´╗┐ FICGS chess cup proposal


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Thibault de Vassal    (2015-10-16)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Hi all,

The recent discussions on FICGS chess wch tie break rules just gave me an idea...

Obviously, there are no satisfying solution (for everyone I mean) for a change in the wch rules. In my opinion, wch rules are great already, even if there are too many draws in matches.

The idea of a cup tournament is here for years but I didn't see any way to include it, in a several rounds version at least, in our calendar because of the wch cycle, the slowly decreasing number of active players, and so on...

But what do you think about this cup format:

An enormous round robin tournament with the 33 (1 player for each piece on the board, it's a symbol but the number is to be discussed) highest rated players who entered the waiting list. It is 32 games per player for 1 round only, duration of games could be the standard one (because there is one round only), longer but maybe fits more the number of games and additional games in other tournaments.

Looks like a great challenge and a real alternative, with very few risks of draw odds, cheating or whatever... It may be the biggest correspondence chess round robin tournament on the internet.

Any opinion? Would you play such tournament?

Janos Helmer    (2015-10-17 04:15:24)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

...Yes !

Garvin Gray    (2015-10-17 14:19:12)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

This is different to my Ficgs world cup proposal, which had clear goals in mind.

In my opinion, this just seems like one big round robin and once the games start, it will be rather difficult to feel like the games are anything special, unless the field is red hot.

And a big fat no to the standard time control. Lengthen the rapid type time control if you wish, but do not use the standard type time control.

30 days plus 3 days per move should be satisfactory.

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-10-17 18:23:12)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Yes, we may use an intermediate time control, any idea on this is welcome.

Scott Nichols    (2015-10-19 21:03:30)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

10 days plus one day per move is my preferred time control.

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-10-19 22:52:25)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Scott, you could really play 32 games more at this speed? Are you such a machine? :) That's inhuman, IMO.

Scott Nichols    (2015-10-20 00:12:22)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I had over 80 games going steady for over 10 years at the fastest time control offered. Probably not as unusual as you think.

Jose Carrizo    (2015-10-20 01:45:23)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Very interesting proposal! 32 games = lots of fun. And 30 days plus 3 days per move seems reasonable.

Clodomiro Ortiz    (2015-10-21 09:47:50)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I agree with the ten days+one day per move format,but if considered too rapid i suggest a 20 days+one day per move time control..as you know, several players tend to extent games almost endlessly when fall into unfavorable positions,,

Jan Ohlin    (2015-10-23 12:09:23)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Should there be any sense of self-torture like this should it be ten days+one day per move format which makes it difficult for people to use computers in full. I hope...

Timofey Denisov    (2015-10-23 12:22:09)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

10 days start + 3 days for move, I think :)

Garvin Gray    (2015-10-23 13:11:56)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I think this whole discussion has missed the original point of why I made the original proposal for the ficgs world cup.

It was to give players who were in the 2100 to 2200 and below more opportunities against players rated 2300 and above, whilst still also giving the top players something to play for ie the tournament win.

So the original concept was that there was no knockout groups, or starting final match, but instead that all players started from round one, and then everyone had to qualify for round two from there, with only the winners to advance at each stage.

The format above could have even taken over from the waiting lists we currently have, which struggle to be filled, as they give more purpose.

Instead, what is being proposed now, is just one big round robin. As someone who has just organised a round robin event, I can assure you, soon after the games have started, the players will soon forget which games are for the world cup, and which are their World championship games, and which are their Rapid SM, or Rapid M games.

Next, the strength of the field. For this event to work with the monster round robin, it really does need most of the top players competing. How can this be ensured to make it a worthwhile event?

Related to this- the time control. Very few serious correspondence chess players are going to sign up to a time control of 10 days initial time when they potentially have 31 games.

Remember, this is meant to be one of FICGS main events on the calendar. That is at least how I view it.

The time control should be 30 days plus 3 days per move if the format is single round robin with 32 or so players.

I still believe the original proposal of mine is the one that should be adopted, not the single round robin that is being discussed now.

I will not be playing in the single round robin.

Stephane Legrand    (2015-10-23 17:52:07)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I really prefer Garvin's proposal.
It looks like a real cup and not the enormous round robin tournament first proposed.

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-10-23 22:10:19)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Could someone copy-paste Garvin's original idea for the cup tournament? I'm not sure which thread deals with it (even if I think I remember the main scheme)...

By the way, I agree with your points Garvin, finally question is what tournament do we want? ... Surely we'll have many different answers. Multi-rounds tournaments bring many problems (first is IMO that next rounds start-date still surprise many players), that's what I thought one round could be interesting. Also, it looks like a big challenge with a fast result. But I agree that many top players would think twice before to enter it, but wouldn't they do the same in a multi-round similar event? To be continued.

Sebastian Boehme    (2015-10-24 00:57:15)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

What about to make it easier for most players, split the big round tournament into an A and a B group as preliminaries of say 16 players.

And so oh then the final groups the best 8 of each winner group go to the Final and the last 8 players of each group go to the B final?

This in my opinion could ease a lot for players and still would be challenging.

Stephane Legrand    (2015-10-24 07:54:19)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

why not doing Sebastian's proposal and
Garvin's proposal (maybe with a shorter time control)
and you'll see ...

