How do ties in tournaments work?

Tournaments created on chess.com will by default have a tie break system enabled (we use the Neustadtl score method) which factors in the strength of the opponents. If you don’t want to use tie breaks in your tournament, you can disable it in the advanced options when creating your tournament. 

If you do disable tie breaks, both tied players will advance to the next round. See here for more info on creating tournaments.

However, most tournament directors do use the tie-break method, which will give the win to the player who has defeated the players with the most tournament points. 

Below is an example of a Group where the Tie-Break method is used. You can see the top two players have the same Score; 8.5. The Tie Break method factors in the Tie Break points, which are based on the score of players they have defeated and drawn against. 

Player 1 has more Tie Break points, so they have advanced. Without the Tie Break, both players 1 and 2 would have advanced since they have the same Score.

http://content.screencast.com/users/naomilanasa/folders/Jing/media/789a8171-4a99-43d3-8f3e-35ec9ecd455c/2015-01-09_0200.png

If two players have the same score and the same Tie Break score, both will advance.

Here is an example from the same Tournament; both players 1 and 2 had the same Score and the same Tie Break; both advanced to the next Round:

http://content.screencast.com/users/naomilanasa/folders/Jing/media/fd442439-8757-4eeb-84f2-a3f32be185ec/2015-01-09_0210.png

Below is a simplified example of how the tie breaking system works:

Group # --     Bob Mary John Score       Tie Break   
1. Bob X         0 1       1 1      3          4.5
2. Mary 0 1 X 0 0.5 1.5 3.75
3. John 0 0 0.5 1 X 1.5  2.25

A player's tiebreak score is calculated by adding together the score points of the players they have defeated and half of the score points of players they have drawn against.

Bob won one game against Mary and two games against John. So Bob gets 1x1.5 points from Mary and 2 x 1.5 points from John, which sums up to 4.5 tiebreak points.

Mary won one game against Bob and drew one game against John. So Mary gets 1x3.0 points from Bob and 0.5x1.5 points from John, which sums up to 3.75 tiebreak points.

John won one game and drew one game against Mary. So John gets 1.5x1.5 points from Mary, which sums up to 2.25 tiebreak points.

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