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Tournaments
How to Enter and Win; Timing Out


  • read: Are there time limits on tournament moves?
  • read: What happens if I forfeit a game because I don't make my move on time?
  • read: What happens if I take a vacation while I'm in a tournament?
  • read: If I do not use all my available time to make a move in a game, is the unused time applied to the next move?
  • read: What are the tournament rules?
  • read: How do tournaments work?
  • read: How are tournament games scored?
  • read: How do I win a tournament?
  • read: How do I enter a tournament?
  • read: Can I enter the same tournament more than once?
  • read: How are tournaments different for members and people who are not members?
  • read: If I am not a member of ItsYourTurn.com, what are limits on signing up for new tournament games?
  • read: I know that if I am not a member, I may not be put into all the games that I sign up for in a tournament. How can I be sure I get into the games that I really want to play?
  • read: If I have 20 or more games in progress and I am not a member, will this keep me from being in round 2 of a tournament?
  • read: Hey, I had fewer than 20 games in progress when the new tournament started, and you didn't put me into the games I signed up for!
  • read: What is the difference between Fast and Main tournaments?
  • read: What is the difference between Open and Member tournaments?
  • read: How do I know when the Main (48 hour) and Fast (28 hour) tournaments are signing up players?
  • read: Why are there many different kinds of games in each tournament?
  • read: How long do tournaments last?
  • read: With strict time limits on tournament moves, how do I make sure I know when it's my turn?
  • read: Do I have to make tournament moves on weekends?
  • read: What about players who use resources to help them play games?
  • read: What is the difference between Competitive Chess, Intermediate Chess, and Casual Chess?
  • read: What is the difference between Backgammon and Casual Backgammon?
  • read: Where are the Frequent Player Tournaments?
  • read: How are time limits per move determined in tournament games?
  • read: Where are Level 2 or Level 3 tournament types?
  • read: I timed out in a tournament game, but I had a good reason. Is there any way I can continue these games?



Are there time limits on tournament moves? Yes. To keep tournaments moving forward, you are given a limited amount of time to make each move. The time is counted from when your opponent submitted his or her last move. The hours remaining to make your move are shown on your game status page. If you don't make your move within the time limit, you forfeit the game.

Fast tournaments give 28 hours for each move, and Main tournaments give 48 hours for each move.

No tournament move is due on a weekend. If a move would normally be due on a weekend under the normal time limit, then extra hours are added for that move. To learn exactly how time limits are determined for tournament moves, read
this question.
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What happens if I forfeit a game because I don't make my move on time? If you forfeit, or time out, you can ask your opponent for permission to have the game restored.

To ask your opponent to restore a game, view the completed game board and look at the links under the game board. Click 'Ask opponent to re-activate this tournament game.' Your opponent will then get a message asking if he or she is willing to restore the game.

A game can only be restored within 7 days of when it timed out.

When Battleboats, Sabotage, and Atomic and Dark Chess games are restored, they are started over on move 1. To avoid delaying tournaments sigificantly, we will only restore these games if they timed out with 10 or fewer moves per player.

Also, if the next tournament round starts without you while your games are timed out, you will never make it to that round, even if your games are restored and you win them.
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What happens if I take a vacation while I'm in a tournament? We do not have a vacation policy for tournaments, so if you do not make your moves your games will time out. There is a chance to have some games restored if they time out, which you can read about in this question.
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If I do not use all my available time to make a move in a game, is the unused time applied to the next move? No. If you do not use all of your time to make a move, then the unused time is not applied to later moves in the game. Every move has only the basic time limit. Tournament games also get extra hours for weekends.
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What are the tournament rules? Tournament rules are here: Tournament Rules

Some specific questions about tournaments are answered in this tournament section in the Frequently Asked Questions.
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How do tournaments work? Each tournament on ItsYourTurn.com offers many different game types (backgammon, chess, etc.). When you enter a tournament, you may sign up to compete in more than one game type. (Members and Non-Members have different limits on the number of games they can play. See this question for details.)

For each game type that you are playing, you will be put in a section with 3 other players, and you will play two games against each other player. When all games in all sections are completed, the players who scored highest in their sections advance to the next round, where they are placed in new sections. The process repeats until there is a single champion for each game type within a tournament.
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How are tournament games scored? Tournament games are scored like this:

  • Win: 2 points
  • Draw: 1 point
  • Loss: 0 points

When all games in your section are completed, if you have the highest average score per game in your section, then you are the section winner. There can be a tie for section winner.

