I am going to ask and answer this question since I played in one for the first time in almost 40 years yesterday, and because I find it surprising that no one has asked this previously.

So, "what is a "tornado" in chess?"

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    Not to be confused with the Tornado UCI chess engine. – Mast Mar 2 '20 at 13:30
  • @Mast Thanks. I have never heard of that one. – PhishMaster Mar 2 '20 at 13:32
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    "I am going to ask and answer this question since I played in one for the first time in almost 40 years yesterday, and because I find it surprising that no one has asked this previously." For the sake of keeping the Q&A illusion, is this sentence necessary? (same with the other questions) – Quintec Mar 2 '20 at 16:43
  • Maybe not, but it was a personal decision. Otherwise, it was too short anyway, and I would have to find other filler to meet the minimum requirements for length. And to be honest, how strong is that "illusion" anyway since my name is listed for both the question and an answer? – PhishMaster Mar 2 '20 at 16:46
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    I think it would be better to remove that sentence and instead insert a sentence or two about the context in which you heard the word "tornado" that made it confusing or surprising. If someone just asked "What is a tornado in chess", that would not be a very good question, and the same standard applies to self-answered questions. Adding some context makes it easier to understand, and easier to find from a search engine. I've proposed an edit to that effect. – amalloy Mar 2 '20 at 19:06

I do not know if this term is used in other countries, but in the U.S., a “tornado” is a swiss chess tournament with four rounds in one day, typically at a sudden death in 60 minutes time control. It was probably given that nickname because your mind is spinning from so much chess in one day.

I played in the “Queen City Tornado” yesterday, and there were rounds at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 6 p.m.. It makes for a very long day.

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    @patbarron in my area we often see those kind of weekend events, the last one I entered was a 2 hour drive for me, my opponent for game 2 (saturday morning) didn't show up, and there was no point in driving all the way home and back. That really put me off, I think I'd quite enjoy a day like the one described in this answer – Darren H Mar 2 '20 at 7:23
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    Having to sit at the board for an hour with a clock running (assuming USCF rules), waiting for an opponent who's probably not going to show up, for the first round of the day, is absolutely the worst... :-( Like, I woke up early for this? – patbarron Mar 2 '20 at 8:38
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    @patbarron Thanks for the comments. I glad you seem to like the question. I know it is strange asking and answering my own question, but at least I am not using a second account to cheat by asking it, and then upvoting and accepting my own answer. I have always liked the longer time controls myself, and as I get older, that extra time is even more welcome. That said, the funny thing is that, with the exception of my poor opening versus a GM in the 3rd round, I felt like I played my best chess ever start to finish in that tournament, despite the fast control. – PhishMaster Mar 2 '20 at 10:18
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    Why the Downvotes? - Some people are jerks. Give them a red button and they will press it just to watch it burn. Don't give them attention. – Mindwin Mar 2 '20 at 17:15
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    We live in the age off skimming and making up your own truth. People just don't bother to learn the rules. The purpose of the StackExchange is to create a repository of information. Self-answering is as selfless as one can be. Just do your thing and remember that an upvote is worth five downvotes. – Mindwin Mar 2 '20 at 17:26

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