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Tournament Information

Register Now for GISCA's 2015-2016 Tournaments !!!

To help ensure that GISCA tournaments are a wonderful experience for all players,
please review the Essential Rules and Guidelines for Scholastic Chess.

2015–2016 Tournament Dates:

  • Saturday, November 14, 2015

  • Saturday, January 23, 2016

  • Saturday, February 20, 2016

  • Saturday, March 12, 2016

 

Glynn Middle School

Click on the photo for additional information and directions.

Tournament Location:

  • Glynn Middle School
    635 Lanier Blvd
    Brunswick, GA  31520

 

Tournament Schedule:

  • Onsite Registration: (8:30 am – 9:00 am only)

    • Tournament pre-registration and pre-payment will be available until 6:00 pm on the day prior to the tournament.

    • Onsite registration is available from 8:30 am – 9:00 am only.  This deadline will be strictly enforced.

    • Onsite registration is not necessary for players who have pre-registered prior to the tournament.

    • Onsite registrations occurring after 9:00 am may be assigned a Bye for one or more rounds.

  • Tournament Check-in: (8:30 am – 9:30 am)

    • For players who pre-registered prior to the tournament.

    • It is the players’ and parents’ responsibility to verify that all player information is correct on the check-in sheet.

    • Check-ins occurring after 9:30 am may be assigned a Bye for one or more rounds
       

  • Player and Section Roll Call: (9:50 am)

    • All players will report to the tables in their section to validate that they are placed in the correct sections prior to Round 1 pairings.

  • Welcome and High-Level Rule Review (10:00 am)

    • The Chief Tournament Director will welcome everyone and provide a high-level review of tournament rules.

    • The most important piece of information (especially for new players) is:  “If you have a question during the round, immediately raise your hand and speak with a Tournament Director.  Do not wait until later or after the round.”

  • Scholastic Tournament Rounds: (10:10 am – 3:50 pm)

    • Round 1 begins at approximately 10:10 am.

    • Round 2 begins at approximately 11:20 am.

    • Round 3 begins at approximately 12:30 pm.

    • Round 4 begins at approximately 1:40 pm.

    • Round 5 begins at approximately 2:50 pm.

    • Each round will begin as soon as possible after the prior round completes.  The schedule above may be accelerated based upon the length of each round.
       

  • Door Prizes and Awards Ceremony: (4:00 pm)

    • Door prizes and the awards ceremony will take place as soon as possible after the completion of the last round.
       

Scholastic Tournament Format:

  • GISCA scholastic tournaments are five round Swiss System tournaments for all players.  No players are eliminated and the tournament is open to all scholastic players.  If any tournament has more than 34 players in a rated section, accelerated pairings will be used in the first two rounds for the sections with more than 34 players.
     

  • Players and teams from outside the state of Georgia are welcome to participate.

  • GISCA tournaments are primarily individual United States Chess Federation (USCF) rated tournaments, yet also contain a team component.  The tournament software (WinTD) pairs games such that the application attempts to avoid pairing teammates in the same section.  The application will not shift players out of a score group just to avoid pairing teammates though.  Consequently, the pairing of teammates may be necessary, especially in the later rounds, to determine individual standings within a section.

  • Scholastic teams consist of players, from the same school, competing in a common Grand Prix section (i.e. Primary, Elementary, Middle School, or High School). The performance of a player playing up in a more advanced section, yet representing the same school, will be credited with the more advanced section.  For example, the performance of a 3rd grade student (who would normally play in the Primary section), choosing to compete in the Elementary section, would be credited with the school's Elementary section team.  Care should be taken regarding the decision to play up in one or more tournaments, as this will likely have adverse impacts to the player's Grand Prix points for the season (see below for additional information).
     

  • All public and private schools are eligible for team awards.  GISCA has adopted Georgia Chess Association's (GCA) criteria regarding the composition of home school teams. The primary requirement is that in order for home schooled students to constitute a team, the students in question must have a practice of studying core academic subjects together. An all-star aggregation of chess players will not be allowed to constitute a team.  A school (public, private, and home school) is hereby defined as an institution having one name, is under one principal, director, or equivalent administrator, and which provides core curricular instruction in English, mathematics, science and social studies.
     

