Thursday, 27 March 2008

Getting a norm

With the O2C Doeberl Cup and the Sydney International Open running back to back, the topic of title norms comes up. And more importantly, what you need to do to get one. Obviously perform above 2600 for a GM norm etc, but it is a little more complicated than that.
In the case of large open swisses the effects of early results can be vitally important. As the first couple of rounds have large score groups you can often bounce between GM's and 1800 rated opponents, especially if you lose to a GM. And by the time you get towards meeting them again, the tournament can almost be over.
Probably the best strategy is to get off to a fast start by winning your first 2 games, and hoping for a strong result (win against 2200+ or draw against GM/IM) in round 3. Then if you falter in Round 4 you may only drop down to a 2200+ player, keeping your norm chances alive. Indeed this is what Gareth Oliver did at last years SIO, while Tomek Rej seems to be following the script at this years event.
And talking of title norms, the O2C Doeberl Cup actually produced 3 GM norms and 8 IM norms. However in almost all cases these norms were earned by players that already had the relevant title, with WGM Ruofan Li being the only player to earn a norm towards a new title (IM). Clearly this indicates the field and format were right for title norms, players just needed the right results to earn them.

1 comment:

tanc(happyhippo) said...

Hello Shaun,

Very interesting insight and strategy adopted by players to win a norm. Thanks for a definite eye-opening article.