FIDE update their TRF File format as the agreed Data Exchange format for tournament results in 2015. Previous TRF format is now known as TRF06 and the current format as TRF16.
This is the approved file format:
Of course not all pairing programs are entirely compliant with the standards described. But overall we support the standardisation of a file-format for transmission of tournament results.
We recommend using extensions to the TRF16 file format, known as TRFx (TRF extended). This was first described by International Arbiter Roberto Ricca for interactions with his JaVaFo pairing engine:
We have now specified further extensions (new codes) in order to support the import/export of other relevant tournament data. This provides a convenient and extensible format, while still remaining human readable, for the transfer of tournament data between platforms.
The basic premise is the addition of (one or many) DAT lines immediatly under the player which can provide additional information.
Please use the link button below to view the full specifications for importing infomation into Tornelo.
Or, The Commodity of Chess
Fungible is one of my favourite words to say, it's a perfect banter word during a blitz game! Basically it means 'easily exchangable' - the opposite of unique and valuable.
In 2020, chess is easily available, free and anonymous. There is nothing unique, special or valuable about it. Add the suspicion players live with where they aren't confident that they are playing against another human and sadly we find chess is sinking deep into the fungible category.
This is an absolutely existential threat to the long-term survival of chess.
We need to maintain the value of chess.
Value is created by providing a unique experience. Something which cannot be easily exchanged or replaced. Almost all human-to-human experiences are unique.
So please, organisers, stop sending all the chess players of the world to fungible mega-portals tournaments that happen instantly and automatically, with no consideration of who is playing. Events where quantity is more important than quality (yes, I'm talking to you Arena). And which no unique experience is had by players. Lest they forget the joy of unique chess experiences and chess is doomed forever.
Schedule events. Use real names. Wait 30 seconds for the person who arrived late. And schedule rounds so that they mean something again.
I love discovering from our Organisers new ways that Tornelo is being used to run events!
Today a school teacher told me about a Staff Event she is running. Her school is in lockdown, so all teachers are working from home. This event is a way of encouraging interaction and socialisation between staff.
Every Sunday afternoon she pairs a round.
Staff visit the tournament page on Monday morning to view the pairings. They reach out to each other and arrange a mutually convenient time to play a game during the week.
At the arranged time both players visit the event page and click Join Game to play their game. Results are automatically pushed into the pairing program ready for the next Sunday afternoon when our teacher clicks Pair Next Round.
There are no problems if one of the games doesn't get played on time, she can leave it for later, or manually change the pairings or results.
And if one player shows up and the other gets caught up, the red disconnection icon on the game page will prevent the game from starting!
What a great format!
Sorry, I’ve always wanted to write a clickbait headline and this was my chance.
It’s impossible to 100% eliminate cheating. But read on and I’ll tell you what to do instead of attempting the impossible.
There are two types of cheating in chess:
It’s Intermittent Cheating that is impossible to prevent and difficult to catch.
At Tornelo.com our objective is not to "prevent cheating". The attempt itself may even encourage more cheaters by giving them a challenge! And a feeling of success when they "get away with it".
Our goal is simple:
Three simple things achieve this:
We all know people behave much worse online than in real life. Behavioural psychology suggests this is due to:
To combat these risk factors Tornelo.com creates an environment in which:
The platform ensures that:
Tornelo.com is a platform for Arbiter Led events. The Organiser builds a community. They know the players. The players know each other. Reputations are built offline and extend into Tornelo.com from the real world.
Arbiters are present and interact with players throughout every event. The arbiters should be explicit about their expectations at the start of every event. Explaining what cheating is, why it’s not ok and creating high expectations - people will usually live up to your expectations (be they good or bad).
Mega-Portals are completely different from Tornelo.com and have a very different challenge. They are a single community of millions of anonymous players. Games are played on-demand, unsupervised and anonymously. They must rely on big-data and statistical analysis to identify cheating.
We don’t need to prevent cheating, we just attract players who wouldn’t cheat in real life and engage them in a community with a culture of fair play and integrity!
We haven’t eliminated cheating, it’s just not the done thing on Tornelo.com.
There are lots of opportunities to play chess now that the entire world is online. Let’s explore:
1. On-Demand Chess Games
There are a bunch of really great sites that players can visit to play chess any time of the day. I call them Mega-Portals and there are hundreds like these:
These sites also provide static learning content, at very low cost, ad-supported or in some cases, free.
You can play an abundance of Anonymous Games on a Mega-Portal, with every game matched to your individual level of play.
The downsides of these sites are mostly Cultural. Online, on-demand games are a commodity - you can play an unlimited number of them free of charge, any time at all. The culture which gets created is that more is better, so games get faster and faster and are rarely taken seriously. Concentration can be an issue and many bad habits can be formed.
Anonymity of self and of opponents can create a culture of unsportsmanlike behaviour, plus parents may have concerns around cyber safety (anonymous chat).
But, it's a lot of fun! :)
Generally, the younger the student, the less well suited they are to this mode of playing chess.
2. Scheduled Chess Events
Is going to a live concert better than listening to the same music on a CD?
Everyone would agree that it's certainly different! The perceived value allows a concert ticket to be priced at $250 for an hour or two, compared to $0.99 for a lifetime of listening. What does that mean for chess events?
Mega-portals deliver on-demand chess games as a commodity.
A Scheduled event requires an organiser, arbiter, coach, mentor or teacher to manage the event. Scheduled events provide real opportunities for high-level performance, consolidating learning and improvement.
The adage of expertise coming after 10,000 hrs is about Dedicated Practice, not "play". Playing fast, on-demand games online for 10,000 hours won’t help you improve a single rating point.
It's the quality of the practice which determines improvement.
