Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships: Official Tournament Rules

Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championships: Official Tournament Rules

USCF College Chess Committee
Table of Contents

Table of Contents. 2
1. Bidding Guidelines: 3
1a. Date of Event: 3
1b. Bidding overview: 3
1c. Site Criteria: 4
1d. Sleeping Accommodations: 4
1e. Transportation: 5
1f. Staffing: 5
1g. Finances: 6
1h. Publicity: 6
2. Format & tournament rules: 7
2a. Tournament Format and Rules: 7
2b. Entry Fees and Registration: 8
2c. Intercollegiate Eligibility Requirements: 8
2d. Team Requirement: 10
2e. Ratings of Players: 11
2f. Conduct of the Tournament: 11
2k Tie-breaks: 11
3. Ceremonies: 12
3a. Opening Ceremony: 12
3b. Awards Ceremony & Prizes: 12
4. Miscellaneous: 13
4a. Chess Notation: 13
4b. Posting of rules: 13

1. Bidding Guidelines:

1a. Date of Event:
The Pan-Am has been held every year over the Christmas vacation, December 27 (or 26) to December 30 (less frequently Dec. 29), since 1945. This is because this is the only period during which all colleges and universities are on vacation at the same time.

1b. Bidding overview:
  1. The bidding deadline is November 15 of the previous year. This allows for timely examination by the CCC and approval by USCF, in order to announce the site and other details at the Pan-Am one year in advance.
  2. The winning bid will be announced at the previous-year’s Pan-Am. Final arrangements and publicity should be completed before April. In this way, students may begin planning and fundraising in their spring semester for the fall semester of the next academic year.
  3. Bids must conform to the National Bid requirements. Copies of the bids are to be sent to USCF and to the CCC Chairperson.
  4. In the event that no bids are submitted, the CCC must find a willing organizer. USCF will assist in targeting possible bidders, but will play no role in organizing the tournament.
  5. In the event that multiple bids are submitted, the USCF staff will make a decision based on consultation with the CCC. CCC criteria, in order of importance, include:
  • Turnout
  • Finances (profit, stability, low EF, adequate prizes)
  • Geographic accessibility
  • Playing site and accommodations (low room rates)
  • Publicity
  • Geographic rotation
  • Organizer’s experience
  • Availability of backup organizers

1c. Site Criteria:
  1. The Pan-Am must be in a location that is geographically accessible by air and car.
  2. A number of types of sites are acceptable for the Pan-Am, including hotels with convention facilities, schools, colleges, public buildings, and convention centers.
  3. The site should be adequate for anticipated entries, allowing 15 to 20 square feet of useable space per player.
  4. The site must have an adequate skittles area.
  5. Special team areas should be available to coaches or captains who need a private area to counsel team members.
  6. Toilet facilities must be adequate for large numbers of participants, and must be cleaned and maintained throughout the tournament.
  7. Water must be made available in the playing hall throughout the duration of the tournament.
  8. Pictures and descriptions of the tournament site, including size, lighting, available sanitary facilities, or any physical equipment available, should be included with each bid.
  9. Reasonable inexpensive food should be available at or within easy walking distance of the site. Some nearby eating facilities should be open at least as late as midnight.

