Even if chess is stereotypically labelled as a geek game, it can be still very exciting when above-average smart people and contestants show up for a tournament to show their best chess moves. Chess tournaments can be played in teams or individually, and it consists of a series of chess rounds whereby players are eliminated until there is a winner (or winning team). The first international chess tournament was held in London in the mid-19th century in 1851.
When it comes to team competition, there is no bigger than the Chess Olympiad where numerous teams from around the world gather to compete against each other. When it comes to individual championship sand tournaments, the most notable is the Tata Steel chess tournament.
Regulations and rules, as well as guidelines, are set and determined by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) which takes care that the organized tournaments proceed smoothly and fair. There are two different styles that are usually employed at the tournaments which set out different rules, and both of them are very well-known in sports. The first is the round-robin style which lets all contestants paly against each other, and the system is known to offer a fairer chance to win since it does not eliminate contestants based on one bad performance. Their performance is evaluated over time. The Swiss system has fewer rounds than the round-robin, but still, elimination is not part of the game, but the end-point result.
The elimination style has clearly the biggest luck factor and contestants can be eliminated due to a weak moment or bad game.
The History of the Intellectual Game Named Chess
Chess was around even in 1475, but professional tournaments were not held for another 300+ years. The first international tournament in 1851 was preceded by several smaller tournaments like in Leeds and Amsterdam. When it finally came to international competition, it became obvious that certain aspects have to be regulated. For example, time restriction was identified as an immediate need, and the single-elimination system also seemed not to be the best solution. All in all, the tournament produced a champion, and the winner was Adolf Anderssen from Germany.
The trend of international chess tournaments quickly spread around, and in the following decade, chess tournaments were organized in Madrid, Paris, San Francisco, Berlin, etc. statistics has shown that by 1945/1946 there were 24 international chess tournaments every year, and in the next 40 years, the number increased to thousands of various tournaments.
As we said, chess rules are determined by FIDE which summarized its basic rules in the FIDE handbook. We also mentioned time restriction, so the chess clock was introduced. The clock works like a stopwatch, and each player has its own clock display. Overstepping time is a serious rule breach, so players usually make sure not to run out of time before they make a move.
When there is an irregular move, then the game will return to the point before the irregular move was made and the game resumes. If the same player makes another illegal move within the same game, he automatically loses the game. Chess is a smart men’s game, that is not only fun but also trains the brain cells and memory.