1. I'm gonna phrase my question in terms of individual sports/games (eg chess / 9LX, tennis, pro wrestling, poker, boxing, chessboxing, pool/billiards, etc) and then

  2. hope it can be mostly generalised to team sports/games (eg basketball, soccer/football, rugby/football, bridge, csgo, valorant, etc).

  3. I will just 'sport/game' to just 'sport'.


'Champions' in sports vary a lot in terms of championship privileges. Let's say Alice wins the inaugural Annual August [Sport] Championship(/Tournament) of 2021, aka 2021 AASC. What could happen in August of next year when Alice 'defends' (assuming Alice doesn't drop out or anything) the championship is:

  1. Complete privilege of defending against only 1 opponent: A bunch of players will compete to see who will face Alice 1v1 for the championship.

  2. No privilege of starting from scratch: The AASC Federation completely ignores Alice as the 2021 champion.

  3. Partial privilege: Alice is definitely in the title picture but has to defend against multiple opponents. So let's say Alice, the runner-up last year and then 2 more people will play for the 2022 AASC. (Or something else like Alice in gets in the semi-finals instead of finals or something.)

    • 3.1 - Some sports can be either 1v1 only (eg chess / 9LX, tennis, etc) or support both 1v1 and multi-way (eg poker and pro-wrestling). In the 1v1 only kind of sports, you just do multiple 1v1s like round robins or whatever.

    • 3.2 - The disadvantage here is that Alice can lose the title without being directly beaten. Eg in pro-wrestling: Alice needn't be pinned (or submitted) in a 4-way. Eg in chess / 9LX: Suppose we have a round robin. Alice could draw with each of the 3 other players Bob, Cindy and David. Then Bob could draw with each of Cindy and David. But then Cindy could beat David. So Cindy becomes the new champion without beating Alice.

Some examples: I notice that even in the same sport they'll even do any or all of the above. I'm gonna give examples from chess / 9LX and then from pro-wrestling. I'm not asking about chess / 9LX or pro-wrestling specifically. I'm asking about cases which I believe could transfer to other (individual and then maybe team) sports in general. So even if for example chess / 9LX is not on-topic for this stackexchange site, just pretend I'm asking about any sport/s that is/are on-topic for this site.

Chess / 9LX for example:

  1. For the last 4 world chess championships (2014, 2016, 2018, 2021), Magnus Carlsen has had complete privilege in facing the unique winner of the 'candidates tournament'.

  2. There are many 'tournaments' that are really not 'championships' eg Sinquefield Cup, FIDE Grand Prix, etc. These have no privilege. The tournament winners are not called champions. However, the world rapid, world blitz and national 'championships' often have no privilege.

  3. What's happening in the upcoming (finals of the) 2022 World Chess960 (Fischer Random Chess) Championship of FIDE is that Wesley So who won the inaugural world chess960 championship in 2019 is getting only a partial privilege (Wesley and Magnus compete with 6 others players in some round robin followed by a knockout or something), whereas Magnus as I said above really got 4 complete privileges in a row.

Pro-wrestling, say WWE, for example:

  1. Champions often face a unique '#1 contender' 1v1.

  2. King of the Ring: Afaik, there's no privilege here. It's just a recurring tournament.

  3. Champions often face multiple #1 contenders in multi-way matches instead of just 1v1. Smaller privilege for the champion. Sometimes it's because of a heel general manager, and sometimes it's justified. 1 case where maybe it was justified is in 2018Feb where Kurt Angle and Alexa Bliss talk about why Alexa Bliss, Raw women's champion, has to defend 6-way while Brock Lesnar, Raw champion, doesn't. Kurt says it's partly because Alexa hasn't defended in a while. (Of course there's a difference between three 1v1's and a single 4-way, but eh fine.)

Question 1: How does, say in Alice's case, the AASC Federation decide which level of championship privilege Alice should have? And in particular, what would make the AASC Federation decide to treat Alice, who is the AASC (open to all) champion, differently from its other champions eg AASC women's only, AASC Americans only, AASC under 16 only, etc?

  • Guess 1.1: Ok so 1 possible answer I could think of is if a champion hasn't defended in a while, then they might not get full privilege even if they, their predecessors or their analogues may have gotten full privilege. (Eg Wesley So hasn't been able to defend because of covid, so Wesley might kinda be in the same situation as Alexa Bliss.) In pro-wrestling, it's fictional so yeah there are a million reasons why it would vary.'

  • Guess 1.2: I guess for 'under 16' you can't exactly have a defending champion vs a candidates or #1 contender. Maybe you can call them champions instead of just tournament winners for the Hell of it.

  • Guess 1.3: But ok now in championships for adults and stuff where things like age don't matter, I can't think of any reason whatsoever to call someone a 'champion' only for them to not have a privilege for the next championship. I'd think Alice should get at least partial privilege. This brings me to...

Question 2: Whenever there's a situation that Alice wouldn't get any championship privilege, when is Alice said to be a 'champion' instead merely a 'tournament winner', i.e. when is a 'tournament' a 'championship' ? I mean, why don't we just make 'tournament' equal to 'championship without privilege'? Or we could go the other way: why don't we scrap the word 'tournament' and just say 'champion' ?

  • Guess 2.1: Something I notice is maybe the champion of last time is expected to play again whereas I guess tournament winners of last time are not necessarily. So people said in 2021 that Wesley So was the defending US champion (Wesley won the US championship in 2020), but people didn't say in 2022 that Wesley So was the defending 'Grand Chess Tournament Winner' (Wesley won the Grand Chess Tournament in 2021).

Finally, for generalising questions 1 and 2 from individual to team sports:

My sibling, a basketball, csgo and valorant player, tells me that in team sports (or at least for the 3 sports that my sibling plays), 'championships' often start from scratch partly because the team members might not be the same as from last time. Is that always the case in basketball, csgo and valorant? What about team sports in general? Eg teams of 2 eg tennis doubles or bridge vs teams of 5 eg csgo or valorant vs teams where some players are on the 'bench' eg basketball.

  • Hi - this is not really a question, and it's not one question for sure. It's also not really clear what this has to do with board games... it's possible some version of this might be on topic at Sports for example, though definitely not this question. Can you figure out in a few sentences what you're really asking?
    – Joe
    Sep 22 at 15:41
  • 2
    I’m voting to close this question because it's not a question about board or card games, for the most part.
    – Joe
    Sep 22 at 15:41
  • @Joe 9LX isn't a board game?
    – BCLC
    Sep 22 at 15:47
  • @Joe ' Can you figure out in a few sentences what you're really asking' --> see the Q1 and Q2 at the end. i Just wanna know when champions get full privilege vs partial vs none
    – BCLC
    Sep 22 at 15:48
  • Couple of things... chess has its own site (Chess). I don't think I see any actual board games there (other than chess), CSGO, Wrestling, Basketball... not board games. Also, Stack Exchange questions are supposed to be single questions. And none of this really makes sense... and it's not really generalizable anyway, each sport has their own body that decides that.
    – Joe
    Sep 22 at 16:04


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