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Thread: Late entries

  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Late entries

    There has been quite a deal of discussion regarding the treatment of late entries in various weekly events especially at some Melbourne clubs. See for instance posts 81 and onwards of current MCC Champs thread here.

    As an example, the current situation concerns a player who entered late and was:

    * given a half point bye retrospectively for round 1
    * paired for round two with a weaker player in the same situation
    * paired for round three as if on 1.5/2 on the assumption they would win round two.

    However, the player now gets a very tough round three pairing.

    I have started this thread as a general Arbiter's Corner thread on the question of late entries in these kinds of events and what to do about them. (Garvin noted he would comment on such a thread if it was started here, but didn't want to comment on the event thread.)

    My view is that late entries should typically be started on zero (if at all), to strongly encourage people to commit to chess, take an interest in when events are on and get their act together and enter on time. For a very strong player there is an argument for starting them with half-point byes, but that argument is only that this prevents the weaker players from having to play them, which is somewhat unfair to the weaker players.

    I realise that entry fees of late players can raise revenue that allows higher prizes to be offered, but most likely if you are firm about either not allowing late entries or late entries scoring zero for missed rounds, most of them will enter on time anyway.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    My view is that late entries should typically be started on zero (if at all)
    I don't see the point of this. There are two major tournament formats, the round robin and the Swiss. The round robin is an even contest, everybody plays the same field and they know who they and their opponents are playing. The Swiss is highly approximate, most of the standings equate only approximately with performance and a good or bad start is evened out by harder or easier pairings.

    But on the other hand the round robin is rigid while the Swiss has the benefit of flexibility. If somebody can't turn up for a round robin the opponent misses a game, whereas in a Swiss they are just left out of the draw. The pairings in a Swiss are made each round so that you play somebody of a comparable standard.

    Starting players on zero loses that flexibility, introducing the rigidity of the round robin but without any of its benefits. If the player would have most likely won the first round they will play meaningless games until they catch up; or they won't bother playing at all, which won't benefit anyone.

    Maybe something like the MCC Championship might be considered a prestigious event which won't allow late entries (though if an event is really claiming to be serious it wouldn't be a Swiss) but as a general principle allowing late entries with half-point byes seems to me to be the approach most compatible with the Swiss tournament structure. But if people are going to get hot under the collar about it then it should be specified in the tournament conditions rather than leaving the arbiter to make someone unhappy either way.

  3. #3
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    If someone starts round 3, why not pair him on the assumption that he is on 1/2? That would make more sense to me. Whether people should be able to start round 3 or not is another story alltogether...
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  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout
    I don't see the point of this...
    One of the the underlying principles, which has been explained is that of elementary fairness. If there were sporting/ gaming forefathers, they might suggest "One cannot receive a point that one has not earned". This could be claimed as one of the most rudimentary sporting/ gaming concepts of all. And let's face it, it's not a bad idea at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout
    The pairings in a Swiss are made each round so that you play somebody of a comparable standard.
    This is true, but the equality of pairing which you revere (and that's fine) is simply a means to an end, not an end in itself. The swiss process is simply a sifting process that itself is a compromise and I dispute the utopian weight you've given it in your rationale.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout
    If the player would have most likely won the first round they will play meaningless games until they catch up; or they won't bother playing at all, which won't benefit anyone.
    • You are denying the chance of an upset that would never be born.
    • Withing the early swiss system, there is the appeal for lower rated players to have at least one crack at a considerably better rated player. Your (the present) system belittles and denies that part of the process, which despite the well-known derision, is still an important part of competition - (Giantkilling) the early rounds of the FA Cup!
    • I object to the classification of the games as meaningless, as no doubt many opponents where the rating difference is say <600 points.
    • I'd say the 'not bother turning up at all' idea is a furfy in many instances.
    i) Such a player may well get his act together next time, as opposed to a lifetime of relying on the 'johnny-come-lately crutch' that you are supporting; or hells bells
    ii) turn up anyway for the longer event

