Half-point bye ... Why ?

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Peter Ackley
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Peter Ackley » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:54 pm

Pairings work by pairing people against other opponents within the same score group. If you artificially float up all players who have taken a bye then somewhere else artificial downfloats are going to happen. You are also making the assumption that all the players on 100% are the strongest players, not just players who just happen to have won their first round games.

This is also without taking into account the whole 'grey' area of players who have received a full point bye, won by default etc.

Prizes are there not to reward people for playing the most games but to reward people who have got the highest score. Byes self-penalise by reducing the highest possible score - in essence a a financial penalty would be double jeopardy.

I appreciate what Lee's trying to say but I just don't see it being that big a problem, if one at all. There aren't herds of players going round, taking byes and easily winning money. If there is anyone that falls into this criteria then surely it's not the 'bye situation' that's incorrect but the player(s) grade and organisers need to take action by placing them in a more appropriate section. With the Internet and more frequent grading releases the chess world is a smaller place and players cannot as easily float around on artificially-low gradings.

One other question, though, and not one anyone else has mentioned: what is the incentive for the suggestion? I can see players refusing to enter tournaments as they don't feel the suggestion is 'fair'. I can't, though, see any players deciding to enter tournaments purely on this basis. I just don't see it being cost-effective.

Sabrina Chevannes
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Sabrina Chevannes » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:53 pm

I'm sorry but I just cannot see how there can be a debate when this option is open to everyone! It is not saying that only certain seeds can take byes etc. You can also take byes if you wish Lee, but you choose not to, because you are playing in sections where you are supposed to be likely to win. However, if you moved up a section, then you can take a first round bye and then be "advantaged".
If you don't want to, then you don't have to either. The choice is yours and the choice is also there for others.

I personally think that it's great that the option is there and allows players to travel from miles away to make a tournament which they otherwise wouldn't have.

Malcolm Clarke
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Malcolm Clarke » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:18 pm

At the tournament I have the closest association with more than half of the players take byes at some stage. However it has already been pointed out on here that the players who play in five rounds as opposed to six are actually already contributing a higher amount per graded game. As far as I am concerned any player who is prepared to devote either 20 or 24 hours possible playing time to a weekend tournament, without taking into consideration taking into account any travelling time is showing a healthy commitment.

In my view if it is argued that by taking a half point bye players might have a better chance of avoiding strong players, you could also argue that for a weaker player for whom say 2 points out of six would represent a reasonable score, that the half point bye might give such players a better chance of avoiding weak players.

If a player wins a prize in a section and scores more than 50% in doing so then it is likely that the player will be placed in the top half of the draw. If as is in the case of many tournaments do the top half of the draw are paired against the lower half of the draw in the opening round then I think that nearly all players in the former category would prefer to go into round 1 determinedly seeking a win rather than getting a half point bye if they are in a position to do so.

I know that prize money and tiredness have been bought into the equation, but it would be interesting to know at what stage players play their best and worst chess in tournaments.

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Lee Bullock
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Lee Bullock » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:56 pm

Sabrina Chevannes wrote:I'm sorry but I just cannot see how there can be a debate when this option is open to everyone! It is not saying that only certain seeds can take byes etc. You can also take byes if you wish Lee, but you choose not to, because you are playing in sections where you are supposed to be likely to win. However, if you moved up a section, then you can take a first round bye and then be "advantaged".
If you don't want to, then you don't have to either. The choice is yours and the choice is also there for others.

I personally think that it's great that the option is there and allows players to travel from miles away to make a tournament which they otherwise wouldn't have.
I think I need to say for a 3rd time I am not saying byes should be scrapped? I think its a great idea so am agreeing with you? And yes sometimes I have had to take a bye for whatever reason. And no Sabrina I am not too strong for my section. I have entered over 30 tournaments this year and only won 5. Thats not exactly a situation of likely to win. In the upcoming season I may start to get too strong for u120 and then for sure I will move up in January.

I was just wondering what the majority of peoples views would be on a small % of money going to players who play more rounds? I myself if I have to take byes soon will totally agree to a player playing 1 more round than me getting a tiny bit more for there extra effort and commitment. Of course I am not saying people who don't play all rounds are not this I am just saying should we not reward those who play more rounds a tiny bit?
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Mick Norris
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:02 pm

Running tournaments is hard enough without introducing more complications

If you want to experiment with it, feel free, but don't ask others to take the financial risk of it proving a disaster unless you have serious evidence that it would be popular
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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Lee Bullock
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Lee Bullock » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:15 am

Mick Norris wrote:Running tournaments is hard enough without introducing more complications

If you want to experiment with it, feel free, but don't ask others to take the financial risk of it proving a disaster unless you have serious evidence that it would be popular

Totally agree. As I said this would have to be put to the players and see what views people have on it. But for me if I took a bye I would gladly give a small % to players who played 1 more round than me if I got into the prizes.
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Malcolm Clarke
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Malcolm Clarke » Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:03 pm

Considering that it is possible that tournaments set their prize money fund as being equal to entrance fees - fixed costs such as hire hall costs etc - game fees, then I think that anyone who wins a prize after taking a bye and is then prepared to sacrifice part of their prize money is being very generous when their game fee costs (if only by a small amount) may reduce the prize money fund less than someone who has played every round.

