per week), or informed the club of their non attendance.

    They are marked as withdrawn for the last round in Vega. But the question becomes, what should happen to that half point bye in the second last round? Should the player retain that half point bye or not?

    There are arguments both ways, for retaining the half point bye, and not. They could either be regarded as withdrawn from the last round they played (two round before, and therefore, they lose the half point bye), or they were allocated that half point bye, and so they keep it.

    There can also be an point made that the purpose of the half point bye is to allow the half point bye taker to be roughly placed in the next round where they would roughly been had they played the previous round. Therefore, since the player took the half point bye in the second last round and then did not show for the final round, all that half point bye is doing is inflating their score in the standings, not assisting them to place them properly for pairings in the final round.

    A lot to think about, so fellow arbiters, what are your thoughts? Should the half point bye in the second last round be retained or discarded?

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator View Post
    Another half point bye policy question for club chess. Different clubs seem to have different policies, or no clear policies at all. This could come down to the arbiter not cleaning up their pairing file at the end of the event.

    Club announces x amount of half point byes allowed in so many rounds, but no half point byes allowed in the final round.

    Players take half point byes during the allowed rounds, but now this is the question.

    Some players have taken a half point bye in the second last round and then either just not shown up for the last round (club chess remember, one round per week), or informed the club of their non attendance.

    They are marked as withdrawn for the last round in Vega. But the question becomes, what should happen to that half point bye in the second last round? Should the player retain that half point bye or not?

    There are arguments both ways, for retaining the half point bye, and not. They could either be regarded as withdrawn from the last round they played (two round before, and therefore, they lose the half point bye), or they were allocated that half point bye, and so they keep it.

    There can also be an point made that the purpose of the half point bye is to allow the half point bye taker to be roughly placed in the next round where they would roughly been had they played the previous round. Therefore, since the player took the half point bye in the second last round and then did not show for the final round, all that half point bye is doing is inflating their score in the standings, not assisting them to place them properly for pairings in the final round.

    A lot to think about, so fellow arbiters, what are your thoughts? Should the half point bye in the second last round be retained or discarded?
    I think that if the player is entitled to a half-point bye for Round 6, and they claim it in the proper way, then they should receive it.

    What happens in Round 7 is a separate matter to what has happened in Round 6.

    I don't think it would be appropriate, after Round 6 has been played, to retrospectively cancel a half-point bye that has been awarded in that round. I don't agree with the idea that the half-point bye should be cancelled because it inflates the player's position in the standings, when the same opportunity to claim a half-point in Round 6 was available to other players who also played Round 7 (and had the opportunity to score points in that round).

    For what it's worth, I generally don't give half-point byes in the last two rounds.

    Regarding players who are in the habit of withdrawing from tournaments without informing the arbiter -- and this is probably a more serious problem -- there are various options available to the organisers or clubs running the tournaments. Reducing the player's score by 0.5 points does not seem an appropriate penalty for repeat offenders.
    FA Andrew Hardegen
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    www.southernsuburbschessclub.org.au

  9. #24
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Hello Andrew,

    In my post, I never mentioned a specific number of rounds for the event. It could be a 5, 6, 7 or even 9 round event. The number of rounds was not that important. But thinking a little bit more, perhaps the number of rounds might be important?

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator View Post
    Hello Andrew,

    In my post, I never mentioned a specific number of rounds for the event. It could be a 5, 6, 7 or even 9 round event. The number of rounds was not that important. But thinking a little bit more, perhaps the number of rounds might be important?
    Hello Garvinator. That is true, you didn't mention a specific number of rounds in your more recent post. Though in your post on 7/4/2022 in this thread, you did mention a 7 round tournament. This may have been somewhere in my memory.

    I don't see that the number of rounds is that important to the specific question being considered. Obviously in tournaments with fewer rounds, players will play fewer games and there is more scope for players to use half-point byes as a means of avoiding facing particular opponents. I have seen 6 round tournaments, with 2 half-point byes available, in which players have won rating prizes despite only having 3 played games. I think the simplest and fairest solution is to reduce the number of half-point byes available. But these are different questions to the one you asked.

    What are your thoughts?
    FA Andrew Hardegen
    Southern Suburbs Chess Club (Perth)
    www.southernsuburbschessclub.org.au

  11. #26
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    If a tournament allows a half point bye in round N-1 wheree N is the number of rounds and a player correctly applies for a half point bye then that matter is finished. Nothing should be changed.

    What happens in the last round is a completely different matter.

  12. #27
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hardegen View Post
    I think the simplest and fairest solution is to reduce the number of half-point byes available. But these are different questions to the one you asked.
    Brisbane Chess Club's basic policy:

    1 pre-announced half point bye allowed in the first four rounds of a 5 round event.
    2 pre-announced half point byes allowed in the first six rounds of a 7 round event.

    Failure to contact the club before each night's registration period closes and the player gets a zero point bye after they have entered the competition. Miss two rounds with no explanation and the player is assumed to have withdrawn themselves ie we do not show them in the next week's pairings on our website.

    What are your thoughts?
    This question comes about because it could be viewed that if a player has not attended the second last week (asked for the half point bye and it being granted) and then did not attend the last round, that they are regarded as having completed the competition from the last round they played. The whole question is, which round are they regarded as finishing at?

    If it is a 5 round event, and they were granted a half point bye in round 4 and then did not play in round 5 (my wording here is precise, because I am trying to avoid a debate over whether the player contacted the club before the registration period ended for the final round or not) when did the player actually finish the competition?

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator View Post
    If it is a 5 round event, and they were granted a half point bye in round 4 and then did not play in round 5 (my wording here is precise, because I am trying to avoid a debate over whether the player contacted the club before the registration period ended for the final round or not) when did the player actually finish the competition?
    I think it is clear that a player who plays Rounds 1-3, and then requests a half-point bye in Round 4, is still participating in the competition as at the end of Round 4. I would say that a player finishes the competition when they declare to the arbiter that they withdraw, or when the arbiter withdraws them.
    FA Andrew Hardegen
    Southern Suburbs Chess Club (Perth)
    www.southernsuburbschessclub.org.au

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hardegen View Post
    I think it is clear that a player who plays Rounds 1-3, and then requests a half-point bye in Round 4, is still participating in the competition as at the end of Round 4. I would say that a player finishes the competition when they declare to the arbiter that they withdraw, or when the arbiter withdraws them.
    I completely agree with Andrew.

  15. #30
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    At Norths (Australia's biggest club?) we don't allow half-point byes in the last two rounds of any event. (This is also the NSWCA's policy, BTW).

    Any bye requested 48-24 hours before the round, after the provisional pairings are published, is a 0-point bye regardless of which round it is. Any bye requested within 24 hours of the round, after the final pairings are published, is a forfeit loss.

    FA Rob Watson

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