May 25 2011

Rating Category Tournaments

Jacques

It is often daunting to compete in a tournament with strong players. You may feel that you have no chance to win a prize against such opponents. One way to equalize the playing field is by adding handicaps. For example, giving stronger players less time, less pieces or less points gives their opponents a chance to cause an upset. However, handicaps also have a dark side.

Many strong players pretend to be weak – also known as “sandbagging” – so that they can gain a handicap advantage. That means they intentionally lose games in certain tournaments to lower their rating, while winning as much as possible in big prize tournaments. Even though we track and ban users for doing this it causes a negative perception of tournaments. This goes completely against the competitive spirit ChessCube wants to promote in tournaments. It also means that prizes could be going to undeserving players who abuse the system.

Enter Rating Categories.

Rating categories are a different way in which ChessCube is awarding prizes in tournaments. They are fairer and, more than ever, give anyone a chance to win. The idea is that while everyone competes together prizes are awarded to players in rating restricted categories. This means that a 1500 player is not competing against a 2500 for a prize, but against other players around 1500 strength.

How does it work?

Every tournament will have open prizes which will be awarded to the top places, no matter what the prize winner’s rating is. So even new players in their first tournament can compete for these prizes. Thereafter prizes are awarded to the top players in each rating category. For these prizes only players within the rating category will be considered. Even if you finish near the bottom of the tournament, out of contention for the open prizes, you still have a chance to win a rating category prize (depending on how the other players in your rating category performed). A player can only win one prize, so if you qualify for an open and a rating category prize you will get the biggest of the two and someone else will qualify for the other.

Let’s consider a practical example for a tournament with the following prizes:

  • Open prizes: 1st = $1000, 2nd = $750, 3rd = $500
  • Rating category 1800-2199: 1st = $400, 2nd = $350
  • Rating category 1500-1799: 1st = $200, 2nd = $150
  • Rating category 0-1499: 1st = $100, 2nd = $50

If you are a player with a rating of 1450 you have a chance to do great and win overall 1st and $1000. But even if you don’t you still have a chance to win the 0-1499 rating category prizes and get $100 or $50. On the other hand, if you are a 2500 rated player you are only competing for the open prizes (and you have a good chance to win them!). Note that you qualify for a rating category based on your start rating in the tournament.

In addition to rating categories ChessCube has also started a new initiative of verifying all prize winners in such tournaments. This assures players that the final prize winners got there fairly.

Now all players have an incentive to play and fight in every game. Enjoy playing against strong players and learn from them – get the experience which will make you a better player too. And know that whatever score you end on there is still a chance to win!

FIND A TOURNAMENT


May 23 2011

The Chess.co.uk Open

Jacques

ChessCube, the world leader in online chess tournaments, is proud to bring you another great event in cooperation with our partners at Chess.co.uk.

This weekend ChessCube will host The Chess.co.uk Open tournament. A total of $1,000 in prizes will be up for grabs, with prizes awarded to winners in several rating categories.

The main event will take place on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 18:00 GMT. Anyone may enter the final directly or can play in qualifier events throughout the weekend (27-29 May) to win free entry into the final.

Prizes will be awarded as coupons, which can be redeemed at chess.co.uk for real-world chess goods which can be shipped anywhere in the world. The top 5 players in each of the following groups will receive prizes:

Open (all players qualify to win these prizes)

  1. £100
  2. £70
  3. £50
  4. £40
  5. £35

Rating 2000-2299 (only players who start the tournament in this rating range qualify to win these prizes)

  1. £30
  2. £25
  3. £20
  4. £15
  5. £10

Rating 1800-1999

  1. £25
  2. £20
  3. £15
  4. £10
  5. £5

Rating 1600-1799

  1. £20
  2. £15
  3. £10
  4. £5
  5. £5

Rating 1400-1599

  1. £15
  2. £10
  3. £5
  4. £5
  5. £5

Rating 0-1399

  1. £10
  2. £5
  3. £5
  4. £5
  5. £5

All prize winners will be verified by ChessCube. The final results will be posted and the winners notified within 24 hours of the completion of the final. Please contact [email protected] for more information or visit our forum.

Chess.co.uk is proud to sponsor tournaments on ChessCube. Based in London, chess.co.uk has been one of Europe’s leading chess suppliers since 1992. Check out our latest and greatest offers on chess books, equipment, videos and software – we ship worldwide and accept all major credit/debit cards as well as PayPal.


Mar 14 2011

Warzone Chess tournaments: Anyone can win

Jacques

Warzone Chess™ ushers in a new era of chess tournaments. Instead of the normal slow and steady round-based tournaments, Warzone Chess is fast paced and action-packed, with a new game starting as soon the previous game ends. The aim is to score as many points as quickly as possible, with the highest overall score winning.

It is generally accepted that stronger players win tournaments, however in Warzone Chess it’s a free-for-all, where anyone can win. How is this possible you ask? Well there is a unique live handicap system which is in place for every tournament. The handicap system gives lower-rated players an advantage over higher-rated ones, with chess ratings used to calculate how much of a handicap will be given.

