Nutcracker Blitz Tournament Report

12.17.18 The inaugural edition of the Nutcracker Blitz tournament, hosted by the Bonny Eagle Chess Club, was held on Saturday, December 15th at Snickerdoodle's Café in Limington, Maine and attracted fifteen players. The event featured two sections and seven rounds of Game-in-5-minute chess with no delay. Here's the tournament report with US Chess crosstables and a video of one of the games between the top players.

Players enjoyed coffee and blitz chess at the Nutcracker Blitz tournament played on Saturday, December 15th at Snickerdoodle's Café in Limington.

Thanks to Oisin O'Searcoid for contributing to this report.

US Chess crosstable of this event

Barry Magda won the inaugural Nutcracker Blitz on Saturday, December 15th on tiebreakers following a three-way tie for first place in the rated section.

Fifteen players crowded the cosy Snickerdoodles Cafe in Limington, Maine, a venue that plays host to local chess players every 3rd Saturday of the month from 1pm-3pm. Scarborough's Ryan O'Campo swept the Non-Rated section, the only undefeated player of the day.

The Cumulative tie-breaker broke the tie of the top three players in the rated section, as Barry Magda defeated Dr. Pavel Sulyandziga in a thrilling encounter in round three of seven. Dr. Sulyandziga beat Sebastian Johns of Westbrook to take second place. Johns scored a win on time in round five from Magda, but that was not enough as the Median, Solokoff, and Sonneborn-Breger tiebreaking systems failed to select a winner before the Cumulative tiebreaker kicked in.

Barry Magda (left) plays Maximilian Matthews.

Dr. Pavel Sulyandziga (right) and Sebastian Johns mix it up during their blitz game.

Chess analysis can be a solidary business.

Watch the blitz game between Dr. Pavel Sulyandziga and Barry Magda.

Many thanks to Lisa and Sophia at Snickerdoodles Cafe for providing a venue for this event, and to Bonny Eagle Chess Club for running the tournament.


I did check the tiebreakers by hand to be certain. We converted from a Swiss to a Round Robin (29K) to avoid a re-pairing of the top two, and provide equality of byes. This was okay, as we had 7 rounds and 7 players, with every player receiving a bye. Unfortunately, it resulted in a 3-way tie, which is where we needed the tiebreakers.

I think this probably answers Alex's question - tiebreakers should be rarer in a small Swiss, as the top players would have been repaired against each other, hopefully determining a winner.

I like to go with US Chess on their recommendations as listed in the rulebook for all cases, and you . SwissSys has these pre-loaded into the tournament software, but being a little suspicious of computers I like to check tiebreaks by hand, just in case.

We had small trophies for the 1st and 2nd place, so the tiebreaker systems were used to award the trophies.

We used WinTD, and had the tiebreakers set in advance. As a rookie TD, I'd really like a discussion about what the best order of tiebreakers is best for each type of tournament, including dependencies for number of players.

Why were tiebreakers used?

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