I found this PDF document on FIDE rules for the Chess Olympiad, which is a team tournament, but the scoring rules were mentioning too briefly (an annex D was mentioned but I couldn't find that).

So my question is:

  • Assuming that there are X teams competing in the tournament
  • And that each team has Y players

What is the standard way to organize such a tournament (regarding scoring)?

If there are too many teams, how to define which team goes against which?

How are ties solved?

2 Answers 2


I think the standard way to treat a team tournament is like a normal tournament, only with teams instead of players.

So there is swiss system pairing if there are too many teams for a round robin. A win gives you 1 point, a draw 1/2 and a loss 0. Sometimes that 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw and 0 for a loss, but that's equivalent.

The number of board points, i.e. the sum of points each player of a team has made, is usually used as a tie-breaker.

It used to be the case that the olympiad had board points as scoring system. But that doesn't make much sense for a team event and also leads to pretty boring tournaments, so it was changed in 2008.

  • The Swiss system pairing is applied to teams or players? In other words, the pairings are like "Team B will go against team E now", or "Player B1 will go against player E4"?
    – Pedro A
    Sep 3, 2018 at 12:04
  • When you said "a win gives you 1 point", does this "you" refer to a team or a player?
    – Pedro A
    Sep 3, 2018 at 12:05
  • If the pairings are between teams, how is the pairing inside each team made? For example, if Team A is paired to team B, which player from team A goes against which player from team B? Is it random?
    – Pedro A
    Sep 3, 2018 at 13:06
  • Sorry for so many questions :P thanks for your time. I will be organizing a small team tournament with about 6 teams of 2 or 3 players each, that's why I'm asking. And since the time is short, round robin won't work. Thanks!!
    – Pedro A
    Sep 3, 2018 at 13:07
  • @PedroA: As written, the 1 point (or 1/2 or 0) is for the team. The team with most of these "team points" wins. If two teams have the same amount of points, board points (i.e. 1, 1/2, 0 points for each win/draw/loss of a player) are used as tiebreakers. Sep 3, 2018 at 14:40

If I understand the question correctly, you would have to do a swiss style pairing and play by teams. The way our high school leagues organize the chess meets and tournaments is by high school with teams of 8 people (but this can be changed for your convenience of course). The players are put in an order of rank or their skill which determines their board number. For example if I am the best player from my high school, I will be board one, and so on until board 8. A high school is paired against another high school and board 1 plays their board 1 and so on. I think the way we do it is board 1 is worth 12 points (meaning whichever school's board wins gets the 12 points and the losing board gets 0) and board 2 is 11 points and so on until board 8. A draw will mean a split of points. The points for the school are tallied up once all 8 boards are done with their games and the school with more points wins that round.

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