TANTRIX ONLINE TOURNAMENT RULES (last updated on Sunday, 26-Nov-2006 03:23:40 GMT, rule 5 para. 2 has been amended to clarify an unforeseen misunderstanding)

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1. Introduction:

For ALL online tournaments, the normal rules of Tantrix will apply. The following are special tournament rules. These rules apply to knockout tournaments too – N.B. TPs will be used to decide knockout match results in future.

Rules which apply only to weekend events (where everyone plays at the same time) are in blue.
Rules applying only to events where people arrange between themselves when to play are in red.
Rules which apply to all tournaments are in black.

Unless otherwise stated, the email address for the Tournament Controller will be tournaments@tantrix.co.uk .

To make things easier, rules you need to read before a tournament are:

2. Time_limit 5. Colours 6. Tile1 7. Defaults

8. Arranging_games 9. Tournament_scoring 14. Cheating 15. Conclusion

Rules you need to know OR have beside you in case something unusual happens:

3. Disconnections 4. Adj_time_limit 10. Tiebreaks 11. Disputes

More complex rules which you do NOT need to read if you are happy to trust the Controller:

12. Elo_ratings 13. Seedings

2. Time limit:

The time limit is 15 minutes per player per game. You start losing points as soon as you hit the time limit instead of waiting until you go one minute over the limit. If a player goes over the limit, the game should carry on. However, at the end, a player who takes 15:00 or more loses 1 Tournament Point (see rule 9 - "Tournament Scoring" below) from their total and their opponent gains 1 TP. This is repeated for every full minute by which the time taken exceeds the time limit.

You should apply the time limits strictly, but please note that if your opponent takes 15:00 or more, you must claim any time penalties on the online results submission form (or by email to tournaments@tantrix.co.uk if the form is not working) *NEW for 2003* before the next game starts or within an hour it it was the last game of the session. If in doubt you should claim - you can retract the claim up to 24 hours later. Please check the times before you start reviewing the game since this can affect them. For simplicity, you cannot avoid a time penalty by taking into account the few seconds that are sometimes on your clock before the game starts if you have the first move.

3. Disconnections:

It is your responsibility to organize access to a reliable computer in order to avoid/minimize disconnections. It is recommended that you start with a "fresh" system, ie a just booted or rebooted system and preferably not to have any other applications running at the same time as playing.

  1. When players are disconnected, you should try to be helpful. Please give them time to reconnect. You should give a player at least 5 minutes to reconnect. After 5 minutes in Limbo, you can carry on against Robot by going "Actions/let the Robot play".
  2. If a player disconnects more than once (ignore very short disconnections of less than two minutes), then you can let the robot play after three disconnections of between 2 and 5 minutes each. In weekend tournaments where time is tighter, if they were away for 2 minutes the first time, allow them 3 minutes to try to reconnect the second time before letting the Robot play on, i.e. 5 minutes in total. You can allow more time than this if you want to (no one really wants to win a game just because their opponent is disconnected), but not less. Either player can send such games for adjudication afterwards if the Robot plays in a way unlike any human (eg. the Robot allows an easily avoidable large loop) and this has a significant effect on the result. Unless the controller is online at the time of the game, the player will need to provide screen prints sufficient to allow for adjudication - see rule 11) below.
  3. If both players disconnect and the game cannot be continued, either player can send the game for adjudication if they have one or more relevant screen prints - see rule 11) below. Both players should send in their claim for what the final score should be and can add explanation if they wish. If neither player is going to do this or the adjudicator decides that it was too early in the game for it to be possible to determine with reasonable certainty who would have won it, the game will have to be restarted. Where it is possible to ascertain with reasonable certainty who the winner would have been but the winning margin can only be ascertained to within a range, the adjudicator can offer that player the option of being awarded a win at the lowest end of the possible margin range and in that case, the game would only have to be restarted if the player offered the win was not happy to accept that outcome. In one-day events, the game can be declared a 23-23 draw at the Controller's discretion if the situation is too complex for it to be possible to adjudicate the result quickly and there is no time for a restart.

