UK Chess Challenge Question

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David Blower
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UK Chess Challenge Question

Post by David Blower » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:44 pm

OK I was looking at the UK Chess Challenge rules. Win = 3 points, Draw = 2 points, Loss = 1 point, Absent = 0 points.

Now I am guessing, that in most schools it is done as either a lunchtime or an after school club. I am also guessing that a lot of schools that run this tournament, do not have chess clocks.

I notice that you have to be winning by 3 or more points to get a win, on the basis of Queen = 9 points, Rook = 5 points, Bishop = 3 points, Knight = 3 points, Pawn = 1 point. Otherwise if you are between 2 points down to 2 points up, it is a draw.

I do notice the obvious flaw in this, (if a game is run without clocks.) Nevertheless that is not a critism of the rules, I realise the rules have been written to include as many schools as possible. But yes, anyone who is losing by 2 pawns could simply stop playing and get a draw at the end of the lunchtime!

My question is should a chess club that DOES have chess clocks run the tournament to a time limit, or not? And if so, what would be a suggested time limit.

Neill Cooper
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Re: UK Chess Challenge Question

Post by Neill Cooper » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:56 pm

David Blower wrote:My question is should a chess club that DOES have chess clocks run the tournament to a time limit, or not? And if so, what would be a suggested time limit.
It depends on the players. UKCC is keen to encourage chess playing so if your players would be put off by clocks (e.g. because they are too inexperienced) then don't use them. At my (secondary) school lunchtime club I use them on the higher pairings, which are those likely to qualify and more of them are used to using clocks. After school chess is graded so all of those games are with clocks, as is the one day festival I run.

Michael Flatt
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Re: UK Chess Challenge Question

Post by Michael Flatt » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:23 pm

David,

Most young children don't like playing with clocks which can often present an unnecessary distraction when they are still struggling with the rules and working out how to play the game. Quite often the problem is getting them to slow down!

Remember, the first round that takes place in school and Junior Clubs is the qualifying competition for the Megafinal when clocks may be introduced depending on the age and experience of the players.

The competition has been running for twenty years so if there had been a flaw in the rules it would have become apparent long before now.

Nick Thomas
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Re: UK Chess Challenge Question

Post by Nick Thomas » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:02 pm

There are several "flaws" in the rules as they stand. The most obvious one is that in a mixed age club (as most school clubs tend to be) it is much easier for the older children to qualify than the younger ones.

Michael Flatt
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Re: UK Chess Challenge Question

Post by Michael Flatt » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:35 pm

I don't see that. The highest scoring boy and girl of each year group qualify by right regardless of their point score. Where there are many children within a single year group they have to achieve a minimum point score to prevent too many qualifying.

In fact, children are not limited to a single competition and have multiple opportunities to qualify. A child may qualify from a school club, a junior club or one of many last chance saloons.

As a matter of fact, I have to commend Mike Basman on his rules as they work rather well. The competition encourages children, boys and girls, of all ages to play chess and gain experience in competition. To many children competing in the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge is the highlight of their season.

Some Primary school aged children are seriously good. In the recent Gigafinal one under-11 player had a Rapidplay Grade of 198.

There is, however, a dearth of players of secondary school age due to the understandable need to focus on their school work and pass their exams.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: UK Chess Challenge Question

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:24 am

David Blower wrote:...
I do notice the obvious flaw in this, (if a game is run without clocks.) Nevertheless that is not a critism of the rules, I realise the rules have been written to include as many schools as possible. But yes, anyone who is losing by 2 pawns could simply stop playing and get a draw at the end of the lunchtime!

My question is should a chess club that DOES have chess clocks run the tournament to a time limit, or not? And if so, what would be a suggested time limit.
I can only echo what others have said: it depends on the children involved but for most young children clocks are not required because they move quickly anyway.

I’ve no dealings with the tournament under discussion but I have run and helped to run many events on the same or very similar systems. The flaw you describe doesn’t really happen in practice. Even if it did it is surely not beyond the wit of a tournament organiser to find a way to address it.

What I have seen a couple of times is somebody making a 'last move' when the time has run out that "wins material" but only if the opponent won’t get a go in reply. E.g. capturing a rook with your queen knowing that the queen could be recaptured but thinking it won’t be allowed because the game is over.

Again, this is not difficult to resolve.


btw: i prefer a "4 points or more advantage is a win, 3 points or fewer is a draw" system. Partly because in the lower levels a piece advantage is neither here nor there, partly because it avoids arguments at the end of a round when a player has KB v K or KN v K and doesn’t understand why s/he’s not being awarded a win.

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