How Will Tournament Chess Change in the Next Decade?
A tournament is a competition between at least two competitors, each playing in a game or sport. More specifically, the word is used in either of two competing senses: as an event, in which a single competition is pursued; and as a competition, in which a set of competitions is pursued simultaneously or sequentially. The word competition can also be used in conjunction with a word like rivalry, in which case it indicates an ongoing competition between groups or individuals. The word event can be used to refer to a single competition, sometimes between two competitors, sometimes between a group of competitors and sometimes between a set of competitors. If a tournament is referred to as an event, then usually the word competition is implied.
The tournaments that we observe have a defined format, which has evolved over time. In its early days, a tournament could have one or more fixed fixtures. These fixtures would generally be the same for all the matches, with one team playing against each other once, and then the remaining teams being played against each other in the same format. The format was adopted as teams did not feel they were entitled to win a game against a different opponent or draw with a different opponent if there was an equal number of wins and draws between the teams.
In recent times, there are a growing number of non-traditional tournament games and fixtures, especially in athletics. An example is the “knockout” tournament. A knockout tournament is a sporting event where teams compete to see who gets the most points, usually ultimately determining a winner. The winner of the knockout tournament receives the championship trophy. Usually the winner of the knockout tournament is not required to play in another tournament; the teams participate in a friendly match before the championship series.
There are also increasing numbers of “open” tournaments, where players can sign up to play without having an established team affiliation. There are now both chess and tennis tournaments open to the public, with players coming from all over the world. The Chess tournament, particularly the US Chess Open, is the largest event in the world, with over ten thousand people tuning in.
As mentioned above, there are a variety of ways in which to decide the seedings. There is the traditional seed system where teams are decided on by an at-larger tournament selection committee, with the winner receiving the seed they place in. However, it is possible to seed teams by using a random draw to determine the initial participants. In this case, teams play against each other, rather than one another, and the finalist is the team with the most players at the end of the tournament.
One way in which the tournaments vary greatly is in the amount of attention they receive. While most standard tennis tournaments get significant coverage, especially on television, there are a growing number of amateur and even competitive chess tournaments that don’t get coverage at all. This is mainly because many people view these tournaments as social events, where the competitors play to try to win the prize money. These tournaments tend to be smaller and more personal, with players and spectators usually treating the competition as only another game. It’s clear that the future of tournament chess will continue to evolve, with better standards and greater depth.