1d. Sleeping Accommodations:
  1. The primary consideration for accommodations is that they be reasonably inexpensive and accessible to the playing site.
  2. A price per room, rather than per person, should be negotiated with the hotel. If this is not possible, then rates for two and four per room should be made as low as possible.
  3. An agreement should be negotiated with the hotel whereby the total room-nights sold is directly related (e.g. on a sliding scale) to the costs of the playing rooms. The best contract occurs when the hotel agrees to provide the playing room free in exchange for the opportunity of hosting the event at the facility. If not, then the sliding scale should be constructed such that the hotel provides the playing room free if a certain level of total room-nights has been reached.
  4. The sliding scale should be built around total number of room- nights, not nightly occupancy. Example: playing hall free above 150 room-nights. If on the three nights 51, 50, and 49 rooms are taken up, the organizer should not be penalized for falling below 50 on the third night, as the total is still 150. This method is useful as it includes people who come/leave a day early/late. Organizers should be sure the contract allows room-nights used by tournament attendees before and after the tournament to be counted toward the tournament total, and that they are available at the tournament rate.
  5. Bidders should negotiate complimentary rooms (perhaps one per 25 room-nights sold, with a minimum of three) with the hotel. These are commonly used for the TDs, organizational staff, and the USCF representative.
  6. The organizer and the hotel should agree upon a block of hotel rooms to be apportioned for tournament entrants. This block is reserved until filled up by those connected with the event. Estimate 50-200 blocked off rooms per night, or about two per expected team. (Of course, the sliding scale is based on a much lower figure). This prevents the hotel from selling all of its rooms to occupants who are not connected with the event. Also, the hotel should agree to increase the number as entries are received and numbers become available to the organizer, in case of overflow.
  7. The organizer and the hotel should agree upon a publicized cutoff-date for reservations and an actual cutoff-date after which the special chess rates are no longer available. Ideally, the published cutoff-date is two to three weeks before the event (possibly to coincide with the deadline for early entry fees). This will give the organizer time to calculate room occupancy. The actual cutoff-date ideally should be the last date of the event; i.e. if individuals ask for the chess rate after the publicized cutoff-date they should still obtain the chess rate, based on availability.

1e. Transportation:
Organizers must make sure that transportation is available between the host hotel and the nearest commercial airport. The organizer must ensure transportation between the host hotel and the playing site if they are not located within walking distance of each other. Transportation arrangements should be publicized in advance.

The hotel and playing site should have adequate parking facilities nearby. Ideally, the hotel should provide either free on-site parking or parking validation stickers for free parking off-site for all those connected with the event.

1f. Staffing:
National Tournament Director Certification is required of the chief TD. The chief TD should also have experience in administering (a) national events, (b) FIDE events, (c) intercollegiate events, (d) scholastic events, (e) team events, and (f) Pan-Am events, if possible.

The organizer, in consultation with the chief TD, will provide a sufficient number of certified assistant TDs to help administer the event. The TD or at least one assistant TD should be devoted exclusively to the main section.

A number of volunteers should be available to help the organizer. Their responsibilities include (a) receiving entries, (b) entering registrations (c) checking ratings, (d)checking colleges and schools of players, (e) checking in players and teams on-site, (f) setting up playing room, (g) checking wallchart area, (h) preparing a tournament information pamphlet, (i) managing publicity and promotion, (j) providing an awards ceremony, (k) assisting the TDs and organizer during their tournament duties, and (l) run Mon Roi Controller.

1g. Finances:
The Pan-Am is a partnership between USCF and the local organization. USCF has veto power over major decisions. All contracts must be approved-by the USCF staff before signing.

Certain services and purchases including the book concession should normally be bid out. Vendors should receive requests for proposals. USCF must be contacted about all concession plans.

The organizer must be able to accept checks and write checks. No bid will be accepted from an individual or group without this capability. A local checking account is recommended of organizers.

Since 1989, the Pan-Am has been run with the organizer accepting 100% of all profit and 100% of all loss. Changes in this structure must be negotiated by the organizer, the CCC, USCF office, and the PB.

Entry fees are to be sent to the local organizer, and prizes must be paid out immediately after the event by the organizer.

