CSi Checker Solution BBS... Discussion on Tournament Scoring

Subject: Vote for scoring method (article)

Posted By Richard Beckwith (beckwith24@msn.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
I had previously written an article about selection of a scoring method at the National Tournament, but article has yet to appear in ACF bulletin, so I will present it here in it’s entirety. It turns out that the article content essentially summarizes the main points worked out here on the long train of comments posted recently. We had considered holding the vote simultaneous with the election (so people would enter the National knowing what to expect), but it was decided to let the National participants (only) determine their own destiny. I agree with Francesco to let people start thinking about it now.

Richard Beckwith
ACF Player Rep Candidate
************Vote for your Favorite Scoring Method at the National Tournament
by Richard Beckwith

There has been much discussion in recent years about scoring at National tournaments. Now is the opportunity to voice your opinion on whether it is time for a change! I will discuss three common scoring methods to assist you in making an informed choice. The GAYP vote will take place at the business meeting prior to this year’s GAYP National. The scoring method selected will be implemented beginning at this year’s GAYP National Tournament. You will also be permitted to vote separately for future “Three-move” Nationals at the 2006 National tournament meeting. This vote is not meant to impact weekend tournaments, which typically offer two-game rounds.

As a refresher, the National tournaments typically consist of eights rounds of Swiss, four games per round. There are three divisions of play: Masters, Majors, and Minors. In 3-move tournaments, the Master class also draws a “tough deck” opening if the match is drawn through the first two games.

Round scoring is the winner-take-all approach. The winner of the round takes all four points regardless of whether the final result is 3 wins, or (1 win and three draws), or (2 wins, 1 loss and a draw). Both players receive 2 points for a drawn round. The possible scores are 0, 2, or 4 points.

In game scoring, each game is scored independently – 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss. This is commonly used for many weekend tournaments that feature two-game rounds. However, we are now applying the format to a four-game round, so there are 8 points at stake. There are nine possible scoring permutations for each player: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

Ballot scoring is a newer idea (to my knowledge, first suggested by Alex Moiseyev). The first balloted opening (Games 1 and 2) is scored winner-take-all: 2-0, or 1-1 if drawn. This system is applied again to the second ballot (games 3 and 4), so there are 4 points total at stake as in round scoring. There are five possible scores for the match: 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. As an example, a player who, in this order, scores a win, loss, win, and draw will receive 3 points (1+2) and his/her opponent 1 point (1+0).

Analysis: Round scoring is traditional at National tournaments. Two-games rounds may not be enough to determine the better player if an “easy” 3-move opening is drawn. The four-game round was introduced many years ago to help separate the better player, a similar concept to baseball’s World Series, which declares a winner after a best of seven. Some critics find the format unforgiving (especially to our newcomers) since it is possible to win a game, or play three solid draws, and earn no points. Similarly, a master player may draw the first two games, but earn no points due to a loss on the weak side of a difficult opening. Of course, the format is very rewarding if you are on the winning side. It has been suggested that this format is more suited for Master players.

Game scoring is familiar to the weekend tournament player. Each game is independently worth two points, so players earn points for their draws (unlike round scoring), including draws on the weak side of a difficult 3-mover. However, some critics have cited unsatisfactory tournament experience with this approach when applied to four-game rounds. Offering 8 points allows a competitor, who draws a couple “easy” opponents, to lap the field. I have also received the suggestion that game scoring is more suited to GAYP and not 3-move.

Ballot scoring was used at the 2004 District 4 tournament and offers the feel of round scoring for a smaller, two-game round. The possible scores (0, 1, 2, 3, or 4) also are familiar to a weekend tournament player. The player who scores three draws and a loss still earns a point, unlike round scoring. You will also note that the winner of the match must do more than “a win and three draws” to get all four points. Some critics have noted that it is possible to score 2 wins, a draw and a loss, and still receive only two points (if both wins come on same ballot), whereas the other formats reward you with more points. So, ballot scoring is essentially round scoring applied to back-to-back two-game rounds. It has been suggested that ballot scoring makes less sense in GAYP since there are no balloted openings.