Each Warzone Chess tournament has the option of having handicaps enabled, which evens-up the rating gap between players:

  • Time handicap. A lower-rated player will start with a larger amount of the total game time, while a higher-rated player will have less time at the start of the game.
  • Position handicap. A lower-rated player will be given a positional advantage at the start of the game. For example, the stronger player may have to start the game without their queen.
  • Points handicap. Lower-rated players will be rewarded with more points if they win against a higher-rated player.  For example: a lower-rated player may gain 100 points for beating a stronger player, while not losing any points for being defeated. This gives you every reason to fight for the win.

You can see which handicaps have been enabled in a Warzone Chess tournament by looking at the tournament info on the right of the tournament window. Hover over the info icon to the right for additional information.

Warzone Chess handicaps


Feb 18 2011

ChessCube sponsors the 2011 Online Commonwealth Chess Championships

Sean

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ChessCube sponsors the 2011 Online Commonwealth Chess Championships

Cape Town, South Africa – 18 February 2011

ChessCube, the world leader in online chess tournaments, with over 20,000 tournaments and 5 million games played per month, will partner with the organizers of the 2011 Commonwealth Chess Championships. ChessCube.com will run an online pre-event where three lucky winners will gain free entry, free accommodation at the venue’s Peermont Mondior hotel, as well as $1,500 in cash towards their flights and other expenses.

Graham Jurgensen, the convenor of the 2011 Commonwealth & South African Open Chess Championships, which will be held in Johannesburg South Africa from June 25th through July 3rd, said: “We are very excited to be partnering with ChessCube on this world-first online event. The real-world event will be held at the beautiful Emperors Palace Hotel Casino & Convention Resort, and the online event will give three lucky participants free entry and accommodation as well as expenses.”

The online tournament series is aimed at three groups: above 2000 players, 1700 to 2000 and below 1700 rated players. Each series will have a round robin final with eight finalists in each.

“Anyone in the world can enter the online event”, said ChessCube CEO Mark Levitt. “The Commonwealth Championships will be held in conjunction with the South African Open – and players who are not from commonwealth countries are still eligible for all cash prizes”. We are expecting a massive turnout for this online event and we would not be surprised if this breaks all known online tournament world records.”

ChessCube also sponsored the 2009 South African Open, where titled players participated from a second venue in Melbourne, Australia via www.ChessCube.com. This event made world chess history when FIDE, the world chess federation, worked with ChessCube to ensure that the Internet games, were officially rated, setting a precedent that could see tournaments using this technology in the future.

Useful links

ChessCube website: www.chesscube.com
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChessCube
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ChessCube
Tournament website: http://www.chessa.co.za/tournament_websites/CWCC2011/index.html
High Resolution Logo (PNG): http://www.chesscube.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/ChessCubeLogo.png

Contact information

ChessCube(Pty) Ltd.
Contact: Mark Levitt (CEO)
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=7230957&trk=tab_pro
Office: +27 21 555 2019
[email protected]

About ChessCube

ChessCube (www.chesscube.com) was launched in May 2007 from its Cape Town headquarters. It has since grown into a community of over 1.4m avid chess players, and continues to grow at a rapid pace. ChessCube is an innovative, live chess platform, focused on online tournaments and live playing within a social community. Mark Levitt, founder and CEO of ChessCube, is four times South African Chess Champion. ChessCube’s investors include InVenfin, Vinny Lingham and Michael Leeman.

For more information or images, please contact Mark Levitt ([email protected]).

###


Sep 14 2009

ChessCube Sweeps Swellendam Open

Sean

Welcoming back tournament winners is a good way to start the week at ChessCube.

It was a great weekend for ChessCube employees Lefu Ntho and John Jurgens, who finished the 2009 Swellendam Open in joint 1st place overall. Both players scored 4.5 out of a possible 6. However, it was John who won with a higher tiebreak.

Lefu, John and Bennie

Bennie, Lefu and John

The highest rated player in the Swellendam Open, Dr A. Southey, scored 4.5 overall as well. Many expected Dr Southey to blow the competition away. However, with a drawn match against Benjamin Bosch, another ChessCube employee, and a loss to Lefu, Dr Southey was no longer in the running to win. The path was clear for John to take top honours.

ChessCube congratulates both Lefu and John on their achievement at the 2009 Swellendam Open, and Benjamin on a great tournament as well!


Jul 20 2009

Playing tournaments online

Jacques

As you probably know by now, the ChessCube SA Open 2009 implemented a world-first by allowing players at a venue in Melbourne , Australia to compete in the main tournament held in Cape Town, South Africa. This was accomplished by playing the games between these opponents online using ChessCube’s server.

Each round the players in South Africa were transported to ChessCube’s offices where they played under the supervision of FIDE Arbiter Simbarashe Murimi. Players were given the option to use a normal board in conjunction with the computer, or the computer alone. Except for one game, all players chose to still use the normal board as well.

