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Fantasy Chess 2008! Print E-mail
By Arun Sharma   
April 28, 2008
PCM.jpgThe Frank Berry US Championship (May 13-21) is just around the corner…All of you who read CLO probably know what that means. That's right, it's time again for Fantasy Chess! Be sure to read about the rules and prizes below and then Enter here!
Breaking News: On May 6, GM Dmitry Gurevich replaced Jaan Ehlvest, who dropped out of the tournament for personal reasons. If you have Ehlvest on your fantasy team, you must go in and add a different player OR he will automatically be replaced by the new player. In the event that another player withdraws for unforeseen reason, the same policy will apply: you can still change your team up until May 13, 3:30 EST but if you fail to do so, the player will automatically be replaced at the discretion of the administrators.
In other recent news, Larry Kaufman is the new U.S. Senior Open Champion, while Esther Epstein will replace Rusudan Goletiani, who withdrew for personal reasons. Meanwhile, David Vigorito won the State Champion of Champions event to snag a spot. Since people seemed to really enjoy the contest we ran last year,  we hope we can further entertain you with this year's contest.

 Here is how it will work this year:

The basics
 Once again this contest will be ABSOLUTELY FREE to compete in for any current USCF member. Starting the week of May 5, you can go the following link (bookmark it now!): http://aero.eudemonia.net/fantasychess/fc_login.php and pick a seven-player team to compose your "Fantasy Team."  The rating cap will be 2555, meaning that the average rating of your seven players must be at most 2555.  At the end of this article, you can see the ratings that will be used for the purposes of the contest. Since the Men's and Women's Championship are being held concurrently, your team members can be picked from either Championship. You can even pick it to be seven of the ten women if you wish, but if you plan to do that,  be sure to read the details below on how the women's ratings will be changed to make the contest fair.

Prizes
We have better prizes than ever this year, including two brand new Monroi Personal Chess Managers!  Just like last year there will be some tiebreaker questions to help us along should there be any ties.  A new feature this year will be the existence of a "daily prize", a book (the full list of books will be announced soon), which will go to the team  that has the most improvement from one day to the next.  Hence if your team happens to be tanking, and you don't have a realistic chance at one of the main prizes -- don't fret, your team can always have a superb day to win you a daily prize. No one will ever be truly out of contention. The only restriction on the daily prizes will be that each competitor is only permitted to win at most one -- if someone is in place to win a second one, it will then go to the next person in line.

So without further ado (I know this after all is what you all were reading this article and waiting for) these are the main prizes for the contest:

1st Place:
  Monroi Personal Chess Manager + Board signed by the US Championship participants

2nd Place: Monroi Personal Chess Manager

3rd Place
: 2 years extension to your USCF membership (3 years for Young Adult, Youth or Scholastic Members)

4th Place: 1 year extension to your USCF membership ( 2 years if you are a Young Adult, Youth or Scholastic Member)

5th Place: Signed copy of CLO columnist, GM Joel Benjamin's new book, American Grandmaster

Bonus Prize for U.S. Championship participants: U.S. Championship qualifiers are NOT ELIGIBLE for the above prizes. However, CLO is offering a bonus prize for the top U.S. Championship participant who also enters a fantasy team, $100. The only catch is that to redeem your prize, you will need to answer a short CLO survey about your choices, which will be published. This prize requires a minimum of 5 U.S. Championship entrees into the Fantasy League.

Scoring works the same way as last year; however many points a team member of yours scores in their respective tournament is how many points they contribute to your team.  Once again, should there be a playoff required to decide the winner of either tournament, the winner of a playoff (in either Championship) will be counted as having scored 0.5 higher for the purposes of this contest.

Women's Rating Changes
 The main difference between this year and last year will be a slight alteration to how the rating cap will work.  Since the average rating in the Women's Championship is about 2275 while in the Men's it's about 2555, it clearly wouldn't be equitable to effectively treat the tournaments as though they had the same ratings (naturally IM Irina Krush at 2515 is favored to score the highest number of points in her tournament while a 2515 in the Men's tournament -- who would just be in the middle of the pack is naturally expected to score far less).  As such, each woman will count as 278 points higher for the purposes of this contest. This change allows both tournaments to effectively have the same overall average rating and should thus give no special advantage to picking someone simply because they happen to be playing in one tournament rather than the other. Here is the list of confirmed players (remember, the Senior Open champ is yet to be added) and their ratings for the purposes of the fantasy competition:

Effective Ratings for Fantasy Chess 2008
Pick seven of the following players, making sure that their average effective ratings are equal to or under 2555.

Irina Krush             2793
Anna Zatonskih          2768
Alex Onischuk           2728
Alex Shabalov           2709
Gregory Kaidanov        2697
Yury Shulman            2676
Varuzhan Akobian        2666
Julio Becerra           2648
Alexander Ivanov        2628
Eugene Perelshteyn      2626
Boris Gulko             2623
Benjamin Finegold       2613
Katerine Rohonyan       2596
Dmitry Gurevich         2594
Sergey Kudrin           2588
Tatev Abrahamyan        2574
Jesse Kraai             2569
Alex Yermonlinsky       2568
Batchimeg Tuvshintugs   2565
Josh Friedel            2539
Tsaagan Battsetseg      2529
John Fedorowicz         2514
Dean Ippolito           2512
David Pruess            2497
Esther Epstein          2472
Iryna Zenyuk            2464
David Vigorito          2439
Daniel Ludwig           2429
Chouchanik Airapetian   2421
Courtney Jamison        2351
Michael Langer          2307
Sam Shankland           2299
Sergey Galant           2176

Eligibility

 USCF employees and Organizers are free to enter a team for bragging rights, but they are not eligible for prizes. If you are a life member, you are free to "gift" your USCF Membership to a family member or friend.

So that's basically how it will work and feel free to let us know what you think!

Good luck to everyone who enters this contest once again this year.  I hope that it can again provide a little extra competitive spice to everyone who's looking forward to the US Championship like I am!

CLO thanks
Monroi for sponsoring the contest, Tim Wang for programming, and Arun Sharma for organizing. Please go to http://aero.eudemonia.net/fantasychess/fc_login.php starting the week of May 5 to enter your team.

 
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