Recent Changes to the Concept of the
Freestyle Chess League 2022

By Arno Nickel (TD)

After intensive discussions and some interesting suggestions for changes from freestyle chess players, we have decided the following changes to the concept of the Freestyle League 2022:
1. The thinking time will be doubled to give centaurs more time for analysis during the game and to reduce the time pressure on the players. Each player will get two hours for the game and 30 seconds per move.
2. Only one game per day is played. Regular game days are Sundays only, in order to avoid scheduling problems whenever possible and so that not always a whole weekend is affected.
3. As a consequence of the new time regulations, changes in the schedule and possibly in the class division are also necessary. It will not be possible (as previously planned) to play double round robin with 15 participants in one class.
4. Which tournament format will finally be chosen, on the other hand, also depends on how many players participate in the qualification tournament and then later register for the league.
5. It will most likely be a tournament format with aximal 14 and minimal 10 games with equal number of white and black games.
6. The match dates will be evenly distributed over the year 2022. However, it will be possible to move up to 25-30% of the games forward by agreement with the opponent.
7. In order to get a reference value for the comparison engine-only and centaur, an account with the current Stockfish version will play in each class. The exact details for hardware, settings and opening book still have to be worked out.
8. To further reduce the load on the players, everyone will be allowed to play up to a maximum of 4 of his games per tournament in engine mode (=engine-only). However, he accepts that in case of a later tie-break he will receive a worse fine rating in relation to players with the same number of points who have played fewer or no games at all in engine mode.
9. The mentioned changes under 1-7 do not affect the qualifying tournament, unlike point 8, which is also intended to provide relief here.
10. In view of the extremely high draw rate to be expected, our top tie-break criterion in all tournaments will be the number of possible "stalemate wins" and "material wins" against the bare king, as we have already applied this rule in the previous "Centaur Weekend Tournaments".