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sough ♡ 78 ( +1 | -1 )
Monthly Tournaments I signed up for a monthly tournament almost half a year ago. Each game was exciting and I did well the first round. I'd check how many pools had finished each day so it could continue. Well eventually I checked less often and even forgot about it. And looks like to this day our section is STILL not finished! Even though I'll have to be moved to the next section up I still have to wait and the enthusiasm is completely gone for the time being.

Basically my suggestion is to do Something to speed these things up. It's no fun to play for a month then wait for 5. I know life comes up but one group shouldn't hold everyone up. Maybe for the first round at least we can make a fast time control and no postponing.

Just my humble opinion, thanks for listening.
bucklehead ♡ 289 ( +1 | -1 )
My experience... Back in the distant past, in March 2004, I felt that GK was alive and fresh and full of possibilities. I'd just scored my fifth win, and I couldn't wait to join my first tournament. My chance arrived in early May with the 18th GK Tournament. If you take a look at the tournament page, you'll notice it's still running. Two and a half YEARS later. My one consolation is that the guy who knocked me out of the first round is now a 2400+ powerhouse. So not only did I get some quality chess experience, but I was eliminated and didn't have to wait, and wait, and wait.

Of course, this is correspondence chess, and the fact that the tournaments take a long time to complete is not a surprise. But I suspect there would be more interest in them if there was a chance they'd conclude in our lifetimes.

The fundamental problem is that, in pretty much any tournament system, you can't go ahead with one round while another one is underway. So a fix there is more or less impossible. But what if you reduce the number of games?

The current system puts players into groups of (generally) four per section, with each participant playing two games against each other player in the section, or six games per round. This round-robin system is undoubtedly fair, advancing the best players in each group to the next round. But I've always wondered why no tournaments have been Swiss-style contests.

In a Swiss, each player could play a single game per round, with colors and opponents being selected based on preset criteria. (See -> for more info on Swiss tournament structure.) If you wanted to accommodate 1024 players, you could break them up into 32 groups of 32 players each; each group would play five games within their grouping; the 32 winners of these groups could then participate in another five-round Swiss to determine a champion. Smaller groups and more rounds could, of course, be introduced to speed things up even more.

There are a number of problems here, of course. First and foremost, there will be plenty of ties, and the winner of a group will often need to be determined by some sort of tiebreak. This is no different than regular OTB tournament chess, except we don't have the ability on GK to use rapid or blitz games to make winning determinations. Second, there will still be a large number of rounds, and it's not entirely clear that a player who will linger over his moves in six games will move more quickly if he has only one to consider.

Still, I think the Swiss approach has promise, particularly in the minitournament area. I would expand upon this more if my baby were not crying at the moment. So I'll leave it as a cliffhanger...
wschmidt ♡ 37 ( +1 | -1 )
I think long time periods are just the nature of correspondence chess tournaments. Snail mail tournaments take even longer - 8-10 years in some cases. My suggestion, if the slow pace bothers you, is to stick to mini-tournaments. You get the individual win/lose thrill and the kick of watching the standings of the participants fall into place - plus it's over in a reasonable time and you move on to the next.
chrisp ♡ 45 ( +1 | -1 )
One way to reduce the times... ...for tournaments is to have time limits which give each player a set time for the game, rathe than per move..

For example, you could give each player a total of 60 days for all moves in their games - that wqay each round could only last for 120 days maximum..

Maybe we could have both styles of tournament so players could play which suits them best?
sough ♡ 200 ( +1 | -1 )
Follow up Hey, me again. I didn't know there was a gameknot specific forum when I made this thread so this can be moved if the moderators want.

So the next round of the tournament has finally started and again my impatience is showing lol. It's not that I can't stand the pace, it's correspondance chess and I realize that. But not even out of the opening and 2 of my 3 opponents have postponed. One of them for 20 days because of exams; I'm all for school over chess but why obligate yourself to 31 games if you Know you'll be unavailable for a long time??

I think could at least be some guidelines about postponing so things don't get held up. How about a max of 10 days postponed per round? It's the slowest section that slows down the round so then no matter how many people are in the tournament at any given time, and no matter how many use the 10 days, the tournament should proceed at a regularly slow but reasonable pace. I'd rather 100 players used 10 days than 1 or 2 using 100 days. Sure you'll still have a few games going long and some players deliberately going slow on simple openings and endgames, but that can't really be avoided or rules made against it.

