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Deciding a draw
Board count
Elimination rule

Board number
The numbers 1 to 6 to the left of each result, are the board numbers for each game in the match.

Teams will play in order of strength, with the strongest players from both teams on board 1, second strongest on board 2 etc down to the weakest players for both teams on the bottom board (In this case, board 6).

Bottom board
By convention, the board with the strongest players (board 1) is normally referred to as the "top board", and the board with the weakest players is referred to as the "bottom board".

When is a draw not a draw? (part 2)

Using
BOARD COUNT and the ELIMINATION METHOD
to resolve draws in
team knockout tournaments.

Part 1 of this guide looked at board count.  This page takes a similar look at the elimination rule (and illustrates board count again).  These two pages together, show examples of using board count and the elimination rule, and include an explanation of how they work.  If you just want a quick guide of how to use them both, take a look at the summary in the right hand column.

Let's start with an example:  In the final of The Local Knockout tournament, Gifford's Cross played Knotbury:

The Local Knockout, Final.

Gifford's Cross Knotbury
1 RJ Davies 1 0 RT Jones
2 E Bright 0 1 F Cooper
3 CA Jones ½ ½ CE Smith
4 E Parker 0 1 CQ Morse
5 C Mills 1 0 J Squires
6 FM Jeffries ½ ½ PF Smith

The points total give a 3 - 3 a draw, so according to the tournament rules, we start by trying board count:

Gifford's Cross won on boards 1 and 5, so their board count is  1 + 5 = 6
Knotbury won on boards 2 and 4, so their board count is  2 + 4 = 6

Here, board count is the same for both teams.  According to the rules:

"In the event of a drawn match, the result will be decided by the ‘Board count’ method.
If that fails to produce a winner, then the ‘Elimination rule’ is used until the tie is broken.
"

Board count did not produce a winner, so we turn to the elimination rule.

Elimination Rule
With the Elimination rule, the bottom board is eliminated, and the points total for each team worked out as usual on the remaining boards.

Let's go back to our example, and eliminate the bottom board:

The Local Knockout, Final
(with board 6 eliminated).

Gifford's Cross Knotbury
1 RJ Davies 1 0 RT Jones
2 E Bright 0 1 F Cooper
3 CA Jones ½ ½ CE Smith
4 E Parker 0 1 CQ Morse
5 C Mills 1 0 J Squires

Here, we have eliminated board 6, but the points totals are still drawn 2½ - 2½.  So we repeat the process, and eliminate board 5.  (See NOTE 1 below)

The Local Knockout, Final
(with boards 5 & 6 eliminated).

Gifford's Cross Knotbury
1 RJ Davies 1 0 RT Jones
2 E Bright 0 1 F Cooper
3 CA Jones ½ ½ CE Smith
4 E Parker 0 1 CQ Morse

Now the totals are 1½ - 2½, giving a win for Knotbury.  Hard luck Gifford's Cross, better luck next year.

Board count is always used before the Elimination rule, because board count can include the whole team, and not just a part of it.

NOTE 1
There is no point in calculating board count again, once you have started using the elimination rule:

  • If the eliminated result was a draw, the scores for both teams will still be level.  Board count only deals with which boards the two teams won on, so eliminating a draw will have no effect on board count.
  • If the eliminated result was a win for one of the teams, the scores for the two teams will now be different, so points score alone will reveal the winning team.

Why the elimination rule works
The scores were level at the end of the match; You've tried board count, but that didn't help.

All that's left is the elimination rule.  It effectively reduces the size of the teams, one board at a time, until the tie is broken.

By removing the weakest players first, preference is given to the team whose strongest players have been more successful.

Comment
If you get as far as board count, all that really matters is the highest numbered board which was not a draw.  Using the elimination rule, the team that won that game will lose, and the opposing team will be the winners.

In summary
This box gives a short summary of using board count and the elimination rule.

Knockout team events will usually include a rule similar to:

"In the event of a drawn match, the result will be decided by the ‘Board count’ method.  If that fails to produce a winner, then the ‘Elimination rule’ is used until the tie is broken.".

Teams should be in order of playing strength, with the strongest players for each team on board 1, second strongest on board 2 etc.

After the game has finished the points are level.

Board count
Note down the numbers of the boards each team won on, and add up those numbers for each team.  The team with the lowest total is deemed to be the winner.

If board count fails to produce a winner, use the elimination rule.

Elimination rule
Eliminate the bottom board, and add up the points scores for the remaining boards of each team.  If the scores are still level, eliminate the next board etc until the tie is broken.  The team with the highest score is deemed to be the winner.

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