  • Home school scholastic players not meeting the criteria above are encouraged and welcome to compete in GISCA tournaments.  These players may also compete as a club.  While club players will not be eligible for team awards, the tournament software (WinTD) pairs games such that the application attempts to avoid pairing members from the same club in the same section.  The application will not shift players out of a score group just to avoid pairing players from the same club though.  Consequently, the pairing of players from the same club may be necessary, especially in the later rounds, to determine individual standings within a section.
     

  • Team scores are based upon the top five individual performers in a Grand Prix Section from each school.  A team must include at least two players in a Grand Prix Section for a specific school.
     

  • Players may request byes, in advance, if they need to miss one our more rounds of chess.  Bye(s) requested prior to the day of the tournament or during registration on the day of the tournament:

    • Bye(s) should be requested during pre-registration prior to the tournament or during registration on the day of the tournament.

    • Players may receive up to two ½ point Byes for the tournament for rounds 1 through 5.
       

  • Bye(s) requested during the tournament:

    • In cases when unexpected events result in the necessity for a player to request Bye(s) during the tournament, the GISCA Tournament Director may grant up to two ½ point Byes.

    • Players requesting Bye(s) during the tournament (but prior to the specific round) may, at the Tournament Director’s discretion, receive ½ point Bye(s) for rounds 1 through 4.

    • At the Tournament Director’s discretion, a ½ point Bye request in the final round may or may not be provided.  Bye requests in the final round which would favorably position the requesting player to receive an individual award will typically not receive ½ point.  An exception may be made if the request is made for the purposes of another pre-scheduled competing event (e.g. soccer game, etc.) and made at a time in which the requesting player would likely not expect to receive an individual trophy.

  • If a player should need to temporarily leave the tournament or withdraw from the tournament for any reason, the player should check-out at the scorer’s table.  Players returning to the tournament after the start of round 1 should also check-in at the scorer's table.
     

Scholastic Tournament Sections:

  • GISCA will offer two major scholastic sections for the 2015-2016 GISCA tournament season.

Grand Prix Sections

Novice Sections

  • Primary (K-3)

  • Elementary (K-5)

  • Middle School (6-8)

  • High School (9-12)

  • Junior (K-5)

  • Senior (6-12)

  • Youth eligible to compete in both the Grand Prix and Novice Sections are strongly encouraged to seek the guidance of their team coach.  Decisions will impact both a player’s ability to win tournament and Grand Prix trophies as well as potentially impact overall team scores.

  • The Grand Prix Sections’ structure is identical to previous seasons.

    • Players in the Grand Prix Sections must have valid USCF memberships.

    • Players in the Grand Prix Sections will have their games reported to and rated by USCF.

    • Players in the Grand Prix Sections will compete for individual tournament trophies, team tournament trophies, and Grand Prix individual trophies.

    • Players in the Grand Prix Sections will be eligible for that tournament’s door prizes.

  • The Novice Sections are reserved for new players who do not have USCF membership, are not yet rated by USCF, or with maximum USCF rating of 200 in the Junior Novice (K-5) section and maximum USCF rating of 500 in Senior Novice (6-12) section.

    • Players in the Novice Sections are not required to have USCF memberships.

    • Players in the Novice Sections will compete for individual tournament ribbons, but will not be eligible for individual tournament trophies or individual Grand Prix trophies.

    • There is no team component to the Novice Sections and players’ scores will not contribute to scholastic team scores.

    • Novice Section players’ games and scores will not be submitted to USCF and will not be USCF rated.  This is due to non-USCF players being allowed to compete in these sections.

    • Players in the Novice Sections will be eligible for that tournament’s door prizes.

  • While youth who meet the criteria for Novice Sections may compete in either section at a GISCA tournament, youth cannot change sections between rounds of any tournament.  Additionally for players playing in both the Novice and Grand Prix Sections during the GISCA tournament season, performance while competing in Novice Sections will not be credited for Grand Prix individual ranking and trophies.
     

Scholastic Tournament Time Controls:

  • Time Control G/30 d5 (each player has 30 minutes to complete all moves in a game and the clock does not begin to count down until 5 seconds has elapsed after to opposing player has pressed the activation button on the clock) will be used in all unrated Novice Sections and in the rated Primary, Elementary, Middle School, and High School sections.

  • Chess clocks:

    • The use of chess clocks by players in the rated sections is encouraged.  GISCA will not provide chess clocks to players in these sections prior to the start of any round.

