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Game Courier Tournament #1

The Game Courier tournament was a multi-variant Chess variant tournament in which all games were played on Game Courier. The tournament ran from early 2004 to November 2004. We conducted two polls to select which games would be played in the tournament. The first was an approval poll for the sake of selecting a slate of games that could more easily be ranked, and the second poll asked you to rank the games chosen by the first poll. The results of these two polls can be viewed here:

Twelve people signed up for this tournament. It was conducted as a three-round round robin tournament, in which everyone was supposed to play everyone else at something. Because some people quit, not everyone played everyone, but most everyone played most everyone. Most people played ten to eleven of the following games:

1Grand Chess
2Chinese Chess
5Anti-King Chess II
6Take Over Chess in 64 Squares
7Eurasian Chess
8Pocket Mutation Chess
9Kamikaze Mortal Shogi
10Alice Chess
11Glinski's Hexagonal Chess
12Cavalier Chess


All three rounds of the tournament are now over. This table shows who played whom at what, as well as who beat whom. Underneath each column headed by a player's initials, that player's wins are all highlighted in gold, his losses in teal, and his draws in silver. Some games were unplayed because participants quit. In each case, the quitter lost. These games have a strike-through line across them. At the bottom of each column is the score for the player heading the columns. All the details of this table can all be confirmed by viewing the Logs page for the tournament.

The First Place Winner is Antoine Fourriere, and the second place winner is Roberto Lavieri. Congratulations to both of them.



  • No one may take back a legal move except to take back a previous illegal move. Anyone who otherwise takes back a legal move must take back the new move and repeat the original legal move. Otherwise, the new move counts as illegal.
  • Any illegal move must be taken back. Unless the time runs out, no game should be considered finished while any illegal move has not been taken back. In particular, checkmate and stalemate do not count for anything when there is an illegal move that has not been taken back.
  • Anyone who runs out of time will lose. When someone runs out of time, it does not matter whether anyone has made illegal moves. The person who runs out of time simply loses.
  • A win counts for 1 point, a loss for 0 points, and a draw normally counts for a 1/2 point. In games where stalemate is a win, as it is in Chinese Chess, the stalemating player gets 1 point, and the stalemated player gets none. In games that have specific rules concerning how points are given, the rules of that game are followed, so long as the rules never award fewer than 0 or more than 1 point. In particular, the rules of Glinski's Hexagonal Chess are followed for that game, in which 3/4 points are given for giving stalemate and 1/4 is given for being stalemated. Unless specifically given, the rules for stalemate are assumed to be the same as in Chess, and 1/2 a point is given for stalemate to both sides. When a game is drawn for any reason besides stalemate, each side gets 1/2 a point.
  • Every game played in the tournament shall be directly assigned to the players. The usual method of inviting and accepting an invitation shall not be used. All logs shall include a tag indicating that the log is for a game in the tournament. This will be used for showing all tournament logs by themselves on the logs page, and and it will be used to prevent deletion by the players. All tournament games will be publicly viewable and immune to deletion by normal means. The countdown for timing a game will begin when it is assigned.
  • Games will not be assigned until everyone has had advance notice of when and what games they will be assigned. Before assignments are made, players will be asked for their preferences on specific presets.

Time Controls

Game Courier has very versatile and sophisticated time controls, and these will be used to time all games in the tournament. Details on how time controls work can be found in the User's Guide. The time controls used for each game will depend upon how many games are being played at once during a round. More time will be allowed during rounds with more games. Here are the time control settings that will be used for different numbers of games per round.

3-4 games per round5-6 games per round
Pace:4 moves per week3 moves per week
Spare Time:7 days7 days
Grace Time:24 hours32 hours
Extra Time:12 hours24 hours
Bonus Time:8 hours for moving within 24 hours

Each group of settings is designed to accomodate a certain average pace, which is identified by the setting for pace. As long as you keep the specified average pace, you will not run out of time. Bear in mind that you will not be put on a strict pace, and you will not lose for falling behind it just once. Instead, you are given leeway for slowing your pace as long as you pay for it in advance or make up for it later. You will begin with an initial reserve time of 7 days. As long as you move within the grace time given after your opponent's move, you will not lose any of your reserve time. After your grace time is used up, any extra time spent making your move will be substracted from your reserve time. After each move, you will gain 24 hours of extra reserve time. When you move within 24 hours of your opponent's last move, you will gain 8 hours of bonus reserve time. As long as you keep the specified pace, your reserve time will be kept from dropping below your spare time of 7 days. With good time management, your reserve time will grow from its initial 7 days to several weeks. After each move, Game Courier will let you know how much total time you can take after your opponent's move before moving again. This will be equal to your grace time plus your reserve time. If you ever exceed the total time given to you, you will automatically lose the game.


If two players attain the same score, ties will be broken by the following methods in a topdown order:

  • Buchholz / Solkoff method (Compares scores of all opponents defeated by tied players.)
  • Sonneborn-Berger (Compares scores of all opponents defeated or tied with tied players.)
  • Number of Wins (Wins count as 1, ties as nothing.)
  • Most Blacks (Whoever has won more games as the second player wins the tie.)

Signed Up

  • Carlos Carlos
  • Fergus Duniho
  • Antoine Fourriere
  • Gary Gifford
  • Benjamin Good
  • Michael Howe
  • Roberto Lavieri
  • Michael Madsen
  • Thomas J. McElmurry
  • Mike Nelson
  • Antonio Quintanilla
  • Mark Thompson


The fees will all go toward the prize fund. If money from the fees totals less than $100 USD, the Chess Variant Pages will make up the difference. So prizes will be drawn from a fund of at least $100, and if enough people sign up, it will be larger.

Written by Fergus Duniho
WWW Page Created: 19 November 2003.