The basic guiding principle of the Peoria City Invitational Championship Traveling Trophy has always been to make it hard to win. The 2020 version continues that philosophy by changing to 8 qualifying slots. The defending champion and runner up will take two slots. There will be three opportunities for weekend players to qualify and three chances for Monday night qualification. Then there will be two sections of 4 where each player will play one game as white and one as black against each player in their section. The winner of each section will then play each other to decide the champion.


Peoria City Championship Details:  

(last updated 6/26/2019)


2020 City Qualification and Tournament:

The planned time control for the city championship (sectional and playoff not necessarily qualifying event) games will be Game 80 with a 30 second increment for all games (unless otherwise noted such as in tie-break games). [See individual qualifying event details for time controls used in those events.] All games are to be USCF rated without exception (again unless otherwise noted). Changes to this time control (or for that matter the schedule of play as detailed in the rules below) may be made due to unforeseen circumstances but are unlikely and will be communicated to all qualified players beforehand if necessary. Notation is required throughout the entirety of the games using a 30 second increment (all games except tie-breaks). All games are to be played on scheduled Monday nights at the GPCF club unless agreed upon by both players. However, if a player cannot make a week due to unforeseen circumstances, he or she must inform the TD and opponent no later than one calendar day before the scheduled date of the game. The player who must miss will be responsible for coordinating with his or her opponent a time and place for a makeup game. Very rare same-day emergencies are understood, so each player is allowed one violation of this per stage of play without penalty (but is still required to coordinate a makeup), but a second violation during the same stage of play (i.e. sectional stage or championship stage) results in a forfeiture of that game. Round one is currently scheduled for April 6th, 2020.

Qualification Rules:

  1. All qualifying positions are limited to those who live and/or work in the Greater Peoria area and/or are regularly involved in Greater Peoria chess.



  1. The highest scoring player (in tournament points) in a qualifying event (not counting those who have already qualified via a prior event or method) is the player to qualify from that event pending eligibility as deemed per rules I & III. If the player is ineligible (or unwilling or unable to play) then the position goes to the next highest scoring player that is eligible and willing and able to play from that event. If no such player exists, then as per rule III that qualifying position will become an “At Large Committee Invitation” position. The player selected need not have necessarily competed in the event from which the vacant position was created.



  1. A potential qualifier must score either a combined plus score (or an even score with post-tournament gain of rating) in all games he/she played in a qualifying event (i.e. byes do not affect this) with minimum participation of 3 played games in the event (again byes do not count for this). Bye points may count toward total tournament points for deciding the highest scoring player in an event, but a player must meet these requirements without byes to be considered eligible for qualification. If no such player meets these criteria from a qualifying event (that hasn't already qualified from a prior event), then that qualifying tournament's position will be replaced with an “At Large Committee Invitation” position.


  1. Any ties in qualifying for a position from an event are to be resolved by highest established rating (taken to floating points if necessary) from the most current rating supplement at the conclusion of the qualifying event. An established rating always wins in a tie-break over a provisional rating regardless of if the player with the provisional rating is higher rated. Note: that the established current rating supplement is used for tie-break purposes, not the post-event ratings. If a player loses out on qualification via this tie-break (and fails to qualify from any future event), then if an “At Large Committee Invitation” position results from any qualifying event, this player will be strongly considered for that vacant position. (Though it is not guaranteed to be given to that player, so a player who loses out on tie-break is strongly encouraged to try and qualify via another event).


  1. Any “At Large Committee Invitation” positions (if necessary) is/are determined by the GPCF Tournament Committee’s sole discretion with strong consideration given to any players whom may have lost out on qualification via tie-break (if applicable) and with additional consideration given (but not limited to) previous City Championship participation (and performance), high USCF rating, balancing the rating strength between sections in the city championship, activity in USCF rated games over the past year, activity in Greater Peoria chess (club activity, weekend tournament activity, rated, or unrated), potential unforeseen controversy regarding not qualifying via another means (due to ambiguity regarding qualification rules), etc. The “At Large Committee Invitation” position(s) should not go to any player(s) that received an invite in the immediately prior year. The invitee(s) of one year should qualify for the following year's tournament via another means if he/she/they wish(es) to play again.



  1. Seeding for the city championship will be calculated based off the published April USCF rating supplement upon its immediate availability (and pending all qualifiers finalized and committed to play) from highest rated to lowest rated. All ties in rating for seeding purposes are to be decided by the April published rating list including floating points. Provisional ratings will be considered the same as established ratings for seeding purposes only.



  1. Any ambiguity surrounding a situation that arises during the qualification, seeding, or tournament play will be handled by a majority vote of the GPCF Tournament Committee (with any involved players recused) with future city championship rules amended to address the issue(s).



  1. Order of Determination for Qualification:

1 - Defending City Champion

2 - Prior year’s runner-up from the city championship

3 - Prior year’s Greater Peoria Open weekend tournament

(Note: Not the one that concluded right before the forthcoming city championship!)

4 - Prior year’s Bradley Summer Open weekend tournament

5 - Fall into Chess GPCF club tournament

6 - GPCF Winter Qualifier club tournament

7 - Same year’s Bradley Winter Open weekend tournament

8 – Last Chance Qualifier club tournament*

*Starting with the 2020 championship cycle, the Last Chance Qualifier tournament will be only available for participation to those not already qualified and willing and eligible to play in the city championship. There will be a separate club event running simultaneously for everyone excluded by this.

Additional Seeding Rules:

  1. The 8 qualifying players are divided into 2 sections of 6 players each (“Group A” and “Group B”). Each section plays a double round robin (twice against each opponent – once with white, and once with black). The section winners then meet in a championship match to determine the city champion.