The forma

Followup Comments:

* Added By Rich Beckwith (beckwith24@msn.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
<Conclusion ... which got cut off>The formats suggest different philosophies of play. Should earning two wins be awarded more points than a win and a draw (or a win and three draws)? There is no “one size fits all” answer, but the format dictates whether the player who is losing the round can continue to play for draws, or must play aggressively for a win to salvage points. Other considerations (which may or may not carry weight with you personally) include selecting a format which attracts and retains newer players, discourages boring draws, decreases ties in tournament points, discourages reckless play with the weak side of an opening, and discourages an opponent from ever throwing a round to his opponent (which I hope would never happen).

I believe the “cream will rise to the top” with any of these systems, and the relative merits can be debated endlessly. It will soon be time to move ahead and vote to see what the majority wants.

* Added By Clayton Nash (bazkitcase5@hotmail.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
One point I'd like to make is if the Game Point system is chosen, then we do not need to do 4 game rounds, but 2 game rounds and just have the players play more rounds. 14-16 should about cover it, depending on whether the goal was 7 or 8 rounds for that division.

The problem here is the expected higher # of repair rounds, but thats something people will have to consider when voting.

* Added By Alexander Moiseyev (omela@juno.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
I also propose exclude some critical ballots, because they require a good memorization, and someone who doesn't want or unable to study - may lose the game and get disappointed.

Also 3 moves must be prohibited for newcomers, due to complexity. This already successfully introduce in some Europe Open's.

What else needs to be done ? Strong players should have "yellow sign" somewhere on their dress, which indicates - they belong to minority.

I am accepting all other ideas and input - how to improve things in checkers and ACF. Main goal - neuralize, minimize and potentially eliminate factor of strength / weaknesses in play and give everyone a chance.

One option - pickup every move randomly !



* Added By john reade (sue.reade@virgin.net) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
Richard, 3 points occur to me. 1. 32 games in 5 days is too much.

2. 4 games per round doesn't allow people to play enough different opponents.

3. Winner takes all is not discriminating enough.


* Added By Clayton Nash (bazkitcase5@hotmail.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
which is why for Game Point, u would do 15 rounds of 2 games per round which is 30 games, 3 rounds a day, very easily done for 5 days

* Added By Clayton Nash (bazkitcase5@hotmail.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
by the way Alex, I like your sarcasm and I see where u r coming from, but the point is, I have heard many many complaints (from minors and majors only) about the winner take all method and yes, some of them do not go to nationals because of this reason alone

yes, their reasons may not make sense to you and me, but they should not be ignored

if they have trouble adapting to the winner take all when they get to the masters division, that is something they will have to learn to deal with

* Added By Alexander Moiseyev (omela@juno.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
"I like your sarcasm"This is not sarcasm - I am crying ! Russian proverb says: "smile thru tears" !


* Added By Gene Ellison (ellison@clearwave.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
I would vote to use the scoring as we do in our IL Tournament. Two points for a win and one point for a draw. Two games per round but have several rounds. This would be fair to all players. More players would come to the National if the scoring was changed. This way us weak players could maybe score a point. We would also get to play more people and make new friends.

* Added By Alexander Moiseyev (omela@juno.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
Gene, I respect your view, but seriously doubt that changing system really gives us new players in Nationals. We can easy test this, but this would take at least 2-4 years to accumulate some statistic. State tournaments are differ from Nationals. This is another level.

New scoring system discriminate weak players and raise gap among masters and majors/minors. And if we change system in all Divisions - on long run our Champions will be weaker, than we have today.

If I have to play with strong opponent and beat him - this is one story, if I need to play with most players and collect most wins - this is another story, and probably another game.

As I already said here before - for me as World Champion, new system works better, because generates weaker opponents and competitors in the coming matches.

If we change something today - after several years our kids come to us and complain: "Why you selected the system, which doesn't help me to improve ?"


* Added By Alan Millhone (millhone@wirefire.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
Hello everyone:It is good to see input on methods of scoring games,etc. It appears to me that most want some kind of change in points per game scoring. The fair way of course is to allow democratic voting by all those who attend and enter our National Tournaments. Let us try a new method and see waht happens. It is for certain that the existing ways are not attracting that many new players to our tournaments. We have to do all we can to encourage participation and not discourage new players from coming and entering. I also see Master Class as a elite but shrinking group of players.

Alan Millhone, President
American Checker Federation

* Added By Alexander Moiseyev (omela@juno.com) On Tue 05/17/05 1513BST:
"shrinking" ... Someone can explain me - what does it mean this word ? My English vocabulary is light and this word is not included here (: Follow the whole text common sense - I feel the meaning of this word is not very positive :)


Tournament Dates