2020-21 VA Scholastic Championships
Qualification Tournament No. 2

Email Info Letter No. 2 (sent Friday, Feb 19, 2021)

Event Home Page  Info Email No. 1  Info Email No. 3

Players and Parents:  This is the 2nd "Information Email" for you.  Please read this email carefully as you prepare for the VA Chess Federation's "Grade School Qualification Tournament No. 2" being held online on Sat & Sun, Feb 27-28, 2021.  If you missed our Info Email No. 1, or didn't get it because you had not yet registered for the tournament, click here.  
In this edition we cover these 3 topics:  Fair Play, Chess Ratings, and Earning Points for your School's Team. 

1. Fair Play:  As you know, we are using Chesskid.com as the online chess platform for this tournament.  It worked great in our first event this past January.  Chesskid.com contains built-in capabilities to monitor players for potential violations of fair play (e.g. cheating).  All games for all players will be monitored, move-by-move, throughout the tournament through Chesskid.com's proprietary fair play algorithm that is endorsed by the US Chess Federation for its ability to detect potential cheating.  In addition, after the tournament and before we make the final announcements of awards, any "suspicious games" will undergo further professional analysis--both human and computer-assisted.  As a result, players and teams should not expect the final announcements of awards to be made for up to 3 weeks after the tournament ends.  This practice is in keeping with the Chapter 10 of the Official Rules of Chess published by the US Chess Federation.  Violations of fair play are very severe and can result in penalties up to and including ejection from the tournament, penalties against your school's team, and suspension or revocation of your US Chess membership. 
2. Chess Ratings:  Except for players who have not played in any US Chess-rated tournament (e.g. "unrated players"), all players in this event have either an Over-the-Board (OTB) rating or an Online (ONL) rating based on their participation in earlier rated tournaments.  In fact, some players have both an OTB and an ONL rating.  If you want to see the ratings for all players in this tournament, CLICK HERE.  If a player has an OTB and an ONL rating, we will use THE HIGHER of those ratings for pairing each round.  A player's rating stays the same for the entire tournament, it does not change after each round.  Consider this example:
    a.  A player named "Jithin Kodaru" has both an OTB and an ONL rating.  His OTB rating is 1051, and his ONL rating is 1072.  We will pair Jithin using his ONL rating of 1072.  
    b.  By comparison, a player named "Alan Plaskey" also has OTB and ONL ratings; however, his OTB rating of 997 is higher than his ONL rating of 837.  We will pair Alan using his OTB rating of 997.
    c.  A player who has an OTB rating only will be paired using that OTB rating.  The same goes for a player who has an ONL rating only.
    d.  Players without an OTB or ONL rating are unrated, and their ratings are designated using the code "unr."  After this tournament all of the unrated players will have an ONL Rating as long as they played at least 4 games in the tournament.

3. Earning Points for your School's Team:  A "School Team" is any school with 2 or more players in the same section of the tournament.  A school does not need to have a "chess club" for their players to be scored as a team.  That's why we asked for the name of your school when you registered for the tournament.  Here's how we determine each school team's total score:
    a.  After all 5 rounds finish, we use the scores of the Top 4 Players on each team to determine Team Standings within each section.  It is important to understand that only the score of the Top 4 Players count, even when a team has more than 4 players.  These players' ratings do not matter; rather, the "top 4 players" are determined using each player's total performance score for the tournament.  Obviously, if a team has only 2 or 3 players, their ability to out-score teams with 4 players is challenging ... but it CAN and DOES happen!!
    b.  A school who has only one (1) player in the tournament does not earn any team points.
    c.  Teams will be awarded trophies for this tournament.
    d.  After the 3rd Qualification Tournament (March 20-21) is complete, we will award trophies for the Top Teams in each Section in accordance with the Rules for the Tournament
    e.  If you want to see the step-by-step details we use to determine "team points", please see Enclosure 1 of the Rules for the Tournament

In the next Info Email, we will talk about these subjects, among others:
    1) On tournament day, how your games will be started
    2) On tournament day, when you need to be online and ready to play
    3) On tournament day, where to find the pairings and standings ... and how to understand "who" it is you are playing
    4) On tournament day, how you need to report a problem with your game

REMEMBER:  We will be hosting three PRE-EVENT MEETINGS for players, parents and coaches using ZOOM.  These will happen at 8PM EST on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Feb 23rd to 25th.  We will send out the eVites separately for these sessions.  You only need to attend one of the sessions. 

r/Mike

Mike Hoffpauir
VA Chess Federation
Cell (757)846-4805
email to: mhoffpauir@aol.com