Standard Tournament Rules and Tie-Breaks

All events will have their own specific rules, which are laid out on each tournament page. The following general rules will apply to all tournaments taking place at the MSO:

1. All competitors must adhere to the Mind Sports Olympiad Code of Conduct and Anti-Harrassment Policy.
2. Tournament rules and timings listed on an event page are not binding. Any amendments (for practical reasons, due to numbers of entrants or unforeseen circumstances, or to correct any errors) will be formally announced by the Tournament Arbiter at the earliest sensible time. Any rules presented in the room on the day, either verbally or visually, will supersede the online rules. The published finish time should be treated as an estimation only.
3. Any disputes during the tournament (including during a game) should be brought to the attention of the Tournament Arbiter who is responsible for resolving all disputes and queries. If an incident during a game is not bought to the Arbiter’s attention then the players should consider it to be appropriate behaviour for the remainder of the game when further clarification may be provided. The arbiter may intervene if they spot an illegal move or other infringement that is not identified by players at the table – players not in the game or observers should never interfere directly with a game, even if they see what appears to be an illegal play or an incident of cheating, as they may be unaware of a specific situation, however they are encouraged to find the arbiter in severe situations.
4. Should a player not agree with a tournament arbiter’s ruling then they can appeal to the Head Arbiter (or appropriate senior figure if the Head Arbiter is the Tournament Arbiter). The Head Arbiter’s decision is final. Frivolous challenges may incur penalty such as disqualification from the event.
5. Players are expected to maintain a reasonable level of fairness and ethics and to behave appropriately towards other competitors and observers. This includes completing all games in a reasonable manner and not conceding a game to another player (kingmaking) unless resigning a genuinely lost position (it is equally forbidden to kingmake even when the player would benefit from finishing 2nd in a multi-player game). Failure to adhere to this may result in a disqualification from the tournament and/or any of the meta-events such as the Pentamind.
6. Intentional cheating on any level will not be tolerated and will result in a disqualification from the tournament and potentially a ban of any length up to permanent.
7. Players cannot receive outside assistance during a game (unless required due to a disability, which must be agreed with the MSO in advance). Mobile phone use is also not permitted for this reason. Penalties for doing so can range from a formal warning to loss of game or disqualification from the event.
8. Unless all players at the table agree otherwise, table talk is limited to English only. Please bear in mind that for many of our competitors English is a second language and care should be taken to speak using vocabulary that is understandable to all players at the table.
9. In exam based events, players will usually not be allowed to review their paper after marking, however the solutions will be made public upon completion of the paper, and players will have 24 hours to raise any issues.

The Mind Sports Olympiad Tie-Break System to be used:

A tie-break is a situation where two or more players (pairs or teams) have the same score and are in a position to win a medal or title.  Mind Sports Olympiad 2021 is being ran entirely online and this has necessitated some changes to our standard tiebreaks.  We will, in general, use the default tie-breaks of the platform we’re using for each tournament unless alternatives are communicated either by the organiser or within the tournament information.  Please ensure that you read the event descriptions to be up to date with appropriate tie-break used.

Perfect Scores

If there are 2 or more players on a perfect tournament score after the published number of rounds are played then the players involved should play additional rounds until no more than 1 player remains on a perfect score.  These games are considered additional rounds to the tournament and will affect Pentamind scores.  If players are tied but not on perfect scores then the tie-breaks procedure will be followed.

The below rules apply only to a Live (In Person) MSO and are therefore not relevant in 2021.

A tie-break is a situation where two or more players (pairs or teams) have the same score and are in a position to win a medal or title.  MSO have published a set of standard tie-breaks below which will be used for each event unless an alternative is provided within the event information or by the arbiter.  We will only use alternative tie-breaks if it is deemed to be appropriate to do so for that particular event

The rules below will be applied for two player games unless communicated otherwise:
1. Buchholz: Sum of opponent’s scores discarding the two lowest opposition scores.
2. Buchholz: This is the sum of opponents’ scores without ignoring any opponents.
3. Progressive: Calculated by adding points from a progress table eg if your scores were: Win, Loss, Win, Draw then your progressive scores are 1, 1, 2, 2.5 and your Progress tie-break value is 6.5

The rules below will be applied for multi-player games unless communicated otherwise:
1. The board played on in the final round (i.e. A player from the top board is placed ahead of anyone on a lower board, if they have the same tournament points)
2. Result in the final round
3. Percentage of best opponents score*
4. Most games won
5. Buchholz (removing bottom 2 opponents)
Should a tie still remain Buchholz is continually applied next as “removing bottom 3 opponents”, then “removing 4”, “removing 5” and so on until the tie is broken. Finally “remove 1” then “remove 0” are used only if necessary.

*Percentage of best opponents score is calculated by dividing the players game score by the game score of their strongest opponent in the game (ie the winners score, or if the player in question won the score of the player finishing second). This tiebreak is capped at 110% per game.  The percentage of best opponents score is averaged over all rounds completed so far to calculate the players tiebreak.

Clarifications applicable to both two player and multi-player games:
1. In a multi-way tie-break, should any step succeed in separating the tied players into two or more subsets then players are ranked in that order.  Should any of those subsets still contain two or more players this is treated as a new tie-break between only those players and we return to step 1.
2. For the purposes of Buchholz and Sonneborn-Berger, should a player involved in the tie have played against more opponents than a player they are tied with then their lowest ranked opponents are removed until all players have an equal number of opponents to be compared against.
3. If during the tournament a tie-break must be resolved to determine the draw for the next round the arbiter will do so if they deem it reasonable to do so, otherwise players are drawn randomly.  The arbiter’s decision will be final.