When all sections are completed, a new round begins. All section winners are grouped into new sections, and the process repeats.
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How do I win a tournament? Each tournament round has fewer sections than the previous round. Eventually, there comes a round that has only one section. If you advance all the way and win that final section, then you win the tournament. If you and an opponent in that section tie for winner, then a new round starts with just the two of you alone in a new section. You continue to play until a single winner is found.
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How do I enter a tournament? Tournament signups are announced just beneath the banner advertisement at the top of our web pages. Click the signup link, and you will go to the Tournament Area page.

On the Tournament Area page you will see another link to the current tournament signup. Click this signup link, and you will see a page that lists games offered in that tournament. Put a check mark next to the game type (chess, checkers, backgammon, etc.) that you want to play, then scroll down and click Submit. You can sign up for more than one game type, but there are limits on how many game types you will be put in when the tournament starts. The limits depend on whether you are a member or a non-member on ItsYourTurn.com. See
this question for details.

Check to be sure your signup was recorded correctly: To be sure you signup was recorded, return to the tournament area. Click the tournament signup link again, and you will return to the list of games. Now, click 'Reload' or 'Refresh' on your browser to make sure the page is updated. Then, check to be sure the checkmarks you placed previously are still there. If they are not, then enter your checkmarks again and click 'Submit.' If they are there and you want to change which games you are in, or remove yourself from the tournament, you may do so by changing the checkmarks at this time and clicking 'Submit.'
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Can I enter the same tournament more than once? Please read the User Agreement (linked at the very bottom of each page on our site) item 6 regarding players using more than one User ID on ItsYourTurn.com. If a player has more than one User ID in the same tournament and game type, then that player could be removed from all tournaments on this site.

There are limits on how many tournaments you can enter. Members of ItsYourTurn.com can enter many more tournaments than non-members, as explained
here.
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How are tournaments different for members and people who are not members? Members on ItsYourTurn.com can play many more tournament games than non-members. Here is how it works:

If you are a member, you can enter as many new tournaments as you want until you have 150 tournament games in progress. If you have 150 or more tournament games in progress, then you can not join any new tournaments. However, if a new round (round 2 or higher) starts in one of your tournaments, then you will be put into that round no matter how many games you have in progress. So, it is possible for a member to have more than 150 tournament games in progress.

If you are not a member, you can only sign up for a maximum of 3 game types (chess, checkers, backgammon, etc.). The limit on how many game types you can play in a new tournament is even lower if you have 8 or more games in progress when the new tournament starts. Please read
details about this rule.
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If I am not a member of ItsYourTurn.com, what are limits on signing up for new tournament games? If you are not a member of ItsYourTurn.com, here are limits on how many different game types (chess, checkers, backgammon, etc.) you can sign up for. Please see the tournament rules page for details on how many tournaments you can sign up for depending on how many games you're playing.

Our system decides which game types you are put in and which ones you are left out of. You do not have control over this.

You will not be kept out of your advanced tournament rounds (round 2 or 3, for example). If you should be in advanced rounds in any of your tournaments, then you will be put in those rounds when they start, regardless of how many games you have in progress.
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I know that if I am not a member, I may not be put into all the games that I sign up for in a tournament. How can I be sure I get into the games that I really want to play? As explained in the previous question, you might not be put into all of the game types you sign up for in a tournament. You do not have control over which game types you are left out of.

If you really want to play in a certain game type, then you should sign up only for that game type. If you sign up for more than one game type and you are left out of one, then you might be left out of the one that you really wanted to be in.
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If I have 20 or more games in progress and I am not a member, will this keep me from being in round 2 of a tournament? No. If you win your section in a tournament round, you will be put in the next round when it starts, even if you have 20 games in progress at that time.

So, if you have 20 games in progress and round 2 or round 3 of a tournament starts for you, then you will have a total of 26 games in progress.
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Hey, I had fewer than 20 games in progress when the new tournament started, and you didn't put me into the games I signed up for! You might have actually had 20 or more games in progress, but some of the games on your Game Status page might have been hidden.