Garvin Gray    (2015-10-24 08:40:42)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Here is the original thread: http://www.ficgs.com/user_page.php?page=forum_read&id=10509

Garvin Gray    (2015-10-27 00:53:11)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Has this conversation just died?

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-10-27 23:03:32)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Hi Garvin... Surely not!

Well, just read your cup idea again, here are my thoughts:

- In my opinion, in both ways, top players will probably ignore such a tournament. So, the challenge point may be most important.

- In my opinion, the 33 players round robin is even more simple (and avoiding complicate cases depending on the number of entries), more different from FICGS WCH, faster (no choice to make about playing 2 cycles at once) and with more chances of clear victory, but does it really bring something in both cases? Quite subjective at the end.

Stephane Legrand    (2015-11-08 09:53:12)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Perhaps the winner can be qualified for a big Wch candidates final or something like this.

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-11-10 01:43:46)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

This could be an additional option, right (maybe not so easy according to the duration of the tournament though)...

Garvin Gray    (2015-11-10 01:50:55)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I really do believe the first question that needs to be asked is. What is the purpose of this event?

Then after that question has been asked and the answer gotten, then the format is rather automatic.

I believe the purpose of the event should be to have all players start from round one in different round robin groups, and then the winners of these groups progress to the next stage (This could even be the final of 11 players if there is eleven groups).

So in all it could be just two stages.

Scott Nichols    (2015-11-10 14:37:41)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

This is all just re-hashing the Wch event. All that needs to be done is 1. Have a tie-break playoff. Each round of (2) games having a shorter time control until a win is reached. 2. There should be no returning champion privileges. Everyone will have to start from the beginning with the final 8 players qualified for a double RR to determine champion.

Bogoljub Teverovski    (2015-11-16 21:53:45)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

It's necessary to insert a deadline (Nov 30 the latest) for discussions, and to make final choice quickly (by Dec 10 the latest).

Sergey Zemlyanov    (2015-11-16 22:09:27)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Hi all. I try to express my opinion.
The main idea of mass round-robin tournament is good but
I think that the strong players might reject it.
As it seems, I see 2 different ways here:
1st. To have a strong tournament with top players.
2nd. To have a mass tournament just for fun.

In order to organize the 1st tournament you should do the next things:
1. To set up money prizes for winners (more prizes -> more top players might be interested in).
2. To send out invitations for players by email and etc.
3. The time control should not be too fast here if you want a qualitative games
and good tournament.
4. About splitting into the groups.
4.1 Semifinal stage.
I offer to play several qualifying semifinal rounds with 2-3 chessplayers coming into the Final stage.
For example, we have 50 players. So we can create 5 Semifinal groups with 10 players in each with 3 coming out places for the Final.
The time control here I offer 10+2/21 with vacation.
4.2 The Final stage.
I offer 15 players for the Final stage and 14 games for everyone,
or, another variant is 7-8 finalists and 14-16 games with color change for everyone.

About the 2nd tournament my opinion is:
1. To set up money prizes depending on entry fees, for each player.
2. To play mass round robin tournament with 1 game against each player
with faster time control, 10+1/21 for example.

In 1st variant you need to find a contributor to organize the tournament.
But it should be interesting. The 2nd variant with entry fees is interesting too, I think.

Sergey Zemlyanov.

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-11-17 02:34:49)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Why not a deadline... with a few more opinions, I think it will be possible (if it goes in one direction more than another)!

Anyway, we see that new opinions bring more and more questions and differences :)

On Sergey's points: First of all, I must say that if I could have brought bigger prizes for tournaments, there wouldn't have been such discussions, the whole thing (WCH particularly) would probably work better... but this is not the case, unfortunately :/

As I already said, multi-rounds tournaments are not compatible with longer time controls, and that's a pity. That's why I proposed a 1 round big tourney with a longer time control, but many players seem to be used to the rapid (or even faster) one. Finally, the schedule you propose looks like Garvin's one.

Firhan Firhansyah    (2015-11-19 01:02:25)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I like a tournament with short time control about 1 - 3 days per move. And i more like with big prizes

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-12-02 02:48:10)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Finally... after a way too long thought on this FICGS cup idea and FICGS wch format, I think that Garvin's idea for this new tournament should be tried.

1) Eros just won the latest WCH with all games drawn again, but not all games in the knockout tournament are draws (e.g. latest candidates final). I think that we must keep this original format because it doesn't exist elsewhere and because it is a real challenge (and it must be possible to beat Eros in 1 game... one day :)) ! Of course, the other reason is that I didn't find any other acceptable way in case of equality.

2) I still think that there are problems in both my cup idea and Garvin's idea in the current context, but this cup will be different enough from the WCH, so the two formats should probably coexist so that each player can choose (or play both).

Garvin Gray    (2015-12-02 09:32:52)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

In regards to point 1) I have never made any comments in regards to any of the other knockout matches other than the final match involving Eros.

I have made no proposals to change the format of those matches.

My only proposal is in regards to Eros's final match.

2) The ficgs world cup concept in my original format- if fully implemented, is in fact, dramatically different from the ficgs wch, and has little similarity to it.

