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CS live boards
Not something I am prepared to discuss publically. Less than you will see on the DGT website
"How sad to see, what used to be, a model of decorum and tranquility become like any other sport, a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee"
So, I have been thinking about this today. Apart from the urge to drive down to Robins house and leave the kit with him telling him to go on and do it himself, I thought it might be a good idea if people actually knew what Dave and I have to do for each tournament we are at, this is obviously on top of the other duties we do. If someone is wanting to get involved, then I'd rather they knew before, not like when others have asked before and found out what is involved and said no thanks.

A person doing this is going to need three things. A laptop (which will need to be set up with the software and drivers. Chess Scotland do not have their own, all the laptops we use are mine), a wireless scanner (I have 3, one on my phone and two I use in my day to day job), a car to get the kit to the event then back to storage after and optionally a projector (again I have one).

Firstly, you need a background in IT and know how to troubleshoot issues.

So take the Scottish as that was the last tournament I was at.

In the week before, the laptops being used need to be prepared. That involves making sure the software is on and up to date. FTP details need to be checked and a folder set up on the server for where the games are going to be transmitted to.

2 complete sets of batteries need to be recharged, we use 48 for the 8 boards rotating every 2 days. So thats 96. Batteries (plus a spare set in case one set fails).

On the day of the tournament, you are going to be one of the first there. If everything goes well it is going to take an hour to set up, I can do it quicker but to be honest, I have done that many tournaments I can troubleshoot very quickly. If not you are easily looking at 2 hours +

First job is to get the boards onto the tables along with pieces and clocks. Set the wireless transmitters up but don't switch on.

Set up laptop and receiver and check you have internet connection, you are not going to get very far without it.

Set up and connect the antenna. Ideally above the level of the boards.

Check the spectrum for the zigbee channel that the boards are set to, if it is congested, change the channel in the receiver using the dip switches and flash each transmitter to change the channel (make sure you have a laptop with a serial port for doing this!)

Switch on the transmitters and check to see if the boards are reporting in. If they are good you can go to the next step. If not, use the wireless scanner and check the area around the board looking for aps and other sources of interference. If all fails, move the board to an area that works.

You will have 8 boards connected now. You now need to identify each board and where they are. Fill in the section on the software.

Enter the players details and add the pairing,

Set the boards live making sure that you have ticked the box telling it to upload.

Set up the alternate displays so people on Ipads can see the games

Play starts, you then have to monitor the boards (we use a tablet so we can look at the position on the table v what is on the web). Any transmission errors need to be worked out so that the game transmits. It could be that a piece has been placed where it can't work out which square it is. Occasionally you can get a dead spot on a board (the board will then need recalibrating after, not a fun task!)

When a game finishes, check the scoresheet for any mistakes and correct as necessary. Complete the game on the software (this kills the transmission for that round from that board).

When the round finishes, rinse and repeat.

Finally the tournament finishes, Everything has to be packed up carefully and put away in the boxes and bags, then transported back to storage. You are normally one of the last to leave.

I have simplified bits a little but that is a good overview of what I do at a tournament. I am also arbiting and taking photos.

I have also left out connecting to TVs and projectors.

For using wired boards, it is even more complex

Putting this in a bit of context. Dave and I spent a day setting up the Commonwealth and a day packing up. We took a good couple of hours after play has finished at the Scottish with the 16 or so boards we had this year. One of the reasons I prefer the wireless boards, no wires!

So if this hasn't put anyone off, then David C and I would love to hear from you and we will happily show you how it all works at one of the Super 8 tournaments.

I do this because I enjoy it, but understandably I get annoyed when I see people complaining because I was not at the first 4 tournaments this year, 2 because I was not asked to and 2 for personal reasons. The boards will be back in use again this year and will be a feature at the Super 8 Tournament. For the record, I don't drive. I have to rely on others to help me transport the kit. Thankfully there are no shortage of volunteers for that.
"How sad to see, what used to be, a model of decorum and tranquility become like any other sport, a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee"
robin moore Wrote:I note the absence of CS live boards at the first four weekend congresses of the season. I don't know all the reasons behind that but thought it might be worth suggesting a way to possibly increase live coverage.

1/ Have a one day course at a suitable venue, run by Andy Howie or Dave Clayton, attended by folks in as many areas of Scotland as possible. CS of course pick up the tab!

2/ Successful attendees at the course would then have to be "signed off" by Andy or Dave at an event or events (SNCL?), similar to the arbiting route.

This of course would mean a lot of extra work initially for guys like Andy and Dave but longer term we would have more folks able to operate the live boards throughout Scotland. It would greatly increase the number of events CS could cover, both adult and affiliated junior. It would be great to see events like the NEJCA Keith Hoban memorial or the Dumfries Allegro live.


Here is my original post. Please point out exactly where you or Dave are being criticised.

I am suggesting a way forward for CS to increase live coverage.
There is a related discussion on the ECForum
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which raises some interesting points of view.

The arbiter and controller shortage is more important.

These people are on a hiding to nothing. If a player drops a clanger the worst that
can happen is I get a hold of it and publish it.

If a controller makes a mistake then it launches a thread of much bitterness claiming
incompetence and neglect. (never have you ever seen me having a pop at these people,
I may crack a joke about their hair cuts etc...but never about what they do or any supposed
error that may have made.)

I would not like to do it.

Re: Live Boards.

Just say you have live boards and when they log on let them see a game they think is being played live.

The live game will be a normal PGN utility set to show moves at 4-5 minutes intervals.

Any old game will do, the people who watch live games are stupid, they will never twig on.

Hmmm....The World Cup. Got a Football/Chess Thing.

What about a team of chess players playing football against Barnstable United.

Manager Bobby Fischer.
He will complain about the floodlights and have the first 10 seats of the stadium emptied.

The Team.

Goalkeeper. Botvinnik.
It should have been Keres but at the trials Keres let in 20 goals. Some say he was forced to and did it on purpose to let Botvinnik play.

Left Back. Danny Gormally.
He punched an opponent and was sent off after only two minutes.

Right Back. Curt von Bardeleben
He left the field after 10 minutes and never came back.

Left Half and Right Half, Alekhine & Capablance.
Hopeless, the two of them refused to pass the ball to each other.

Centre Half and Captain. Magnus Carlsen.
His team talk was to score one goal and grind out a win. Also the only player wearing a sponsors logo on his shirt. Infact he was covered in company logo's.

Left Wing. Korchnoi.
At half time he defected and played for the other side.

Right Wing. Kasparov.
Subbed for Deep Blue and spent the rest of the game running up and down the touchline complaining about it.

Inside left Kramnik.
Kept leaving the field to go to the toilet.

Inside Right. Topalov.
Started complaining to the referee about how many times Kramnik left the field trying to get his own man sent off.

Centre Forward/Striker. Petrosian.
Refused to shoot on goal, infact spent entire game on his own goal line boosting the defence.

Final Score:

Barnstable United 11 Chess Players ½.

(Petrosian was playing, we always get a ½ when he plays.)
I think the initial proposal to train more to use these is an excellent idea. I am sure it was not envisaged that these would become a resource only available when Andy Howie is also available. Ideally we'd aim to see them at all events and clearly that is not possible if only one person "owns" them.
George, we have asked and asked for people to come forward. As is quite usual it is the same faces that are doing the same jobs.

As already stated, David Congalton and I are happy to have a training session at one of the Super 8 events, I predict the turnout to be 0
"How sad to see, what used to be, a model of decorum and tranquility become like any other sport, a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee"

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