The MSO 2000 Shogi Festival

Rules and Regulations

(this page was last updated Sunday 16 July 2000)


Contents: [European Shogi Championship] [MSO Worldwide Shogi Championship] [Handicap Team Match] [Shogi for Beginners] [MSO Worldwide Blitz Shogi Championship] [Lesson and Demonstration Game] [Simultaneous Event] [Grand Prix] [Prize Money] [Shogi Elo Ratings and Handicaps]

  • The MSO Worldwide Championship (MSOWSC) is open to everyone and is contested over 9 rounds (3 on Friday 25 August, 4 on Saturday 26 August, 2 on Sunday 27 August; check out the time table of events for details).
  • The European Shogi Championship (ESC) is an integral part of the MSOWSC and will be contested by the best 32 European nationals or residents (according to the official July 1, 2000 FESA Elo ratings list of players that have played at least one FESA-rated game in the preceding two years) that are present at the start of the ESC. It only involves a predetermined pairing of these best 32 Europeans for the first 5 rounds of the MSOWSC. As soon as an ESC participant loses one game during any of first 3 rounds, he will no longer be subject to the predetermined pairing, but will continue to participate in the MSOWSC (retaining points obtained in the ESC). During round 5, the winners of ESC round 4 play the ESC final, the losers play for third place. During rounds 6-9 all players participate in the MSOWSC.
  • If there are less than 32 Europeans (nationals and residents) present at the beginning of round 1, that round is employed to reduce the number of ESC players to 16. In that case, during round 1 the highest rated players get an ESC bye and participate in round 1 of the MSOWSC.
  • A fully predetermined knock-out pairings system (round 1: 1 vs 32, 2 vs 31, etc.) based on Elo ratings will be used for the ESC.
    An accelerated Swiss pairing system (round 1: 1 vs N/2+1, 2 vs N/2+2, etc.) based on Elo ratings will be used for the MSOWSC.
  • Prize money: MSOWSC: 450, 350, 250, 200, 150, 100, 50 GBP for places 1 through 7; ESC: 200, 150, 100, 50 for places 1 through 4. Grand Prix points: 12 through 1 points for the best 12 MSOWSC players.
  • Entry fee: 25 GBP (10 GBP juniors).
  • In order to participate in the ESC/MSOWSC, a player must register for for participation no later than 9:45 on Friday 25 August 2000 (the first day of the ESC/MSOWSC).
  • A player can enter the MSOWSC until the beginning of round 4 (Saturday 26 August 10:00), but he is still required to register by Friday 25 August 9:45 and to indicate at that time from which round onwards he will participate. Late entries receive 0 or 1 McMahon-like points as follows:
        Strength     Entry after round
       (Elo-based)      1   2   3
       ------------     -   -   -
       Top group        0   1   1
       Middle group     0   0   1
       Bottom group     0   0   0
    To determine what strength group a latecomer belongs to all players that participate in round 1 of the ESC/MSOWSC are divided in three groups of equal size (ranked by Elo rating) and the latecomer is assigned a group (and receives the corresponding points) on the basis of his own Elo rating.


  • The Handicap Team Match is open to everyone and is contested over 5 rounds on Wednesday 23 August 10:00 - 18:30; see time table of events).
  • Teams consist of 4 players each. They can be assembled beforehand and registered as a team or formed on the spot. The formation of national and club teams is recommended. Some teams that are formed on the spot may have to consist of 3 players (if the total number of participants is not a multiple of 4 or if the number of teams would end up being odd).
  • Handicaps are based on Elo ratings. A Swiss pairing system based on average team ratings is employed (round 1: 1 vs N/2+1, 2 vs N/2+2, etc.). Time limits: 30 minutes per player per game + 30 seconds byoyomi.
  • Primary score: A) board points (sum of indivual players' results). Tiebreakers: B) team points (match win: 2, match draw: 1, match loss: 0); C) board points Bucholz (sum of opponents' board points); D) team points Bucholz (sum of opponents' team points); E) board points SB (sum of defeated opponents' board points); F) team points SB (sum of defeated opponents' team points).
  • Prize money: 100 GBP per player of the winning team, 50 GBP per player of the second best team. Grand Prix points: 8 through 1 points per player for the best 8 teams.
  • Entry fee: 15 GBP (6 GBP juniors).


  • The  Shogi for Beginners session takes place on Wednesday 23 August 14:00 - 18:00 (see time table of events) and is only open to those who have never participated in an official Shogi tournament and have never been awarded a rank above 10 kyu by any Shogi organization or club in the world.
  • The session consists of an introductory lecture and a maximum of four rounds with a possible play-off if more than 16 players participate. Time limits: 20 minutes per player per game.
  • All participants will receive their own self-explanatory Toyota Shogi Set, depicted with car models, mnemonic symbols, and kanji characters.
  • Medals and pentamind points may be awarded, but this is not sure yet.
  • Participation is FREE of charge.