    • The use of a delay clock (a clock with time delay or add-back capabilities) is required for GISCA tournaments.

    • Players are responsible for correctly setting their own clocks and explaining their clock’s operation to their opponent prior to the start of the round.

    • For players in a rated section, if one player in a game would like to use a clock, a clock shall be used in the game.  The clock must be provided by one of the players.

    • For players in a Novice Section, both players must agree to the use of a clock.  If one player chooses not to play with a clock, a clock shall not be used.  If both players agree to use a clock, it must be provided by one of the players.

    • If both players in any section both have delay clocks, Black chooses which clock to use.

    • Black chooses which side of the board to place the clock except if Black arrives at the board after the round begins.

    • If a player using a clock has a claim of any sort or needs to speak with a Tournament Director for any legitimate reason, both sides of the clock shall be stopped and the player must immediately raise their hand.

    • A player may not pick up a clock prior to the end of the game for any reason.

    • For a tournament game in which a clock is not being used and whose length may otherwise exceed the specified duration, a GISCA Tournament Director may insert a clock into the game such that the game will end within the allotted time.
       

Use of Chess Notation (Grand Prix Sections):

  • Players are required to record the game (both the player’s moves and the opponent’s moves), move after move, as clearly and as legibly as possible, on the score sheet.

    • Beginners who have not yet learned to keep score may be excused from scorekeeping, at the Tournament Director’s discretion.

    • If either player has less than five minutes remaining to complete their moves in the game, both players are excused from their obligation to keep notation.

    • Notation sheets will be available at the tournament.

    • Chess notation may be used by GISCA Tournament Directors to assist in the resolution of disagreement between players.

    • A player’s notation can be later used by players, parents, coaches, and some chess software applications to review a player’s performance.
       

Scholastic Tournament Awards:

  • The top three players in each of the unrated Novice Sections will receive ribbons.

  • The top three players in each of the rated Grand Prix Sections will receive trophies.

  • The player with the greatest upset in each of the rated Grand Prix Sections will receive a trophy.

  • The top three teams in each of the rated Grand Prix Sections will receive a trophy.

  • Player standings and results are based upon their tournament scores (i.e. wins, draws, and loses).  In those cases when two or more players have tied tournament scores, trophies and ribbons will be awarded based upon the following tie-breakers:

    • Modified Median

    • Median

    • Solkoff

    • Sonneborne-Berger

    • Cumulative

    • Opponents Cumulative

    •  Percentage Score

    Team standings and results are based upon the cumulative tournament scores (i.e. wins, draws, and loses) of the top five players on the team in a specific Grand Prix Section.  In those cases when two or more teams have tied cumulative tournament scores, trophies will be awarded based upon the following tie-breakers:

    • Median (summed)

    • Solkoff (summed)

    • Sonneborne-Berger (summed)

    • Cumulative (summed)

    • Opponents Cumulative (summed)

  • Scholastic players in all sections will be eligible for Grand Prix Door Prizes if they attend a minimum of three GISCA chess tournament during the tournament season.

    • One Grand Prix Door Prize of significant value will be randomly awarded to a scholastic player in the Rated Primary Section, Rated Elementary Section, or the Junior Novice (K-5) section.  Past prizes include bicycles, Apple iPod Nano, Nintendo DS Lite, PSP Go, etc.

    • One Grand Prix Door Prize of significant value will be randomly awarded to a scholastic player in the Rated Middle School Section, Rated High School Section, or the Senior Novice (6-12) section.  Past prizes include bicycles, HP Mini 311 computer, iPod Nano, Canon 5MP Digital Camera, Apple iTouch, etc.

    • Grand Prix Door Prizes are presented at the last tournament of the season.

    • Players must be present to claim Door Prizes.  If not present, another name will be randomly drawn and the Grand Prix Door Prize awarded to that individual.
       

2015-2016 Grand Prix Scholastic Tournament Awards:

  • The top ten players over GISCA's four tournament season in each of the Grand Prix Sections will receive Grand Prix trophies.  Trophy winners will be determined based upon their cumulative performance throughout GISCA's 2015-2016 Grand Prix four tournament season.


     

  • A score of 5.0 represents five wins by a player in a Grand Prix Section for a single GISCA five-round tournament.  This would equate to 250 Grand Prix points for that tournament.

