If you're new to chess you'll see words like "Swiss tournament", "Rapid Tournament", "90+30", "30 minutes forfeit time" and have no idea what they're on about. Well, here you go:
Swiss Tournament: The "Swiss" system is a way of deciding the draw for each round. For example, in a 9 round event with 200 players, how do organisers decide who plays who each round? The answer is by using your previous results. In the Swiss system, if, after 4 rounds, you have one win and one draw out of 4, you are likely to play someone else who is also on 1.5 points out of 4. Conversely, if you've won all 4 of your first games, you'll play someone else who has also won all 4 (or got pretty close to winning all 4!) This is a great way or rewarding good performances without overwhelming those new to chess by pairing them against the top players every week.
"90 + 30" : This means that each player has 90 minutes to complete the entire game, plus, every time they make a move, they are given an extra 30 seconds.
"Rapid" or "15 + 0" : As above, this would mean 15 minutes to complete the entire game, and 0 extra seconds added every time you make a move.
"Blitz" or 5 minute chess: Each player has 5 minutes to complete the game, you press the clock as per usual after each of your moves, and win by either checkmate, time victory or resignation.
"30 minutes forfeit time" : If you're over 30 minutes late for your game under the laws of chess you forfeit. Your clock is started at the prescribed start time.
"Chess notation" : writing down your moves. Of course there is leniency for new players, but eventually at MCC tournaments you'll have to write down your moves on the scoresheets provided. Ask wikipedia how!
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