Tour Regulations, what's new?

1. Dates

The Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2022 will take place from February 2022 – November 2022.

2.General

The Tour consists of 9 events (6 Regulars and 3 Majors). Each Regular will feature 8 days of play and each Major 7 days of play. Throughout the Season there will be three Series of two Regulars followed by one Major each.

There are prizes for every individual event and for the overall season. Prizes will determine the Tour standings throughout the season, with the Tour winner being the leader of the Tour Standings at the end of the season.

3. Participation

Participants in each event are selected from a combination of tournament performance, the Tour Standings and additional places allocated on a discretionary basis by the Organizer.

Regulars

Invitations to the first Regular will be made on a discretionary basis by the Organizer.

For each following Regular, the top 8 players from the previous tournament (Regular or Major) will qualify to that Regular. The remaining spots in the Regulars will be determined by wildcards. Any of the spots granted to qualified players who are unable to participate for any reason will be replaced by wildcards.

Major

Invitations to the Majors will mainly be based on performance in the former two Regulars (R-A and R-B) and overall Tour performance. Any of the spots granted to qualified players who are unable to participate for any reason will be replaced by wildcards taking into consideration the Tour Standings.

The determination of the qualified players is as follows:

1R-A Winner
2R-A Runner-up
3R-B Winner
4R-B Runner-up
5Tour Standings
6Tour Standings
7Wildcard
8Wildcard

4. Playing Platform

All matches are played online, on the chess24 Playzone. Players must connect to the chess24 Playzone no less than 15 minutes prior to the commencement to the first game of the tournament and 5 minutes prior to the commencement of every following game.

Players will be required to participate in a conference call during playing sessions, providing video of themselves and sharing their screens, using the video conferencing platform chosen by the Organizers. Players must connect to that conference call no less than 15 minutes prior to the commencement of a game.

Players are required to use the Opera browser, the official browser of the Champions Chess Tour, or Opera GX or Chrome to connect to the chess24 Playzone, as well as for any other purposes related to the Tour.
The above-mentioned browsers have been tested for compliance and stability; their use guarantees the best possible playing experience.

It is strongly recommended to remove any add-ons, plug-ins and other kinds of extensions you may be using or to play in a private window in the browser.

Players are required to have in place a backup internet connection (for example, a cellular data connection) that automatically kicks in if the main connection is lost at the player’s location.

Detailed requirements, information and technical advice will be provided in a separate Playing Procedures document, which will be effective as part of these Regulations.

5. Format

Players should expect and agree that most or all Regulars of the Tour will be played in Hybrid format with physical and online supervision by arbiters. The Organizer intends to hold each Major as a physical event with all players playing from one location under arbiter supervision.

  • Regular

Each Regular consists of two stages: the Preliminaries and the Knockouts.

Preliminaries

The Preliminaries stage will be a round-robin (all-play-all) event, played over 4 days, consisting of 16 players.

Pairings are made in accordance with the standard Berger round-robin tables, by drawing of lots.

Players earn 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw (each) and 0 points for a loss. 

Standings are determined by the total number of points earned by each player.

In case of ties (equal number of points), the following tie-breaks will apply, in accordance with FIDE tie-break regulations:

  1. Direct encounter (the result in the game/-s between the tied players)
  2. Number of wins (the greater number wins, including forfeits)
  3. Sonneborn-Berger
  4. Koya System

The regulations of any individual event may specify a different tie-break method, such as play-off games.

Knockouts

The Knockouts consist of the Quarter-finals, the Semi-finals and the Final of the event.

The pairings for the Knockout bracket will be determined by the standings of the Preliminaries (places 1-8), as follows:

Quarter-finals: Q1: 1 vs 8; Q2: 2 vs 7; Q3: 3 vs 6; Q4: 4 vs 5
Semi-finals: S1: Q1 vs Q4; S2: Q2 vs Q3 (winners)

Finals: S1 vs S2 (winners) 

All rounds of the Knockout are head-to-head matches. Each match consists of 4 rapid games.

Quarter-finals and Semi-finals

The players in Quarter-finals and Semi-finals will play 1 match against each other over 1 day.

The higher-ranked player in the Preliminaries shall choose their preferred color for the 1st game of the match. Colors will alternate for the remaining games of the match.

The players earn 1 point for a win, ½ point for a draw (each) and 0 points for a loss in each game. If a player reaches 2½ points or more, they are the winner of the match. If the score after 4 games is 2-2, the match is declared drawn. If the match is declared drawn, a play-off will be held shortly after the match.

The play-off consists of 2 blitz games, followed by an Armageddon game if the score is 1-1.

The higher-ranked player in the Preliminaries shall pick their preferred color for the 1st blitz game, as well as for the Armageddon game (if required).