  • The MSO Worldwide Blitz Shogi Championship is open to everyone and is contested over 8 rounds on Thursday 24 August 14:30 - 18:30 (see time table of events).
  • An accelerated Swiss pairing system (round 1: 1 vs N/2+1, 2 vs N/2+2, etc.) based on Elo ratings will be employed. Time limits: 8 minutes per player, with a 4 minutes replay in case of a draw. There is no byoyomi!
  • Prize money: 150, 100, 50 GBP for the best 3 players. Grand Prix points: 8 through 1 points per player for the best 8 players.
  • Entry fee: 13 GBP (5 GBP juniors).


  • We are very honoured by the presence of Nakao Osamu, 6-dan professional. He will teach a Shogi Lesson, play a demonstration game (both these events are open to everybody free of charge), and give a simultaneous. See time table of events for scheduling information.
  • Wednesday 23 August 20:00-22:30: Lesson by Nakao Osamu, 6-dan professional on Shogi history and etiquette.
  • Thursday 24 August 20:00-22:30: Demonstration Game Nakao Osamu, 6-dan professional against Larry Kaufman, 5-dan amateur.
  • Attending the lesson and demonstration game is free of charge.


  • The Simultaneous Event takes place on Thursday 24 August 9:30-13:30 (see time table of events) and is open to everyone.
  • Nakao Osamu, 6-dan professional and strong players, selected by the MSO 2000 Shogi Council, will be the simultaneous givers. The professional will preferentially play against the strongest players (based on Elo ratings) present.
  • Determination of handicaps is described below. Handicaps in games concerning the professional follow the recommendations of the professional, adhering as much as possible to the procedure below.
  • Time limits: none for the simultaneous givers; 30 minutes + 30 seconds byoyomi for their opponents. Drawn games will not be replayed.
  • Prize money: 450 GBP divided equally over all winners with a maximum of 100 GBP per person. Grand Prix points: 4 (win), 2 (draw), 1 (loss). In case a simultaneous giver participates in the Grand Prix, he will accumulate points in the same vein : 4 (>70% score), 3 (>45% score), 2 (>20% score), 1 (otherwise).
  • Entry fee: 10 GBP (4 GBP juniors).


  • There will be a Grand Prix with cash prizes consisting of the MSO Worldwide Shogi Championship, the Handicap Team Match, the Simultaneous Event and the MSO Worldwide Blitz Shogi Championship.
  • Any player who participates in two or more of these events automatically accumulates GP points as follows:
    • MSO Worldwide Shogi Championship (MSOWSC): 12 - 1 (for the best 12 players);
    • Handicap Team Match: 8 - 1 (for the best 8 teams);
    • Simultaneous Event: 4 (win), 2 (draw), 1 (loss);
    • MSO Worldwide Blitz Shogi Championship: 8 - 1 (for the best 8 players).
  • Prize money: 200, 150, 100, 50 GBP for places 1 through 4.



  • Elo ratings are important as they are used: 1) to select the ESC participants, 2) to assign points to MSOWSC latecomers, 3) in carrying out the pairings of the ESC and MSOWSC, and 4) to determine handicaps for the Team Match and Simultaneous Event.
  • Elo ratings for MSO 2000 Shogi Festival purposes are determined in the following order:
    • Known Pan-Atlantic (USSF/FESA) Elo ratings are used when available.
    • If a player has a European or American club kyu/dan-grade, it will be converted to a Pan-Atlantic midpoint Elo rating.
    • If a player has a ShogiDojo rating, this rating is used after adding 450 points.
    • Based on the player's own claim of his grade, converted to a Pan-Atlantic midpoint Elo rating (possibly adjusted during the festival at the arbiters' discretion).
    • The tournament arbiters try to assess the player's strength in any other way they deem meaningful (possibly adjusted during the festival at the arbiters' discretion).
  • Handicaps (H's) correspond to Elo ratings differences (ERD's) as follows:
       H    ERD     |     H    ERD
       --   ---     |     --   ---
       L    100     |     2P   450
       B    200     |     4P   550
       R    250     |     5P   750
       RL   350     |     6P  1000
    The effect of simultaneous play is 250*10log(N) points, where N is the number of boards (statistically, a player who gives e.g. a 4-board simultaneous, performs 250 *10log(4) = 151 points worse than in 1-on-1 games).
  • The handicap in the Team Match and Simultaneous Event are being determined by rounding the Elo rating difference (ERD) between the players down to the nearest handicap. Two examples:
    • The ERD between two players in the team match is 180 points. The stronger player gives a L handicap (not B).
    • Player A (rating 2120) gives a 5-board simultaneous and player B (rating 1000) is one of his opponents. Their ERD, adjusted for the simultaneous effect (175 points) and reduced by an additional 40 points to be consistent with professional handicap practice, is 905. Therefore, A gives B a 5P handicap.

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