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout
    But if people are going to get hot under the collar about it
    I agree that any shift should be announced and publicised, viz the mobile phone offensive (FIDE or localised), bu the hot under the collar thing? Who's getting hot under the collar? Your position supports the status quo. Would you get hot under the collar if the status quo shifted to no points for late entries?
    Last edited by Basil; 16-02-2009 at 11:24 AM.
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  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Control

    ACF and State Authorities in co - operation with the Clubs and all arbiters should work toward a uniform approach.
    Chess is a sport and as such should be governed by universal laws and regulations.
    Certain officials seem to accommodate Clubs' attitude toward the problem (yes it is a problem) of late entries.
    Although I understand the Clubs' needs, I also understand the position of officials who would not have a bar of this points for nothing systhem.
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  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    The main point I wished to address from the MCC club championship is where two players are paired in round two and it was decided to give one player the full point under the assumption that as he is so much higher rated, he should win and that is the expected result.

    I think this is a very bad practice because of its subjectivity. At what point does the result not become assumed? Is there a clear graph showing at what point the result is no longer assumed?

    From a pairing point of view, what is supposed to happen is that the pairing is recorded as a draw. The round three pairings are done accordingly, then when the game is played, the result is changed and pairings for round four are done as normal.

    Another option is to leave the two players completely out of the round two pairings, give them 1/2, 0.5/2 or 0/2 as per club practice and then pair them for round three.

    In terms of colour preferences, this might be the best solution as it means they would be on the same number of white/blacks as those who have played all rounds.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner Duggan
    One of the the underlying principles, which has been explained is that of elementary fairness. If there were sporting/ gaming forefathers, they might suggest "One cannot receive a point that one has not earned". This could be claimed as one of the most rudimentary sporting/ gaming concepts of all. And let's face it, it's not a bad idea at all.
    Indeed, and that's why you wouldn't want to do it in a round robin. But in a Swiss people routinely get points which are, if not unearned then awarded for far less effort than others, by virtue of people playing vastly different fields. Indeed the late starter given a zero bye would normally get back to the same score as if they received a half-point bye through precisely this mechanism. Half-point byes are a relatively minor inequality, especially as to get the one half you have to surrender the other.

    People are so used to the Swiss system that they seem not to notice that it is a fundamentally illegitimate mechanism as a contest - we use it because it has other benefits in terms of providing an enjoyable tournament. One of those being that if someone is sick, has to work late, has visitors, has other commitments, has an exam next day, misses the first round or whatever, it doesn't need to wreck their tournament.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner Duggan
    Would you get hot under the collar if the status quo shifted to no points for late entries?
    Probably not literally, but it would affect my decision whether or where to play if I knew I was going to miss a round or two. (Actually I'm not sure what is the status quo, my opinion is the same either way.)

  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justaknight
    ACF and State Authorities in co - operation with the Clubs and all arbiters should work toward a uniform approach.
    I think clubs should make their own decisions based on their own needs and circumstances.

    If the conditions under which late entries will or will not be accepted in an event concern a player, they should ask before entering. If they feel strongly enough about it, they can indicate they won't play under those conditions.

    Chess is a sport and as such should be governed by universal laws and regulations.
    To an extent, but I don't see a need to regulate everything uniformly. Nor do I believe uniform regulation of all playing conditions at all levels exists in all other sports.

    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray
    The main point I wished to address from the MCC club championship is where two players are paired in round two and it was decided to give one player the full point under the assumption that as he is so much higher rated, he should win and that is the expected result.

    I think this is a very bad practice because of its subjectivity. At what point does the result not become assumed? Is there a clear graph showing at what point the result is no longer assumed?
    Actually I agree with their decision to pair the player as if he is on 1.5/2. What I don't agree with is him getting both a half-point bye and a lower-rated round 2 opponent after entering late.

    I have played in Swisses before that allowed for postponements. For instance, a nine-round swiss played with three weeks of games, one weeks for postponements and adjournments (these were the bad old days!), three weeks of games etc, with a maximum of three postponements per player.

    Quite often in these events the draw for a round would have to be done while results from unplayed games in previous rounds were unknown. In this case assuming a result is better than assuming zero, and if the players are mismatched then you are more likely to be accurate assuming a win than assuming a draw.

