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Subject: weekly "Colmena" automated real time Hex tournaments on Ludoteka rss

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David Bush
United States
Radiant
Virginia
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www.ludoteka.com is a Spanish real time Java game server with lots of card and board games. An English interface is available. The players might not speak English, but often they do. Recently management has added tournaments. Apparently, each Wednesday a free Hex tournament begins. It would probably help if you register ahead of time. You can register for free, but then you have a limited amount of time to play each day in the regular playing areas. The tournaments are in a separate playing area, and the Hex tournaments are free. The grid size is 11x11 and the time control is 1 minute per player to make all their moves of the game, with 10 seconds increment added to your time with each move. Last Wednesday, 27 July 2011, the tournament started at 2230 Spanish time, which was 2030 UTC, and 1630 EDT in the US. This coming Wednesday 3 August, the tournament will start at 1900 server time, which is 1700 UTC and 1300 EDT in the US. If this trend continues, I suppose the Hex tourneys will eventually be on Tuesdays, then Mondays, ...

There are two phases of the tournament, Qualifying and Knockout. The Qualifying phase lasts for an hour. You can show up a little before the start if you wish, join the tournament, and then check the "ready" box. You could show up later according to the rules, but it is uncertain if there will be sufficient opponents to play in order to qualify. Each round starts at exactly 2 minute intervals. The server clock is accurate within a second, as far as I can tell. If you are not ready, for example if you're still playing a game, or if there is no one to be paired against you, you wait for the next start. You are allowed to lose one game, but if you lose two you are disqualified. The goal is to win enough games until the software says you have qualified for the Knockout phase. Officially this is five games, but you might qualify with fewer wins if attendance is low.

Eight people qualify for the Knockout phase, which begins 90 minutes after the beginning of the Qualifying phase. If you qualify quickly, then you may want to set a timer or something to remind you to get back in the tournament room before the knockout phase begins. Each round takes eight minutes, although the games are unlikely to take that long. There are four games in the first round, two games in the second round, and one game in the final round.

This "blitz" Hex is pretty frantic, but apparently that's consistent with the way Ludoteka players like to play, especially those who joined for free. With a limited time to play each day, fast time controls are popular. There's a premium pay service which gives unlimited time to play regular games, but you don't need to do this. The tournament Hex games are free and fast. There's no time to talk.

I hope to see you in the Arena! My handle there is twixter.
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Harald Korneliussen
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Maybe we should post this in the Facebook Hex page as well?

By the way, I plan to quit facebook 28. August, so if someone wants to take over administration for that page...
 
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