What I could see it do though, if popular, is it might make some of the division groups less enticing to enter.

In my opinion, that would just be site evolution. If the high majority of the site prefer- ficgs wch, ficgs world cup and some of the divisions (or one style of the divisions), then an important discovery has been made that is beneficial to the membership.

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-12-03 01:55:06)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I forgot to add: One of the reasons I finally chose your format is that most players chose it (I also received a few private comments on the discussion).

Anyway, let's try it. To be continued very soon.

Scott Nichols    (2015-12-07 17:34:23)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

The entry fee changes everything for the better IMO. That cuts out the non-serious players. The time controls to me make a difference simply because of advanced age. (will I die before this is finished?) Of course for me, none of it matters since I already retired from CC. Zero games going, yay. What did it for the me was the constant arguing for longer time controls. In the old days of snail mail, that had a point, but not now.

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-12-08 00:14:54)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

What do you think about the entry fee idea, Garvin? Scott, do you have any prediction on the number of players according to the entry fee?

Scott Nichols    (2015-12-08 01:22:21)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

The 32 players were fine. Time controls (a little long for my taste, but...) are even OK. I had 2 big beefs with the wch. 1. playing a 1400 that just bought a new comp that NOW plays 2000+. If I beat him--0 rating points, draw--I lose many points, etc. 2. The "seeding" of players is not fair IMO, everybody should start at the start line. then the winner can feel much more proud to repeat as champion. I actually may win an ICCF semi-final (#45349), one more game needs to finish. I was seeded 10th of 11 players when it started. I mention this because in far too many of the Wch games were drawn much too early IMO. In ICCF, at least my tour's, the games were fought much longer, down to less than 10 pieces quite often. I looked at this last one and they are calling it a draw in the middlegame. I ask WHY? Just because it's 0.00 for a while, so what? It's the WORLD CH.! How many chances will a player get the opportunity? Each game should be fought to the death. Eros is very busy and has to be getting on in years, make him WORK for it! Sorry to ramble, just a few thoughts...

Garvin Gray    (2015-12-08 13:32:12)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Entry fee is a must. But then it could be seen as more elitist than the ficgs wch. Something to consider.

Garvin Gray    (2015-12-16 11:33:39)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Has my observation about the entry fee for the ficgs world cup in relation to the ficgs world champs 'derailed' some of the plans.

Thibault de Vassal    (2015-12-17 00:19:38)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I'm considering! (takes some time as usual :)) I'm still not able to make a solid opinion on this.

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-01-05 17:58:28)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Well, my feeling is that the number of players may be more varying in percentage with an entry fee (we still miss players)... on the other hand, it may more probably look like my idea of a 1-round-big-round-robin... Now I say why not after all. But would it be satisfying for the most? That is the question.

Garvin Gray    (2016-01-06 03:08:01)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I thought the only point of difference now was whether to have an entry fee or not?

I thought it was clearly decided that the stages and qualifying concept had been clearly decided in favour of.

Jan Ohlin    (2016-01-06 09:34:33)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I usually prefer the simple, easy to understand solutions. We have not yet fully tested using reliable gambit openings alternatively closed openings and if it does not feel good with the other proposals, as then, there is still no reason to rush off

Garvin Gray    (2016-01-06 09:38:59)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Jan: This is the thread for the ficgs world chess cup. Are you in the wrong thread?

Jan Ohlin    (2016-01-06 17:56:41)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Please calm down, Garvin. There is plenty of time to consider which will be the best decision.

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-01-07 19:33:20)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Garvin, we agree on that but I would be surprised if the entry fee would not divide the number of players by a factor of about 2, maybe 3 ... if we have about 70 players in the case without an entry fee, you can imagine the problem with: we would be sometimes able to launch a 1-round tournament (2 RR rounds for from 25 to 32 players would be strange IMO), sometimes not. If we choose no entry fee, the problem is solved, otherwise we must figure out several cases.

Garvin Gray    (2016-01-08 00:55:45)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

For the stages concept:Without an entry fee, it will be critically important to go from advertising start, to entry close to competition start and games playing at a fast rate. They can not be allowed to sit around and gather dust.

The longer the time period between when players sign up and when they actually have to play, the more chance that some will not actually end up playing. Hence the discussion of a commitment factor (entry fee).

I have no issues with a no entry fee event, just that if we go with a no entry fee event, it needs to go from ENTRY OPENING DATE to start in a quick period of time to reduce the number of non players.

Herbert Kruse    (2016-01-09 22:36:31)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

my ideas:

no change in running cycles, but the new one┤s should be with lesser time and more games per opponnent

Jan Ohlin    (2016-01-11 06:30:26)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Lesser time and more games per opponent in connection with more difficult openings to handle for chess programs, could be crucial so chess skills will decide, not computer skills.

Garvin Gray    (2016-01-12 06:13:47)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I just want to see the tournament get underway.

I do agree though with larger groups, as in groups with nine or eleven players in each. This then reduces the effect of non players on the end result.

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-01-18 02:47:01)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Garvin, a few more questions (do not worry, this tournament will exist & it will start this year!), according to your rules, how would you plan stage 1 & stage 2 if we have let's say 73 players for the first edition, and 103 for the second one? I mean the number of players in each tournament for the 2 stages.