1h. Publicity:
  1. Publicity is an important part of attracting new participants to the Pan-Am and attracting more colleges to chess and the USCF. Many college chess clubs are unaware of the Pan-Am, and many college students are unaware of the existence of the USCF. Organizers must include plans for publicity in their bids. Fliers should list the host and USCF as co-sponsors.
  2. The Pan-Am will be announced in the TLA section of Chess Life, in at least three issues (October, November, and December).
  3. Chess Life will give the CCC space for one free article announcing the upcoming Pan-Am. For the December 27-30 event, notification no later than the October issue (comes out September 1) is ideal. Since the deadline for this and the October TLA is August 10, the organizer must be prepared in his/her spring semester of the previous academic year to begin publicity.
  4. The organizer must prepare a flier publicizing the event. The flier should he mailed to as many local, regional, and national college affiliates as can he budgeted, and to state and regional chess magazines in nearby states.
  5. Organizers should make efforts to reach as many local colleges as possible (this includes non-USCF affiliates) . Phone and E-mail advertising are highly encouraged.
  6. Organizers should arrange publicity with the local media prior to, during, and immediately after the event.
  7. A press release should be prepared listing major winners after the conclusion of the tournament. This release, along with game scores, should be given to the USCF representative or emailed/faxed to the USCF immediately after the event. The USCF will send its own release to media sources.

2. Format & tournament rules:

2a. Tournament Format and Rules:
  1. The preferred schedule is a six-game, four-day event, (December 27-30), with the number of rounds per day 1-2-2-1. Changes in this format must be negotiated by the organizer, the CCC, and the USCF staff.
  2. The tournament will be conducted using USCF rules for all players (including non-U.S. participants), except as modified in this document.
  3. The event is a Swiss System, paired strictly team vs. team. Board one of team A plays board one of team B, through board four (see IX.3 for substitution practice of alternates).
  4. Pairings are done by considering each team an individual entity. Each team gets one match point if the combined scores of the four players in a round is 2 1/2 or greater, one-half match point if the combined score is 2, and zero match points if the combined score is 1 1/2 or less. Teams are grouped by their match points and then ranked within the group by their ratings. Byes, defaults, lateness, and so forth are treated as in individual tournaments.
  5. The number of match points (not total game points) determines the final standings. (Note: In Europe and in the Olympiad, game points are used to determine standings. In America and throughout most of the history of the Pan-Am, match points were and are used.)
  6. If a school enters multiple teams, these teams may not face one another unless the TD views the pairing as the best possible choice. For instance, if the A and B teams of a college are undefeated after four rounds, then they must be paired in the fifth round to avoid a sixth or last round pairing.
  7. A team that is assigned “white” has white on boards 1 and 3, black on 2 and 4; conversely, a team that is assigned “black” has black on boards 1 and 3, white on 2 and 4.
  8. The rule regarding color in a series (popularly known as “the three blacks in a row rule”) is less important in team play, because each team has two whites and two blacks per round.
  9. There may be no more than two rounds per day. At least seven hours must be placed between the start of each round. The suggested round times are 6pm, 10am, 5pm, 10am, 5pm, and 9am, respectively.
  10. The primary time control may be no faster than G/90 with 30 second increment. Sudden death time controls may not be used. Games may be adjourned at the TD’s discretion. If provided for both players, Mon Roi units must be used.

2b. Entry Fees and Registration:
  1. The advance team entry for the intercollegiate section will be determined by the organizer. In each section, the late fee (or on-site entry) should be no more than 25% above the advance entry fee.
  2. The deadline for early entry should be two to three weeks before the event (possibly to coincide with the date by which hotel reservations should be made). It is preferred that the deadline be of the type “postmarked no later than” rather than “received no later than.” This prevents hostility by players to the organizer for not getting the mail, and offers written proof of dates. In the event that a team’s entry is postmarked before the deadline yet not received until after the start of the event (i.e. misdirected mail), the organizer may require the team to pay the entry, including the late fee, at the door. When the early entry is then received, the door entry and late fee would then be refunded.
  3. Door entries must be permitted up to a certain cutoff time before the first round (generally 1-2 hours, enough to allow for first round pairings). Any entry after this cutoff time may be required to take a bye or play against a specially paired group of other late entrants.

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