4. Adjusting the time limit after disconnections:

We have to rely on players to be fair here. On reconnection, the clocks should show the times at disconnection. If either player’s clock has been reset to zero or has been ‘ticking’ while they were unable to move, please agree any adjustments when the disconnected player rejoins and before you carry on playing, not at the end of the game.

5. Colours:

Where a player has registered a first preference colour on entry, they must use it in all games unless their opponent has registered the same first preference colour or agrees to let them use an alternative colour.

If both players have registered the same first preference colour, we encourage people to agree on alternative colours. However, if they cannot agree and neither player is willing to let the other use the mutual first preference colour throughout, then they should each use their second preference colours throughout. If second preferences are the same too, each player should use their first preference colour for half of the games in the match, with the first-named player on the fixture list getting first choice for the first half of the match and the second-named player getting first choice for the second half of the match including any extra game if the match consists of an odd number of games.

If one player has not registered a first preference colour, they cannot stop the other player from playing with their first preference colour but can choose any of the other three colours.

If neither player has registered a first preference colour, the first-named player on the fixture list gets first choice of colour for the first half of the match and the second-named player gets first choice for the second half of the match including any extra game if the match consists of an odd number of games.

If your opponent has not used the correct colour, you can ask for the game to be restarted but only if you do so before making your first move.

6. Placing the first tile too near the edge of the Tantrix:

If the first tile is placed 5 or less spaces from any edge of the full playing area, the second player can ask for the game to be restarted, but only if they do so before completing their own first move.

7. Defaults and concessions:

  1. In a weekend event, if a player does not arrive for a game within 5 minutes of the time it is meant to start, any extra minutes they are late are added to their game time when they do eventually arrive. After 10 more minutes, they can be defaulted. However, if they are having trouble connecting to the Lobby and find a way (eg. email) to let the Controller and/or their opponent know, we will try to be understanding. For this and other events, the rest of rule 7) explains what the penalties are and rule 8) below gives details of what constitutes a default.
  2. In a knockout competition, 20 TPs are awarded for a default win.
  3. A default win in one game in a group phase is worth 15 TPs or (if applicable) the average scored by other players in the group against the defaultee rounded to the nearest 0.1 TPs if that average is more than 15. The defaultee gets 20 TPs minus what the other player gets, but defaulting deliberately because you need to make sure of at least 5 TPs in your last game or to help a friend to qualify is definitely cheating and will result in a long tournament ban.
  4. Defaulting more games in a group than there are in one mini-match results in a "total default" and means that all of the offending player's results are ignored in the final table.
  5. If your opponent fails to turn up for a game/games within 15 minutes of the agreed time TWICE, you can ask for them to be defaulted under rule 8.c. Some people are sympathetic and give their opponent another chance (you do not have to) but if you do that, you should claim 2 TPs from the other player immediately. That means 2 TPs per game you had definitely arranged to play (and 2 more per game each time it happens again after that), though if in the end you claim a default anyway, you just get normal default points instead. Clarification: This means that under these circumstances, in order to avoid the inconvenienced player feeling awkward about claiming, 2 penalty points per scheduled game in the second session that turned out to be a no-show is automatic (except in highly exceptional circumstances), as long as it comes to our attention from some source, which does not have to be via the player concerned.
  6. Although players are usually given one chance if they fail to turn up because of a misunderstanding and make contact quickly afterwards, if you feel that your opponent is being completely unreasonable (eg. because they failed to turn up and had also made it very difficult to arrange a time in the first place or they knew that you were making a special effort to play at an inconvenient time for you), please complain to the Controller. In exceptional circumstances, they can award a 2 TP penalty per game arranged and not played (or even an instant default) even after just one no-show.
  7. *NEW for 2003 WTC* Controllers can also, at their absolute discretion, award similar penalties in any other case where one player was entitled to claim a default but agrees to carry on trying to play a match. This possibility also extends to non-default situations or any other case where there has been exceptionally inconsiderate behaviour by a player, especially if this has been so irritating that it might conceivably impair the average opponent's ability to think clearly when the games are actually played.
  8. Only the scores and time penalties in games actually played are included in Elo rating calculations. This is because the Elo ratings are supposed to reflect actual play. Defaults are often the fault of e.g. the internet connection, not directly the fault of the defaulted player.