Some might say it's not fair but...
-If one has an event on the horizon and can't get to a computer for a long time perhaps they shouldn't have entered in the first place Or should be happy to take part in that event and just not be the tournament winner.
-If one is busy, foreseeable or not, and can't make a move every 2 days (not even counting postponement time) then do they really deserve to be crowned champ or even advance when other players are engaged in the game?
-If one can not get to a computer from a completely unforeseeable event for a long time(rare) then this IS someone who the rule would hurt, and that's unfortunate. But at the least they can chalk it up to life, know their resigning helps the tournament flow along and there's always another tournament around the corner for them to try.

So those are my random humble thoughts, no offense to anyone if you disagree.
nathanman22 ♡ 137 ( +1 | -1 )
someone needs to learn some patience You said:

"So the next round of the tournament has finally started and again my impatience is showing lol. It's not that I can't stand the pace, it's correspondance chess and I realize that. But not even out of the opening and 2 of my 3 opponents have postponed. One of them for 20 days because of exams; I'm all for school over chess but why obligate yourself to 31 games if you Know you'll be unavailable for a long time??"

I would suggest that maybe this person wasn't aware of what he was doing when the first tournament round started. Like you have stated, the tournament rounds sometimes take up to 5 or 6 months to finish before round 2 starts.

I think it is unfair to judge this person based on the fact that he had to postpone for schooling as he may not have been aware of this prior to the start of the next round. I am currently in school and have had to postpone for it. School is more important than chess. You need to be more patient with us students--we will move when we can, but unlike you chess is not our lives....we don't let it control us. We can use the given resources available (postponement, long game time settings) to help us--that is part of gameknot. If you wish to have shorter games, play people who move faster or just go to another site. And learn some There are other things in life that are far more important then chess.

sough ♡ 70 ( +1 | -1 )
Hello Nathan. I think you're overestimating my passion for the subject and assuming I'm angry when this is not the case. You also loft some fairly insulting comments yourself mate.

Chess is exceedingly far from controlling my life or being my number one priority. This probably goes for 99.9% of the rest of us who aren't in school right now but still have many obligations, responsibilities and joys as well. Many people can balance gameknot with work and/or school and family life and other hobbies, but hey I completely understand if one wants to concentrate on something and not play chess for a while. I do think it's a different story when it's a tournament and a two day time control. That's all, no disrespect intended.
nathanman22 ♡ 214 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry If I was insulting you....that wasn't my intention. You know it is difficult to explain something with words in a way that clearly explains emotions. And for this reason, I think we are not quite understanding each other.

My point was that if someone joined a mini-tournament in round 1 and they played it through, and then, somewhere along the way, they decided to go to college or got accepted to college (weren't sure they were going in the 1st round of the tournament) etc....then there was no way of knowing he would have exams when the games were running. Like you said, there was a 5 month gap--it would be very hard to know that the tournament would be starting up again during the time you had finals....This means that to assume that they knew ahead of time doesn't really make sense.

Once again, each player is entitled to their postponement time and their longer time settings for game, and to using all their time if they so desire. It's supposed to make for a better game if you think things out for awhile before moving anyway. To try to claim that it is unfair for someone to use his postponement time doesn't make sense. It is there to use. To try to claim that someone should have seen an unforeseeable event and respond accordingly also doesn't make sense. Please lay off of people who use the site as it was intended--for correspondence chess. If someone needs more than 2 days, they are entitled to use postponements...there is no abuse here. This is how it was MEANT to be played. Find someone to play who also wants to play quick. It might be more reasonable to assume that when you joined this tournament that there might be people who would have to postpone due to unforeseen events and plan accordingly, not joining if you were concerned about it.

It was not my intention to be insulting in this last message, but I must be clear. You had a choice to join the tournament knowing that someone could postpone as he so desired. That was there choice and there is no unfairness in it at all.

Thank you for listening...have a great day.

sough ♡ 72 ( +1 | -1 )
I understand that it can be hard to clearly convey things through text alone and I have no ill will at all and don't think you do either.

I don't think it's unfair as in the postponing players have an advantage, I think it's a bit unfair for everyone that will be waiting for the next round to begin because of 1 player. If someone is playing a casual game with me and they need to postpone for 3 months that'd be perfectly fine and I'd expect the same courtesy. If my postponing meant others would be affected though, I'd probably just bite the bullet and try to play at a lower standard or resign, but that's just me. I can agree to disagree though.

ps I accepted the friend request and I hope we can chat or play sometime.
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