iExcell December Christmas Open/Scholastic

iExcell Open/Scholastic Tournament, December 2013

A total of 30 players braved the freezing rain and icy roads and sidewalks to come play at iExcell on Saturday, December 21st.  Players came locally, but also from Hudson, Decatur, Champaign, and even Oak Park and Naperville.  Our Under 1200 section was too small to sustain the tournament, but the players got experience by playing up into the Open Section where they competed for the trophy prizes for their section.

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As freezing rain continued throughout the day, the people inside played through five rounds of G/30 (U600,) or four rounds of G/60 (Open.)  In the 15 Player Under 600 section there were four players who scored 4 of 5 points.  Rahul Vudaru (Evans JH) scored fourth on tiebreaks.  Gowtham Krishnakumar (Evans Jr. High) took the third place trophy, Sreeansh Vakiti (Colene Hoose Elem) took second, and first place was  awarded to Niroop Krishnakumar (Benjamin Elem.)  This was Niroop’s first tournament.  The team trophy was taken by Grove, represented by six players in the fifteen player field.

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Although the Under 1200 section was folded into the Open, we awarded the U1200 trophies to the players who had registered U1200 in that section.  Third place went to Marcus Lee (Colene Hoose Elem.)  Second place was awarded to Aarushi Bafna (Washington Elem.)  First place was awarded to Raghav Mukundan (Washington Elem,) who scored 2.5 points.  The team trophy went to Washington Elementary.

The Open section, 15 players total, saw excitement in Round 3 where Joseph Alford lost a minor piece for a pawn and lost to Mihir Bafna.  Mihir earned over 100 ratings points by defeating the Class A player Alford, going from 1404 to 1527 rating.  Mihir drew round 4, but earned $75 with a 3.5 score.  For Joseph Alford, it was his only defeat and he finished with a 3.0 score for $50.  Scoring 2.5 points and receiving $25 were Alexander Hsia, Minkee Lee, Grahame Watt, and Chris Morgan.

Every player received a Christmas gift from Twin Cities Chess Club and iExcell; players got to choose from scorepads, pens, pencils, and books (chess and non-chess) by drawings held every round.  The winners of the Grand Prize giveaway drawing were Jai Mahajan and Khel Gordhan, who each had a choice of either a DGT 960 or a Saitek Competition clock.  Our great thanks to iExcell for providing the clocks and many of the gifts.

The tournament also saw the debut of a new round information display system.  Paper was all-but-dispensed-with in favor of putting pairings and standings directly online.  Two large screen TVs (one in the playing hall, and one in the players area) provided refreshed information on tournament status, pairings and standings throughout the tournament.

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The system was well received, and future improvements are planned.

For a frozen day, the chess action was hot indeed.  Link to tournament crosstable at USCF.

Merry Christmas to All, and to All Play Good Chess!

Original event listing post follows.

The next tournament to be held at iExcell will be on Saturday, December 21, 2013.  Details in “TLA” (“Tournament Life Announcement”) format follow, then a “plain language” explanation.  A link to the tournament flyer is forthcoming.

TLA Information:

Dec. 21, IEXCELL BLOOMINGTON/NORMAL OPEN/
SCHOLASTIC NOVEMBER 2013
iExcell, 2416 East Washington Street, Suite B3, Bloomington IL 61704.
For new players, see http://laughingvulcan.org/TCCCBlog/iexcell/ for more
comprehensive explanations. In 3 Sections

Open: 4SS, G/60;d5, EF:
$30.00 if Prepaid by Oct. 30; $35.00 Onsite. $$: $100.00 for 4.0 score;
$75.00 for 3.5 score; $50.00 for 3.0 score, $25.00 for 2.5 score. Only
zero point byes allowed, all rounds.
U1200 Scholastic: 5SS, G/30;d5, Open to 1200 & under. Open to
Scholastic Players Only. EF: Scholastic sections: $15 if paid by October
30; $20 Onsite. Prizes: 1st-3rd Place Trophy, 1st Place School Team
Trophy. All players receive at least one’goodie.’ All scholastic players
receive participation medals. ½ point bye available any single round
*except final round*; zero point byes only in final round. We reserve
the right to combine the U600/U1200 sections or reduce rounds if
number of players is low.