  1. The highest two seeded/rated players (as seeded per rule VI of the qualification rules) are arbitrarily assigned. The highest rated player is assigned to “Group A” and the second highest rated player is assigned to “Group B.” If simple alternation between “Group A” and “Group B” (ABABABAB) were to continue for the remaining seeds from highest to lowest, then for each of the four pairs “Group A” would always get the higher rated player. To even out the average rating between the two groups, “Group B” is assigned to have the higher rated player in every other pair of selections (ABBAABBA). This guarantees a more even (and ideally fair) rating average of players between the two groups.


Sectional Play Rules:

  1. In week 1 the top seed of the section will face the bottom seed of the section with white going to the top seed. The 2nd highest seed of the section will face the 3rd highest seed of the section with the 2nd highest seed getting white.



  1. In week 2 the top seed of the section will face the 3rd highest seed of the section with white going to the 3rd highest seed. The 2nd highest seed of the section will face the bottom seed with the bottom seed getting white.


  1. In week 3 the top seed of the section will face the 2nd highest seed of the section with the top seed getting white. The 3rd highest seed of the section will face the bottom seed of the section with the 3rd highest seed getting white.


  1. Week 4 is officially a break week from sectional play, but it is intended as a make-up week if any players have missed a scheduled game due to unforeseen circumstances.


  1. In week 5 the top seed of the section will once again face the bottom seed of the section, but this time with white going to the bottom seed. The 2nd highest seed of the section will once again face the 3rd highest seed of the section, but with the 3rd highest seed getting white this time.




  1. In week 6 the top seed of the section will once again face the 3rd highest seed of the section, but this time with white going to the highest seed. The 2nd highest seed of the section will once again face the bottom seed, but with the 2nd highest seed getting white this time.



  1. In week 7 the top seed of the section will once again face the 2nd highest seed of the section, but with the 2nd highest seed getting white this time. The 3rd highest seed of the section will once again face the bottom seed of the section, but with the bottom seed getting white this time.




  1. Week 8 is also officially a break week from sectional play (which in theory has concluded), but it is also intended as a make-up week if any players have missed a scheduled game due to unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, any tie-breaks (if necessary) may be played during this week (see rule IX).



  1. Sectional Play Tie-breaks: If at the conclusion of the double round robin for a section, two (or more) players are tied for the top score then tie-breaks will be played as follows:


  1. If only two players are tied, then head-to-head score between the two players in sectional play will decide the player to advance. If that was a tie (1-1), then two G/25 d/5 USCF rated games with the higher rated player getting white in the first game and black in the second will be played during week 8. The player scoring 1.5/2 or 2.0/2 advances. If those two games also result in a 1-1 tie, then 2 more USCF quick-rated only games of G/7 d/3 will be played the same night (week 8) with the higher rated player getting white in the first game and black in the second. Again, the player scoring 1.5/2 or 2.0/2 advances. If that too results in a 1-1 tie, then an unrated Armageddon game will be played the same night (week 8) with white getting 5 minutes and black getting 4 minutes with no delay or increment for either player until after move 60 (when a 2 second increment will begin). As per Armageddon rules, the black player has draw odds (he/she “wins” in the event of a draw). The higher rated player will have choice of color. The Armageddon game winner advances.

  1. If three players are tied, then combined head-to head score between all three players will be used to narrow the tie down to two people (regardless of if the top two are tied in that three-way score or not). If that is still a three-way tie, then the lowest rated player of the three will be eliminated. Then head-to-head score between the remaining two will be used. If that is still tied, then a playoff will be used as described in rule IX.a).




  1. If all four players are tied, then the lowest rated player of the four will be eliminated. Then combined head-to-head score between the remaining three players will be used to narrow it down to the top two players (regardless of if those two are tied in that three-way score or not). Again, if still a three-way tie, the lowest rated player is eliminated. Once down to only two players, their head-to head score will be used, and if tied a playoff will be used as described in rule IX.a).



An explanatory note to players concerned about tie-break games: These should not actually come into use very often in practice. If a player scores 6.0/6 or 5.5/6.0 then he/she will win the section outright as no other player can possibly match those scores. Even at 5.0/6.0, the only way a tie can occur is if two players split 1-1 against each other, and both win all four of their other games. Even at 4.5/6.0 a player can potentially win outright by scoring 1.5/2.0 against each of his 3 opponents ensuring that no other player can exceed 4.5 (and even if they match 4.5, they will have lost the head-to-head to the former player). The idea is to try and win 1.5/2.0 or 2.0/2.0 against each opponent and be able to win the section without tie-break games being necessary.



The Finals Match.

 The winner of “Group A” and the winner of “Group B” will meet in a final championship match. The match is a best of four match. The higher rated player has white in the first game, and it alternates thereafter. The first player to 2.5 points or more is the official 2020 Greater Peoria City Chess Champion. However, If the score is tied at 2.0-2.0 after four games, then 2 USCF-rated games of G/25 d/5 with the higher rated player getting white in the first game and black in the second will be played. The player scoring 2.0/2 or 1.5/2 will be champion. If that 2-game match is tied 1.0-1.0, then 2 more USCF quick-rated only games of G/7 d/3 will be played again with the higher rated player getting white in the first game. Once again, if a player scores 2.0/2 or 1.5/2 then he/she will be champion. If the two players are still tied (1.0-1.0 in the quick-rated games), then a final unrated Armageddon game will be played with white getting 10 minutes and black getting 7 minutes with no delay or increment for either player until the 61st move (when a 3 second increment will begin). As per Armageddon rules, the black player has draw odds (he/she “wins” in the event of a draw). The higher rated player will have choice of color. The winner will be crowned city champion. All tie-break games (if necessary) will be played in a single meeting (week 5 of the championship).