MYTH 3: If I enter in advance and my entry is lost, I will be
refused entry in the tournament and my travel to the site will have been
ACTUAL: No such thing will ever happen, nor has it ever happened in our 45 years of running tournaments. If you enter in advance, the chances that your entry will somehow go astray are very small, not nearly sufficient to justify worrying about, and if this does happen we will get you into the tournament anyway. We always have sufficient space and no entries are ever rejected due to space considerations.
MYTH 4: If the advance entry list has not yet been posted at chesstour.com, I need to call or email the CCA to find out whether my entry was received.
ACTUAL: If you enter online and see "Thank You For Your Order," your entry is confirmed. We recommend that you either record your order number or print out the page on the screen, in the unlikely event there is a problem. Our shopping cart now is again sending confirming emails, so you should get a double confirmation. If you want still more confirmation, please be patient and wait for the advance entry list to be posted (link is in middle of home page). We don't confirm advance entries individually which would be an enormous amount of extra work, as it is not possible to search the shopping cart by name or ID for entries that are not yet processed, and often we fall behind processing a tournament because we are concentrating on another tournament that will be held earlier.
MYTH 5: It is important to confirm that my advance entry was received.
ACTUAL: We don't think so. See #2 and #3 above.
MYTH 6: Advance entries must check in at the site.
ACTUAL: There is no check in, and all who have entered in advance are paired for round 1.
MYTH 7: The official ratings that are used to determine
eligibility include most or all tournaments played during the previous month.
ACTUAL: The deadline for events to be included in the official ratings is the first Friday of the previous month. That means, for example, that if you are interested in playing in a November tournament (November official ratings used), events received by USCF after the first Friday in October will not affect that rating. The November ratings appear online at www.uscfratings.org about Oct 10.
MYTH 8: You can't do a bye in round 1 by entering after the round has started.
ACTUAL: No problem, just arrive before round 2 pairings and you can enter with a round 1 bye, we don't need to know in advance that you are coming. Or arrive before round 3 pairings and you can take two byes. Of course, this is a late entry so for most events the fee is slightly higher.
MYTH 9: We need to know about your byes before the tournament.
ACTUAL: We only want to know with an advance entry about byes that will occur before you begin play. Other byes should be requested at the tournament. We don't want to hear about them in advance as this creates extra work when we are busiest, and the byes are often later canceled or changed.
MYTH 10: My name is misspelled on the advance entries, I must notify CCA.
ACTUAL: Unless you are unrated, please don't, as the advance entry list isn't used for anything once the event begins, and the spelling will almost certainly be correct after we retrieve your info from the USCF database.
MYTH 11: My rating went up, I must notify CCA that I need to switch to a higher section.
ACTUAL: When we look the ratings up, which is often a day or two before the tournament, if we find you are ineligible we will automatically move you up into the lowest section you are eligible for.
MYTH 12: Advance entries are posted so you can see who is in
ACTUAL: They are posted only to inform you that your entry was received and allow you to check that your section and schedule were recorded correctly. You can't tell well from advance entries who will be in your section, because many players enter on the last day or at the door. For a better idea of what the field is likely to look like, see the final crosstable of the same event last year.
MYTH 13: It takes 26 games to get a USCF rating.
ACTUAL: It takes 4 games to get a USCF rating. After 26 games the rating is called "established," which means it will change more slowly.
MYTH 14: Provisionally rated players are unrated.
ACTUAL: Provisionally rated players are rated, and in most tournaments are treated the same as established players. At a few of our very biggest tournaments only (World Open, Chicago Open, North American Open, Philadelphia Open, one or two others) there are prize limits for provisional players, but their ratings are still valid for entry.
MYTH 15: You lose your rating if you are inactive for many years.
ACTUAL: No, the rule is once rated, always rated.
MYTH 16: You can play below your rating if inactive for many years.
ACTUAL: You can never play in a section limited to those below your rating.
MYTH 17: Sections are approximate, so a player rated 1400 or 1401 should ask if he may enter the Under 1400 Section.
ACTUAL: Section names are exact requirements. A 1400 or 1401 player may not enter Under 1400, a 1200 or 1201 player may not enter Under 1200, etc. No exceptions. If we made an exception and such a player won the section, what would we tell the other players, who would no doubt howl in protest?
MYTH 18: Players with foreign or FIDE ratings but no USCF
ACTUAL: Players with ratings or categories from any country, or FIDE, are considered rated.
MYTH 19: Players with unofficial ratings are unrated.
ACTUAL: If you have an unofficial rating at uschess.org and are otherwise unrated, we will generally use that rating. On rare occasions we may not, for example if we don't notice that rating because it appears online after we have finished looking up that player's rating.
MYTH 20: Players with very low ratings are unrated.
ACTUAL: The lowest rating possible is 100, and even such players are rated, not unrated.
MYTH 21: Players formerly in a higher class must enter that
ACTUAL: You can always use your official USCF rating to decide your section, unless we have assigned you a CCA minimum rating. At a few of our largest tournaments only, there is a prize limit for those who were more than 30 points above the class in the past year, but those players can still enter that class.