The winner of the play-off advances to the next round.

If the outcome of a match or series has been decided, remaining scheduled games shall not be played. 

Final

The players in the Finals will play 2 matches against each other over 2 days, one on each day.

The higher-ranked player in the Preliminaries shall choose their preferred color for the 1st game of the 1st match. Colors will alternate for the remaining games of the match and will be reversed for the 2nd match.

The players earn 1 point for a win, ½ point for a draw (each) and 0 points for a loss in each game. If a player reaches 2½ points or more, they are the winner of the match. If the score after 4 games is 2-2, the match is declared drawn.

If a player has won both matches in the Final, or won one and drawn the other, this player is declared the winner of the tournament.

If each player has won one match, or both matches have been drawn, a play-off will be played on the second day, shortly after the end of the 2nd match, to determine the winner of the series. The final scores of individual matches do not affect the overall score.

The play-off consists of 2 blitz games, followed by an Armageddon game if the score is 1-1.

The higher-ranked player in the Preliminaries shall pick their preferred color for the 1st blitz game, as well as for the Armageddon game (if required).

The winner of the play-off is declared the winner of the tournament.

If the outcome of a match or series has been decided, remaining scheduled games shall not be played.

  • Major

Each Major shall consist of 8 players. It will be held in Round-Robin format played over a period of 7 days. The seeding numbers will be set according to Tour Standings.

In every round, players play a match against their opponent. Each match consists of 4 rapid games. In case the result after these games is 2-2, a 2-game blitz tie-break will be played, followed by an Armageddon game in case of 1-1. If the outcome of a match or series has been decided, remaining scheduled games shall not be played. 

The higher-seeded player shall pick their preferred color for the 1st blitz game, as well as for the Armageddon game (if required).

Players earn 3 points for a match win in the rapid games (the loser earns 0 points). A match win after tie-breaks earns the winner 2 points (1 point for the loser).

The player with the highest sum of points at the end of the Major, is the winner of the event.

Standings are determined by the total number of points earned by each player.

In case of ties (equal number of points), the following tie-breaks will apply, in accordance with FIDE tie-break regulations:

  1. Direct encounter (the result in the match between the tied players)
  2. Number of wins (the greater number of match wins, including via forfeits)

The regulations of any individual event may specify a different tie-break method, such as play-off games.

6. Prizes

The total prize fund of the Tour is $1,600,000. 

Prize fund distribution is as follows:

Regulars ($120,000 + up to $30,000 bonus per event):

In the Preliminaries, money prizes are awarded according to each game’s result following the format’s 3-1-0 system. Points shall be worth $250 each, and thus awarded as $750 for a win, $250 for a draw (to each player) and $0 for a loss. 

In case of draw, where the remaining $250 for the winner was not distributed, this will be added to the Season Bonus Prize Fund (up to $30,000 bonus per event) which will be distributed at the end of the season to players based on various performance awards to be announced by the Organizer before the first event. 

For the Knockouts, a prize fund of $60,000 will be distributed as follows: 

Winner$25,000
Runner-up$15,000
Semi-finalists (x2)$6,000
Quarter-finalists (x4)$2,000
Total$60,000

Majors ($210,000 total per event):

A win in each match is awarded with $7,500 if decided in regular games. If tie-breaks are required to determine the winner, the winner shall be awarded $5,000 and the loser $2,500.

In the case of a Player scoring less than 2 points, the Organizer will guarantee the Player $5,000. However, this amount will not be included in the Tour standings.

Overall Tour Prize ($50,000 + $20,000 to $200,000 total):

At the end of the season additional prizes will be awarded to the overall winner of the Tour and to players based on various performance awards. 

$50,000 will be awarded to the overall Tour winner

A Season Bonus Prize Fund will begin with $20,000 and, as mentioned above, will increase by $250 for every drawn game in the preliminaries of all Regulars. If all games are drawn in the preliminaries of the Regulars the Season Bonus Prize Fund will be $200,000. The Season Bonus Prize Fund will be distributed at the end of the season to players based on various performance awards to be announced by the Organizer before the first event.

All sums are in US Dollars. Prize money earned by players are subject to penalties to players in breach of the Regulations or their contracts. 

7. Tour Standings

The Tour Standings are determined by the sum of the prizes earned by each player throughout the season. 

If two or more players have the same sum of prizes at any stage, the tie shall be resolved according to the following criteria:

  1. Number of tournament wins (more is better)
  2. Number of events played (less is better)
  3. Number of appearances in a final (more is better)
  4. Number of appearances in a semi-final (more is better)
  5. Number of appearances in a quarter-final (more is better)

If the tie affects qualification for a Tour event, a play-off shall be held between all tied players. The format will be determined in due time, depending on the number of players and the Tour schedule.