U600 Scholastic: 4SS, G/30;d5, Open to
600 & under. Open to Scholastic Players Only. EF: Scholastic sections:
$15 if paid by October 30; $20 Onsite. Prizes: 1st-3rd Place Trophy,
1st Place School Team Trophy. All players receive at least one’goodie.’
All scholastic players receive participation medals. ½ point bye available
any single round *except final round*; zero point byes only in final
round. We reserve the right to combine the U600/U1200 sections or
reduce rounds if number of players is low.

ALL: Rds: Check-In and
Door Registration Ends 8:30 AM; 1st Round begins play ASAP after
registration closes at 8:30. Lunch break provided, all other rounds ASAP.  Floor repairings will be done for any player 15 minutes after round start if opponent not present / opponent will be forfeited from round.

One or more door prizes (used books and other chess-related stuff) will be raffled off to players at start of every round.

Preregistered players are expected to check-in. ENT: Rahul Bafna, iExcell
(309) 287 -0293 or admin@iexcellkids.com. INFO: admin@iexcellkids.com.
DIR: See http://goo.gl/maps/w1SnT for Google Map to site.

Some explanation in English:

This will be a United States Chess Federation rated tournament at iExcell.  There are three sections, one for scholastic players under 600 USCF rating, one for scholastic players under 1200 USCF rating, and an open section for scholastic and adult players.  If the scholastic attendance (U600/U1200) is too small we reserve the right to either shorten the number of rounds or combine the two sections together.

All sections have the following in common:

Everyone must be present and either have checked in, or be in the check in line, by 8:30 AM.  Those who arrive after 8:30, even those preregistered, may or may not have a first round game.  It pays to be early!

All players must be paid members of the USCF (because we are not separating by grade, all players must have current expirations or pay a minimum three month USCF membership fee, in addition to the tournament registration fee.)

We will take a lunch break when possible and the start time for the post-lunch round will be announced.  Otherwise, all rounds begin as soon as possible after the last game in the prior round is finished.  In practice there’s about a fifteen minute break after the last game finishes and when play in the next round starts.

Typically the scholastic sections end at around 4:30 PM.  (A perfect day would have rounds approximately start at 9:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, 1:50 PM, and 3:15 PM.)  The open section usually ends at 6:00 PM, (rounds start at 9:00 AM, 12:oo PM, 2:15 PM, and 4:15 PM.)  Things, however, rarely come out perfectly.

To preregister, or if you have any questions, please contact Rahul Bafna of iExcell at (309) 287 -0293 or email admin@iexcellkids.com.

The scholastic sections share the following in common (even though they are two separate sections):

It is a total of 5 rounds in Swiss system format (all players play 5 games of chess during the day.)  Each side has thirty minutes each to play the game (bringing/buying a clock is recommended,) and each there will be 5 seconds of delay each move before time starts counting down.  If neither player has a clock, we will place a clock on the board with both times equally split based on availability (this typically happens in the last 10-20 minutes of the round.)

The top 3 players by tiebreak score receive trophies, and the school with the four best players takes a team trophy. All players take home a medal.

Players may take up to one half point bye for any round except the last round.  This counts as a draw for pairing and prize purposes.

If there are not enough players, we will at our discretion combine the U/600 and U/1200 scholastic sections.

The entry fee is $15.00 if prepaid by October 30, and $20.00 if paid after October 30 / at the site.

The open section has the following characteristics:

It is a total of 4 rounds in Swiss system format (all players play 4 games of chess during the day.)  Each side has sixty minutes each to play the game (bringing/buying a clock is recommended,) and there will be 5 seconds of delay each move before the time starts counting down.  If neither player has a clock, we will place a clock on the board with both times equally split based on availability (this typically happens in the last 10-20 minutes of the round.)

This is a plus-scores section.  Wins count as 1 point, draws count as 1/2 point, losses are 0 points.  A player scoring a perfect 4.0 score (4 wins) receives $100.00.  A player who scores 3.5 receives $75.00.  A player scoring 3.0 receives $50.00.  A player who scores 2.5 points receives $25.00.  Scores less than 2 points receive nothing.

Because we’re playing plus scores, all elected byes count for zero points, not a half point.  Also, to avoid more than one (possible) full point bye in a round, we may do floor repairing of any player whose opponent is more than 15 minutes late for the round start.

The entry fee is $30.00 if prepaid by October 30, and $35.00 if paid after October 30 / at the site.

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