  9. *NEW for 2003 WTC* Any behaviour which could result in a default may lead to the offending player being banned from future tournaments or put on 'probation' for a specified period. A player will be liable to an immediate ban if they cause even the slightest trouble for Controllers or opponents while they are on probation.
  10. *NEW for 2003 WTC* Conceding a match in a knockout tournament before your opponent has scored enough TPs to be 100% certain of winning is not considered to be acceptable and will be treated as a default for the purposes of rule 7.i. If your opponent has scored enough TPs to be 100% certain of winning the match, then you can either concede or, in an attempt to salvage some of the damage to your Elo rating from the match, you can require the remaining game/s to be played - the player who is losing has the choice.
  11. *NEW for 2003 WTC* A player whose opponent defaults or concedes or who concedes without playing all of the games once the result of a knockout match is beyond doubt will still be treated as having played "all scheduled games" for the purposes of being eligible for a master norm from the tournament concerned.
  12. *NEW for 2004* In an all-play-all event or in a group phase, all games must be played unless the Controller agrees otherwise. The only circumstances in which it might be acceptable not to play a game or games in a group phase are if both players agree and if the result of the game/s (if played) could not affect any of the final positions in the table except those of the two players or teams concerned.

8. Arranging games:

  1. *AMENDED for 2003 WTC* For events where people arrange between themselves when to play, opponents should be emailed within 2 days of the start of the round, with the relevant Assistant Controller ("AC") copied in, otherwise you may receive a warning. If you do not make contact within 2 days of a warning, you risk being defaulted unless you have already notified the Controller that you will be unavailable over that period. When you write, you should offer dates and times consistent with the guidelines for the tournament concerned.
  2. *AMENDED for 2003 WTC* If a player does not reply to an email within 3 days, the AC should be told. The Controller will then contact the uncommunicative player and if they do not reply within 7 days of the original email or within 2 days of the AC's email, whichever is later, they may be defaulted. These gaps may be decresed at the Controller's discretion when deadlines are approaching. For this reason, anyone likely to be unable to access their email for *AMENDED for 2003 WTC* two days or more during the tournament should let the Controller know. N.B. This rule applies to players who have actually started to arrange games and the 7-day overall limit is designed to ensure that we do not default someone who has started their games and then experiences serious computer problems for a few days or whose opponents' emails are not getting through to them for any reason, e.g. because the opponent is using the wrong email address. Rule 8.a. above, with a tighter overall time limit, is designed to give us the chance to remove players who do not start to make contact with opponents at all in time to make it feasible to offer their place to a lucky loser.
  3. If a player does not appear in the lobby at the arranged time, their opponent should wait for 15 minutes.
  4. If a player does not appear within 15 minutes (maybe they had trouble connecting or there was a mix-up over the time zones) and they email the opponent within 24 hours, the match should be rearranged. Please tell the Controller so that a player is only allowed one ‘chance’ per match, up three in a tournament as a whole at the Controller's discretion.
  5. In other circumstances at the Controller’s absolute discretion, a player may be defaulted for not making an effort to arrange a match or, if a deadline for a game to be played is close, the first time they fail to appear.
  6. *NEW for 2003 WTC* When deciding which player to default if a match is not played by the deadline, ACs only need to consider emails that they were copied into at the time they were written.

9. Tournament scoring:

  1. Positions will be based on Tournament Points (TPs), which are awarded as shown in the table below. They are based on sharing 20 TPs out for each game. Each player starts with 10 TPs. For a win, the winner gets 2 win bonus points plus ( (4/3) * SQRT (winning margin)) rounded to one decimal place, up to a maximum of 20.0 TPs, but it is much simpler to use the table below! In any case, you don't need to work all this out - the Controller will only need to know the game score and the times rounded down to whole minutes.
  2. In addition, 1 TP is deducted from a player's total and added to the other player's TP total if they hit the time limit, with an extra TP for each whole minute by which they exceed the time limit. e.g. 2 TPs are deducted for taking 16:00 - 16:59. This is subject to the maximum possible TP score for a game being 20-0.

