Cincinnati Scholastic Chess

Inviting you to enjoy the king of games in the Queen City

CSC Online

CSC Online Tournaments – October through December

Click here to enter the November 7 tournament, or continue reading for tournament details.

To replace our three fall-semester over-the-board tournaments, we will be holding online tournaments on our usual dates: October 10, November 7, and December 5, 2020. These tournaments will be one-day events. We hope to break “attendance records” from our previous 13 years even though attending (at least) the first three events means logging onto your computer rather than traveling to a school site.

November 7 Tournament Details

The tournament will be conducted on www.chess.com; pairings will use chess.com Rapid ratings. If you do not already have an account at www.chess.com, create one before entering the tournament. (Scroll down to General Information for related details.) The tournament begins promptly at 9:00 am – the computer will not pair you for the first-round game if you have not joined your tournament on chess.com on time! Depending on the tournament’s time control, play will finish between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

We plan to have 6 tournaments with 5 rounds and different time controls, as detailed below. The rating ceilings for tournaments with longer time controls will be higher; rating ceilings will be determined by CSC before the tournament begins. Players may choose to play up. CSC reserves the right to require any player to play in a higher tournament based on his or her rating history. Projected time controls are listed below. The time control indicates the number of minutes that each player has for the game; the “+2” indicates a 2-second increment, meaning that each player receives 2 additional seconds added onto his or her remaining time with each move.

  • G/20+2 (open no ratings ceiling)
  • G/18+2
  • G/16+2
  • G/14+2
  • G/12+2
  • G/10+2 (lowest ratings ceiling)

If fewer than 120 entries are received, there might be fewer tournaments. In each tournament anyone scoring 3 points or more will win a medal. Players’ chess.com ratings will be affected by all games played on chess.com. (Players’ USCF ratings will not be affected by playing in this tournament.)

All games played and all players’ eligibility for medals will be subject to Fair Play checking by Cincinnati Scholastic Chess and chess.com. (Scroll down to General Information for related details.)

Entering the Event and Joining a Tournament

A player must complete the following steps in order to play in a tournament:

  1. Create an account on chess.com if the player does not already have one.
  2. Through this website (www.chesscincinnati.com) submit an entry form and pay the entry fee. The deadline for submitting an entry form is NOON, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2020. Click here to enter.
  3. On chess.com join the “CSC Online November” club. This is a private, event-specific club designated only for those who will play in this event. After submitting an entry form, usually within 24 hours, the player will receive a human-generated confirmation of entry, which  will include a link or instructions for joining this club. Players are urged to join this club as soon as their entry is confirmed; players cannot play in any CSC Online tournament unless they have joined this club first.
  4. On chess.com join the particular tournament in which the player wants to play depending on his or her chess.com Rapid rating.  (See additional explanation below.)

Additional explanation:

Players must join their tournament during the one hour before round 1 is schedule to begin. To avoid last-minute problems, players are urged to join well before the starting time and in any case no later than than five minutes before the starting time. Players who have not joined by the starting time will not be paired until the next round begins.

To join a CSC Online tournament (during the one hour before the scheduled starting time), log in to chess.com and then:

  • Hover over “Connect” -> click on “Clubs” -> click on the current event club (for example, “CSC Online November”). This will display a list of event-related tournaments. Click on the green plus sign next to a tournament to join it.

Or:

  • Click on Play -> click on Live Chess -> click on Tournaments (in the upper right corner of the display). This will display a list of event-related tournaments. Click on the tournament you want to join, then click on the orange “Join” button. If there is no orange “Join” button, you are attempting to join a tournament that you are not eligible to join.

Note: The particular tournaments for an event are not defined until the evening before the event, and obviously the lists of tournaments mentioned above cannot be posted until the tournaments are defined.

Most players will be eligible to play in any one of several tournaments, so they should select a tournament carefully, considering their own rating and the rating ceiling of the tournament they are thinking about joining. Players may change tournaments by withdrawing from the tournament they have entered and then joining a different tournament for which they are eligible; however, players who decide to change tournaments are urged to do this before the event begins.

For the benefit of those who are less experienced with tournament chess, here is a brief explanation of how CSC Online tournaments are designated. A tournament is either an “Open” tournament or an “under” tournament, designated as “Uxxx”. For example, U700 means that only players with a rating under 700 (i.e., 699 or less) may play in this tournament. A player may play either in the lowest tournament for which his or her rating qualifies, or in any higher tournament. (When a player joins a higher tournament than the lowest one for which he or she is eligible, the player is said to be “playing up”.) The Open tournament is where the players with the highest ratings play. Anyone playing in his or her first CSC Online tournament should play probably in the lowest possible tournament, but definitely not in the Open tournament.

Practice Tournament

There will not be a practice tournament before the tournament on November 7.

Questions

It is not feasible to put all the information related to CSC Online on this webpage. Accordingly, we have prepared a downloadable CSC Online Essential Information document (13 pages), in which the answers to  many questions can be found. If your question is not answered in that document, please contact Alan Hodge at info@chesscincinnati.com or at 513-600-9915 (call/text).

