Auckland Teams Arena (2022)

(the official banner of the new series of tournaments)

Auckland Chess Centre invites you to a new set of FIDE- and NZCF-rated classical chess tournaments that are both easier to plan and more fun to play – the Auckland Teams Arena (ATA).

Quick link: register for the August event here => Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September 2022 (only 20 NZD for a weekender of two days and six FIDE- and NZCF-rated games).

Faster time control of 60m+30s

With the recent changes in FIDE requirements, it is now possible to run FIDE-rated classical chess tournaments at a faster time control of 60+30 for players rated below 2400 (which is practically the whole list of NZ active players, except one or two). With this time control, it is possible to hold a 6-round Swiss within two days of any weekend, Saturday and Sunday. Three games a day with less waiting between rounds. There’s no more need for long weekends (which are reserved for traditional “big” tournaments anyway) and no need to take leave from work to play in a 3-4 day tournament.

Team competition in a Swiss setup

We will simulate the popular team battle arena format (which most Lichess users know about) when players will be paired using Swiss tournament algorithms but will not play their teammates. In addition to individual standings, we will calculate the results of the top 4 scorers in each team and use that as their team’s result for the event.

Teams can be of any size and the team composition doesn’t need to be fixed before the season starts. Team affiliation needs to be fixed only for each particular event, but players can choose to change teams between events, and captains and leaders of the teams will need to make sure people stay loyal to them, providing perks and honours 🙂

Final team standings will be calculated after all events of the season are completed. The 2022 debut season will consist of 5 events, on the weekends of June 18-19, July 23-24, August 27-28, September 24-25, and finally, November 12-13.

A player can play in any number of events and in any number of teams throughout the season.

A cost-effective way to play FIDE-rated games

Entry fees for the ATA will be 20 NZD per event, only to cover the FIDE- and NZCF- rating fees and the usage of ACC premises. A player participating in the full season would get up to 30 classical games for the cost of a cup of coffee per game, and less trouble with planning time and accommodation.

There will be no monetary prizes for players, but we shall encourage sponsors of the tournament series to provide end-of-season trophies for the winning teams and best-performing players.

Our hidden agenda and hope

As we all know, the Auckland chess scene is rather competitive with many players and their families investing a lot of time and resources into chess improvement. However, there is not much inter-personal interaction. A team setting would provide camaraderie, mutual encouragement and coworking between chess players, which will certainly benefit them in the long run. The examples of chess powerhouses in the world have shown that when strong players make friends with each other, study or play in teams, they can only get stronger.

Not limited to Auckland

ATA is organised by Auckland Chess Centre, but teams can enlist players from anywhere, as long as they can come and play in person in an event of the series. One can imagine, in this day and age, a team can effectively communicate and work together over Discord, Slack, Zoom, and virtually any online tool between ATA events, so a player’s location doesn’t matter much.

Players, unite! Captains, lead!

Players are welcome to start forming teams, which can be based both on club/location or just on existing relationships (think of the notorious “Michael Sole Fan Club” on Lichess). Captains and leaders are welcome to organise ways to build their loyal teams, chess study plans, etc., that would carry their team throughout the season. Please contact us through this form when you have formed a team so we can register it for the ATA standings.

At each event, players who can’t find a team will be allocated to “default” teams by the organisers. Organisers might also split a big team, especially if it’s bigger than half of the participants of the event.

Free advice for players: Want a chance to beat a certain player? Don’t join their team! Conversely, if you want to avoid some players… Join them, if you can’t beat them!

Good luck and a lot of chess improvement to all!

Registration is already open for the first event of the series (you can register first and work on forming your teams before the event starts). All five events are listed below

  1. Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June 2022 – finished, results on Vega
  2. Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July 2022 – finished, results on Vega
  3. Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August 2022 – finished, results on Vega
  4. Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September 2022
  5. Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th November 2022

The list of teams and standings for the season as it starts will be published on the 2022 ATA Teams page.

P.S.: The genesis of the ATA banner (pure coincidence, though!)