2. There should be no appeal of the Chair's decisions on tournament
b. Maintain order;
c. Determine tournament winners;
d. Supervise time controls and overtime;
e. Generally carry out any other activities necessary to insure smooth
3. The TD's decisions as to the method of running the system shall be final.
4. The TD shall send game results from the tournament to the AGA Ratings
Coordinator and membership data and monies to the Membership Secretary
in a timely manner.
2. The committee shall select one of its number as chairperson to supervise the proceedings.
3. It shall then obtain testimony from each of the parties to the dispute and any other witnesses that may be necessary, including the TD or ATD.
4. It shall deliberate, decide the question in accordance with tournament
rules and the rules of the game, and the chairperson shall communicate
its decision in writing to the TD, who shall enforce it.
b. A rank is a graded system of levels inherited from the Orient used to express the relative strengths of players. Most tournament systems use ranks as a basis for handicaps and pairings.
c. The TD can derive approximate ranks from ratings as follows:
(2) A negative grade is a kyu rank; a positive grade is a dan rank.
e. A player with no established AGA rating shall be assigned a provisional
rank by the TD using his/her best judgement. The TD shall correct
this provisional rank if subsequent play shows it seriously in error.
b. If used in a Swiss-McMahon system, handicaps consist of the band difference between the two players. In lower bands encompassing several ranks, the TD may prefer to use traditional handicaps. Players beginning above the Bar should never receive handicaps.
c. Mathews Accelerated system handicaps are defined within the system
4. Choosing colors In even games. They may be assigned:
b. By a system which attempts to insure that all players use each color as equally as possible;
c. By the players themselves. Traditionally, one player picks up a handful of white stones and the other, either one or two black stones. If the parity of both guesses agrees, that player uses black; if not, vice versa. However, any other mutually agreeable method of lot will suffice.
5. Prepared materials and consultation.
b. A player may not use a second set to mirror any part of the tournament game or to work out any positional variations arising from it.
c. A player may not go elsewhere inside or out of the playing area during the current round and contravene a. or b. of this section.
d. A player may not use a computer to contravene either a. or b. of this section. A player using a computer to record a game must be willing and ab/e to satisfy his/her opponent and the TD at any time that he/she is not so contravening this stricture.
e. A player may not consult with a third party, solicit advice, nor receive unsolicited advice on any game he/she has not finished.
6. If a clock is used, the player with the white stones shall choose
upon which side of the board to place it. If the TD requires that
the clock be on a particular side for administrative purposes, then
that player shall choose at which side of the board to sit.
2. A stone must be played on its intended intersection with a minimum of adjustment and a minimum of time being touched by the player. Players are specifically enjoined to remember the spirit of V.F. when playing a stone.
3. A move is either:
4. A move is complete when the clock is punched, or, in non-clc>cked games, when a player's hand releases the stone andlor removes any prisoners.
5. A player who accidentally disrupts the board position must re-establish it using his/her own time. If the position can not be re-established to the satisfaction of both players, the TD or ATD shall adjudicate.
6. A player may ask an opponent to clarify the ambiguous placement of a stone before making his/her next move.
7. Illegal moves include (but are not limited to): suicide, playing more than one stone at a time without an opponent's intervening move, immediately retaking a ko, removing prisoners before depriving them of their last liberty, etc.
8. Illegal moves must be protested before any other move is made. They must be retracted on the offender's time, and a warning issued. The TD may consider repeated offenses grounds for awarding a forfeit to the victim.
9. A player may resign at any time, and should do so by stating clearly,
2. Play shall be adjourned only upon instruction of the TD or ATD, who shall warn players ten minutes before the time of adjournment.
3. Players may continue to move, but with the understanding that the player "on the move" at the actual adjournment time will have to seal his/her move when the TD or ATD comes by the game. (The TD is cautioned not to expect instant compliance when he/she comes to adjourn a game, nor to levy a penalty unless a player is unreasonably dilatory.)
c. The player then stops both clocks, places the paper with the move inside an envelope provided for the purpose by the TD or ATD, and seals it.
d. The TD or ATD writes the board number and clock time remaining on the face of the envelope; both players sign it across the flap.
e. The TD or ATD takes custody of the envelope.
