Ficgs World Cup


Ficgs World Cup

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Garvin Gray    (2012-04-24)
Ficgs World Cup

Following discussions about slow tournament entries, bracket and band rating issues and many other topics, a common item that came out of those discussions is that trying a modified version of the ficgs world championship is worth a trial.

So Ficgs World Cup sounds like a good name.


In the Ficgs world championship, there are many different qualifying stages, depending on your finishing position from the last cycle, your rating at the time of entry and the strength and total number of the other entrants.

While this format is very good for the concept envisaged when it was created, I think a ficgs world cup, with a format that will be explained below is required to cover a few gaps that are in the ficgs world championship.

The ficgs world cup will work as follows.

1) Everyone enters before a certain date, say June 1st 2012.
2) As soon as entries close, that is it. Entries are not taken after this date and there are NO replacements. The groups are meant to be of equal strength. Adding a new player can distort this.
3) Entrants are then divided into groups of roughly equal strength. Highest rated person is seed 1 in Group A, 2nd highest rated person is seed 1 in Group B. Serpentine pairings are used to allocate all players to each group.
4) How many players and how many groups is determined after the entries have closed. I would think that there will be probably 11 groups of 11 players (121 entries in total). It might be likely that we have to have three stages, depending on total number of entries.
5) 1 person from each group qualifies for the final stage. This is determined by total score, total wins and then TER. This does differ from the tie break formula of the FicgsWCH.


1) Everyone gets a game against players of different ratings, no segregated groups or players
2) Everyone starts from stage one
3) The format is clear to understand


1) May not be as tempting to the highest rated players (fear of loss of rating points)
2) Might take longer to finish

In my opinion, this is a format that deserves a couple of trial events to see if it is successful

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-04-24 16:37:02)
Ficgs World Cup

Well done Garvin. I agree with all points (for once :))... maybe it can be done in 2 rounds though (would be better so that the most successful players avoid to have 2 or 3 cups running at the same time in a few years)

Garvin Gray    (2012-04-24 17:13:09)
Ficgs World Cup

Whether two or three stages depends on how many entrants. I think there can be only a maximum of 11 players per group and also only a maximum of 11 players in the final stage.

Scott Nichols    (2012-04-24 18:52:36)
Ficgs World Cup

Sounds intriguing. I assume it would be Rapid time control like the Wch. Just one little idea, would an entry fee of 2 E-points be good? Everybody that signs up here gets 2 free E-points, it would be a good way to use them and also it would cut down on the people that start and don't finish.

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-04-24 19:30:14)
Ficgs World Cup

Ah, I assumed that the rapid time control was the only solution but actually we can envisage something else... maybe to have tournaments of 13 players if it is successful.

Or maybe we can have a limited number of places!? (so that the most motivated enter it first, and it would solve the total number issue)

I'm not so favourable to the Epoints fee here, but that's probably worth to be thinked twice.

George Clement    (2012-04-24 20:37:58)
Ficgs World Cup

I'm with Scott sounds intriguing. Also raped time control would be fine.

George Clement    (2012-04-24 21:17:34)
Ficgs World Cup

:) Didn't mean raped time control in previous post but rapid. Sorry for the typo. ;)

Peter W. Anderson    (2012-04-24 22:58:29)
Ficgs World Cup

Sounds like a good idea to me. Big groups are a good idea - it gives more chance of getting a clear group winner without tie breaks.

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-04-25 00:26:09)
Ficgs World Cup

Who thinks that a limited number of places (81 = 9x9 or 121 = 11x11 or 169 = 13x13 according to how the waiting list fills) would be a good idea?

And what about a rating band to avoid forfeits by casual players? Maybe ratings above 2000... In some ways it could be a real alternative to the WCH for all players rated from 2000 to 2200, and there would be less games to play at the same time (less frightening to entry)... just a thought.

Garvin Gray    (2012-04-25 01:52:44)
Ficgs World Cup

Seen a few ideas, some that I thought would not be popular are been suggested as to give it a go. Good:)

There is a simple solution to keeping it to 2 stages. Just announce there will be 11 groups and leave the number of players in each group till when you know the final numbers.

So 220 players would be 11 groups of 20 players. That might be too much for some people, but you get the general idea.

Perhaps with 20 player groups (hypothetical of course), a slightly longer time control would be a good idea, perhaps 30 days initial plus 3 day increment ;)

Thib: I was thinking about the issue of the number of groups and I think it has to be eleven groups in the first stage. Then each of the 1st place group winners go through to final stage.

I am against any concept of rating bands, or even the mention of the concept. That is totally against the principle, design and point of this format.

Steve Lim    (2012-04-25 03:55:03)
Ficgs World Cup

Hmmm.. food for thought.. to summarize.

2 Stages of 20 games


3 Stages of 11-13 games


I too am against the concept of rating bands however we need a way to deal with casual players and dropouts. Especially if there is a no replacement policy..

Garvin Gray    (2012-04-25 04:43:19)
Ficgs World Cup

I think everyone needs to be completely clear when they mention the term rating bands:

In the context used on ficgs, it means a minimum and maximum rating that players can play in. For example in the rapid waiting lists, there is a rating band of 1900-2100. Meaning only players between 1900 and 2100 can play in that group.

If you are talking about players being suspended, then please specify that and be clear that you are talking about suspensions.

I apologise if this reads as a cranky reply, but this whole concept is being devised to not have any kind of rating bands, or special exemptions for any player.

So I bristle quickly and strongly as the suggestion of rating bands or special exemptions, to the point that I will abandon this concept if rating bands or exemptions are going to be implemented.

