2020-21 VA Scholastic Championships
Qualification Tournament No. 1

Email Info Letter No. 2 (sent Saturday, March 13, 2021)

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

Players, Parents, and Coaches ...
 This is the 2nd "Information Email" for you as you prepare for the VA Chess Federation's "Grade School Qualification Tournament No. 3" being held online on Sat & Sun, March 20-21.  
In this edition we cover these 4 topics: Pre-Tournament Zoom Meeting, Fair Play, Chess Ratings, and Earning Points for your School's Team. 

If you missed our Information Email No. 1, please click on the button above.

1. We will host three PRE-EVENT MEETINGS for players, parents and coaches using ZOOM.  These will happen at 8PM EST on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday March 16, 17 and 18.  The ZOOM LINK will be posted at the top of the VCF website home page (www.vachess.org).  All 3 meetings are the same, so you only need attend one of them.

Join Pre-Event Meeting
DATES:  Tues, Wed, Thurs -- March 16, 17, 18
Meeting ID: 886 2169 1488
Passcode: VAQ3

2. Fair Play:  We are using Chesskid.com as the online chess platform for this tournament.  It worked great in our first two Qualifiers in January and February.  Chesskid.com contains built-in capabilities to monitor players for potential violations of fair play (e.g. cheating).  All games for all players are monitored move-by-move throughout the tournament by 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 ends--and before we make the final announcements of awards--we put "suspicious games" through additional 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 Chapter 10 of the Official Rules of Chess published by the US Chess Federation.  Violations of fair play are very serious incidents 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. 

3. 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 OTB and ONL ratings, we use THE HIGHER of those two ratings to pair all 5 rounds.  A player's rating stays the same for the entire tournament, it does not change after each round.  Consider this fictitious examples:
    a.  A player named "Sam Smith" has OTB and ONL ratings. His OTB rating is 1051, and his ONL rating is 1072.  We will pair Sam using his ONL rating of 1072.  
    b.  By comparison, a player named "Julie Knight" also has OTB and ONL ratings; however, her OTB rating of 997 is higher than her ONL rating of 837. We will pair Julie using her OTB rating of 997.
    c.  A player with 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.

4. 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 compete as a team.  That is 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 game 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. The "top 4 players" are not the a team's 4 highest-rated players; rather, they are the school's 4 players who had the best performance in the event. 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 1 player in the tournament does not earn any team points.
    c.  Teams will be awarded trophies for this tournament.
    d.  After this tournament is over and the results are made official, 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 our final 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


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