This is my bid for an evaluation of the Championship Tournament 2017:
As usual my bid will look much like last year.
What worked well.
What could be improved next year.
- 2.5 months of signing in before the tournament (July, August and half September) with an Are-You-Sure.
- That everybody can join. We had several new names again, who turned out to be strong players, and again a new name made it to the top final.
- Tournament start at September 15th well after summer.
- Using the Thue-Morse sequence to distribute players in even groups for Round 1.
- Splitting the tournament into two rounds, and splitting both Round 1 and Round 2 into five subgroups. The resulting 5-6 players for each group was adequate.
- That the games were hidden for the public to see until they finished (hat tip: edmond-dantes).
- That only one player from each Round 1 group went to the top final (two in case of equal results).
- That Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11 was used for both rounds (and that no Round 1 games were transferred to Round 2). Thus all top finalists were really strong in precisely this variant, and that made for a string of sublime top games.
- The Copenhagen Hnefatafl 11x11 rules were very suitable for an important tournament like this. The rules proved themselves again an efficient framework for interesting tafl games with a lot of drama and surprices, draws extremely rare and the best man to win in the end.
- The timeout method worked well. 1 day per move and 8 days buffer, time per move reduced after 10 days. 53 games timed out; however 22 of the timeouts were players' way of leaving the tournament. Left are 31 timeouts (14%).
- Even with a Round 3, the winner was found after 83 days (last year 80 days), and the whole tournament was finished after 87 days (last year 91 days).
- If a player didn't move at all during the first nine days of a round, he was removed. Also a player who caused more than half of his Round games to time out, was disqualified. 13 players were disqualified by these rules.
- Use of the Sonneborn-Berger principle a.o. in case of a tie.
- Valhalla Final with the 6 strongest players, and that all players had their Round 2 Final.
- The accurate calculation method for distributing players to Round 2:
- This year we happened to have an umpire which was completely outside the tournament.
- Accidentally Round 1 was completely finished before start of Round 2, because it was necessary to await the result of an important game.
- The players were given a full day notice between rounds.
- That the top final tie between the two top players was solved with a Round 3 between these two.
- That Steiger kindly offered an attractive prize for the winner. This made everyone fight very hard!
- A new rule: If the top final group is all fully determined, but we're still waiting for unfinished games in Round 1, then a preliminary result of these games can be judged by the umpire for use at distributing players for Round 2, so that Round 2 can start right away. The game results can preliminarily be judged:
- white wins
- black wins
- undetermined; points are calculated by probability from ratings
(accidentally there wasn't need for such a rule this year)
- Two new rules for solving ties, to use after the ones we already have. Not to be used in the top final and not to be used in games involving the three highest ranking players.
- The player who wins with the shortest game length is the winner.
- In the case of this being equal: The player who captured the most pieces in their winning game is the winner.
29 players joined the tournament, and 21 players saw it through.
In total 236 games, 11610 moves and 1723 killed pieces. 139 white wins and 97 black wins (game balance +1.43).
Longest game was 161 moves.
Shortest game was 13 moves.
Congratulations to World Tafl Federation Champion 2017, Alexandre Bour ("Plantagenet"), Châlons-en-Champagne, FR!
Many thanks to Adam Bartley for being umpire, and to the 29 players who played in the tournament!