    • Note that the graph above shows a curve with greater "steepness" at each end rather than a linear slope.  The intent of the curve is to appropriately reward exceptional performance (e.g. 4.5 or 5.0
      wins).

    • For example, a Grand Prix Section player with 5.0 points in one tournament and 4.0 wins in a second tournament would have more Grand Prix points (180 + 250 = 430 Grand Prix points) than a Grand Prix Section player with 4.5 wins in two tournaments (210 + 210 = 420 Grand Prix points).

    • Also note though, that the Grand Prix Section player with 4.5 wins in each of two tournaments would have more points than a Grand Prix Section player with 5.0 wins in one tournament and 3.0 wins in a second tournament (250 + 142 = 392 Grand Prix points).

  • The GISCA 2015-2016 Grand Prix points curve rewards "exceptional" performance over "very good" performance, but also rewards "consistently very good" performance over the more erratic mixture of "exception" and "good" performance.

  • There may be cases when Grand Prix Section players within the top ten have tied Grand Prix scores after the four GISCA 2015-2016 Grand Prix tournaments.  The tie-breaker system that will be used will be to first examine head-to-head competition between the players with the identical Grand Prix scores.  If examination of head-to-head competition is not able to break the tie, the following priority tie-breakers will be used:

    • Second tie-breaker: "Solkoff" (Solk) of the tied players summed over the four tournaments.

    • Third tie-breaker: "Cumulative" (Cum) of the tied players summed over the four tournaments.

    • Fourth tie-breaker: "Cumulative of Opposition" (CumOp) of the tied players summed over the four tournaments.
       

  • Grand Prix rankings and trophies will be based upon points from each player's top three Grand Prix tournaments.  If a player does compete in all four tournaments, the tournament with the least number of points will not be used.  Consequently, if a player is unable to attend all four tournaments or has an off-day in one tournament (if attending all four), they will still be in competition for the top awards for their section.
     

  • The Head-to-Head tie breaker will only be used if all players with the same Grand Prix score have played each of the other players with the same score at least once during the Grand Prix tournament season.  If a definitive order cannot be clearly determined through Head-to-Head competition for all players with the same Grand Prix score, the tie-breaker will not be used to determine the rankings of any of these players.  Subsequent tie-breakers will be used instead (i.e., Solkoff (summed), Cumulative (summed), and Cumulative Opponents (summed)).
     

GISCA Invitation to the 2016 Georgia Scholastic Team Championship:

  • The Georgia Chess Association allows GISCA to invite high performing GISCA scholastic chess teams from the state of Georgia to the 2016 Georgia Scholastic Team Championship.  Scholastic teams from GISCA Grand Prix Primary, Elementary, and Middle School sections compete for this honor.

  • Invitations are not required for High School chess teams to compete in the Georgia High School Chess Team Championship.

  • GISCA will pay the entrance fee for any GISCA team invited to and participating in the Georgia Chess Team Championship.  This includes high school chess teams participating in the Georgia High School Chess Team Championship.

  • While some level of subjectivity is involved in the selection for teams invited to compete in the state championship, team strength and progress is evaluated using the points-based system shown below.

  • By combining the scores of the top five players on a team within a given Grand Prix Section, a cumulative total of 25 points is theoretically possible.  Because players with like scores are paired against one another, it is mathematically possible (yet still highly unlikely) for a team to have a cumulative total of 25 points only if a single Grand Prix Section had a minimum of 132 players.  For this reason, the top point bracket is based upon a cumulative total of 20 points (an average score of 4.0 for the top five players on the team).

  • Teams in a specific Grand Prix Section should have a minimum total of 456 Team Points over the first three tournament season to receive an invitation to the Georgia Scholastic State Team Championship.

    • GISCA will need to provide the Georgia Chess Association with a recommendation for invitations to the Georgia Scholastic State Team Championship prior to the last GISCA tournament.

    • While 614 Team Points can be achieved by a team earning 152 Team Points at each of GISCA’s four tournaments, teams with 456 points after the first three tournaments will serve as the basis of GISCA's recommendations.

    • 152 Team Points can be achieved in a GISCA tournament by the top five players on a team averaging a score of 3.0 (e.g. three wins, two wins and two draws, etc.).

  • The methodology described above to assist in the determination of teams invited by GISCA to attend the Georgia Scholastic Chess Team Championship is used solely by GISCA.  The criterion used for team selection by other chess organizations will be different.