Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

The act of developing or disclosing that which is unknown.
Alex McFarlane
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:52 pm

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Alex McFarlane » Thu May 03, 2012 10:47 am

I could agree with the 3 colours when it leads to a + or - 2 colour imbalance but not when it is only 1.

I cannot recall a leader getting 3 colours in a row though I have certainly had near leaders in that position. I have also had 3W near the bottom.
I have (and Alex H will be horified by this) asked players at the bottom if they would want to play each other with one getting 3B or play against a higher score. They elected to play each other.

Sean Hewitt
Posts: 2190
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu May 03, 2012 12:28 pm

Alex McFarlane wrote:We have already established that Swiss Master does not always do as it should.
I have not seen any evidence of Swiss Master ever making a wrong pairing, despite using it at every event I've ever run.
Alex McFarlane wrote:It has been programmed to follow FIDE procedures from B onwards. Unfortunately this means that it can do stupid things such as floating two people down from a score group that it cannot pair rather than change the downfloat into that group.
In the FIDE system if we had joint leaders A (colourBWBBWW) and B (-BWBWW) then the program will not pair AvB but will instead downfloat both players, even if this a full point downfloat. At the bottom it would upfloat both players. (B has first round bye but could have had either colour).
That's not the computer doing a stupid thing ; that is the computer abiding by the FIDE pairing rules.

Alex McFarlane
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:52 pm

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Alex McFarlane » Thu May 03, 2012 12:47 pm

Sean,
The error has only occurred in small events (as you might expect). And since it breaks the rule about pairing people on the same score, it is breaking the FIDE pairing rules. There is nothing which states that a downfloat should not be changed to achieve this (unlike colours where the exception is specified).

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 8911
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu May 03, 2012 12:48 pm

Alex McFarlane wrote:I could agree with the 3 colours when it leads to a + or - 2 colour imbalance but not when it is only 1.

I cannot recall a leader getting 3 colours in a row though I have certainly had near leaders in that position. I have also had 3W near the bottom.
I have (and Alex H will be horified by this) asked players at the bottom if they would want to play each other with one getting 3B or play against a higher score. They elected to play each other.
In a local event with pairing cards, we had a guy who,after two rounds had a colour split of 0-2. After 4 rounds it was 2-2, and he ended up at 3-2 because others in his scoregroup were already 2-1 because they'd had a bye. So the player had three whites in a row, because 3-2 and 2-2 was better than 2-3 and 3-1. (I can't remember the exact details, but it was agreed between us that giving someone a third white was the best way of doing it.)

One weekender had, after 2 rounds, two players on 0.5 who were 1-1 and 0-2, with two players beneath them on 0-2. Rather than go into the 1 point scoregroup, it was decided by the person who holds the clout that it was better to pair them together, meaning that the two players on 0-2 played, and I was nominated to go and explain it to that person. This would have been illegal under FIDE pairing rules, but since it wasn't a FIDE rated event, I don't think it made much difference.

John McKenna
Posts: 3722
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by John McKenna » Thu May 03, 2012 1:00 pm

Read all the above with interest. Once or twice became disoriented in the pairings maze. Good to have an open discussion of that, though. I've stood scratching my head looking at pairings in some Majors (none paired by anyone above).
In Sean's events everything is clearly explained and aboveboard - a model for others.
Chessbase News reports Lille Open won by a 15 yr. young Indian, V. Suri, 3rd GM norm! FIDE-rated RP in Nancy, almost 200 players rated 880-2840! And it's Sarkozy-Hollande, last round, Sunday!!
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

John McKenna
Posts: 3722
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by John McKenna » Thu May 03, 2012 1:04 pm

Oh yes, and here in London it's Boris-Ken today - another great choice.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Ian Kingston
Posts: 1070
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:16 pm
Location: Sutton Coldfield
Contact:

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Ian Kingston » Thu May 03, 2012 3:05 pm

Alex McFarlane wrote:Sean,
The error has only occurred in small events (as you might expect). And since it breaks the rule about pairing people on the same score, it is breaking the FIDE pairing rules. There is nothing which states that a downfloat should not be changed to achieve this (unlike colours where the exception is specified).
From the FIDE Handbook:
B.2 Two players with the same absolute colour preference (see A7.a) shall not meet (therefore no player’s colour difference will become >+2 or < -2 nor a player will receive the same colour three times in a row

Note: If it is helpful to reduce the number of floaters when pairing top scorers B2 may be ignored.
Unless that's been superseded (the page has a 2008 copyright notice) or there's some other provision that I've missed it seems that Alex is right and Swiss Master is wrong.