I think we have already come to the conclusion that it is impractical to disallow half point byes, but I can think of one tournament which was won by a player who did not play the clearly strongest player on the competition, but this scenario arose by luck as much as judgement, and if players do drop points early in a competition they may not be in a particularly favourable position if progressive scores or opponents scores are used in a tie-break.

Andrew Bak
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Andrew Bak » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:33 pm

When I enter a chess tournament, I'm not playing to win the tournament, I'm entering to try and play my best in (say) 5 individual games.

People here who are saying that 1/2 point byes should be banned because they give an advantage to players are not really understanding why most players choose to spend a precious weekend hunched infront of 32 bits of plastic.

Amateur players like us have non-chess lives to lead and for a lot of players, it is much more practical to play 4 games on Saturday and Sunday instead of taking an afternoon of work and spending an extra night's accommodation for just one more game.

Anything that encourages more players to enter congresses should be welcomed!

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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Mick Norris » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:52 pm

There are 20 in the Open at Leeds, and 10 of them took a bye last night

77 in 4 sections is not a bad turnout for a first attempt for the Congress, so well done to all, but not sure why there aren't that many Yorkshire players there given there were half a dozen from the MCF
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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Lee Bullock
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Lee Bullock » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:54 pm

Anyone who says byes should be banned need there head examined. It would bring down entries by the bucket load? I have searched this forum and cant see anyone who said they should be banned?
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soheil_hooshdaran
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Sat May 12, 2018 7:21 pm

What's the raison d'etre of half-point byes in tournaments? Why to include them in a tournament?

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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat May 12, 2018 7:34 pm

soheil_hooshdaran wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 7:21 pm
What's the raison d'etre of half-point byes in tournaments? Why to include them in a tournament?
Speaking for myself -

In English weekend tournaments, because we either have:
- 1 round on Friday night, 2 rounds on Saturday and 2 rounds on Sunday; or
- 3 rounds on Saturday and 2 rounds on Sunday.

The first is a problem, because not everyone can get to the venue in time for a 7pm start after work. The second is a problem, because 3 games on one day is considered unpalatable by some players. Nevertheless, some hardy souls will play all 5 rounds.

In order to help make the events viable, a half point bye means that people who either can't get there, or don't want to play 3 games on one day, are given a small sweetener for the round they are not playing in. Many of these events probably have about 30% of their players who do not play in all 5 rounds, and the risk of not having a half point bye is that they might not enter - particularly when similar events do offer it for the same reason.

In a week-long 9-round Open, I permit them because sometimes, people want a holiday as well as a chess tournament. OK - some people want norms and some people want to win the tournament. That's fine, they can play all 9 games. But a man rated 2000 who wants some games of chess and a chance to look around the city they're playing in, might want to take a day or two off. If the half point bye means they enter, and then take a day off to be a tourist, then that's fine by me. In addition, if someone is ill, a half point bye may motivate someone to not play in order to come back when they are healthy. That's desirable from the rest of the players' point of view, I suppose. I had a player at London, for example, who took a half point bye because he felt unwell, and hoped to come back fit for the round afterwards. Would he have taken that sensible approach if didn't get the bye? I suspect he'd be much more likely to have played, because he had nothing to lose by doing so. The rest of the tournament would have had to put up with his coughing and sneezing.

I don't think it's appropriate in a Championship event, but in an amateur event where people are paying their own entry fees, hotel fees, travel expenses, does it really matter?

soheil_hooshdaran
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Sat May 12, 2018 8:27 pm

We are planning a one-game-on-weekends event, and since some people may fail to play one weekend (weekends in Iran are just Fridays, most people work all other days), a friend of mine suggested posponed matches, but I wonder what is the effect of letting half-point byes be requested.
I first encountered such a concept in the U.S in 2016. In Iran, arbitters are much more dogged.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat May 12, 2018 9:47 pm

soheil_hooshdaran wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:27 pm
We are planning a one-game-on-weekends event, and since some people may fail to play one weekend (weekends in Iran are just Fridays, most people work all other days), a friend of mine suggested posponed matches, but I wonder what is the effect of letting half-point byes be requested.
There are events in London with a similar one round a week format, usually run during the summer when there are few if any team leagues. Half point byes would be used in that format as a standard British practice.

Postponed games could work as well, but you have to get them played by the time you want to do the pairings for the next round.

soheil_hooshdaran
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Re: Half-point bye ... Why ?

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Sun May 13, 2018 9:21 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 9:47 pm
soheil_hooshdaran wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 8:27 pm
We are planning a one-game-on-weekends event, and since some people may fail to play one weekend (weekends in Iran are just Fridays, most people work all other days), a friend of mine suggested posponed matches, but I wonder what is the effect of letting half-point byes be requested.
There are events in London with a similar one round a week format, usually run during the summer when there are few if any team leagues. Half point byes would be used in that format as a standard British practice.

Postponed games could work as well, but you have to get them played by the time you want to do the pairings for the next round.
OK, but why do you use half-point byes?
What's the pros and cos of each system?

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