> BBC Orientation

Welcome, new players!

Welcome, new players!

We are pleased to have you join our weekly activity, and hope that you will continue to come. Remember that we are here for one purpose have some fun! If we begin to take ourselves or the game too seriously, the fun can quickly diminish. To help KEEP it fun, please review the following points:

Please thoroughly read - and re-read - the rules sheet. Its detail results from years of playing experience that now allows us to avoid unnecessary confusion and disagreement. Please don't merely set it aside or use it as a cocktail napkin.

It is important that you arrive early, so that we may count heads and determine the format and match-lengths PRIOR to our scheduled start-time. If a player arrives late (without prior arrangements), he may not take part in the structured tournament, unless others arrive late for him to play in a separate latecomers' bracket (for reduced points).

In order that all players, regardless of ability, may enjoy a full evening's play, we normally play a simple round robin format in which each player plays every other player one match each. If we have over ten players, we play a single-elimination format with a consolation bracket.

We've found that most players are comfortable playing up to about four hours or so. In order to finish within that time-frame, without concluding too early or dragging on too long, we have established a points-table, developed through experience, by which the match-lengths are set based on the number of players. (In round robins: 8-or-more players/3-point matches, 7 players/4 points, 6 players/5 points, 5 players/7 points, and 4 players/10 points.) Although short 3-point matches and even-numbered 4- and 10-point matches may seem unusual or unorthodox, please keep in mind the 4-hour window and our desire not to finish too early or too late.

Please help us to maintain a calm, relaxed, cordial atmosphere. If, in the course of a match, your opponent's demeanor becomes annoying, or you notice some irregularity in his play, bring it to his attention - but in a reasonable, non-confrontational manner. And if your opponent should question a move of yours - even if in a rude or excessive manner - defuse the moment by responding in the civil, restrained tone you would have expected from him. If the issue cannot be settled between yourselves, leave the board frozen in-place and call me over to decide the matter impartially.

Remember, our objective is just to have some friendly weekly diversion for a few hours - without unnecessary bloodshed or gnashing of teeth. If our little gathering seems too tame compared to the high-stress, high-stakes games you may be accustomed to, do move on to a more challenging or finely-tuned tournament venue. But if you enjoy a fun, relaxed, easy-going good time, please continue to take part. Once again... welcome!

-- T e r r y V a l e n t i n e