5. To resume play, in the presence of the TD or ATD:
b. The player who did not make the sealed move opens the envelope and verifies the placement of the stone;
c. Unless the move is impossible or illegal, it must be played as written and sealed; if impossible or illegal, the TD shall adjudicate as under D.3. and 4. below.
d. Once the player makes the move, his/her clock is started and normal
2. Once both players pass, neither may take advantage of a "missed opportunity",
3. If the status of any stone(s) is(are) disputed, the TD or ATD shall either:
b. Require the play of particular stones;
c. Resume regular play under time control. If clocks have been reset,
both players shall be placed in overtime, if overtime is used.
b. As much as possible the dispute should be settled by actual play;
c. Neither player should gain from opportunities not noticed during
2. The TD shall explain time allowances, overtime method (if any), and operation of the clocks (as needed) before commencement of play in the first round. It is strongly suggested that the TD at least summarize this explanation before commencing each round.
3. The TD may start any round with at least ten minutes notice, but no earlier than any previously announced time.
4. Either player may set the initial time allowance on the clock. It is, however, each player's duly to assure him/herself that the clock is correctly set and that he/she understands its working.
b. Failure to consult the TD or ATD as above leaves a player liable
for any timekeeping errors that may occur, except those attributable
to clock malfunction during the course of play.
6. The second player will start the clock for the first player prior to the first move.
7. A player must "punch the clock" with the same hand that plays the stone.
8. Each player is responsible for managing his/her own time. Failure to punch the clock results in time lost; it cannot subsequently be restored.
9. A player who suspects a clock has malfunctioned must notify the TD or ATD at once, and not continue play until the TD or ATD directs. A player may not escape the consequences of running out of time by claiming a clock malfunction earlier in the round which he/she never brought to the TD's attention.
1 0. Players may stop both clocks only under the following circumstances:
b. At the direction of the TD/ATD;
c. Removal of more than one captured stone;
d. Exchange of prisoners;
e. Game's end;
f. To make a protest to the TD/ATD.
12. Either the TD, ATD, or a monitor appointed for the purpose should explain conditions of overtime play to the players involved. And although some systems allow the players to conduct overtime themselves, it is preferable for the TD, ATD, or the monitor to do so.
13. Normally a player is responsible for claiming to the TD that an opponent has passed a time control. However, the TD may delegate that responsibility to a monitor.
b. The TD may require monitors to claim forfeits when players miss an overtime control.
c. The TD may also require monitors to claim that a player has missed a basic time control.
d. The TD must announce what role monitors will play in advance of
the first round.
(2) If a player completes a move in less than the time of one period, no time elapses.
(3) Whenever a player uses a period's worth of time, the number of periods available is reduced by one.
(4) Failure to complete a move before the expiration of the last overtime period is punished as under 11.
(5) The "reading seconds" provision of the Ing chess/go clock is an acceptable way to carry out this method of overtime.
(6) Monitors implicitly have powers as under 13.b. and c.
(2) When these stones have been played, a new set is counted out and the clock reset. Continue ad inf.
(3) Failure to play all the stones counted out in the time provided is punished as under 11.
(4) Monitors implicitly have powers as under 13.a. and may have the
powers of b. and c. also.
2. If cash prizes are being awarded, ties are broken only to place
the victors. The actual cash prizes given to the places tied are summed
and divided among all the players tied, regardless of what tiebreaking
procedure is adopted.
2. The computer must correctly handle any move legal for it or its opponent to make and must not make any illegal moves;
3. Both computer and operator must be AGA members;
4. The operator must play computer moves on a regular board and "punch the clock" for the computer;
5. The operator may enter or adjust playing parameters before a round begins, but not during a round;
6. The computer's clock must be left ticking if the operator must fix hardware or software problems.
7. The operator may offer to resign on the computer's behalf.
2. Human right to refuse computer program as opponent.
b. The player may play the program if the alternative is a bye. However,
in this case the computer is a competitor, and both will be scored
b. Tournament announcements must clearly state the conditions.
When you do have a tie to break, you must be and appear to be absolutely impartial. You must not consider factors not built into the tiebreaking system, such as the strength of the players involved, club affiliation, etc.; it would be wiser to flip a coin instead. As near as possible, you want dissatisfied players to cast any blame on the mechanism, not the person operating it.
A word about prizes: remember that monetary prizes should be evenly split among those players tied; tiebreaking here is simply resolving the honor of having won a particular place. Also, it is useful to have a small stock of second place or nominal prizes to help assuage the feelings of tiebreak losers. All tiebreak systems have weaknesses; it is fair to compensate for them as best you can.
1. When time permits and both players agree, a playoff round is the most exciting and generally acceptable way to break a tie. However, time rarely permits.
