I have a doubt ... wat if in a 5 member team during tournaments 3 of the team members fail to turn up , can no 4 and 5 promote themselves to board 1 and 2?

  • 4
    This will depend heavy on the local tournament rules.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 16:46
  • 1
    This would depend on respective rules and also why would they want to do this (if usually the best opponents would play on boards 1 and 2)? Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 20:00
  • Thanks a lot guys for your opinions , The reason I asked is because once in a tournament actually since we had two very weak players I made them play on board one nd two to make sure that the team gets atleast two points on board 3 and 4 guaranteed. .... but in the final round the problem was that the same strategy was used by our opponent team ..so I want to know if the idea was feasible Commented Jan 13, 2017 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


Sportsmanship demands that the strongest players play at the highest boards. Period.

Unfortunately, as simple as this statement it, it is so difficult to enforce that it is often completely omitted from tournament rulebooks. In scholastic chess, most players are unrated and the directors must rely on the honor of the coaches. In my personal experience as a tournament director, the violation of this principle is the "trick" that honest players and coach most despise, and yet hardly a scholastic tournament occurs without at least one team violating it.

This "shuffling" tactic robs the strong players on both teams the opportunity to play competitive, meaningful games and violates the spirit of the game.

What makes chess such a princely game is that everything is in plain view - there is scant luck and zero subterfuge, only preparation and skill. The board-shuffling strategy works only because the real strength of the players has been hidden from the opponents and the tournament director. There are many other sports and games where such tactics are allowed or even encouraged, but most of us are attracted to chess precisely because the game is almost entirely free of such features. Chess is one of the purest tests of skill and preparation available to mental athletes. When we want a test of deception, we move to the card tables.

If a team cannot fill every board, it must fill in the highest boards first.

A missing player is obviously the weakest on the team - at least for that round. Every team competition that I have been a part of has enforced this rule.

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