Forum Archive : Tournaments

Skill level

From:   Kirk J. Rupnik
Date:   21 November 1998
Subject:   Tournament skill level

Ok, I still haven't made it to a live BG tournament, but I
still have some questions about them.

How does one determine what skill level they should play at?
My FIBS rating meanders in the 1700s so I would assume that
the advanced division would be most appropriate for me.
However in a lot of cases, the Novice division has a much
lower entry fee and/or may be double elimination whereas the
others are single elimination.  Just how "novice" are the
players in the Novice division?

Since $100 would be a lot for me to lose in a single match,
I think I would be inclined to "play it safe" and go in the
Novice, although I'd hate to play others significantly below
my ability (out of fairness to the other competitors).  I
guess I mainly just want to play as many matches as possible
with others of my calibre, which makes round robin or Swiss
formats ideal.

Thanks in advance for advice from a voice of ignorance.

Kirk (Grignard of FIBS)

Richard P. Reasin  writes:

Usually, the tournament committee makes the decision as to which level
of play you can enter.  If it is known that you are of intermediate
skill level, they will not allow entry into the novice division.  It
would not be fair to the true novice players.  Sandbaggers are, in the
words of the "Tweetie" chasing cat, DESPICABLE!!!!

Chuck Bower  writes:

US weekend tournaments tend to have either three or four divisions
for their main events:

   three division events:          four division events:

     Beginner/Novice                 Beginner/Novice
     Intermediate/Advanced             Intermediate
     Open/Expert                         Advanced

A 1700 level FIBS player should probably be in either Intermediate or
Advanced, with Open/Expert an option.  IMO the Beginner/Novice division
is not the place for someone of this skill/experience to be playing.

     Also, the weekend tournament main event can have many formats, but
I'm not aware of any in which "one loss and you're out".  In fact, in
most you are still alive for money (on your original entry fee) after
two losses, and in the case of the Indiana Labor Day Open and Advanced
divisions, a player is still alive for money even with three losses.
(BTW, Indiana Labor Day main events in both Advanced and Open divisions
have a Swiss format qualifier.)

    These tournaments have other events during their weekends, which
often include doubles competitions, Amateur Jackpot, Masters Jackpot,
events with 1-point matches, Blitzes (typically 7-point or 5-point
qualifying matches in 4- or 8-brackets with bracket winners receiving 2X
or 4X the entry fee plus further entry into "winner take all" bracket for
more cash), etc.  These side events are usually single elimination events,
and the entry fee can vary from as low as $10 to over $1000 (the latter
being Masters events).

    It is certainly true that for some, the entry fees in the divisions
to which they "belong" are sometimes uncomfortable, but dropping down to a
division as a 'ringer' isn't fair to the players who really are properly
matched in that division.  Kirk correctly anticipates that he might be
playing well below his level if he enters the Novice Division. Besides
being "unfair", it's also hard for me to believe that a person can really
enjoy beating up on weak players.  And if the out-of-place player loses,
imagine how THAT would make him/her feel!  When a player's skill level is
known to the director and this (potentially) happens, the director will
usually block (in a nice way) such sandbagging, recommending that the
player enter a higher division instead.

Julian Hayward  writes:

Don't assume "Novice" means a bunch of rabbits, it implies novice in
*either* ability *or* experience relative to the level of the tournament
- it's quite possible to find some real tigers there. If you haven't any
experience of face-to-face tournaments then Novice is the right place to
start, and if you end up obviously having an easy ride and taking home
prizes you'll probably be gently coaxed up a division next time...

Vince Mounts  writes:

A fellow 1700's fibster. I played the novice division in Flint, Michigan on
July 4th. The novice division is no push-over and if you are very used to
playing on the computer the lack of electronic pip count and the fact that
your opponent can see you sweatin hopin they dont double can make a big
difference. I had some easy matches and some difficult ones. All in all I
fell short and was at best one match from the consolation finals. Just try
the Novice and see how you do. If you think next time intermediate is for
you then go for it. You also have to get used to things like 1) making sure
your opponent makes a legal move(I played an older lady who took extra 5's
on here double 5's and other stuff and tried to pass it off as being old
lol) , 2) strict adherence to rolling and move etiquette, 3)manual pip
counting if your an online server buff like me,, . Just my 2 cents....
Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     



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