The Organizer retains the right to forego such play-offs. In that case, ties will be resolved by the criteria above.

The Season Bonus Prize Fund will not count towards the Tour Standings.

8.Time Controls

The Tour events will consist of rapid, blitz and Armageddon games. The time controls for these games are, for all events:

  • Rapid: 15 minutes per player, plus a 10 second increment for every move
  • Blitz: 5 minutes per player, plus a 3 second increment for every move
  • Armageddon: 5 minutes for White, 4 minutes for Black, no increment; Black wins the tie in case of a draw.

All references to ‘rapid’, ‘blitz’ and ‘Armageddon’ games below imply the time controls above.

No draw offers/agreements are allowed before both sides have completed their 40th move, except in cases prescribed by the Laws of Chess.

9. Other Regulations

In cases not covered by the current regulations, the FIDE Online Chess Regulations shall apply.

Due to the nature of online play, additional regulations shall apply in order to safeguard the integrity of the events and the smooth flow of the playing sessions:

  • Players are not allowed to leave their desk and camera view while a game of theirs is in progress without permission of the Arbiter; this includes bathroom breaks. There will be regular breaks between rounds to allow players to rest and refresh. A breach of this regulation will result in an immediate loss of the game in progress.
    In cases of emergency, a player may consult with the Chief Arbiter for a possible exemption.
  • Players shall not leave their desk when a game appears as finished, until an arbiter confirms the end of the game. This is essential in order to quickly and safely resume games in cases of disconnections (see below). If a player is responsible for an unsuccessful attempt to resume a game (by virtue of having left their desk without an arbiter confirmation), they shall lose the game in question.
  • If a player is determined to have disconnected from a game on purpose, they shall be expelled from the event in question as well as all further Tour events.

The decisions of the Chief Arbiter with regard to the application of the Laws of Chess and any exceptions/additions mentioned above shall be final.

10. Disconnections

If a player is disconnected from the Playzone during a game, the server will give them a 30-second window to try and reconnect. During this window the player’s clock will be running (if it is their turn to move or the opponent makes a move).

If the player succeeds in reconnecting in time, the game will continue; the time elapsed (maximum 30 seconds) shall be considered lost.

If the player does not succeed in reconnecting within 30 seconds, the game is automatically paused by the server. The game will be resumed, from the current position and clock times, by an arbiter as soon as the player has reconnected and both players have been informed of the resumption. The disconnected player shall be considered to have lost the 30 seconds on their clock.

If a player is disconnected when having less than 30 seconds on their clock and does not manage to reconnect in time, the game will be declared lost for them.

11. Fair Play

All players must follow the Fair Play Regulations and procedures, as explained in a separate document which will be provided to players in advance of the first Regular and which will be effective as part of these Regulations.

Any failure to comply with these regulations will put the player at risk of expulsion from the entire Tour and all its events.

If a player wishes to lodge an appeal under the Fair Play framework, the player must do so in writing (for example, by email) not later than 23:59 CET on the day of the playing session in question.

Players wanting to raise fair play concerns for other players should refrain from doing so publicly. They are advised to contact the Chief Arbiter presenting their concern and the evidence that led to it. For fair play concerns during a tournament, the player must do so in writing (for example, by email) not later than 23:59 CET on the day of the playing session in question.

12. Gambling

All players must refrain from placing or authorising another to place any bet, wager or gamble on any game or match in any Regular or make to or receive from any person or organisation whatsoever a payment or other incentive as an inducement to influence the outcome of any element of a game or match during any Regular. All players recognise the detriment to the Tour and professional chess tournaments that would result from impairment of public confidence in the honest and orderly conduct of matches and Regulars or the integrity and good character of Tour players. If any Player accepts a bribe or agrees to throw or fix a game or match; fails to promptly report a bribe offer or an attempt to throw or fix a game or match; or bet on a game or match, the Organizer may (without limiting its other rights and remedies) expel the Player from the Tour and terminate their agreement with the Organizer in respect of the Tour.

13. Dress Code

All players must abide by the branding requirements in their agreement with the Organizer. In the on-site events of the Tour, players are expected to follow a smart casual dress-code.

14. Player Obligations

Players must attend all media activation and commercial activities, as described in their contracts.

15. Officials

Officials and arbiters shall be notified to players in advance of each tournament.

16. Changes

The Organizer has the right to change or add to the terms of these Tour Regulations at any time (including with respect to any individual Regular), solely with prospective effect. The Organizer will provide players with email notice of any changes, and the date from which they will be effective. The Organizer shall consult with the arbiters in advance of making any such changes and take into account the interest of the players.

chess24

135k followers

chess24com

108k followers

chess24

305k followers

Newsletter

Never miss an update!

chess24

135k followers

chess24com

108k followers

chess24

305k followers