A game disappears from your Game Status page when that opponent has not made a move in a long time. This prevents your Game Status page from becoming cluttered with idle games. But the idle games do still exist. You can see them if you click View all unfinished games at the bottom of your Game Status page.

When your slow opponent does move, the game reappears on your game status page as a game where it's your turn to move.

When it is your turn to move, games are never removed from your Game Status page.

You can adjust how long a game must be idle before it disappears from your Game Status page. Look under 'Account' in the left-side menu column and click 'Edit User Profile.' On the profile page, scroll down. Where it says 'Hide Idle Games' choose the number of days. Then click 'Submit Form.'

If your opponent does not move before the time limit per move, then he or she will lose and you will win.
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What is the difference between Fast and Main tournaments? Fast tournaments have a time limit per move of 28 hours. Main tournaments give 48 hours per move. Extra hours are given to move for weekends, as explained in this question
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What is the difference between Open and Member tournaments? Each week we will start 2 different types of tournaments with the same time limit, Open and Member.

OPEN tournaments are accessible to both non-members and members.
MEMBER tournaments are accessible only to members.

Members can enter both types of tournaments in the same week if they wish. However, you should be aware that, because of the non-member 40 move per day limit, Open tournaments will progress slower than Member tournaments.

To be successfully entered into a Member tournament, the membership must be active at the time the tournament begins.
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How do I know when the Main (48 hour) and Fast (28 hour) tournaments are signing up players? Each week we alternate signing up for Main and Fast tournaments. Main tournaments have signups in the first and third weeks of the month. Fast tournaments signup in the second and fourth weeks. Signups are announced in the bulletin at the top of the page, just under the banner ad.

The only difference between Main and Fast tournaments is the time limit per move. Main tournaments give 48 hours for each player's move, and Fast tournaments give 28. Extra hours are given for weekends.
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Why are there many different kinds of games in each tournament? Every tournament has most of the games that we offer on ItsYourTurn.com. This way, no matter what your favorite game is, you can join any tournament. The competition in each game type is separate from the others. So, what happens in backgammon does not matter to those playing chess, for instance.
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How long do tournaments last? Most players who enter tournaments do not advance past the first round. For them, tournaments last about two to four weeks. But some game types that take longer to play, like Pro Backgammon, do require longer to complete their first round games.

If you win your section, you may find yourself waiting for a few weeks while the games in the other sections are finished. When the next round starts, you will have a new set of games to play. If you want to fill the intervening idle time with more games, you may enter other tournaments.

If you stay in a tournament into the final rounds of a popular game type like chess, you could be playing in it for about a year.
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With strict time limits on tournament moves, how do I make sure I know when it's my turn? Here are some tips to help ensure that you don't miss your moves in tournament games.

  • Set 'Email notify?' to 'Yes' in your user profile, and make sure your email address is correct. But don't rely on email notification alone to keep up with your moves. Email can get lost and it can be delayed. Also, we only send one move notification to you after each time you visit our site. So you will not be notified by email for every tournament move.
  • Check your game status page at least once a day, even if you don't receive an email message saying it's your turn.
  • When you look at your game status page, be sure you are looking at one that is up-to-date. Click 'Refresh' or 'Reload' on your browser, or use 'Cmd-R' on your WebTV keyboard, or push 'Options' on your WebTV remote and choose 'Reload.'

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Do I have to make tournament moves on weekends? In tournament games, extra time is given to make moves on weekends. The exact way in which time is added to make tournament moves on weekends is explained in this question.
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What about players who use resources to help them play games? Using reference books or a database to help play games is okay, but using a computer that helps decide what move to make is against our rules.
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What is the difference between Competitive Chess, Intermediate Chess, and Casual Chess? All three of these tournament chess categories are standard Western chess. They are not game variations.

The reason for having these three categories for chess is to divide the chess tournaments. Chess tournaments were becoming very large and taking a long time to finish. Now we have three different chess categories, and you can only sign up for one.

Note that check boxes for chess variations are farther down the page.

If you accidentally click the button next to one of these chess categories and you don't want to play any of them, then choose 'No Chess' and scroll down and click 'Submit.'
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What is the difference between Backgammon and Casual Backgammon? Both of these are regular backgammon with no doubling cube and no distinction between single wins, gammons, and backgammons.