    A good place to draw the line would be assume a win if the rating difference is 200 or more. That corresponds to around 75% scoring expectancy, depending on which table you are using.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout
    If the player would have most likely won the first round they will play meaningless games until they catch up; or they won't bother playing at all, which won't benefit anyone.
    This is why I suggested that very strong players could be started with half-point byes. Not sure exactly where the line should be drawn though. I don't favour giving a midfielder a half-point bye for a late start since that fails to discourage late entry.

    But if people are going to get hot under the collar about it then it should be specified in the tournament conditions rather than leaving the arbiter to make someone unhappy either way.
    I certainly agree with this.

  9. #9
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    I have put tourneys on that were on Sydney fringes to an extent - top players came from the other side of Sydney came on public transport when it is very poor. They may have missed 2 or 3 rounds. I looked at the draw and gave them points for games they should have obviously won, and then deducted off half a point coz they should not receive all. Been a "friendly" but rated comp no one complained when that person won first prize maybe. I hope Bill does not read this. Echos of St George comp

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I think clubs should make their own decisions based on their own needs and circumstances.

    .
    While I agree with this idea in principle, i think in Australia it is a very dangerous practice. First of all, many clubs do not have club policies of their own to deal with it. Secondly, few of those doing arbiting at a club level are experienced/qualified for the job. Thirdly, i think consistency is important.
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  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron
    While I agree with this idea in principle, i think in Australia it is a very dangerous practice.
    Oh really? What are the dangers? That sometimes people will get admitted to tournaments on an incorrect score that then gets sorted out by the Swiss draw over subsequent rounds? Hardly earth-shattering stuff. It's only a big problem when outright contenders get to escape playing games and still get full points for them by entering late (unintentionally or otherwise).

    First of all, many clubs do not have club policies of their own to deal with it.
    True, but it is up to those clubs to form some if they want to, or else deal with cases as they arise. If players are not happy that a club has no policy on late entries they can say that they want those conditions clarified before they agree to play.

    Secondly, few of those doing arbiting at a club level are experienced/qualified for the job.
    That is true but makes no difference. All that means is that if you have nationwide rules then organisers are quite likely to follow them incorrectly anyway. Also you will see on threads like this that how to deal with this problem is a matter experienced arbiters have a very wide range of views on.

    Thirdly, i think consistency is important.
    Why? So you know what to expect when entering a tournament? If you want to know what to expect in entering any given tournament you can ask the organisers how they are dealing with it.

    Calls for national standards on this and on that are a common (kneejerk?) response when people can't deal with the fact that different clubs have different approaches and some clubs don't know what they're doing on particular issues.

    The problem with calls for national standards is that national standards come in two kinds, rules and guidelines.

    Rules must be enforced otherwise they are meaningless. So does anyone really think the ACF is going to take the long handle to clubs and say "look, we're not rating the 200 games played in your current tournament because you gave some junior who entered late the wrong kind of bye?" Not likely.

    Guidelines are only useful if they are followed widely, and it is only worth the effort to prepare them if there are enough clubs that think it is an issue.

    I will support the ACF taking the trouble to prepare national guidelines in this area if someone can get together letters from at least 20 club secretaries from at least three different states saying that (a) they think this is a problem and (b) they will implement whatever guidelines the ACF comes up with whether they agree with those guidelines or not.

    Until there is that kind of level of support for action, the effort to formulate a set of national guidelines just isn't worth anybody's time.

  12. #12
    CC International Master Watto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout
    But if people are going to get hot under the collar about it then it should be specified in the tournament conditions rather than leaving the arbiter to make someone unhappy either way.
    I completely agree.
    As there is no consistently applied policy in Australia, individual club policies on late entries (and on byes generally) should be published ahead of the event. It would save a lot of confusion whether one agrees with the particular policy or not...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watto
    I completely agree.
    As there is no consistently applied policy in Australia, individual club policies on late entries (and on byes generally) should be published ahead of the event. It would save a lot of confusion whether one agrees with the particular policy or not...
    Yep! Thats what i call consistency
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