Then, well... maybe this FICGS cup should have started at the very beginning of FICGS. I just didn't think that it would be useful and I'm still not sure but anyway, as a new FICGS WCH starts every 8 months, shouldn't it start 4 months after each WCH cycle? The waiting list for the next WCH will be open in a few days already. Shouldn't we take a few more time and do it best?

Garvin Gray    (2016-01-18 09:53:00)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I take you mean if in Ficgs World Cup 1 (FWC1) we got 73 players, then in Ficgs World Cup 2 we got 103 players?

Is that correct?

If that is correct, then in FWC1, using a number of 73 players, it would be 4 groups of 10, 3 groups of 11.

For the second stage (finals)= I know this might be a bit controversial, but I think the TER rule should be dropped and those who tie for first should progress. Since we have seven groups, that should mean at the most eleven players in the final.

This will have the by-product in the round robin games of everyone knowing that if they can finish outright first, they knockout everyone from their group immediately.

In FWC2- With 103 players, same format, just more groups.

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-01-19 00:25:30)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Yes, correct. Thanks for this answer!

Isn't it a problem that in a few groups, half players take White one time more than Black? ... and some to have one game/opponent less than in other groups? (by the way, a bit harder to code/launch the games)

These points (equity) were always of first importance to me in all tournaments and I don't remember having seen this elsewhere (but I can be wrong, I'm not used to ICCF tournaments, for example). What do you think? Why is it such a problem for you to wait a few more days to "complete" a waiting list? Please note that I'm not really opposed to this idea, I just want to be sure that not all players disagree with this.

Garvin Gray    (2016-01-19 02:55:13)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

As long as the group sizes are large ie 9 or more players, then I do not think it is a great concern if some of the groups have even numbers.

As we experience in any of the groups, be it world champs, standard games, rapids etc, there is always someone who does not play, so even if every group was 8 groups of 9 players, one group would become distorted and would really be an 8 player group with the inevitable consequence of some players receiving 4W/3B and others 3W/4B.

If the group size is large, 10 to 11 players per group, then the difference between 5W/4B and 4W/5B is not that great, compared to a group of 6 players, where the split is 3W/2B.

With large group sizes in the first stage, this could mean only a few groups (say six groups of 11 or so players), then the second stage could be held as a double round robin which solves all the problems.

This rule is already included in the current FICGS World champs for when groups are six players or less, but is rarely used.

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-01-19 20:24:05)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Okay, that makes sense to me. Well, I'm going to write the rules page for this cup tournament, I'll post it here very soon.

One more question, what would be the limit under which there should be only one round (e.g. less than 33 players -> 32 games per player) according to you?

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-01-26 21:40:10)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

One more concern while writing these cup rules: Are norms fair while having one game more with white or black in tournaments? There never was the case before here.

Garvin Gray    (2016-01-26 23:35:08)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

In otb tournaments, norms are completely valid regardless of colour balance. So that is no issue.

As I have said before, the tournament can start with 11 players, then someone does not start and that makes it a 10 person round robin, but the norms still count, even though colour balance technically for the actual games played was uneven.

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-01-27 00:38:13)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Ok, I agree with that.

Here is a first try for FICGS cup rules:

"FICGS world cup championship is a multi stages tournament. All players who entered the waiting list are involved in single round-robin tournaments (2 stages or more will probably be necessary). All games during the whole cycle are played in 30 days + 1 day / move. As a reminder, the use of chess engines (Stockfish, Houdini, Rybka...) is allowed and encouraged in cup tournaments. Norms are possible according to FICGS general rules.

Round-robin tournaments are groups of 5 to 33 players (most probably 7 to 13). The winner of each group is qualified for the next stage. In case of equality, the player with most wins (and if necessary the player with the lowest tournament entry rating, then the lowest current rating) among the best scores, is declared winner and qualified for the next stage if any. Groups are built grading all players by rating and distributing them to obtain similar elo averages. There will be no replacements in these tournaments.

In the case of a withdrawal, the games won't be rated if a player warns the referee before the tournament starts and at most 15 days after a new stage started but the first one."

Anything to add?

Garvin Gray    (2016-01-27 03:38:32)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I think I have a different view on a couple of points, based in part in relation to the feedback I read to comments about TER.

Also, it comes from how I view the structure of the first stage, which is only a few groups and large numbers in each group ie 6 groups of 11 players, rather than 11 groups of 6 players.

FICGS world cup championship is a two stages tournament. All players who entered the waiting list are involved in single round-robin tournaments.

All games during the whole cycle are played in 30 days + 1 day / move. As a reminder, the use of chess engines (Stockfish, Houdini, Rybka...) is allowed and encouraged in cup tournaments.
Norms are possible according to FICGS general rules.

Round-robin tournaments are groups of 5 to 33 players (most probably 7 to 13). The winner of each group is qualified for the next stage. If there is a tie for first place in a group, each player advances to the second stage.
Groups are built grading all players by rating and distributing them to obtain similar elo averages. There will be no replacements in these tournaments.