Margin of Victory

TPs – Winner

TPs – Loser













































































































36 or more



10. Tiebreaks:

  1. In a match in a knockout competition, if the TP scores are equal after all the games have been played, the player who has won (scored more than 10 TPs in) the most games in the match will be declared the winner. If both players have won the same number of games, the person who scored the highest total number of tiles wins. If these are equal too, the players should carry on playing games with a 5 minute time limit per player until one of them wins a game or loses because their time reaches 5:00.

  2. If two or more players are tied in an all-play-all event, they will be separated on the basis of the TPs scored in the game or games which was/were played between them.
  3. If this doesn't resolve the tie, and the tie is between two players for either a qualifying place, first place in a final or for a prize, they will play each other again with a 5 minute time limit per player and the first one to win a game will win. Taking 5:00 or over loses immediately here.
  4. Less important ties in an all-play-all will be decided by number of wins (counting half a point for a draw) then by the sum of the actual margins, and finally by who has scored the most tiles overall, ignoring opponents' tiles.

11. Disputes:

Please try to resolve disputes amicably without involving the Controller. If all else fails, contact the Controller after the game. It may help to copy and paste the chat in the game room into an email and send that and/or a picture of the game when the dispute arose. In order to send a picture of the screen, do this:

  1. Press the Print Screen button on your keyboard once.
  2. Go into Paint (or something similar) – usually Start button/Programs/Accessories/Paint in Win95/98.
  3. Click File then New.
  4. Click Edit/Paste and allow it to increase the size of the template if it asks to.
  5. Save the picture as a jpg file, eg. dispute.jpg, and attach it to an email to the Controller.

Use this method if you want to send a game for adjudication (see rule 3.b or 3.c) too.

12. Tantrix tournament Elo ratings / Lobby rankings:

All tournament games which are completed on the Tantrix.com site will be included in the Lobby or Master rankings in the usual way. The separate Tantrix tournament Elo ratings are described in a separate section of this tournaments site.

13. Tournament seedings:

Where required, these will be based on the Elo ratings at the closing date for entries. These will be reduced as described in the rating rules if the number of games on which the rating is based is below the threshold level or if the player concerned has not played a tournament game for a very long time.

14. Cheating:

While we take steps to deter and to detect cheating, it is obviously hard to detect online. As well as spoiling an event for the other players, cheating severely devalues your own performance in a tournament. In case it is not clear, cheating includes:

a) getting help from someone else in the game room, through an instant message service such as ICQ, AIM, MSN or in 'real life'
b) disconnecting or defaulting deliberately to gain an advantage
c) using real tiles to help count the tiles left in the bag
d) not waiting long enough for someone to reconnect before letting the robot play on
e) placing your first tile too near the edge deliberately because you have bad tiles and would prefer a restart
f) using things like a pre-drawn grid to help with tile-counting (*)
g) lying about your age or nationality to gain entry to a tournament for which you are not eligible
h) making multiple entries for a tournament using different names or otherwise falsifying information on an entry form
i) deliberately losing a game (or just deliberately playing badly) to help a friend to win a tournament, to ensure that another player does not win a tournament or simply because you are not bothered by a result which nevertheless affects the final positions or Elo ratings of other players
j) anything else (however 'clever' it may seem) which is aimed at securing an unfair advantage for you or another player
(*) Using a blank sheet of paper to take the odd note during a game IS acceptable

Anyone caught cheating risks being banned from all future tournaments and we reserve the right to 'name and shame' them on the Tantrix website in the most serious and most clear-cut cases. Please do not be tempted to cheat even if you think (hopefully mistakenly) that someone else is cheating - that kind of reaction just makes things worse for everyone in the end.

15. In all matters, the Tournament Controller's decision is final:

This rule is here in case anything has been forgotten, but isn’t intended to be used more than is absolutely necessary. If a dispute affects the Controller as a player, then obviously the decision will be passed to someone else.

The date and time are :

Saturday, 22-Jun-2024 09:04:30 GMT
Saturday, 22-Jun-2024 10:04:30 BST (local)

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