Tie-Break Exercise

In August 2023, the FIDE Council approved the new regulations for playoff and tiebreak, which contains important changes, as for example the abolition of the virtual opponent and a deep change in the management of unplayed games and matches.

This paper by IA Mario Held aims to help study the new rules by supplying some practical examples of how they should be applied in a realistic context, for each tie-break system. This is not a paper you want to read or study, but a tool, a collection of exercises to solve after studying, to verify and perfect the comprehension of the rules.

In tournament practice, tie-breaking is carried out with a sequence of methods applied in succession until all the ties are resolved; here, for simplicity, we will always use the chosen system as the first tie-breaker.

As a methodology, the reader might want to follow the exercises in progression, in the order in which they are presented, keeping at hand a copy of the crosstable and of the FIDE regulations on technical play-offs and tie-breaks (C.07), to which all references in brackets (“[ ]”) refer. It would be advisable to try to solve the exercise by yourself, and then compare the procedure and calculations with the given solution and the rules.

This paper aims to be accessible even to beginners, as long as they know the rules well enough that they can find there the basic ideas that the exercises illustrate, which we tried to introduce gradually. Even the more expert readers will probably find it advisable to read, at least briefly, even the simplest examples – even if they are already well familiar with the subject – so as not to lose any useful information.

We conclude by observing that C.07 regulations try to consider all the tie-breaks used in chess, even if the value of some of them may be questionable. The event organizer should choose which ones to use, or even possibly invent new ones.

Enjoy and good luck!