2. If time or players do not permit, use Sum of Opponents'Scores (SOS, also, Solkoff system). Add together the scores of all the opponents of each player in turn. The player with the higher score has clearly met the strongest performing opposition, therefore is more deserving of victory. The problem is that a chance match with a strong player guarantees one an advantage in the tiebreak.
3. If SOS scores are equal, then use Sum of Defeated Opponents' Scores (SODOS, also, Sonnenborn-Berger system). Add together the scores in turn of all the opponents that each player defeated. The player with the higher score has defeated the strongest performing opposition, therefore is more deserving of victory. The problem is that one player may be matched against a mediocre opponent that the other could have easily beaten, but by chance, was matched with a very weak one instead, thus putting him/her at a disadvantage.
4. If SOS and SODOS are equal, use the result of head-to-head competition, if any. Note that SOS and SODOS have already included this criterion.
5. Chance. There probably is no one best player if both still are tied at this point. Traditionally, players draw stones to see who has won, but any other method, e.g., coin flip, is acceptable.
2. Otherwise, use the two-player procedures in order, at each step dropping out any players not still tied with the strongest tiebreaking scores. When you have reduced the number in contention to two, you may consider a playoff between them.
3. If three or more are still tied when considering the result of head-to-head competition, you may have the problem mentioned in 1. Do not pick any player as the winner if he/she lost to anyone else tied with him/her in head-to-head competition.
1. Median or Harkness score. Same as SOS except in a tournament of eight or fewer rounds, leave out the strongest and the weakest opponent; in one of more than eight rounds, leave out the two strongest and weakest opponents. This method attempts to remove chance inequities in tournament pairings from the tiebreak scores. The interested TD is referred to Harkness's Official Chess Handbook for a detailed argument. Do not attempt to use this method in tournaments of less than five rounds, or you will have almost no data with which to work!
2. Score Against Common Opponents (SACO). Professional sports sometimes uses this method; it was also used in the first Fujitsu Qualifiers Tournament in New Jersey, 1988. As the name implies, compare each player's record against opponents that both played; the one with the better record is the winner. As a practical matter, you probably need a five round or better tournament, with a small section, for there to be common opponents.
3. Cumulative score. Add each player's score in each succeeding round to his/her score in the previous round; the one with the higher score wins. In effect, a late-round loss is superior to an early round loss, presumably because of stiffer competition.
However, codifying what we all think we understand by the phrase "tournament rules" can lead one down some strange and unforeseen byways! I have been interested in the issue since the early '80s; I have been actively thinking about the questions since my first feeble attempt for the First Go Congress in 1985. The result of my thinking is the proposed AGA Tournament Rules. But though rules (and laws) embody certain philosophies, they may not always directly express them. They stand mute on the decisions and questions and practices that underlie them. This commentary is an attempt to lay bare the considerations that led me to formulate the rules in the way that I have and to throw into relief the philosophies behind the rules. Discussion of any set of tournament rules is apt to prove intense. I trust that the commentary will at least streamline the process by answering in advance questions interested parties may have.
The commentary procedes point by point through the rules document. Numbers and letters refer always to the rule in question; otherwise, no attempt has been made to repeat the language of the rules. I expect the reader to have a copy of AGA Tournament Rules in his/her possession in order to follow the discussion below.
II: This is a statement of prevailing practice; cf. the first five Go congresses. If and when we produce a set of game rules on our own, we can amend this section. The business about variant games is simply a way to allow AGA rules to govern lightning, 9x9, 13xl3 tournaments, etc., without requiring their incorporation into the ratings system.
III: An attempt to codify the increasingly common practice of separating the job of organizing a tournament from that of running it. The Chair and the TD have different constituencies, and conflicts between them may arise. The TD must protect players from the (relatively) parochial outlook of the organizers. The Chair must assure that the site is used wholely in accordance with law and any restrictions the site owners have placed on it. For example, the TD does not have the right to establish a smoking area in a building where smoking is not allowed at all, but does have the right to request that a food table be moved away from the playing area because it promotes too much noise.
Again, the Chair may require that the site be vacated by 6 PM, but not that the actual timekeeping procedures be changed in midstream; it is the TD's job to decide how to do that. The line between these two positions is a delicate one; normally, the two should work closely together to avoid conflicts and assure a smoothly running tournament.
B-C: Not used often enough to be considered current practice, but envisioned by many people as a way to resolve intractable arguments with players. Some players and TD's simply don't get along; this sidesteps personalities (hence C.I.). An attempt to codify the vague and theoretical.
D: A logical extension of this section; an appeal that affected a game result would probably change next round pairings.
