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Old June 15th 06, 12:36 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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First recorded activity by ChessBanter: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,977
Default good prize structure == more fighting

The monetary rewards should not be confused
with the placement in the tournament. The placement
will always be the most important at least in terms
of respect, if not of success.

***

Today (the main) tournament prizes are
awarded rigidly for the placement, eg.
1' prize -- $10K, 2' prize -- $7K, etc.
Ket's call it the method number 0, or M0.

***

Let's say, there is a round robin with 12
players. That's a total of 66 points. Let's
assume that the prize budget is $66K.
If each half a point is awarded $500
($1K per point) then players will fight
harder in the last rounds for sure, possibly
during the earlier rounds too. Let's call
this method M1.

***

Or, with a slightly variable budget,
the old idea of awarding a win with
$1.2K and a draw with $400 (i.e. less
than half of winning a full point), would
cut the number of draws. Some people
worry that then the players would agree
to lose one and to win one in the next
tornament. I don't believe that this kind
of cheating would be common. It's too
complicated, and too frustrating (strong
chess players truly hate to lose!), and
the gain iwould be too small for such
unpleasant and even risky trouble (it's
too easy to lose your face and... the
invitations). Anyway, let's call this
method M2.

***

Let P(1) ... P(12) be the rating performances
in a GM level tournament, where, say,
2500 is the low end of a GM rating
(I assume here an additive rating).
Let W(k) := max(0, P(k) - 2500) for k=1...12.
The organizer could decide (before the tournament)
that the prizes are going to be proportional
to W(1) ... W(12).

This makes sense (or else the rating itself
is not too sensible). Of the two players
the one with the higher performance should get
a higher monetary reward.

The difference with the regular placement should
not be too drastic, and that's good!

Observe that the higher rated player
would be quite unhappy to draw against
a lower rated player, which should tend
to lower the number of lame draws.

Let's call the above method M3.

***

If prizes were given rigidly but for the
rating performances P(1) ... P(12)
instead for the score placements, as
in method M0, then some of the incentive
to fight, as in methods M1-3 above, would
be gone. Nevertheless, on occasions, the
best player would fight harder to make sure
to get the best performance. For instance, it
is not uncommon for a local club to have
one player much stronger than the rest.
After being ahead of the next player before
the last round, the best player may settle for
an easy draw in the last round under the M0
awarding method, but will fight hard against the
next best player when attempting rating
performance better than the one of the next
player.

Let's call the above method M4.

***

Awarding more money for the halfs and points
scored by black might induce some players
into cheating, especially when it increases the
total prize award.

In the context of awarding money the issue of
color is more a curiosity than real to me.

If I still had to propose a solution which would
do justice to the black color then I would
still propose in general to have the white and
the black rating. Then each player X would
be considered as two players, wX and bX.
Thus 12 physical players would be treated
as 24 color players, and let them win prizes
according to their rating performances, as
in method M3. Call this method M5.

***

Alternatively, there may be two separate
prize funds, one for the white color, and another
for black. Then one can use for this any
of the above M0-M4 methods. It'd be fair to
everybody, including those who play strong
with black.

***

One could also have both the colorblind prizes
and the color prizes.

***

Regards,

Wlod

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