This post will describe the mechanics of creating team matches, but does not address the strategies behind the team matches. Creating winnable team matches requires a good deal of strategy in its own right, and a strategy that works for one group will not always work for the other.
We must first navigate to the screen that allows us to create team matches. There are 2 routes to get there (circled in red below):
The "New Match" link takes you to an "open seeks" page where there is a list of avalable open seeks. From there, you may select from any open seeks that are currently available and accept them.
The "Matches" link takes you first to a screen that displays a group's team match information (Matches in progress, Match challenges sent, Match challenges received and Completed matches).
Here is a sample of that screen:
Clicking the green button (marked with the red arrow) takes you to the team match creation screen. (Note that this same button is also available from the "open seeks" page). This is where the fun begins!
Here is a sample of that screen:
Begin by using the drop down list beside "My Group" to select the team to play.
"Team to Challenge" is actually optional. Leaving this blank creates an "open seek"; meaning, any team may select your team match challenge and accept it. Specifying a team to challenge is considered a "Direct Challenge".
You are allowed 5 current "Open Seeks". Each "Open Seek" that you create, of course, counts as one slot. Your number of direct challenges is near unlimited; however, each "direct challenge" you issue also counts against your available "open seeks".
For example: Let's say that we have no current challenges. We create a challenge and leave that spot blank. We now have 4 slots available for "open seeks". Next, assume we issue a "direct challenge" to "We Chat Global". Though this is not an "Open Seek", it nonetheless removes (1) available slot for "open seeks"; thus we have 3 slots available for "Open Seeks".
"Match Name" is also optional. If you wish for this challenge/match to have a unique name, type the name in the field provided. Leaving it blank will create the generic team match name, "Team A vs. Team B" (for direct challenges); or, "My Team Open Seek" for "open seeks".
"Game Type" and "Starting Position" are the tools used to create thematic games.
With "Game Type", there are two options: Standard Chess or Chess 960. If you wish to issue a Chess 960 game, select that option from the drop down list.
Starting Position will provide a list of ELO codes; by choosing a specific ELO, the team match will be thematic in nature; each board with the chosen opening.
"Days Per Move" is your time control. The default is 3 days.
"Quick Description" is optional. You may enter a description of the team match in this field and the description will appear in the team match heading. This is text only.
Here is the rest of the screen:
"Rating" has 2 fields: Minimum and Maximum. Use these fields to input a minium and maximum rating required to join this match. Leaving this open creates an "open match", allowing any rating to join.
"Minimum Games" allows you to specify how many games the player must have played before entering the match.
Now, here it is a little confusing to me; sometimes, a player can not enter a match if they have not played 5 online games (regardless of the value placed here) and sometimes they can! I'm not sure if this is a chess.com glitch, or if it's my ignorance!
"Players Per Team" allows you to specify how many players are permitted into each match. There are two values: minimum and maximum.
With "Minimum", each team must fill the minimum number of boards. No admin will have access to the "Lock Your Team" link until that minimum requirement is fullfilled.
"Maximum" limits the number of players that can join each match.
"Minimum" is required, but defaults to 1. "Maximum" is optional; when "Maximum" is not used, the match appears as min+; thus, if no values are entered by you, the number of players permitted for the match will be 1+.
Concurrent Games Per Opponent has 2 values; 1 or 2. If 1 is used, the players will play 1 game, then move on to the next. If 2 is entered, both games will begin automatically when the match starts.
There are two final options for check boxes: Auto-start and Games are Rated.
If Auto-Start is selected, the match will begin automatically, as soon as the maxiumum number of players is reached.
Games are Rated specifies whether or not the games played for the team match are rated games, or unrated games.