E: Final protection for dissatisfied players. Clearly, the AGA can't
change a game result after the fact, and should not lead players to
believe it will. However, it must take some kind of action against
TD's that violate tournament rules (Perhaps we should consider appeals
from frustrated TD's against players who deliberately break the rules,
I: This one is for the benefit of newcomers and beginners. Those who
have played awhile rarely say "atari," and I have heard beginners mistakenly
complain that opponents are obliged to do so.
B.1-4: Current practice. 5-6: An extension of current practice, borrowed from chess. 7: Suicide has been left to the TD's discretion to allow for the adoption of new, Chinese rules. Super-ko has not been formally adopted by WAGC, so has been left out for now. 9: Added to avoid end-of-game ambiguity with players who can't quite bring themselves to actually resign and hope to be spared the necessity!
C: Generally, codification and necessary extensions of current (if mostly hypothetical) practice, partly borrowed from chess. I give the procedure in great detail because an ambiguity here could lead to complicated problems of fairness, difficult for the TD to resolve on the fly. Why borrow trouble? Of course, given the current state of tournament go, it is even better to avoid adjournment altogether. 2-3: it will always be possible for unscrupulous players to practice gamesmanship at the adjournament point. The ten minute warning helps protect the innocent from failing into a kind of artificial byo-yomi. The point of the rule is to prevent someone from delaying endlessly over where to make that play-which would defeat the purpose of adjourning-while affording the player "byo-yomi" protection. 4: A necessary reminder. 5.b-c: The true test of an ambiguous move is whether your opponent can play it as you intended.
D: This section is virtually standard by now, but still raises some unresolved questions, as shown by the 5th Go Congress rules discussions. Players will probably raise a knotty point or two in any end-of-game definition we devise. Hence the emphasis on how to resolve such points-D.2. and D.4.b. embody the spirit of the section. D.5: Added to avoid ambiguity, insure someone does not falsely claim a win, and corform to the new-style game report sheets now in common use.
E: Timekeeping is necessarily complex. Possibly, these procedures should be placed in a separate annex. However, since a full set of rules would have to include the annex, not much would be gained. E.l: The only current rule I am aware of concerning limits is 30 minutes/player for rated games. Some overtime limits should be added to this; also, limits must be established for games with no overtime period. Since most players are unused to clock play, a wider limit for "sudden death" games seems reasonable; Kerwin mentions that the time limit in Japanese amateur tournaments is 45 minutes, no byo-yomi. 2: Mandated by the Ing clocks, but a very good idea in any case for the next few years, until players understand clock play. 4: Fundamental. No TD can possibly set every clock, or work it for every player. 5-8: Current practice; 5. is crucial. 9: Also crucial. You don't want to punish a player for running out of time, but it isn't up to a player to decide how to correct a balky clock; that is the TD's job. 10: Current practice, also, some borrowings from chess. 10.c: Some players have actually tried to force an opponent to capture many stones in the belief that captures are made with the clock ticking--a bit of gamesmanship we don't want to encourage. 13: An open point; no current consensus exists on monitor powers. At the 5th Go Congress, two 6 dan players let each other pass the normal time control by over thirty minutes without claiming overtime against the opponent, thus seriously delaying the completion of the U.S. Championships. If one uses monitors at all, it seems reasonable to allow them to check the time control points, particularly as players may not be used to doing so. It is artificial to insist that the player must keep track of the opponent's flag when an official observer is on hand. On the other hand, suppose a monitor handles four games at once (also happened at the 5th Congress)? That monitor will do less than a fair job of handling forfeits. So the rule is intended to move TD's to decide the issue in advance and adhere to a clear and consistent policy throughout. Eventually, a consensus will emerge. One important point: whatever a monitor does, a player never forfeits the right to call time on an opponent. 14: The Canadian system is the most common, but not the only way to conduct overtime.
F: I have put tie-breaking procedures in a separate annex because they
do not seem quite as germane as the rest of the rules sections and
because they are difficult to discuss in the outline format of the
rules. 2: From chess. if money is involved, the weaknesses of the tiebreak
are too serious to award it to one player; split the money and use
tiebreaks to determine final places for the record, only.
C: Current practice in go and chess. We should probably insist on 2. and monitor it more closely than we have-can you imagine some weak kyu player suffering through a game with a program that can't handle ko? 5-7: borrowed from chess.
D: A rarity-rules that have actually been adopted in full committee
(at the 5th Congress). Remember always that unless otherwise noted
in pretournament publicity, a tournament is automatically class B.