The reason for having these two categories for backgammon is to divide the backgammon tournaments. Backgammon tournaments were becoming very large and taking a long time to finish. Now we have two different categories, and you can only sign up for one.

If you accidentally click the button next to one of these backgammon categories and you don't want to play either of them, then choose 'No Backgammon' and scroll down and click 'Submit.'

Note that farther down the signup page, we also offer backgammon variations: Pro Backgammon, Backgammon Race, and Anti-Backgammon.
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Where are the Frequent Player Tournaments? There are no plans to have any more Frequent Player Tournaments on ItsYourTurn.com. There was little difference between them and Fast tournaments, so we stopped running them.
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How are time limits per move determined in tournament games? In a Fast Tournament, each move must be made within 28 hours after the previous move was submitted. In a Main tournament, the time limit is 48 hours. The hours remaining to make a move are displayed on the Game Status page.

Extra hours are added to the time limit for a move if it is to be made on or near a weekend. On ItsYourTurn.com, the weekend starts at 00:00 hours Saturday morning in the eastern time zone in the United States, and ends at 00:00 hours Monday morning. This weekend period is not adjusted for different time zones. So, if you live in a different time zone from ItsYourTurn.com, you will still receive the same extra weekend hours as everyone else; but the beginning and end of the period for which you receive the extra hours will be 'shifted' earlier or later.

The following examples explain how the extra time is added:

Suppose that a move is submitted before the weekend begins, and under the normal time limit the next move would be due on the weekend. In this case, 48 hours are added to the time allowed for the next move. The total amount of time given would then be 76 hours for a Fast tournament (28 + 48), and 96 for a Main tournament (48 + 48).

So, in a Main tournament, it is possible to submit a move on a Thursday or Friday and see 96 hours remaining for the next move. In a Fast tournament, it is possible to submit a move after 8pm Thursday or during the day Friday and see 76 hours given for the next move.

Whenever a move is submitted during the weekend, the time available for the next move is determined by adding the number of hours remaining until 00:00 hours Monday morning to the normal time limit.
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Where are Level 2 or Level 3 tournament types? To enter Level 2 tournaments, the player must have previously won a tournament section in order to enter this tournament type. The type of game does not matter-- for example, a player can win a backgammon section in a previous tournament and sign up for a Level 2 tournament in chess.

To enter a Level 3 tournament, a player must have won a tournament section in round 2 or higher, or have won a Level 2 tournament section. (We reserve the right to change the requirements for entering a Level 3 tournament type).

Anyone (members or non-members) is eligible to sign up for Level 2 and Level 3 tournaments (as long as the tournament is not a Member Tournament). Section winners are determined at the beginning of the tournament signup process. If you've recently won your first tournament section, you'll have to wait until next week's tournament to sign up for a Level 2 tournament.
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I timed out in a tournament game, but I had a good reason. Is there any way I can continue these games? Tournament games can be restored if your opponent agrees.

You can do this by pulling up the game board of the games that were timed out. One easy way to do this is to click on the review this game link in the Oh Well (timed out) message that was sent to you. Another way is to look at your tournament summary, and keep clicking down to the games until you find the games that were timed out.

After you pull up the game board:

  1. Look for the link under the game board that says, Ask opponent to re-activate this tournament game.
  2. Click on this link, and include a short note on why you timed out
  3. Click SEND to send the message.
  4. Your opponent will have the choice whether to continue the game or not.


Only games that have timed out in the last 7 days can be restored. This is in the interest of keeping the tournaments moving, since all sections in a round have to end before the next one can begin.

Please remember that resuming tournament games after they've been timed out is a courtesy, so please don't harass your opponent if they decline your request. Also, if they agree, you may want to return the favor in the future for someone else who times out, and has a good reason.

While your games are timed out, there is a chance that the next round will start. If it does and you are not in it, you will not make it into the next round, even if your games are restored.

Battleboats, Sabotage, their variations, and Dark Chess present a special problem. Once they have timed out, all secret locations of ships and pieces are revealed, so restoring a game actually means starting a whole new game. Because of this, these games will only be restored if they have less than 10 moves made per side. Restoring games with more moves made would delay the tournament too much.

We understand that these conditions may seem a bit restrictive. However, since the tournaments already take several months to complete, it's difficult for us to extend the time limits any further.

Please
contact us using our online contact form if you have any questions about this process or if you run into any problems.
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