Is A Bye A Positive Thing?

nlazar_chess

I'm planning on attending my first chess tournament in March and while I was registering the form asked me if I wanted a 1/2 point bye. Having never played in a tournament before (excluding chess.com), I wasn't sure if this was a good thing. Any advice?

pfren

A bye is a neutral thing.

Since it is your first tournament, I'd advice against applying for such a thing (it effectively means that you take half a point at some round without actually playing) since your main aim is to play, learn and improve.

Fixing_A_Hole

Like pfren said, it's neutral.  The only reason to take half point byes is if you have a prior commitment...sometimes I'll take a half point bye for the latest game on day 1 of a tournament because I'm fatigued/tired/hungover.  

TurboFish

I agree with IM pfren that someone new to tournaments should avoid byes in order to get the maximum amount of OTB experience.  But once you are experienced, there are two very good reasons to arrange for a bye in advance:

1. To avoid tiredness.  I've played many tournaments, and I usually feel too tired by the time the 4th round comes along (these are rounds that can last up to 5-hours each).  Many times I wish that I had arranged a 4th round bye, so that my energy level would not be so low in the last round.

2. Consideration towards your significant other.  Say that you're on a "chess vacation" out of town with your girlfriend.  Sure, she said it was okay for you to spend the entire weekend on chess.  But in reality, she will be much happier if you take a 4th or 5th round bye and go sight-seeing or shopping with her.

If you want a bye, be sure to arrange it in advance (usually at least 2 rounds in advance).  If you don't arrange a bye, then decide later that you want to or must miss a round, you can only get a "zero-point bye".

nlazar_chess

Thanks for your advice!

royalbishop

That is one thing good Chess.com did not try here. Imagine all the talk about how they wish they did not take the bye. Then imagine all the talk about them wishing they did take the bye. Then imagine them making it flexible using the bye. Then imagine.... it would go on forever.

pfren

How could chess.com try the bye here?

Bye is applicable only in Swiss system tournaments according to the FIDE rules, and chess.com has no such tourneys, AFAIK.

EmpireCityRay
pfren wrote:

How could chess.com try the bye here?

Bye is applicable only in Swiss system tournaments according to the FIDE rules, and chess.com has no such tourneys, AFAIK.

Have someone who has SwissSys or WinTD get several chess.com members have an online tourney and barring there's an odd number of entries or someone drops out they'll be someone getting a bye [full or half] point. WinkLaughing  That'd work of course the tourney wouldn't be rated but the software would serve as the framework.  Heck one can even go old school and write the pairings on paper/index cards.

Dale

I know it is common in some countries to have half point byes

I would think that getting half a point reward for going out for lunch isn`t that wise unless no prize can be won for anyone taking such a half point.

EmpireCityRay
Dale wrote:

I would think that getting half a point reward for going out for lunch isn`t that wise unless no prize can be won for anyone taking such a half point.

Yeah but one can also argue is awarding a full point bye to individual who had no opponent either because of an odd number of entrants or due to a chess player leaving in between rounds fair?  The argument then for that would be either scenario is not their fault.  At least a 1/2 point doesn't give them a complete chance of a higher place in final results if the tournament didn't use either td software or tie-breaks.  In the U.S. we have tie-breaks and most TDs have some computer software, most grumblings is the desire to play the round.  Only in scholastic tournaments will you find a naive child happy to get a full point bye just for the sole purpose of improving their chances of getting a trophy or medal.

TheHandsomePlayer

If I get a bye when there's an odd number of participants, will that be equivalent to a lose, draw or win?

Diakonia
rizzalhopper wrote:

If I get a bye when there's an odd number of participants, will that be equivalent to a lose, draw or win?

In the case of odd number of players, the person getting the Bye gets a full point.

ThrillerFan
rizzalhopper wrote:

If I get a bye when there's an odd number of participants, will that be equivalent to a lose, draw or win?

 

It gets scored the same as if you got a win.  However, this is not a good thing (except maybe in round 1).

 

When an odd number of players are playing, it goes to the player of the lowest rating that has the lowest score that has not had a bye yet.

 

So, for example, let's say you have 9 players, and they are 1990 (1), 1980 (2), 1970 (3), 1960 (4), 1950 (5), 1940 (6), 1930 (7), 1920 (8), 1910 (9).  Number in () is their seed.  Here is how it might look:

1 vs 5

6 vs 2

3 vs 7

8 vs 4

9 BYE

 

Let's say after 1 round, the favorites won every game.  Now 1, 2, 3, 4, and 9 all have 1.  1 and 3 are due Black, 2 and 4 are due White, 9 is not due a specific color.  5, 6, 7, and 8 all have 0.  5 and 7 are due White, 6 and 8 are due Black.  Here's round 2:

4 vs 1

2 vs 3

5 vs 9

7 vs 6

8 BYE

1, 2, 5, and 7 win.  Now you have for round 3:

 

1 vs 2

3 vs 8

4 vs 9

7 vs 5

6 BYE

1, 3, 4, and 5 win.  Now the lowest score is 1, but for the next round, the lowest with 1 that hasn't had a bye yet is player 7, NOT player 9, so player 7 would likely get the full point bye for round 4.

 

Other than round 1, to get the full point bye, you have to be stinking up the tournament!

ThrillerFan
Dale wrote:

I know it is common in some countries to have half point byes

I would think that getting half a point reward for going out for lunch isn`t that wise unless no prize can be won for anyone taking such a half point.

 

"Typically", there is a deadline for half point byes.

Some tournaments, it's the middle round.  You must commit by round 3 of a 5 round event.

Some longer events have a mid-round deadline, but the last 2 rounds have to be committed earlier, like maybe in a 9-rounder, 4 byes allowed, limit 2 rounds 6 to 9, round 8 or 9 byes must commit before round 3 (others you have until the start of round 5).

 

Then there's my favorite, and what I would do if I ran a tournament, and there are a few TDs that do this as well:

 

Byes available any round, must commit before the start of round 1!

 

This way, people are taking a half point bye because they need it, not because they are manipulating the score!  Instead of "Hey, I won the first 3 rounds, I'll take a half point bye now to assure money of some sort", it's more like "Hey, I have a wedding reception to go to Saturday night, I need a round 3 bye".

heine-borel

Thrillerfan very good descriptions! 

This is pretty much all you need to know about byes. 

PRESSALTF4

in the tournaments i play in byes are 1 full point