MYTH 22: Tiebreaks are used for cash prizes.
ACTUAL: Cash prizes are split evenly, except that for some events, there is a bonus, in the top section only, for clear first place or tiebreak winner.
MYTH 23: If 5 players tie for first with 4 and I have 3.5, I place second.
ACTUAL: If 5 players tie for first with 4 and you have 3.5, you place (or tie for) 6th. (As in sports in which if two teams are tied for first, no one ever says that the team following them is second.)
MYTH 24: If I can't play the next round, my opponent will be happy to take the win and I don't need to tell anyone.
ACTUAL: It's important that you notify the Tournament Director in advance if you are skipping a round or withdrawing from the tournament. Many players find it highly annoying to be deprived of a game, even though they win by forfeit.
MYTH 25: If I forfeit without notice, I can just show up for the next round and play.
ACTUAL: Players who forfeit without notice are removed from the tournament. To get back in you must tell the Director that you are back, and you may be asked to pay a fine or put up a deposit to assure that you don't forfeit again.
MYTH 26: If my opponent doesn't show up, I post a win for me, 1 vs. 0.
ACTUAL: You must post 1F vs. 0F, the F standing for forfeit. If you post 1-0, we won't know that your opponent failed to show and will pair him or her again, probably causing another forfeit.
MYTH 27: If I win a prize, I can just leave and the prize will be mailed.
ACTUAL: While we do mail prizes, we need an address, and if the prize might be $600 or over, or bring your total winnings in CCA tournaments for the year to $600 or over, we need a social security number to report to the IRS. Please don't rely on any address you may have provided when you entered, as it is a lot of work finding such addresses, and prizes will be sent first to players who leave their address for that purpose at the tournament.
MYTH 28: If I win a prize and leave without it, it will be mailed within a day or two.
ACTUAL: We are very busy after returning from a tournament, especially a large one, and rarely are prizes mailed in less than a week. If we have other tournaments coming up soon, it can sometimes take 3 or 4 weeks before we mail a prize.
MYTH 29: If I withdraw from a tournament before round one, I
receive a refund.
ACTUAL: This is true only if you ask for a refund, and the flood of refund requests that we receive is a major inconvenience, so to encourage players to not request refunds, there is a $15 service charge for them. You can avoid this charge by keeping the funds on deposit to use for entry in future tournaments. Especially if you are considering entering another CCA tournament in the near future, it may not be advantageous for you to request a refund.
MYTH 30: You can't get black twice in a row.
ACTUAL: This is common, and you can even sometimes get the same color three times in a row! Score has priority over color, so colors will alternate perfectly for everyone only if white and black win the same number of games each round.
MYTH 31: If both players had black last round, and the same number of each color in the tournament, the higher rated player (or player with more points) gets white.
ACTUAL: This happens only if both players have identical color histories in every round. Otherwise, the most recent round in which the players' colors were different decides. For example, in round 7, WBWBWB gets white against BWWBWB.
MYTH 32: The hotel says there are no rooms left at the chess rate, so I can't stay there.
ACTUAL: Though this could be true, hotels often misinform players, saying there is no availability or quoting a higher rate when actually the chess rate is still available. Before giving up, call the hotel Sales Office during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 9-5) and if that doesn't work, send us an email.
MYTH 33: I called on the last day listed for reservations and the hotel says no rooms are available, but it was guaranteed that they would still be available on this date.
ACTUAL: How can anyone guarantee such a thing? Rooms can always sell out. After the date listed, the hotel has the right to raise the rate or give our rooms to another group, but even if you are "in time," if other chessplayers got the rooms first, you are out of luck! Best is to not wait until the last few days, and reserve as early as possible, at least a week before the date advertised.
MYTH 34: If a tournament announcement says there is a prize or prizes for "top Under 1000" or "top Class E," etc. that means there is an Under 1000 Section or a Class E Section in which players rated under 1000 or only Class E face only each other.
ACTUAL: These are prizes for the top scorers who have the indicated rating or class, but they do NOT have their own section and they do NOT play only against each other. "Under 1000 Section" means players under 1000 face only each other. "Top Under 1000" means either that the section has a higher rating limit which is indicated, or the tournament is in one section.
MYTH 35: All tournaments are held in sections or divisions.
ACTUAL: Although most of the events we run do have multiple sections, if you don't see anything in the tournament publicity about sections, that means it is a one section event. For example, the 2010 World Open Under 13 Championship publicity stated, "Open to all born after 6/28/97. Trophies to top 5, 1st C, D, E, Under 1000, Under 800, Unrated." This was a one section event. There was no C, D, E, Under 1000, Under 800 or Unrated Section, and players with such ratings did not necessarily play each other.
MYTH 36: The rounds begin at the same time every day.
ACTUAL: This is hardly ever true. Especially, on the final day of the tournament the round usually starts earlier, and players who think it is at the same time as the day before arrive too late and forfeit their games. For the starting times, see the tournament announcement at chesstour.com or signs posted at the tournament.