Case Studies

Our goal is help chess tournament organisers around the world to run better chess tournaments. We love celebrating the success of our amazing organisers! How can we help you attract new players, run more events and see more entries!

Young Sparks is a community initiative by Max Biocare for children of MBc family and wider community. The idea of Young Sparks was born with the spirit of giving back and becoming a part of the community through that spirit.

One of their most successful initiatives was an International Chess Tournament for children held in August 2020.

A total of 510 children from Australia, USA, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Philippines registered to take part in a free event held over 2 Sunday afternoons. Tornelo was the perfect platform to allow arbtiers full control and flexibility for the event and players to meet other like-minded individuals from other countries!

The event was split into 4 divisions based on Rating. Each division was assigned its own Zoom video-conference and players were automatically linked from the Tournament Lobby to the arbiter’s room for their division. This kept numbers more managable and we didn’t need a single Zoom meeting for 510 players, plus the parents, spectators and arbiters!

In addition to a Zoom meeting for each division the Default conference room was setup as a Tech Support room to help players solve any problems or ask questions.

In addition to the arbiters in each Room providing event commentary, player interviews and post-game analysis, the event was also livestreamed on Facebook. This kept the maximum number of players engaged and receiving individual attention.

This was an outstanding event for first-time chess tournament organsiers!

This highly successful monthly junior chess tournament is run by chess coaching business, Chess Power in Auckland, New Zealand. In early 2020 over-the-board chess was stopped dead in it’s tracks by COVID19.

Chess Power quickly pivoted to online delivery and restarted the Online Sarapu Cup using Tornelo. The results were instant!

Event #1 held on 5 April, 2020 – 76 players
Event #2 held on 19 April, 2020 – 109 players
Event #3 held on 10 May, 2020 – 91 players

The arbiter-led aspects of Tornelo allowed the organisers to provide excellent value to players through:

  • Using real names
  • Maintaining same rating profiles as offline events
  • Posting prizes to winners
  • Individual attention and entertainment through Zoom conferences
  • Flexible system allowed lots of user support and minimal frustration from players learning new systems

Two amazing things to note:

  • The organisers could charge the SAME entry fee as for OTB events
  • MORE players took part onlinethan when it was Over the Board!

Chess Power used these events to grow their own database because every player who takes part shares an email and phone contact number with the organiser!

Saturday Allegro

The Melbourne Chess Club is the oldest chess club in the Southern Hemisphere. Located in a club-owned building in the inner suburbs, they have around 150 members and run a variety of tournaments, coaching and social play.

Coronavirus restrictions prevented the club from opening and they had to work out how they could continue to provide value to club members during shutdown
Their “flagship” event was the Saturday Allegro, which attracted between 40 and 50 players each week.

The Allegro was already using as a Pairing Program and for live-ratings, so maintaining the player Over-the-Board ratings was a consideration when deciding how to proceed.

Their “flagship” event was the Saturday Allegro, which attracted between 40 and 50 players each week.

The Allegro was already using as a Pairing Program and for live-ratings, so maintaining the player Over-the-Board ratings was a consideration when deciding how to proceed.

Moving the event online as an arbiter-led, scheduled online event was a huge step for the club. Benefits would be:

  • Continue providing opportunities for members to play
  • Maintain player ratings
  • Keep connected with members to ensure that when restrictions are lifted, members return to the club

The advantages of choosing to run an Arbiter-Led Event:

  • Maintain control over all aspects of the event
  • Provide a visible point of authority and community connection

Benefits of Using Tornelo

Non-club members are joining the event

Club captures contact details (name/email/phone) for these players and can continue to engage them post-restrictions

A new membership category of “online member” was created and membership grew

Club can still generate revenue despite being closed

Club offers benefits for members (member-rate entry fees)

Tornelo allows the Organiser to deal with ALL the things that happen in a chess tournament; late entries, early withdrawals, players skipping a game, changing pairings after the round has started – most online tournaments just aren’t that flexible

Take registrations ANY TIME, and collect money direct into the Club bank account

Round-by-Round Fair Play assessments

This is How the Trial Period Unfolded.

Week 1

Will this even work?

Event was capped at 32 places, which were quickly filled.

Week 2

Was that a fluke?

It was clear there was demand for online chess in the local community, but running larger events might throw up some unknown challenges. Another free event, but this time capped at 128 places. The event reached capacity about 12 hours before the start time.

Week 3

Will people pay for this?

Two things were tested this week. Firstly, a nominal entry fee was added to see if players saw enough value in an online chess tournament. And secondly, the event was setup with Multiple Divisions (Premier, Challengers and Minor) to provide more closely competitive games to all players.

Participation dropped to 75 players, but everyone paid an entry fee.

Week 4

Prize Money

Cash prizes were introduced into the Premier event only. Prizes in the other divisions were free entries to future events or free attendance at club coaching sessions.

Participation remained at 75 players

Junior Online Oceania Chess League

A couple of chess coaches got together to organise a friendly match between cities in Australia and New Zealand.

Three weeks later there were 280 players registered and another 20 on the waiting list!

$6000 in entry fees collected, nearly 300 players taking part!

Interschool Chess

Kids Unlimited runs about 200 chess tournaments per year with between 80 and 100 players.

The admin required to manage the entry processes used to be a full-time admin job. But since we started using Tornelo, all the processes are now automated.

  • We create the event on Tornelo
  • We put a link to the event on our website
  • Players or School Teams enter the event and pay entry fees

We show up at the school and the player list is accurate and ready to go. Players can even enter 1 minute before we start because everything is in the cloud and instantly updated!

Then at the end of the event it’s ONE CLICK to email results to everyone and the full tournament archives are available online for everyone as well!

Now that we’ve moved to online tournaments it’s even better because every GAME is recorded an online too.

And the best part… as soon as the event is over every child has a new rating. Instant ratings really engages the players and provides feedback to parents.