What section should my child play in?

Beginner section: This section is perfect for younger players, those who are new to chess, or those new to tournaments. If your child is on the younger side, has not participated in many tournaments before, or is concerned about their strength, this may be the right section for them! Advanced section: Ideal for the older, more experienced player. If your child has participated in several tournaments, has been with us for a while, and/or wants to see how they fare against higher quality opposition, this is where they should play! If you are uncertain: We are always happy to help provide guidance to parents uncertain where their child belongs. Simply reach out, and we'll assist in placing your child in the appropriate section. CSC reserves the right to place children in the section we believe is most appropriate for them, even if they are initially signed up for a different division. Balanced play is very important to our community, and we consider it essential to ensure that players are appropriately matched.

How long will games last? How long will the event run?

Games will begin at 9am, and end by 12:30pm. The event will be over by 1pm. Individual games*: Time control for all games will be 25 minutes per side, with no delay. This ensures all matches will last no more than 50 minutes. Length of tournament: All games should be over by about 12:30pm. Ceremony afterwards: We anticipate announcing the tournament winners, tallying their Beard/Hair votes, and the shaving of Joe's beard/head will take approximately half an hour, and should wrap up by about 1pm at the latest. *Please note: Due to the nature of lichess.org time controls, we will be using clocks in all sections. While this contravenes normal CSC policy regarding tournament clocks, we have no way to begin a clock "midgame" for long-running matches, and ensuring that the games end on time will be critical to the success of this event.

What are the rules for this event?

Rules: 1. Takebacks: No takebacks will be permitted for mistakes or missed opportunities. In the event a misclick or other reasonable "out of game" occurance impacts play, our Tournament Directors (TDs) will determine an appropriate solution as necessary. All Tournament Director (TD) rulings will be considered final, and there will be no appeal after the event (See Rule 6. TD Fiat, for further information.) 2. Breakout Room/Main Room usage: Our event will be held on Zoom, permitting us to create "breakout" rooms for tournament games as well as a main room for our players to socialize between rounds. 2a. Main Room Usage: All players will be required to return/remain in the main room at all times, excepting when they are actively involved in a tournament game. They will be permitted/encouraged to socialize, play friendly matches, and generally enjoy themselves in this room, with microphones ON. 2b. Breakout Room Usage: All players will be required to move to the appropriate breakout room during their assigned matches, where they will be required to focus on their games, communicate solely by the "chat" function in Zoom, and have their microphones OFF. As soon as their game ends, they must immediately return to the main room to avoid distracting the other players. 3. Microphones must be muted during play: All players will be required to mute their microphones during play, to prevent outside noise from interfering with the event. Again, this rule will not be in force between rounds in the main room, this is solely when competitors are in the Zoom Breakout Rooms. 4. In the event of a rules dispute/question: CSC will have Tournament Directors overseeing each room, who will be available to help with rules disputes/questions/other issues. All questions must be addressed to them through the Zoom Chat feature. In the case of a complex question that requires voice chat, the TD will direct the player(s) to move into the main room with him, so that they can turn their microphones on and discuss the issue more easily. In the event that a Tournament Director is uncertain what to do, they may consult with other TD's to clarify before making a decision. All TD rulings will be considered final, and cannot be appealed after the event (See Rule 6. TD Fiat, for further information.) 5. Cheating: In the event that a player is caught or reasonably suspected of cheating, CSC reserves the right to eliminate them from the tournament, have them retroactively forfeit all of won matches, and/or ban them for a period of time from future tournaments, with no refund of the entrance fee. While we do not anticipate any issues, the experiences of other local tournaments has made us aware of the potential for problems and we will act as necessary to preserve the integrity of this event. 6. TD Fiat: Our Tournament Directors are experienced, highly trained personnel, having run numerous events under CSC's aegis (even the young-looking ones). As a result, they are empowered to take whatever steps are deemed necessary to maintain the fun, security, and integrity of this event. When they issue a ruling, it will be considered final, and there will be no appeal after the event. Senior CSC staff will be present, and any TD judgements believed to be in error must be taken up immediately, to avoid endless relitigation. Once senior CSC staff have become involved, their rulings will be considered final, and there will be no possibility of further appeal. That being said, every effort will be made to avoid arbitrary or capricious rulings, and TD's and Senior Staff will be required to explain their reasoning when rendering their decisions, in an effort to promote clarity and avoid bad feelings/misunderstandings. 7. Good Sportsmanship: CSC expects all players to show good sportsmanship before, during, and after all games. This includes wishing their opponents good luck, offering congratulations or consolation after the match, displaying good manners, and absolutely no trash talking at any point. In the event that a player cannot abide by these rules, they will be counseled by a TD, and parents may be asked to become involved. If a particularly egregious case of bad sportsmanship should occur, the offending player may be asked to leave the event, and their money will not be refunded. 8. Have fun! This event is meant to be a lighthearted, joyous occasion for our community to gather and share their mutual love of all things chess, while enjoying the spectacle of Joe becoming follicly challenged at the hands of his students. We very much hope that all participants and their families will take part in the spirit as intended, and that this will be the first of many succesful online events while we wait for the pandemic to pass.

