The Chess Team Scoreboard App, on the App Store, simplifies the running of an inter school chess tournament for teams of four players. The app is for elementary / primary school teachers who want a quick and easy way to setup a chess day that is fun for their kids. Management of a chess day is easy as the large display shows what is happening as it happens.
To run a tournament, enter the names of the schools that are playing plus the number of teams. The abbreviated form of the school's name should be used. For example Eastside School would be entered as Eastside. Team names will be generated with a suffix added when there are multiple teams from a school. i.e. Eastside A, Eastside B etc.
To show the draw on a large display, connect your iPad to a projector or TV via AirPlay. Mirroring needs to be set on.
On the day of the tournament set Auto-Lock to Never (Settings>General>Auto-Lock) to avoid your iPad being automatically locked and the scoreboard hidden.
The playing tables should be set out like the layout displayed on the scoreboard. Kids pick up on this link very quickly which makes transitioning from round to round very easy. It also makes entering the score at the board easy.
Something that is a little bit different with this app is that there are no byes. If there is an odd number of teams then the app will select three teams and pair them by halfing. i.e. Half of team1 will play half of team2 and the other half will play half of team3. The remaining half of team2 will play the remaining half of team3. You could avoid this by adding a dummy team called Bye but that would be against the spirit of the app where every child plays every round.
To enter a result, on the Round tab, tap the appropriate table, then the board, then the result. A player receives 1 point for a win, half a point for a draw.
For younger players who are new to chess it can be too much to expect them to checkmate their opponent. A good way to include young players is to run a chess competition without clocks. Set a time limit, say 25 minutes for the whole game, and adjudicate the incomplete games at the end of the time limit. Players who have a significant advantage are awarded a win, the others a draw.
Scores may also be entered from other devices (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad). The other devices need to be on the same Wi-Fi network as the teacher's iPad. On the other devices tap the 'Join another Tournament' option on the Start screen, then tap the tournament. The scores are entered in the same manner as on the teacher's iPad. The kids love to see the results go up on the scoreboard straight away.
To display the points table tap the 'Points' tab.
The system keeps track of team points as well as individual game points. A team receives 2 team points for a team win and 1 team point for a team draw. Team points are more important than the individual game points.
The main purpose of the 'Points' tab is to show the points table on the large display. The additional information on the teacher's iPad is just for interest (and was useful when testing the system). It includes a team ranking and game point totals by player. A gray background indicates all games won. The Points Summary screen also provides the ability to go back and look at a team's scores by round.
To create the next round, on the 'Pair' tab, tap 'Create Round'. You will be prompted to confirm that you want to create the next round. Ask the team captains to check that the displayed scores are correct. The next round will be displayed when you confirm the 'Create Round' action.
The system displays the current round when the teacher's iPad has the 'Round' tab selected and the points summary when the teacher's iPad has the 'Points' tab selected. The system will toggle between the two displays when the teacher's iPad is left on the 'Pair' tab, for example over the lunchtime break.
At the end of the tournament you may want to take a snapshot of the Points Summary and share it with the competing schools. The 'Capture Snapshot of Scoreboard' option takes a snapshot of whatever is on the large screen and sends it to your photo album.
Chess Days are great fun. I do hope you run one at your school.
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