Much of the practice quality comes simply with proper framing.
It's the reason sportspeople perform better in The Finals than they do in heats or training. It's why more world records are broken in Finals, and more again at higher prestige events such as the Olympics or World Championships.
Many of your BEST games are played against opponents that you'd never have played on a Mega-Portal, because they were either too highly rated, or too lowly rated. You can only get these games in Scheduled Events.
It's loads of fun to play chess online every day, but you need scheduled events to improve.
Chess played online or over-the-board makes little difference, it's whether those games are on-demand or scheduled. Scheduled events, led by an arbiter are always perceived to be more serious and this framing drives the players’ concentration and application of effort.
Lots of bug-fixes this week on Tornelo.com and tightening of our Privacy Features. The release is not yet live, it will take place this weekend. If you have any questions prior to us going live please let me know!
1. Security and privacy fixes
We have a unique combination of Event Privacy levels (which make it easy or hard to find an event) and Player Privacy (which allows individual players to choose if and when their name is displayed) which should meet even the strictest privacy requirements.
Tornelo is the perfect choice for coaches, schools, scholastic programs or other vulnerable people that require privacy considerations.
2. Feature: Sounds
Finally, we have sounds on Tornelo ... we've started small and you'll hear sounds:
We're keen to get feedback on the sounds we've chosen and what other moments you think need to be audible!
3. TRF Downloads, PGN Uploads
This allows you to do pairings in an external program and import a round into Tornelo for live-game play (use the header-only PGN file which most programs create for live-game collection).
These changes are scheduled to go live THIS WEEKEND. If you need a demonstration or how-to-guide for anything, please let me know!
As always, we're keen to hear your feedback, feature requests or bug reports.
There are some major changes planned for the latest Tornelo release (due to go live later today). Please take note of the following:
1. Changes: Global Rating List
All players are now on a single Global (Tornelo) Rating List. Previously players needed multiple profiles to play in events with different Organisers. A player now requires just one Player Profile
- Players with multiple profiles will need profiles merged
- We have temporarily removed FIDE profiles, new players will need to create new profiles
- All events must be created/owned by an "Organisation"
2. Changes: Privacy Settings
We have simplified our privacy rules to allow both PLAYERS and EVENTS to choose from one of 3 privacy settings:
Shows up on the Tornelo homepage and can be found in searches or on Google.
Can only be found by signed in users. It is free for anyone to create an account on Tornelo, but this adds a hurdle to private information being found. Google cannot find this data.
Not included on homepage or search results, only accessible from a direct link.
To understand further the impacts of these settings please review our Help Documentation:
3. Changes: Groups
Groups (often clubs or schools) are now more flexible, easier to create and work with.
- The concept of Group Events has been removed. A Club or School should create an Organisation account in order to run an event.
- Teachers or Club officials may set up an Organisation and run their events without any cost, or approval process required
- Players may select any group when they are entering a Teams Event.
- Any User may enter a Team of players in a Teams event
4. Changes: Entering Teams
We have simplified the process to Enter a Team into a Teams Event.
- We have removed the concept of Reserving Places
- We have temporarily removed the ability for Users to select Team Names, arbiters will need to sort and name teams
- We have temporarily removed the ability for Users to remove players
- Any User may enter multiple players from the same Group and they become a Team
There is a help file here https://tornelo.com/help/how-do-i-enter-a-team-event
5. Feature: Tokens to play live games
One of the most frustrating moments for an organiser is getting players started playing live games. Often players login with a new email address and do not have permission to play. Arbiters can now provide a Token (One Time Pin) to the player.
From the Tournament Lobby an Arbiter can click a player name, then click Make token
Tornelo will display a Token (4-digit number)
The Arbiter provides this Token to the Player.
The Player must be Logged In (but it doesn't matter what account they have used). Then should click Enter token
The player enters the correct Token and is granted permission to play in the event with whichever account they have used to sign-in.
At the end of the event, Tornelo will link the email and the player so they can play without a Token in future events.
6. Feature: Sounds
Tornelo now has audio notifications! Our first sounds will be:
- Call the Arbiter
- New Round Paired
- Opponent moves in a game
- more sounds to come, feedback welcome!
Work in Progress
We're currently working on:
- Analysis engine (Stockfish)
- Provide arbiters with basic Fair Play statistics for all events
- Improvements to organisation homepage
Chess.com and lichess.org are FANTASTIC on-demand chess platforms.
But, they just don't offer the control or flexibility that an arbiter really needs to run a great chess tournament. These mega-platforms simply don't allow many functions of an ordinary event and leave the Organiser and Arbtier with hours of extra admin work.
Tornelo is built for the Tournament Organiser. We give you full control, ultimate flexibility and help build YOUR community of players, not build up the chess.com or lichess.org community.
The release today is just for you!
1. Feature: Call Arbiter button
All players will now see a Call Arbiter button on their game.
The Tournament Lobby will display a list of players who have called for an arbiter.
Once an Arbiter visits the game page they can End arbiter call once the issue is resolved.
Players may also Cancel arbiter call if they are able to resolve the issue before the arbiter arrives.
2. Upgrade: PGN Export now includes move times
PGN Export now includes the Clock Times for all games (past games included).
3. Upgrade: Support for additional currencies
We now support all currencies through a Stripe integration.
4. Feature: Customisable Entry Field
Event Organisers have a single custom field to display to players during entry. You can now name that field eg. "Please enter your USCF ID"
Then Players will see exactly what to do.
Work in Progress
We're currently working on:
- Analysis engine to provide basic Fair Play statistics for all games
- Refactoring data in preparation for merging all players into a single global rating system
- Improvements to organisations and for organisers
Have a good week,