Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 Fall "Turkey Shoot" Results

2012 Fall "Turkey Shoot" Tournament
            The Fall "Turkey Shoot" chess tournament was a lesson in tie-breaks and heartbreaks.  Twenty students competed on Saturday, November 17 in hour-long games in a five round tournament.  The elementary sections played eight rounds due to the fast pace of their games.

A great day for a tournament with a view down Croy Canyon.

Jacob plays Anna in the first round.

Des gets ahead in points and pawns, but neglects the back rank and Jacob pulls out  a surprise attack!
"I took the pawn and blundered the game away!" says Des.

Riley has a fierce opening game as she begins the middle game a piece up.
           In the high school section, 3rd grader, Jacob Nathan from Idaho Falls played up, and looked like he was going to sweep the tournament as the last round approached and he had four points.  WRHS Chess Club President, Riley Clark faced off with Jacob in the last round and succeeded in breaking Jacob's winning streak and took home the first place trophy - her first!  It is remarkable that Jacob did so well with the high schoolers, but chess is based on experience and Jacob actually has over 100 tournament games at the national and state level.  He plays more regularly in ICA events than even my own children.  Most of the participants in this tournament had only a handful of games from tournaments.

Most Inspirational Elementary Player, Collin
            Tie-breaks were necessary in each of the sections and are determined using mathematical algorithms that calculate a number based on the difficulty of the opponents faced by each player. In the Kindergarten through 3rd grade section, Darwin Porth won first place with 6.0 points and Quentin Van Law won second place with 6.0 points.  Tie-breaker points determined the outcome.  Luke Baker (4.5 pts.) won third place.  In the 4th and 5th grade section, Alex Baker and Walter Kriesien tied for first with 6.5 points, but Alex Baker won first on tie-breaker points.  Zane Barckholtz won third place with 6.0 points.  Medals were awarded to all other players in the elementary section.

Tournament newcomers:  Wyatt Caccia, WRHS and Terry Zheng, Community School

Rileys only loss was against Desmond.
            The high school section had a three-way tie for first between Riley Clark, Jacob Nathan, and Terry Zheng, who is originally from China and now attends the Community School.  Tie-breaker points placed Riley in first, Jacob in second, and Terry in third.

Twenty Players and three sections
            Tie-breaker points are calculated in a number of different ways and the totals of each are compared and cascade until a result is obtained.  There are over 18 different ways of calculating tie-breaker points and I thank the lord for WinTD and pairing software for calculating all this.  Here are the common tie-breakers used in tournaments around the U.S. and the ones that I select for local tournaments:

1st Tie Break - Head-to-Head
Determine if one of the players beat the other from cross table.  As my friend Barry Eacker and I agree that this is one of the best means of calculating tie breaks.

2nd Tie Break - Modified Median
The sum of all opponent's scores with the highest and lowest scoring opponent discarded.  Additionally, players > 50% have only their lowest scoring player discarded, players < 50% have only their highest player discarded, with = 50% handled as the Median System.

3rd Tie Break - Solkoff
The sum of all opponent's scores with no scores discarded.

4th Tie Break - Cumulative
To calculate this, sum the running score for each round. For example, if a player has (in order) a win, loss, win, draw, and a loss; his round-by-round score will be 1, 1, 2, 2½, 2½. The sum of these numbers is 9. This system places more weight on games won in the early rounds and the least weight on games won in the final rounds. The rationale for this system is that a player who scored well early in the tournament has most likely faced tougher opponents in later rounds and should therefore be favored over a player who scored poorly in the start before subsequently scoring points against weaker opponents.

5th Tie Break - Cumulative of Opposition
This is the total of the opponent's cumulative score.

Dylan and Anna play while Matt, Wyatt, and Terry watch

How do Byes figure into all this tie-breaking business?
           Let me explain by sharing an example from this past weekend.  If a player scores four points by beating four opponents, and another one scored four points but one of the points was from a bye, then who should win the higher placement?  The person that won four games, or the one that beat only three opponent's.

Ipads and Tablets entertain players in between rounds.
          Many students love to get a "bye" for some reason and my experienced players in the club now recognize that byes do not help in tie-breaks and they do not like them.  After all, players enter tournaments to play and not "please wait."

           As indicated, tie-breakers can be tear-jerkers and heart-breakers.  Especially, when the prize is a trophy because tie-breakers are used to determine the placements.  If it is a cash prize, the money is combined and divvied up equally.  Calculating the results and trying to explain to the parents and the pint-size players why their top score is second to the other same score is stressful.  But, with tournament experience, the tie-breaking system will eventually make sense to those that stick with tournaments and they are less of a surprise.


Tyler Avila totes his turkey

           This tournament was a "Turkey Shoot" and all players had a "shot" at winning the turkey.  The turkey was donated by the WRHS Chess Club for the tournament.  And, Tyler Avila, 11th grade, placed 6th place in the tournament but his prize was the turkey.

Brother and sister face off.
            The next tournament is the Christmas Blitzkrieg on Thursday, December 13 with a Family Tournament during Winter Break.

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