Effects- with only a small number of groups, and ties for first progressing, it is possible the second stage final could have 7,8,9 or 13 players. That will be determined.

But what I see is the main factor is that with large groups and ties going through, is all the players know they have to make a decent score to advance from the start. A good TER will not get the job done.

Also, if the scores at the top of a group are close, there is more incentive for players to attempt to get a score from their games as being the only one to advance knocks out everyone else, without any complaints about TER rules.

An entry limit will need to be put on when the final stage is double round robin. If there are six qualifiers to the final stage, then it should be DRR. 7 players in the final would make 12 games. Is that too much?

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-01-27 22:47:28)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Well, I'm not even sure if I agree on all points but I see no objection at a first sight, so why not (I'm just surprised with this tie rule). Do other players have an opinion on Garvin's points?

Roger Llull    (2016-01-28 10:11:23)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I would not like to see groups of fewer than 8 players to remove luck as a factor and to make ties less likely. I would not like to see groups of more than 12 players so they are not overloaded.
Also the tournament should always end in 2 stages so people know it won't be too long, and in case of a tie the winner should be the player with the most wins in the whole tournament.
And one more thing, please implement rules to reduce the number of non players and careless time losses. Like a minimum Elo, a minimum of finished games, and require 2 to 5 E-Points to enter.

Some of this would be valid for the WCH too. For example, stage 2 with only 5 players is ridiculous, because luck can play too big of a role.

Garvin Gray    (2016-01-28 23:12:19)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Hello Roger and thanks for your reply,

I would not like to see groups of fewer than 8 players to remove luck as a factor and to make ties less likely.

Garvin- Yes, this is something, at least from my point of view, is what I am trying to avoid. It also reduces the impact of any withdrawals in a group.

I would not like to see groups of more than 12 players so they are not overloaded.

Garvin- Unfortunately, Small number of groups, two stages, and if a large number of entries means something needs to give. So it could be the size of the groups. But hopefully they can be kept to a maximum of 11.

Also the tournament should always end in 2 stages so people know it won't be too long, and in case of a tie the winner should be the player with the most wins in the whole tournament.

Garvin- In my suggested version- I covered the two stage part. I take it your second comment refers to what happens if two or more players end up on the same score in the second stage?

Roger- And one more thing, please implement rules to reduce the number of non players and careless time losses. Like a minimum Elo, a minimum of finished games, and require 2 to 5 E-Points to enter.

Garvin- Quite a few of the withdrawals have come from top players in the past. The most important aspect to reduce the non players is to go from announcement, to closing date of entries, to start a quick and orderly process with no delays.

So after the rules have finally been worked out, have quite a period of time of publicity, then two weeks enter and then Thibault has to close entries straight away, get the draw done and games going.

The longer the lag period between announcement, entries opening, entries closing and games starting, the more chance of players 'going walkabout'.

Roger- Some of this would be valid for the WCH too. For example, stage 2 with only 5 players is ridiculous, because luck can play too big of a role.

Garvin- In the current WCH rules, it is already covered that Double round robin can be used if there are 5 players. I have complained previously to Thibault when he has not implemented this rule when put in a five player group.

In my reworded version for this competition, I asked, at what point should the second stage final for minimum qualifiers move from a double round robin to single round robin?
6 players, 7 players? It does seem like 6 players is the correct number. If only six players qualify from the first stage, then the second stage is DRR. If seven or more qualify, then it will be single round robin. Practically, this would most likely mean there were 6 groups, and each player won their group outright. Or 5 groups. And 4 groups were one outright, with the other group having 2 players finishing tied for first and both advancing to the second stage.

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-02-04 00:22:39)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

So, by following this ruleset, at the end there can be several winners, right?

Garvin Gray    (2016-02-04 16:19:52)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

That is possible.

You can be certain that any tie break rule for first, especially in a round robin final, will cause more disputes and hard feelings than having a tie for first.

There is no 'fair' way to break ties for first. So why bother when they all scored the same points for first?

Scott Nichols    (2016-02-06 01:45:40)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

There is one fair way, sets of 2-game matches with time shortening with each tied match. (better for spectators also) That way, no luck is involved.

Garvin Gray    (2016-02-09 03:24:17)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

And then you will just have more complaints about the faster time control and the title being decided by speed of the computer, superior engine.

Also there will be issues of trying to find an acceptable time for all participants. How do you find an acceptable time if players live in USA, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Oceania region.

If the games are all held at the same time for an accelerated time control, similar to the freestyle concept, then that is dramatically different to the original format.

Rapid playoffs are not ideal in OTB chess, but at least they are played at the same time of day as the original games, and some of the players are not forced to play at 3am, where others get to play at 3pm.

Also, all this requires extra organisation on Thibault's part, unless he writes into the original rules about when the finals will be, but still the playoffs will be still be unfair for the stated reasons.

A different idea could be to have a third round involving those who tied from the second stage. So if three players tied, they would play each other four times.

1 v 2
2 v 3
3 v 1

2 v 1
3 v 2
1 v 3

1 v 2
2 v 3
3 v 1

2 v 1
3 v 2
1 v 3

Garvin Gray    (2016-02-09 03:26:24)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

But really overall, I do have to protest, all these discussions I think are having a detrimental effect on the overall tournament.

