ICC Open 2017!


From March the 18th to April the 23rd, ICC will become the center of the online Blitz action, with the 2017 ICC Open!

$12,000 in prizes!

The ICC Open is regarded as one of the most important online tournaments of the year. Last year it was won by GM Alexander Grischuk, ahead of GM Dimitry Andreikin and GM Magnus Carlsen, amongst others.  Prizes in cash for all the 8 finalists, and impressive prizes in ICC FREE membership for the class winners!  The ICC Open is an occasion to measure your strength against super-strong players and, why not, to win one of the great prizes.


There will be six qualifiers. You can play in as many qualifiers as you like. All qualifiers will have 11 rounds, swiss pairings. The games are rated in the Blitz category. Latejoining is possible until round 8, but half point byes are only available for the first five rounds.

Please be aware that the US switches to Daylight Saving Time on March the 12th, whereas Europe switches on March the 26th; during this period of two weeks, New York and Paris will be 5 hours apart, instead of 6 hours.

  • Qualifier 1:      Saturday, March 18, at 2pm EDT (19:00 Europe)
  • Qualifier 2:      Sunday, March 19, at 7pm EDT (midnight Europe)
  • Qualifier 3:      Saturday, March 25, at 2pm EDT (19:00 Europe)
  • Qualifier 4:      Sunday, March 26, at 7pm EDT (Monday, 01:00 Europe)
  • Qualifier 5:      Saturday, April 1, at 2pm EDT (20:00 Europe)
  • Qualifier 6:      Sunday, April 2, at 7pm EDT (Monday, 01:00 Europe)
  • Knock-Out:      Saturday, April 22, at 2pm EDT (20:00 Europe) – KO with 32 players (24 from the qualifiers plus 8 seeded players)
  • Finals:             Sunday, April 23, at 2pm EDT (20:00 Europe) – Semifinals with 4 players and Final match (5 games at 3 0 and 5 games at 3 2)

All times are server time (EST, New York Time, UTC/GMT -5 hours). Type “date” on ICC and compare to your local time.

Tournament system

The top four players from each of the six qualifiers will advance to the knockout semifinals. 8 seeded players will be added to 24 qualified. In case of a tie, the usual tiebreaks of Tomato tournaments will apply:

  • 1. Score.
  • 2. Sum of scores of opponents, but adjusted in the following way: If an opponent does not play a round, it counts as if he scored 0.5 in that round. This holds for latejoin rounds, bye rounds, forfeits or games set by the manager.
  • 3. Average rating of opponents.
  • 4. Random number given at start of tournament. Highest wins.

Players can take part in all qualifiers if they want to. In case a player who is already qualified reaches the top two in another qualifier, his/her seat will be awarded to the next best player.

Finalists will be sorted by the ICC Blitz rating they had when they played their qualifier. The grid will display the following pairings (top to bottom) and qualifiers who go through to the next round will be paired accordingly: 1-32, 2-31, 3-30, 4-29, etc.

In the 32-player knockout, “mini-matches” of four games will be played and, if a tie occurs after that, two more games will be played. If still tied, another two games follow, and in case it goes to 4-4 then the tournament director will determine colors in a single, decisive game to follow by tossing a coin. Should that game be drawn, another game with opposite colors will be played. If drawn again, the procedure will be repeated. In the final of the last two, the match will have ten games, 5 with time control 3 0 and 5 with time control 3 2. Again, if the match is tied 5-5, another two games will be played, and if still tied, yet another two games. Should the final be at 7-7 after 14 games, a single decisive game will be played, with colors determined by coin toss. See above for the case that single game is drawn.

A match in the 32-player knockout ends before four games are played, if one player has 2.5 points or more (5.5 or more in the final of the last two).

Prizes in Open

  • 1st $ 4,200
  • 2nd $ 2,200
  • 3rd/4th $ 1,000 each
  • 5th/8th $ 425 each

There will be no match to decide third place, both losing semifinalists receiving $1,000.
Same thing for 5th/8th, losing the quartefinals, all four receiving $ 425.

Class Prizes

There will be no final for the classes (U2200, U2000, U1800, U1600). Instead, the winners of the prizes will be determined by comparing their respective best qualifier. For each class, the prizes are:

  • 1st 5 years free ICC membership
  • 2nd 3 years free ICC membership
  • 3rd  2 years free ICC membership

The following tiebreaker will be used to determine the winners:

  1. Score (in the best qualifier played)
  2. Average score of opponents played (in that best qualifier)
  3. Own blitz rating at start of the best qualifier, lower wins.

(1), (2) and (3) will be used as reported by the tournament bot after the qualifier finishes. In the unlikely case that there is still a tie after those tiebreaks, prizes will be split.