Round 1: Arbiter “Simba” and player Leon Smit

Round 1: Arbiter “Simba” and player Leon Smit

On the Australian side GM Gawain Jones, IM Puchen Wang and IM Mirko Rujevic were playing under the watchful eye of International Arbiter Gary Bekker. Because of the eight hour time difference the games in Melbourne usually started in the early morning hours – about 2:30 AM local time! However, despite these conditions the players were always on time and in a cheerful mood, ready to battle for the full point.

The players down under…

The players down under…

The tournament saw the world’s first Grandmaster clash online in a Round 8 encounter between GM Dimitri Komarov and GM Gawain Jones. Unfortunately for such a noteworthy occasion the game ended much too soon when the players agreed to a draw after only 11 moves: 1. d4  Nf6 2. Nf3  g6 3. c4  Bg7 4. Nc3  O-O 5. e4  d6 6. Be2  e5 7. O-O  Nc6 8. d5  Ne7 9. b4  c6 10. Nd2  a5 11. bxa5  Qxa5  1/2-1/2

The result might be understandable from a psychological point of view, but it did not go down well with the numerous online spectators who were hoping for an exciting game between the tournaments strongest players.

The eventual winner of the event, GM Amon Simutowe, also played two games online. He looked right at home in the online environment and left with two draws against his strong opponents. After the games he commented that it went much better than he had expected and that he enjoyed the games. He also said that ChessCube was very easy to use and that he really liked the site, “technically it was a home run”.

Winner of the event – GM Amon Simutowe

Winner of the event – GM Amon Simutowe

One of the most exciting games was played in the penultimate round when FM Charles de Villiers took on GM Gawain Jones. The game proceeded as follows:

1. d4  Nf6 2. c4  g6 3. Nc3  Bg7 4. e4  d6 5. f4  O-O 6. Nf3  Na6 7. e5  Nd7 8. c5  c6 9. Bxa6  bxa6 10. Be3  Rb8 11. O-O  Rxb2 12. Qa4  Nb8 13. Qa3  Rb7 14. cxd6  exd6 15. Ne4  d5 16. Nd6  Qe7 17. Bf2  Rb6 18. Bh4  f6 19. Rae1  Be6 20. Re3  Qd7 21. exf6  Bxf6 22. Bxf6  Rxf6 23. Ne5  Qd8 24. Ng4  Bxg4 25. Re8+  Qxe8 26. Nxe8  Re6 27. h3  Rxe8 28. hxg4  Re2 29. Rf3  Rb1+ 30. Kh2  Rbb2 31. Re3  Rxg2+ 32. Kh1  Rge2 33. Rxe2  Rxe2 34. Qd6  Re8 35. Qc7  a5 36. f5  gxf5 37. gxf5  Rf8 38. f6  Rxf6 39. Qxb8+  Kg7 40. Qxa7+  Kg6 41. Qxa5

White should have an easy win

White should have an easy win

At this point White should have an easy win, but somehow black managed to fight on and get away with a draw.

41… Kf5 42. Qc7  Rh6+ 43. Kg2  Ke4 44. Qe5+  Kd3 45. Kf2  Rh1 46. Qe3+  Kc4 47. Kg2  Rb1 48. Qe2+  Kc3 49. Qe3+  Kc4 50. Kf2  Rb2+ 51. Kf3  Rxa2 52. Kf4  Ra8 53. Qe7  Kxd4 54. Qb4+  Kd3 55. Qb6  Ra4+ 56. Ke5  Re4+ 57. Kd6  Rc4 58. Qb1+  Kd2 59. Qxh7  d4 60. Qh2+  Kc3 61. Qe5  Kb3 62. Qe4  Kc3 63. Qe1+  Kc2 64. Qe2+  Kc3 65. Qe1+  Kc2 66. Qe2+  Kb3 67. Qd3+  Kb4 68. Qb1+  Kc3 69. Qa1+  Kd2 70. Qb2+  Ke3 71. Qb6  Rc2 72. Ke5  c5 73. Qh6+  Kd3 74. Qg6+  Kc3 75. Qg1  Kc4 76. Qg8+  Kc3 77. Qg1  Kb2 78. Ke4  Rc3 79. Qf2+  Kb3 80. Qf7+  Kb2 81. Qf2+  Ka3 82. Qd2  Kb3 83. Qd1+  Kb2 84. Qe2+  Kb3 85. Qb5+  Ka2 86. Qa6+  Kb1 87. Qb5+  Kc1 88. Qf1+  Kd2 89. Qf2+  Kd1 90. Qf1+  Kc2 91. Qe2+  Kc1  1/2-1/2

In the end it was not to be for Charles and he had to be satisfied with a draw. Nevertheless it was an excellent game to watch, with most online spectators being present for hours while the game was taking place.

Round 10: FM Charles de Villiers almost causing an upset

Round 10: FM Charles de Villiers almost causing an upset

All in all most players seemed to enjoy the new experience very much, with most of them having their first chance to play against a titled player. Feedback was positive and will be reported soon!