Most players just want the tournament to begin. Seeing all these extremely small detailed discussions being talked through I know from personal experience irl just drives players away.

The longer they go on for, the more you lose players. This is why I keep saying, get on with it and get the tournament GOING.

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-02-11 15:52:20)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Don't worry Garvin, I'm quite used to it :) Anyway, one or several winners after round 2 is ok for me, I only think that we must avoid any advanced chess games or a casual third round.

The tournament will start on July 1st (between the next 2 WCH cycles), the waiting list will be open in June (2 weeks before the start?), but it will be advertised a while before.

Garvin Gray    (2016-02-12 01:26:27)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Ahh thank you. Some definite answers about progress. And dates :) This now allows players the opportunity to prepare. Time to get the word out.

This now can set a bit of a FICGS calendar :)

Garvin Gray    (2016-11-17 07:36:41)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

With ficgs now back up and running and seemingly most of the back end issues sorted out, I am now bringing up the topic of the FICGS World Cup and when will it start.

We had a format, a concept and almost a start date, then the whole site collapsed.

With now that WCH has started, the very first Ficgs World Cup could start in early January, with possible plans to hold one every six months (rough schedule).

Bogoljub Teverovski    (2016-11-17 10:12:51)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Yes, Ficgs World Cup should start in early January!

Thibault de Vassal    (2016-11-17 20:13:35)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

It should have started 4 months after the last WCH cycle... well, it was not humanly possible. So it was planned to start on March 1st, entries during February (4 months after this WCH). Why january?

Garvin Gray    (2016-11-17 20:46:24)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Ok then. At least I have a starting date :)

Herbert Kruse    (2017-01-11 13:33:50)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

can u open entry earlier?

i forgot sometimes to register

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-22 03:11:36)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

As you can see, earlier was probably too early...

Garvin & all who participated into this discussion, what do you think about making the Cup tournament a thematic chess (e.g. King's gambit) championship?

Garvin Gray    (2017-01-22 10:00:16)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Absolutely bloody not. There has already been a long discussion and a lot of work put into getting a somewhat agreed format.

Thibault, this is exactly what I expected you to do with this ficgs world cup, try and renege on the agreement at the last minute and attempt to change the format.

And with this concept of some kind of thematic championship, no one is going to agree on which opening to play.

We have an agreed format for the ficgs world cup and all you have to do is open the entry list for it, which starts February 1st for play beginning March 1st.

You renege from this and I will almost certainly walk from this site.

Roger Llull    (2017-01-22 12:55:21)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I'd prefer to have something different created from the ground up with mainly top players in mind, where the draw problem really is. But top players' time is precious, that's why I proposed bigger prices sponsored by people who are interested in specific openings.

This cup seems especially favorable for intermediate players, and the chance to score a few draws against higher rated ones may actually be a good thing that would be lost with complicated openings.

Roger Llull    (2017-01-22 13:07:38)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

*Prizes* is what I meant, not prices...

Jan Ohlin    (2017-01-22 15:07:19)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

FICGS WM will be matches where half of the games is different thematic, every player choice two, and the Cup will be really many games with short time, awoiding draws that way? Is this the discussion!?

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-22 19:00:28)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Hi Garvin! I'm just still open to ideas and was curious about your opinion (it could have been different after all)...

This discussion is still fresh, so let's see how it evolves, let's start this cup as it was decided and maybe we'll have a change in the WCH format or maybe we'll have later a kind of "King's championship" on the King's gambit with a different format, to be sure to try everything ^^

Garvin Gray    (2017-01-23 17:12:46)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

If the WCH format changes, and becomes something like this, or incorporates elements of the current FICGS World Cup two stage format, then of course a different concept for the world cup 'could/should' be considered.

That being said, if the Ficgs WCH format changed to something similar to the current ficgs world cup, especially if it involved a final stage being a round robin of some number of players, then it would start to look like the format that is used at ICCF.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-24 02:39:37)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I started to change the waiting lists page... Most probably, the WCH will not change (for the moment at least), the CUP waiting list will be open next week (rules page should be visible tomorrow), and possibly a "KING supertournament" thematic event may happen from time to time (later) with rules still to be defined (later)... To be continued.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-25 00:19:48)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Garvin, I uploaded a first version of the cup rules (see waiting lists)... is it near enough to what we discussed in the forum according to you?

Garvin Gray    (2017-01-25 09:18:35)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I have read the formatted rules. The only difference between what is in this thread and what is in the entry conditions is how ties for first will be broken.

If you read back through this thread, I said:

Garvin- For the second stage (finals)= I know this might be a bit controversial, but I think the TER rule should be dropped and those who tie for first should progress. Since we have seven groups (this was based on this discussion at the time- Garvin insert 25/1/17), that should mean at the most eleven players in the final.

This will have the by-product in the round robin games of everyone knowing that if they can finish outright first, they knockout everyone from their group immediately.


And we continued discussing the rules and it was agreed to remove the TER and other 'tie' rules have those who finish equal first all progress.

So that rule needs to be changed.

As quite a few of the entrants will not have seen this thread, or any of the other discussions, perhaps a slight explanation for round one of how this event is different to the FICGS world champs would be helpful to 'sell' the event.

