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1-2-3 - the best way to score!
Sunday, 04 June 2017 14:58
SCORING 1-1/2-0  OR 3-1-0  OR 3-2-1  OR 1-2-3

Every chess player has heard of 1-1/2-0 – one point for a win, half a point for a draw and zero for a loss. Many players will have heard of 3-1-0 (three for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss). Not so many will have heard of 3-2-1 (three for a win, two for a draw and one for a loss) which has been used in Swedish schools’ chess for many years.

Our recommendation is slightly different: 1-2-3. But the difference is very important, as we explain below. Our recommendation dates from the CiS Council meeting in Konya, Turkey in 2015.

1  -  2  -  3

What is 1-2-3?

When a player sits down to play a game, he or she scores one point. That is for making the effort to turn up to play. If the game is drawn, each player gets an extra point. If the game ends decisively, the winner gets an extra two points. Thus there are three possible scores for a player in any game: 1-2-3.

Why 1-2-3?

There is a very big difference between 3-2-1 and 1-2-3 which may not immediately be apparent. 3-2-1 ensures that no player ever scores zero. However, the ‘one point for a loss’ is clearly nothing but a consolation. In 1-2-3, the initial point is a positive reward for taking part. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this in social and psychological terms.

In team events, not only does no player suffer the embarrassment and demotivation of a zero score but every single player makes a positive contribution.

Another, more modest advantage, is that there are no half-points involved.

What does 1-2-3 look like in practice?


Here are some tables showing how it works. As you can see from the Norway example, 1-2-3 could equally be used for top level events, even if Grandmasters do not need the motivational aspect.

RESULTS

1-1/2-0

1-2-3

+6  =0  -0

6

18

+5  =1  -0

51/2

17

+5  =0  -1

5

16

+4  =2  -0

5

16

+4  =1  -1

41/2

15

+3  =3  -0

41/2

15

+4  =0  -2

4

14

+3  =2  -1

4

14

+2  =4  -0

4

14

+3  =1  -2

31/2

13

+2  =3  -1

31/2

13

+3  =0  -3

3

12

+2  =2  -2

3

12

+1  =4  -1

3

12

+2  =1  -3

21/2

11

+1  =3  -2

21/2

11

+0  =5  -1

21/2

11

+2  =0  -4

2

10

+1  =2  -3

2

10

+0  =4  -2

2

10

+1  =1  -4

11/2

9

+0  =3  -3

11/2

9

+1  =0  -5

1

8

+0  =2  -4

1

8

+0  =1  -5

½

7

+0  =0  -6

0

6









Here is the major tournament in Norway 2015. The first table shows the traditional scoring (as used), the second shows it scored by 1-2-3. Note that 1-2-3 makes no difference to the overall outcome, only the numbers are different:







1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10



1 Topalov

*

2

2

1

2

3

3

3

3

3

22

2 Anand

2

*

2

2

2

3

3

2

2

3

21

3 Nakamura

2

2

*

2

3

2

2

2

3

3

21

4 Giri

3

2

2

*

2

2

2

3

2

2

20

5 Caruana

2

2

1

2

*

2

3

2

1

2

17

6 Vachier-Lagrave

1

1

2

2

2

*

2

2

3

2

17

7 Carlsen

1

1

2

2

1

2

*

3

3

1

16

8 Grischuk

1

2

2

1

2

2

1

*

2

3

16

9 Arnian

1

2

1

2

3

1

1

2

*

2

15

10 Hammer

1

1

1

2

2

2

3

1

2

*

15

 
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