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Deciding a draw
Board count
Elimination rule

Board number
The numbers 1 to 6 to the left of each result, are the board numbers for each game in the match.

Teams will play in order of strength, with the strongest players from both teams on board 1, second strongest on board 2 etc down to the weakest players for both teams on the bottom board (In this case, board 6).

Top board
By convention, the board with the strongest player (board 1) is normally referred to as the "top board", and the board with the weakest players is referred to as the "bottom board".

When is a draw not a draw? (part 1)

Using
BOARD COUNT and the ELIMINATION METHOD
to resolve draws in
team knockout tournaments.

In league matches, the result can be either a win, draw or loss, depending on the final points total for each team.  But in a team knockout tournament only the winning team can go through to the next round.  What happens if a match finishes with the scores level?

Among the rules in team knockout tournaments, you will usually find one saying

"In the event of a drawn match, the result will be decided by the ‘Board count’ method.
If that fails to produce a winner, then the ‘Elimination rule’ is used until the tie is broken.
".

But what are ‘Board count’ and the ‘Elimination rule’, and how do they work?  This page shows an example of using board count, and an explanation of how it works.  Part 2 of this guide follows on from that, and takes a similar look at the elimination rule.  If you just want a quick guide of how to use them both, take a look at the summary in the right hand column.

To illustrate board count and board elimination, let's take a look at a couple of results from a ficticious tournament

The Local Knockout, Semi-final.

Gifford's Cross Little Marston
1 RJ Davies 1 0 A Moutrey
2 E Bright ½ ½ S Slater
3 CA Jones 0 1 A Perrins
4 E Parker ½ ½ LB Gradwell
5 C Mills 0 1 M Bromiley
6 FM Jeffries 1 0 H Slater

Adding up the points score for each game, gives a 3 - 3 draw.  But only one team can go through to the final, so we need a winner:  According to the tournament rules, we should start with ‘board count’.

Board count
With board count, you note down which boards each team won on, and add up those numbers for each team.  The team with the lowest total is the winner.

Looking at the results,
Gifford's Cross won on boards 1 and 6, so their board count is:  1 + 6 = 7
Little Marston won on boards 3 and 5, so their board count is:  3 + 5 = 8

The team with the lower total is deemed to be the winner.  In the example, Gifford's Cross have the lower board count so would go through to the next round.

As board count alone has produced a winning team, there is no need to use the elimination rule.

Elimination rule
Part 2 of this guide shows how the elimination rule works (and illustrates board count again) .

Why Board count works
With one point for a win, half a point for a draw and zero for a loss, a drawn team chess match can only happen if both teams have won an equal number of games.  (In the example above, both teams have 2 wins.)

With players seated in order of playing strength, the team that has been successful against the stronger members of the opposing team should have more wins on the lower numbered boards.

Adding together the numbers of the winning boards for each team reveals if either of them has been more successful against those stronger opponents.  They will have a lower total board count than their opponents.

Why Board count works - for anoraks
Those familiar with maths will know that adding together a series of numbers and dividing by how many numbers were added together reveals the average.  In this case, adding together the board numbers of the won games for a team and then dividing by the number of games they won reveals the average position of the winning board for the team.  With stronger players on the lower numbered boards, a lower figure means more success against tougher opponents.  The team with the lower average must have beaten tougher opponents.

With one point for a win, half a point for a draw and zero for a loss, a drawn chess match can only happen if both teams have had the same number of wins.  That means that after adding up the numbers of the winning boards for each team, they would both be divided by the same value to produce the averages.  In this case, we just need to know which team has been more successful on the lower numbered boards, so the division becomes a redundant exercise.

In summary
This box gives a short summary of using board count and the elimination rule.

Knockout team events will usually include a rule similar to:

"In the event of a drawn match, the result will be decided by the ‘Board count’ method.  If that fails to produce a winner, then the ‘Elimination rule’ is used until the tie is broken.".

Teams should be in order of playing strength, with the strongest players for each team on board 1, second strongest on board 2 etc.

After the game has finished the points are level.

Board count
Note down the numbers of the boards each team won on, and add up those numbers for each team.  The team with the lowest total is deemed to be the winner.

If board count fails to produce a winner, use the elimination rule.

Elimination rule
Eliminate the bottom board, and add up the points scores for the remaining boards of each team.  If the scores are still level, eliminate the next board etc until the tie is broken.  The team with the highest score is deemed to be the winner.

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