Advance Byes Discussion Summary
Author: Mark Kaprielian
The document contains some of the follow up discussion held by
the board after the publication of the position paper titled Advance_Byes_2001-11_by_Mark_Kaprielian.doc
Major Discussion Snippets
11-30-01 email from Jim Krycka
A revised bye policy should strive to
be simple -- ie, easy to understand and implement
promote good pairings
encourage participation by allowing one to revoke a bye
avoid manipulation of prize money (either by avoiding a
particular pairing or by not playing a final round when a point ahead of the
I propose that we allow half-point byes to be taken at any
time for pairing purposes and secondly, that a player be allowed to revoke a
previously requested bye (eg, a business trip gets cancelled and the person has
the time to play, but previously requested a bye).
BUT, the penalty for this liberal policy is to reduce the
player's prize money in some way if he takes a late bye or revokes a bye. I suggest that the simplest way is to deduct
a half point from the final standings for each occurrence for the purpose of
determining prize money. Make this
policy uniform for all sections. It
should be easy for the TD to deduct the half points when allocating prize money
by checking those at the top who have late round byes that were not committed
before round 2 (or revoked after that).
The rule is simple and a refinement to what we've had in place for two
years. You can take or revoke a half
point bye at any time, but do it before round 2 if you don't want it to affect
your potential prize winnings.
This policy will only negatively affect players in contention
for prize money, but the benefit is that it cuts off the possibility of
manipulation. For example, you don't
want someone (say an expert or A player) in the Open section who is doing well
to put in byes for the last two rounds and then selectively revoke a bye if he
sees a favorable pairing (whereas he will likely outright lose if he is paired
against a master) in order to get a placement.
An alternative to the above proposal is to allow revocation of
a bye request with a one-week notice. I
think we want to maintain an incentive for our highest raking players in the
Open section to play, so if a planned trip is cancelled a week in advance I
would prefer them to play for a win in a late round rather than taking an early
requested bye. We might also want to
consider allowing a bye request with a one week notice - eg, allowing a bye
request (without financial penalty) to be requested for round 6 before round 5
starts. The potential for manipulation
in this case is severely reduced (versus requesting a bye for the round in
which projected pairings are known).
12-01-01 email from Harvey Reed - Bye Policy Simplified?
The bye policy is 3-dimensional:
The size of the tournament
The bye restriction to various sections, including no
The type of restriction.
We add constraints of:
There is a default policy
If there is a restriction, in one or more sections, it is the
A tournament will come in only 2 flavors, “normal”, and
“restricted”. A “normal” tournament will have all sections with default policy.
We now have the following 2-dimensional table:
Type of Tournament
Restrict all sections
Only restrict the Open section
Open policy, no restrictions
The 3rd dimension “restriction” can come in
be committed for rounds 5 and higher by round 2, non-revocable.
be committed for rounds 5 or higher, two weeks in advance,
01-02-02 from Mark Kaprielian
Jim's idea is
pretty reasonable in that it accommodates all the conditions. The only
problem I have is that the reduced prize considerations will still probably
impact participation negatively by higher rated players AND that while look at
cross tables after the fact to determine reduced prizes on the surface seems
simple, I don't like it for two reasons:
The reality is that a
good number of the top finishers, at least in the top section, are looking to
get their prizes as soon as they think their prize can be calculated and then
leave the club. This produces pressure on getting a TD who is most
likely to be still playing his own game, to determine who has places where to
verify the persons claim and then, if the TD isn't me, to go get me out of my
game to write a check an calculate the winnings if they haven't
already. Without a change in this general process, there are going
to be mistakes.
As I mentioned,
participation is still negatively affected. For example, lets assume
someone in the running needs to take a by for round 3. This means that
not only do they have to win and the stars probably align to get a piece of the
pie at the end of round 4, they are going to get a reduced piece of the
pie. Rather than take the long shot at placing, they are induced to just
write of the last round. Of course if they play for the pure joy of the
game, placing won't matter to them. I believe that once someone is in the
running, they generally want to have a shot. With such a reduced odds of
placing and even less of a monetary gain, I think they will more likely be
discouraged. I think that basically, we've increased the chances of
someone thinking that if they take a bye, it's not "worth" it to
bother finishing it out. If the bye occurs in the earlier rounds, a
loss after that bye will trigger the not worth it.
In keeping with Jim's
idea of keeping it simple, I think the simplest thing to do is to make the
policy work such that:
You can take the two half point byes and use them in any
round. Taking and revoking them require adherence to the current phone
call rule of 7:00 or physically on the bye sheet until the moment the TD picks
them up and officially closes registration at 7:25.
If people want to wrestle over the paper and hang out to see
who's written what when on the bye sheets, let them. All the TD has to
pick up the bye sheets at up at 7:25 and its final.
I think its worth seeing how this works out. If people
want to try and duck people on the big events, let them.
My proposed wording is as follows:
Section VI D of
the P&P currently says
a) In Swiss-system play of four or more rounds, a
maximum of two half-point byes is allowed.
requested byes must be committed to before the start of the 2nd round and are
irrevocable after the start of the 2nd round.
entering an event late will have the half point byes applied to any missed
These would be
In Swiss-system event of any number of rounds, a maximum of two
half-point byes for the event is allowed
entering an event after the first round will have their half-point
byes applied starting with round 1 until all of the allowed half point
byes are used.
c) Once a
player's half point byes are used, any other requested byes shall be zero point
The lengthier wording
is to tighten up the conditions and state things previously understood but not
is a looser variation than the original we changed. The original kicked
in irrevocability with a two week lead on 5 or more rounds. The idea
there was to dampen out maneuvering to a two week lead time. The boards
change to the current policy was to make the dampening happen sooner and
consistently, at the start of round 2.
As has been discussed earlier, the need for dampening has been
reduced due to the current nature of our balancing the open section prizes to
be lower and closer to the other sections which have gone up. Granted, if
prize money should shoot up again someday, the chances of getting more people
at an event who would like to try and manipulate would go up. Again, I
say, let them fight over it. In the mean time, we provide the most
possible flexibility to the entire membership regardless of rating.
01-03-02 from Neil Cousin
As a TD and board member I couldn't agree more with Mark's
rationale for making things very simple and support trying this new
policy. It seems like there aren't very many scenarios. My only
question is whether we want to eliminate 1/2 point byes for the final round if
not done in advance since it could be used to help one gain financially by
avoiding a last round game.