Results from previous CSC Online Tournaments

Final standings, round-by-round pairings, and games from all previous CSC Online tournaments are available on chess.com and can be accessed as follows:

  • Log into chess.com.
  • Hover over “Connect” then click on “Clubs”.
  • For the results of the May 2020 CSC Online Series, click on the Cincinnati Scholastic Chess club, then click on “Live Tournaments”
  • For the results of all other tournaments, click on the latest event club (for example, “CSC Online November”), then click on “Live Tournaments”.
  • Note: Only members of the clubs mentioned above can access the respective results.

Here are some things to be aware of when you are looking for results on Chess.com:

  • Multiple tournaments played on the same day are not listed in any apparent order.
  • When looking for the results of a particular player, it is helpful to know the specific tournament (defined by rating) in which that player played. The critical information is what his or her rating was when play began in that tournament. If you do not know this, you might need to search in multiple tournaments until you find the player whose results you are interested in seeing.
  • The final standings of a tournament are posted on Chess.com before various Fair Play checks are done. For this reason a list of trophy winners posted on our website might differ from the the top finishers posted on Chess.com.

General Information About CSC Online Tournaments

Creating a chess.com account

A basic account is sufficient to play in any CSC Online tournament. Basic accounts are free; higher-level accounts are available for a fee. It is easy and quick to set up a basic membership account. Simply go to www.chess.com and click on “Sign Up”, then submit the following information in the form that displays:

  • A username (This need not be, and usually is not, your real name. Think about how you want to identify yourself online — have some fun with it.)
  • An email address
  • A password to use when you log in
  • A general indication of your chess skill level

Chess.com assigns an initial rating to a player when he or she joins chess.com. These arbitrary initial ratings correspond to the skill level selected when setting up the membership account as follows:

  • New to chess = 800
  • Beginner = 1000
  • Intermediate = 1200
  • Advanced = 1400
  • Expert = 1600

Joining a tournament

Players must be careful to find and join the correct tournament, as many tournaments happen concurrently on Chess.com. CSC Online tournaments will always have names beginning with “CSC Online”. Players should also make sure of which Chess.com rating (Bullet, Blitz or Rapid) applies for the tournament time control and be sure that the tournament they are trying to join is correct for their rating. A player selecting the correct tournament to join will see an orange “Join” button. Sometimes a player is eligible for more than one tournament, and will see a “Join” button for each of them. If no “Join” button is displayed, the player is attempting to enter a tournament for which he or she is not eligible.

A player may change tournaments by withdrawing from a tournament and then joining a different tournament; however, a player may not withdraw from and then rejoin the same tournament unless he or she withdraws before round 1 begins. (The player might need to log out from Chess.com after withdrawing from the first tournament and then log in again to join the second.)

After joining a tournament, a player must be “present” in the “Live Chess” area and ready to play at the start of the first round in which he or she is paired. Usually this will be round 1; however, players who have registered for a tournament may join it after it begins, but will not be paired until the next round begins and will score zero for the round(s) up to that point.

A player must make his or her first move within a time period indicated by Chess.com in order to confirm that the game is in progress.

Fair play policy

All standards of compliance with the rules of chess, sportsmanship, and ethics that apply to over-the-board chess apply equally to online chess, and we expect all players at all times to compete honestly and fairly. Online rules for fair play specify that players may not use the assistance of a computer or other electronic device, another person, a book or any other resource while their game is in progress. Chess.com analyzes games for unfair play. The Tournament Director also looks for signs of unfair play. Players flagged for fair play violations are not eligible for prizes and are subject to other disciplinary action by Chess.com and Cincinnati Scholastic Chess.

Sandbagging

Sandbagging means lowering one’s rating by intentionally resigning from or losing games without making a good faith effort to compete to the best of one’s ability. A player sandbags in order to be able to play in a tournament section with lower rating requirements — that is, against weaker competition — than the player’s genuine rating would indicate as appropriate.

While it might appear to a player that sandbagging affects only his or her own rating and has no ill effect on anyone else, this is not the case. Opponents against whom the player intentionally loses is deprived of the opportunity to play a genuinely contested game (as he or she had a right to expect) and gains “artificial” rating points that can result in inappropriate pairings. And when the sandbagger plays in a tournament section for which he or she does not genuinely qualify, he or she is paired against opponents who rightly should not be paired against him or her. These opponents often suffer losses of their games, rating points, and possibly prizes that they might otherwise have won.

Besides being explicitly against the rules of chess, sandbagging is unsportsmanlike, unethical and dishonest. Whether its impact on other players is intended or not, it is cheating, and it is therefore unacceptable. We will regularly check all the players in our tournaments for sandbagging, and where it is found, those players will be ineligible for prizes and subject to additional disciplinary actions.

Additional information about online chess tournaments

There are a number of other matters that players and parents should understand about playing chess on Chess.com. Click here to open the CSC Online Essential Information document that we have prepared. We urge all players and parents to become familiar with this document (12 pages plus a one-page appendix). Any questions not answered in this document, or any comments you wish to offer, may be submitted by email to info@chesscincinnati.com or by phone/text to Alan Hodge, 513-600-9915.