What to Expect

When You First Arrive

The first thing to do when you arrive at one of our events is head to the registration desk. Note that if it’s an event with pre-registration, you still must check-in at the registration desk before registration closes.

New players are required to complete a form with various pieces of personal information and a disclaimer that requires a signature. The information is used to create a Chess and Math account. All chess players will receive an official rating from the Chess and Math Association of Canada. A rating is a numerical value to estimate chess playing ability and assists us in grouping similar skilled players together. You can always check a player’s rating and tournament history by visiting www.chess-math.org.

All players who did not pre-register are required to complete a pairing slip with basic pieces of information, such as name, grade, school, etc. These slips are used by our team to quickly view all players registered in the tournament and also for statistical purposes after the tournament.

Before the Tournament Starts

The limbo between registration and the start of the tournament can feel like eternity. Players, parents and coaches are encouraged to enter the tournament hall and play practice games, meet other players and make new friends. Spare sets and pieces are also allowed in the waiting area for use during this time and between tournament rounds.

At this point our team is assigning players to their groups for the day. Our regular tournaments consist of various groups:

Crown – rated above 1000 or new players grades 11 to 12
Intermediate – rated between 750 and 999 or new players grades 8 to 10
Novice Groups – All other players will be grouped into a number of novice groups based on rating and/or grade.

Note that these are only guidelines and that we may move a player up or down a group based on player experience, player requests, to even out the groups or for other reasons.

Special tournaments such as the Nova Scotia Chess Challenge, Maritime Qualifier, School Team Tournament, etc. may be played by grade, age or other factors and not the groups listed above.

Starting the Tournament

All players and parents will be asked to move to the announcement area. We start the tournament off with announcements, going over the basic rules, telling players their groups and identifying the scorers. The players will be asked to follow their scorer into the tournament hall to start the tournament.

During the Tournament

Each group will play five rounds against various opponents, time-permitting. Some groups may only get to play four rounds. Players are paired with opponents each round using a computer program utilizing the swiss pairing system for larger groups or with a pre-defined round robin pairing sheet for smaller groups.

Only players currently playing a game and tournament officials are allowed in the tournament hall. Parents and players who have finished their games must remain in the waiting area until the scorer calls the group in for the next round. The NSSCA is working on making our events more spectator friendly and having a spectator area.

At the beginning of a round the scorer will call the players of their group into the tournament hall. The scorer will seat the players with their opponents, then the players will shake hands and start their games.

If there are any problems during a game such as rules infractions, distractions (talking opponent) or anything at all out of place, players can raise their hand to have a scorer or a referee come and resolve the issue. We cannot do anything after a game has been completed.

At the end of a game the players will raise their hand and give the result to the scorer. Players are encouraged to check and confirm that their score has been accurately recorded. A win is recorded as a “1”, a loss is recorded as a “0” and “1/2” is recorded for a draw.

After the Tournament

After all rounds are completed we will call the players and parents of that group to the awards area. Awards will be given out to the players along with some final closing announcements.

We hope you had fun, enjoyed the event and that we will see you again!

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