Peter W. Anderson    (2012-04-25 08:59:48)
Ficgs World Cup

Either 2 stages of 20 or 3 stages of 11-13 would work for me. 20 is my personal limit for the number of games I play at once, but for this format I would make an exception and take on the group of 20 even if I had a few games running.

Like Garvin I am against banding on this, as it is against the original objective. I guess you could put a lower limit in, but I think it should be much lower than 2000. Maybe 1800 or even 1700.

One way of dealing with casual players and minimising the likelihood of drop outs is to only open the tournament up to someone who has already completed (a much better test than started) a certain number of games on FICGS. Perhaps 30 games which equates to 5 normal tournaments, (or even higher, at the risk of me not being eligible!).

Garvin Gray    (2012-04-25 09:16:51)
Ficgs World Cup

Ahh now I think I understand some of the previous comments.

What you guys are talking about is a rating floor, not a rating band. With a rating floor of say 1999. So all players must be rated above 1999 to participate.

Not a big fan of a rating floor for this as it goes against the original objective, which is to provide more opportunities for players of different ratings to compete against each other. This does not only apply to 2000's v 2200's, but also applies further down the rating list as well.

The effect is not as pronounced, but still applies for the original objective.

I am in favour of an activity requirement. The standard in otb chess is that a player must have played nine rated games to get a rating, so the minimum activity could be ten completed games.

I am not as strong on the idea of an activity requirement as I am on no rating bands (which is very different to rating floor).

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-04-25 10:58:56)
Ficgs World Cup

Okay, so far I agree with Garvin on all main points I think.

- No rating floor (or rating band, of course)
- 11 groups whatever the number of players

- I think that the rapid time control is still ok as many games should be finished quite fast

George Clement    (2012-04-25 17:28:04)
Ficgs World Cup

I also agree with Garvin and Thib. 11 groups, rapid time control, and no rating bands. However I think we need an activity requirement, nine or 10 rated games wouldn't be too bad of one!

Garvin Gray    (2012-04-25 18:04:47)
Ficgs World Cup

To simplify the activity requirement, it can be that all players must have an established rating. No provisionals and no estimated ratings.

An issue regarding number of groups is, what if we 50 or so entries. 11 groups of 5 seems rather silly, so I think it would have to be 5 groups of 11, with 2 players qualifying for the final stage.

While having 2 players qualify is not ideal, it is better than having 11 groups of 5 players, which defeats one of the purposes of giving more games across different rating groups.

George Clement    (2012-04-25 18:41:11)
Ficgs World Cup

To simplify the activity requirement, it can be that all players must have an established rating. No provisionals and no estimated ratings.

That would be really good! As far as the groups I think it would really depend on the number of entries. It will be tough to predict ahead of time.

Daniel Parmet    (2012-04-26 01:13:45)
Ficgs World Cup

Great idea Garvin.

As far as activity goes, I think it should be either an established rating with a history of no time forfeits. It definitely should not be calculated based on RATED games. This is silly. I play many unrated games these days because its the only way to play strong players. I don't play rated here anymore because of the rating bands. So your activity requirement would exclude the very type of player you are trying to grab.

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-04-26 09:35:30)
Ficgs World Cup

After a while I went back and prefered no activity requirement at all (not a big deal if 3 or 4 players give up their games in a group, I'll do replacements as in the WCH). And to be more accurate, the number of groups would be at most 11.

Garvin Gray    (2012-04-27 04:16:52)
Ficgs World Cup

Please, no replacements. If people can not organise themselves to add themselves to the entry list before the close of entries, they do not deserve to enter.

I think it is fairer to have one or two players not participate in a group than it is to add players after the event has started.

Please do not use replacements. This concept is meant to be the opposite in almost every way to WCH, and the main idea is to keep it as simple as possible.

Having replacements add a complication that is not required. It will also distort the balance on ratings of each group where forfeited players occur.

How do you ensure that each group where a forfeited player occurs and get a replacement? Otherwise you have filled some groups and not others.

See the hornets nest that is created by using replacements. Please do not use replacements, just let the normal standard tournament factors decide the final placings and people in the final stage.

George Clement    (2012-04-27 20:42:54)
Ficgs World Cup

Again I agree. No replacements! Let matters fall as they may when someone forfiets.

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-04-27 20:45:16)
Ficgs World Cup

Okay, anyway I like the idea to do very different of the FICGS WCH!

Garvin Gray    (2012-04-28 03:13:36)
Ficgs World Cup

Ok, new name- The anti-ficgs wch ;) :P

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-05-13 14:18:28)
Ficgs World Cup

... still thinking about it.

Sometimes it seems to me that such a championship would look like too much to FICGS WCH round-robin groups & could make regular tournaments entries slower (also not all interested players could play both WCH & CUP). Sometimes I'm more optimistic & see it mainly as an event more.

Any opinion after these few weeks?

Garvin Gray    (2012-05-13 15:27:19)
Ficgs World Cup

One opinion- Get on with it.

Neel Basant    (2012-05-16 17:51:40)
Ficgs World Cup

what will be the restrictions and conditions ?

Garvin Gray    (2012-05-18 02:43:21)
Ficgs World Cup

I suggest you read all the posts Neel. The answers are all there.

Garvin Gray    (2012-10-09 16:33:54)
Ficgs World Cup

And on a related issue, there is still this event to get off the ground.

Garvin Gray    (2012-10-15 10:43:37)
Ficgs World Cup

Bump :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2012-10-15 12:50:09)
Ficgs World Cup

Hi Garvin, I still have doubts on launching what would look like another championship based on ICCF WCH format when we don't have players enough... I'm afraid we have other priorities before that :/