As in. For the FICGS World Chess Cup, The Highest Rated Player will be seed 1 and placed in Group A, Second Highest Rated Player will be seed 2 and placed in Group B and so forth for seed 3, seed 4 etc till all players have been allocated to their respective groups.

All players start from the first round and there is no knockout stage.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-25 15:58:25)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Oh ok. As soon as it is different from WCH rules, we can try this... and it's even simpler. Let's hope that the "3 or 4 players tie with the same score in a group" case will not happen too often though, otherwise we may have a final stage with two dozens of players :) Possibles look like huge and cycles may not look like each other.

The cup rules page is updated.

Garvin Gray    (2017-01-26 02:30:15)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Before I first proposed abolishing the first place tie break rules, I went through a lot of the stage 1 WCH groups and checked how many ties there had been for first, and especially looked for multiple ties.

There were very few indeed.

The odds of three or four players finishing on the same score, when the group size is likely to be 9 or 11 players and the ratings of the players will be from 2300 to 1200 is extremely low.

Hence why I proposed the removal of the rule in the first place.

The rules are accurate now.

As to when to open the waiting list- I have also commented in this thread that having the waiting list open for too long will increase the number of forfeits when play begins.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-26 04:11:12)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

How long should it be open according to you? 1, 2, 3 weeks?

Garvin Gray    (2017-01-26 11:37:58)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

1) Being a new event, an email should be sent to all members explaining this event and that it is a main championship event. And that entries will open Wednesday 8th February.

2) Entries open Wednesday 8th February and close Wednesday 1st March. That gives everyone three weeks to enter.

3) Entries close Wednesday 1st March. The event needs to start straight after this date.

I am aware that you need to update ratings, work out the groups, load everything into the server to get the event started, so there is a lag time after March 1st.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-01-27 01:53:33)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

It should be ok. Let's do this way!

Herbert Kruse    (2017-02-08 11:51:22)
FICGS chess cup : proposal


Garvin Gray    (2017-02-15 23:34:39)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Woohoo. Entries are over 70 with two weeks still to go!

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-02-18 22:51:08)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

That's quite a good result indeed! Well done...

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-03-01 20:48:56)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

96 players... luckily, 12 groups of 8, that's the first time we create groups with an even number of players.

Daniel Parmet    (2017-07-01 07:48:12)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I know this thread is old but I feel Garvin made an amazing point that got lost:

"It was to give players who were in the 2100 to 2200 and below more opportunities against players rated 2300 and above, whilst still also giving the top players something to play for ie the tournament win."

I haven't played actively since 2010 for exactly this reason. I did play over 470 games though but found that I was permanently locked into this rating band despite being far beyond the skill level of this rating band solely because I was never allowed to play stronger players. So I moved on to ICCF where I easily was able to compete against 2370+ players all the time.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-07-01 22:35:35)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Well, one fact is that we do not have players rated over 2300+ enough anymore... I don't know how important is this "band" effect as I know players who went through but I guess it would be worth to make statistics.

Garvin Gray    (2017-07-02 04:33:16)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I have wondered for a long while whether:

1) The 2300 rated players or higher who started on this site, were not really 2300 in comparison to quite a few 2200 or so players
2) That deflation in the rating system at the top end has occurred in the system over time

Daniel Parmet    (2017-07-05 03:43:11)

To start with you have 1852 rated IMs that are 2352 on ICCF. The ratings here often don't make any sense at all. And for me, 2135 drawing such a player is a huge hit to my rating here while on ICCF I may lose a fraction of a rating point for such a draw.

Daniel Parmet    (2017-07-05 21:00:10)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

It doesn't help that there are so many massively underrated players. I haven't played here in 4 years. My rating here is 2135 while I am 2379 on ICCF.

I will imminently draw an 1852 rated player here which seems like a big upset and my rating will take a big hit. But on ICCF this IM player is 2352. I would lose about 1 rating point. So here I out rate him by 283 points while on ICCF I outrate him by 27 points.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-07-08 19:26:50)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Rules asked by players do not converge all the time, that's the least to say. Many prefer that games lost on time be punished by massive losses of elo points to prevent games lost on time, while many prefer that ratings stay coherent, whatever the losses (mainly on time)... And of course, games played at FICGS are not as important as games played at ICCF for most strong players. Conclusion is easy. But maybe there should be a change in the rating calculation to create some inflation... This could be worth a discussion.

Daniel Parmet    (2017-07-10 00:28:19)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Well, I think there needs to be something less in the sense of rating inflation but perhaps floors added for players with high ratings for ICCF. There is no way you can tell me an IM 2350+ player should be allowed to have a sub 2100 rating here. In general, I am not a fan of the concept of flooring... but in this case there are many such underrated players that bring down the entire rating average here.

Garvin Gray    (2017-07-13 17:09:00)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

A better question to ask is: How did that player get that rating so low?

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-07-20 16:31:47)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Ok, I finally slightly changed the rating calculation in this way... let's see how the whole thing will evolve (it will take time anyway).