How to take part

No preregistration is necessary for this tournament. The fastest, easiest way to join regardless of your user interface is to login into our server about 10 minutes before the scheduled start and in the chat area type:

/tell pear join

DASHER users can go to WINDOW->MY TOURNAMENTS->JOIN TOURNAMENT and click on the green join button next to the ICC OPEN tournament.
BLITZIN users can go to WINDOW->EVENTS and in the list search for the ICC OPEN tournament, click on the green join button.
ICC for MAC and ICC for Windows users can go to TOURNAMENTS and click on Join ICC OPEN Tournament

Disconnecting before the start will remove you from the tournament. If you disconnect after the start, you will not be removed automatically, but you need to return as soon as possible, or the manager will forfeit you. You can follow the tournament in channel 227. Participants will automatically be placed in this channel.

During the tournament, the standings and pairings will be available at websites which will be communicated after the start by the tournament manager. Those sites show updated info when the refresh button is pressed.

You need to have a full ICC membership to take part in this tournament. Free trials cannot play. As the real names of the finalists will be made public, players who own free GM/WGM/IM/WIM accounts on ICC are required to use their public handles in this tournament, as opposed to anonymous accounts.

You need to use a recent version of Blitzin, Dasher ICC for Windows or ICC for Mac to play in this tournament.

Tournament Rules

In order to prevent abuse of any type, ICC will implement strict rules regarding class prize eligibility. Please understand that in any case, the decision by ICC management regarding this is FINAL and cannot be appealed.

By entering the tournament, you acknowledge that you have read and understood these rules:

1. You can win only one class prize.

One player only wins the highest prize he achieves in any class he is eligible to. In case there are two prizes in the same amount a player could win, he wins the one in the highest rating class. To illustrate this, consider the following order:

  Player    Rating       Best Score
  Player A    1950              8.0
  Player B    2100              7.5
  Player C    2150              7.0
  Player D    1850              6.5

Here, Player A would be eligible to win the first prize in U2200 and U2000. He receives the first prize in U2200, and is disregarded in the U2000 standings. 
Player B thus finishes second in U2200, Player C finishes third in U2200, and Player D wins U2000. In contrast, in this situation:
  Player    Rating       Best Score
  Player B    2100              8.0
  Player A    1950              7.5
  Player C    2150              7.0
  Player D    1850              6.5

Player B here wins U2200, and Player A, although second in U2200, is disregarded in that class, as he wins U2000. Player C finishes second in U2200 and Player D finishes second in U2000.

2. Your blitz rating must be below the class limit at both the start of the qualifier and the reference date.

In order to minimize abuse, ICC requires that in order to be eligible for a class, the rating of a player must have been below the class limit not only when the tournament is played but also immediately before this tournament was announced, at the reference date. The reference date is March 1, 2017. Please note that this implies that your account must have existed on the reference date in order to be eligible for any class prizes.

3. You must have played at least 100 rated games in the Blitz category before the start of your qualifier.

4. Your best (Blitz) rating must not be more than 200 points over the class limit.

Best ratings achieved more than 1 year ago are disregarded for this rule. Instead, a best rating from within the last year, as determined by the rating graph, will be used to establish eligibility. On the other hand, all best ratings you have achieved on previous accounts used by you in the past year do count. Example: You are rated 1650, your best rating is 1950, but on another account you have achieved 2050 two months ago. You will not be eligible for the U1800 class (but might still be eligible for the U2000 class).

5. You are ineligible for ANY class prizes, if you have abused the rating system within the last 12 months.

On top of (2) through (5), note that ICC management reserves the right to declare any player ineligible for a certain class. Their reasoning need not be given, and there is no appeals process. We appreciate the cooperation of all participants in keeping this contest friendly, honorable, and running smoothly.

Cash prizes will be paid by check. Other payment methods may be possible, but require the approval of ICC.

Other Rules

Use of computer chess engines and databases while playing is strictly prohibited. Assistance from other players is also prohibited.

Only regular ICC accounts are allowed in the tournament (no free trials). During the tournament, a recent version of Blitzin, DasherICC for Windows or ICC for Mac must be used. A player must not enter the tournament on more than one handle, or risk being forfeited on both handles. As the real names of the finalists will be made public, players who own free GM/WGM/IM/WIM accounts on ICC are required to use their public handles in this tournament, as opposed to playing with anonymous accounts.

ICC reserves the right to use image and name of winner(s) from their online events for publicity purposes.

The ICC tournament directors may at their discretion make a ruling on a particular game, eject a player from a tournament, or refuse to allow a player to join a tournament for any reason including but not limited to: failure to show up on time or to start a game on time, concern that the player’s internet connection is not reliable enough for the game to finish in a timely manner, suspicion of chess computer use, suspicion that a player is receiving assistance, suspicion that a player has used multiple accounts during the tournament, or the fact that this player has been caught violating ICC rules in the past.

Participants are expected to use the same computer during the whole tournament.

In case a player is disqualified from the tournament, the ICC tournament directors can, at their discretion, rule that the game of that player in the running round is lost for him, and won for his opponent. However, results by that player in prior rounds will not be reverted.

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