How will this event be scored? What is the format?

Depending on the number of sign-ups for each section, our TDs will elect to use either a Round Robin or Swiss style tournament system. Round Robin: All players in a given section play each other once, the players with the highest numbers of points at the end win. Swiss: All players in a given section each face 4 opponents, selected based on comparable scores during the event. The players with the highest numbers of points at the end win. Points: Points are awarded based on game results. A win is worth 1 point, a draw is worth 0.5 points, and a loss is worth 0 points. Tie-Breaks: In the event that two or more players have the same score at the end of the tournament, tie-breakers will be used to determine the winner. Tie-break 1: Did the players compete directly during the tournament? If so, the victorious player will win the tie-break. Tie-break 2: In the event that the first tie-break does not solve the dilemma, strength of field will be used to resolve the tie-break. This means that the total score of each tied player's opponents will be added up, and the player who faced competitors with the higher total combined score will win the tie-break. Tie-break 3: In the event that there is still no resolution, TD's will either declare the players co-winners, or (time permitting) arrange a 5 minute (rapid) game between the players to determine the "true" winner.

How much is this event?

Entry fees are $25 per player. Upon sign-up, each attending family will receive an invoice from Common Sense Chess, using our usual billing system.

Is this a rated tournament?

No, this tournament will not feature a rated section. Given the complexity of running this first-ever online event, we have opted not to increase the organizational difficulty involved in offering a rated section at this time.

Will there be prizes/trophies?

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts we have not found a satisfactory way of dispersing prizes/trophies at this time. Shipping costs and coordination difficulties in the time of covid have proven prohibitive, and so we have regretfully decided not to offer them for this event. However, to make up for this, Joe will not only shave live on Zoom for the entertainment of the participants, but will also model a variety of hairstyles/beard shapes for the amusement of all concerned. Children will be permitted to take pictures, offer suggestions, and generally enjoy the spectacle of their coach becoming "follicly challenged." It is our hope to offer trophies at future events, once a more satisfactory solution to the current issues has been found!

Who gets to vote for Team Shave or Team Haircut?

Every player will be asked to declare their affiliation for Team Shave or Team Haircut at the beginning of the event. However, only the top 3 players of each section (and any runners-up in case of tie-breaks) will be permitted to vote on Joe's fate. All children will be welcome to watch the final results, and to make suggestions about various ridiculous hair/beard styles that they'd like Joe to briefly model during the shearing process. Every effort to accomodate (reasonable) suggestions will be made! If enough players sign up, a special third category "Team Save" may be added (per student request) to preserve Joe's dignity and hair. This has proven surprisingly popular with children in previous years, and if enough players request it, we will be happy to accomodate!