Herbert Kruse    (2017-09-07 11:47:10)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

the problem is, that computer helps any player and so its slowly doing down

so in consequence not playing holds your rating high

but there should be a strong motivation for playing

Herbert Kruse    (2017-09-07 11:49:18)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

rating slowly going down i meant

Garvin Gray    (2017-10-01 06:36:44)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Quick observation from beginning of final round. Players are not stuffing around and taking forever with their opening moves.

Knowing they have 16 games to play and a time control of 30 days plus 1 day per move, players seem to be getting through the opening phase quickly, to get as much extra time on their clock in all their games as possible.

Thibault de Vassal    (2017-10-01 13:40:40)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Herbert: Yes it was, now it should be less the case (about ratings). Let's see in a few months.

Garvin: About CUP final, yes looks like reasonable to play the opening as fast as possible (just like in WCH)... 16 games is really tough to manage in the middle game, that's why I was more favourable to a longer time control for this cycle, but obviously many players are faster than me :)

Garvin Gray    (2018-01-14 02:43:50)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Projections for the winning score are now being made. I thought I would bring these discussions to the thread.

Be careful about not actually discussing the games as so not to influence those games.

It seems like 9.5 or 10 out of 16 will be the winning score.

For any player to get a FEM norm, they had to score 12/16.

Now looking at this field and how the scores have panned out, does 75% seems rather unrealistic?

9.5/16 has already been recorded by Ortiz, so use a golfing analogy. Ortiz is in the clubhouse with 9.5 and everyone else is still on course playing out their last holes.

Anything less than 9.5 is no good.

Quite a few players still have so many games still going that making predictions is a rather forlorn exercise at this stage.

Thibault de Vassal    (2018-01-14 02:48:25)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

I agree that many things can happen yet :)

Clodomiro Ortiz    (2018-01-14 03:08:02)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

My observations are just based on a rapid view of the remaining games..i agree that a few players still have to many pending games to make an accurate prediction,so the last word has not been said yet...

Clodomiro Ortiz    (2018-01-15 15:00:38)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

in my former comment shoud be read too many,not to many

Clodomiro Ortiz    (2018-01-18 10:55:56)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Dear chessfriends,as someone nicely said,I am now at the clubhouse.i like that..On that account,i think legitimate to extend my congratulations,in advance,to the winner or winners of this first CHESS CUP,no matter who might be,because they are not responsible that anything can happen..what a lesson..Thanks for letting me be part of this event..Yesterday i was only ringing the bells before DEATH KNOCKS AT THE DOOR..WAKE UP my family,WAKEUP LEGITIMACY,that is my wife name,GET VACATION if necessary those who may feel tired at the final stage,,,SPECIAL THANKS FROM MY HEART TO THIBAULT,for keeping on,although not everyone is always satisfied,chess is beautiful but men not so much..What a wonderful world anyway..finally,i want to point out that nobody gave me one single point.What is not too bad...GOOD LUCK..Now i go silent until the end...

Thibault de Vassal    (2018-01-18 18:09:44)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Cheers! :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2018-03-21 20:37:41)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

[a few posts before & after were edited or deleted]

As I just said in the game thread, that's why I always prefered the knockout format :/ Such suspicions are a cancer in round-robin championships and a pity as this was a real tough & interesting tournament (initiated by Garvin, for the memories).

Of course, this comment is not a judgement in any matter. Systems are the problem, not the problems caused by the systems.

Anyway, let's wait the end of the tournament, then I'll tell and explain my decision, that will eventually open a new debate to change the rules if necessary (I would be surprised though).

Thibault de Vassal    (2018-03-30 20:19:27)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Hello Herbert,

I think you may misunderstand what Garvin said there: "The simple explanation is that I had the white rook on h3 instead of h2" ... probably meaning that the analysis was based on the wrong position at one time or another / since one or several moves.

Let's wait the end of the tournament. Of course, losses on time are always bad in such tournaments, but it can happen for many reasons.

Thibault de Vassal    (2018-03-31 19:39:34)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

Well, in all cases I think that it shouldn't be allowed to designate anyone publicly as a (possible/probable) cheater. This would certainly lead to a terrible climate of suspicion and unfriendship. So, this has been added to the FICGS rules (11.1):

"To maintain a friendly community, any cheating complaint should be addressed to the referee and should not be made publicly in games comments or in the forum, otherwise with the same consequences."

Some comments in this thread will now be moderated this way.

Thibault de Vassal    (2018-06-09 19:39:18)
FICGS chess cup : proposal

This 1st chess cup just ended, time to comment :)

First of all, congratulations to Herbert Kruse for this nice win! The opposition was strong and the final result not so easy to guess until a few weeks ago, obviously...

Second of all, to end the cheating suspicion topic, I can only say this: correspondence chess is not soccer, round-robin tournaments are not knockouts, when participating in such a championship on the internet, we have to accept the risk that a few players may (for any rare and obscure reason here IMO) intentionally lose to another one. BUT there is definitely no way to be sure about that, no way to adjudicate games 100% fairly on such suspicions, whatever happening in any game. Of course, it would always be very easy to cheat discreetly enough. And once again, I designed the FICGS WCH to avoid as much as possible what happened during this tournament, it is players choice to accept this and to choose the tournaments they will play in the future. Now let's see what the second edition will propose :)