Sean Hewitt
Posts: 2190
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu May 03, 2012 3:56 pm

Ian Kingston wrote:From the FIDE Handbook:
B.2 Two players with the same absolute colour preference (see A7.a) shall not meet (therefore no player’s colour difference will become >+2 or < -2 nor a player will receive the same colour three times in a row

Note: If it is helpful to reduce the number of floaters when pairing top scorers B2 may be ignored.
Unless that's been superseded (the page has a 2008 copyright notice) or there's some other provision that I've missed it seems that Alex is right and Swiss Master is wrong.
Not at all. It's a matter of opinion whether reducing the number of floaters is helpful!

Ian Kingston
Posts: 1070
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:16 pm
Location: Sutton Coldfield
Contact:

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Ian Kingston » Thu May 03, 2012 4:35 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:Not at all. It's a matter of opinion whether reducing the number of floaters is helpful!
FIDE could have worded it better. The reference to 'top scorers' suggests to me that enabling them to play each other - which is the natural and generally desired outcome of a Swiss tournament - is 'helpful'.

But that's just my opinion :wink:

Alex McFarlane
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:52 pm

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Alex McFarlane » Thu May 03, 2012 5:24 pm

Here is a link to the current pairing rules

http://www.fide.com/fide/handbook.html? ... ew=article

These are from 2011. I believe the changes were to bring the written rules into line with either Swiss Master or Swiss Manager!!!

I don't agree with Sean. A basic feature of the Swiss system should be to minimise overall floats ie to pair together people with the same score as often as possible (though not more than once against any particular opponent!!).

Alex Holowczak
Posts: 8911
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: Oldbury, Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu May 03, 2012 11:24 pm

Alex McFarlane wrote:These are from 2011. I believe the changes were to bring the written rules into line with either Swiss Master or Swiss Manager!!!
This is going to be how it goes - any changes to pairing rules are going to be designed to simplify the pairing process for machines. Pairing using cards is an alien concept in Eastern Europe, I gather. As with incremental time controls, the UK has been slow to adapt.

Giulio Simeone
Posts: 154
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:06 pm
Location: Rome, Italy

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Giulio Simeone » Thu May 03, 2012 11:46 pm

I think that:

- Pairings should be done by computers; I am sure that all the arbiters do the pairings without favouring anyone, but some players are likely to be very contentious and with arbiters they can argue, with a computer they can't;

- While doing pairings, priority should be given to colour alternation rather than to equal scores; a player that has the same score as you does not necessarily have the same strength as you; for instance, a player can be scoring 2 out of 3 because two of his opponents have played very badly;

- Requests like "I don't want to play with Xxxx" should be ignored; there is no reason why playing with a friend should be boring, even if you meet him every evening at the chess club; there are billions of possible chess games and you can't exhaust all of them even in one million years. As for collusions between friends, I think that honest players remain such even when playing with friends, and fraudolent players collude even with players that they don't know. As for players who don't want to play with an opponent because of his nationality, they should simply forfeit the game and I think no loss can be more deserved than one of such kind.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18102
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri May 04, 2012 12:16 am

Giulio Simeone wrote: but some players are likely to be very contentious and with arbiters they can argue, with a computer they can't
Regular players on the British Congress scene would differ with you on that one. It's part of the expected behaviour for at least one player. It's possible that one regular Congress series is reluctant to use accelerated pairings because they have to be done manually at least in part, thereby increasing confrontation risk.

User avatar
IM Jack Rudd
Posts: 3932
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:13 am
Location: Bideford

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri May 04, 2012 12:41 am

I've once had a tournament where I gave someone three whites in a row (see here for the details: Simon Wrigley in rounds 5-7 of Sections for All A). Nothing controversial about that one: there were just no other at all plausible last-round pairings at the top of the draw.

A few years later at the same venue, I gave someone three blacks in a row, in a situation where FIDE pairings would have given an unsought black to someone else. (I can't remember the exact sequences, but one was something like WBWWBB and the other was something like BWB-WB. Your mileage may vary on which of the two should get black in an ideal pairing system.)

MSoszynski
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:43 pm

Re: Are Open Tournaments really interesting?

Post by MSoszynski » Fri May 04, 2012 8:33 am

Giulio Simeone wrote:I think that:

- Pairings should be done by computers; I am sure that all the arbiters do the pairings without favouring anyone, but some players are likely to be very contentious and with arbiters they can argue, with a computer they can't;
I have no objection to pairings being done by computer, though not on the grounds that computers can't engage in an argument. A computer could be programmed to try to avoid pairing players of the same declared club in the early rounds of a tourney.

Requests like "I don't want to play with Xxxx" should be ignored;

I agree. And entering the name of one's club on the entry form is neither an "abuse" nor a request; for one thing, it's an indication to the organisers of how to increase players' enjoyment of the tournament, when that's possible.

there is no reason why playing with a friend should be boring, even if you meet him every evening at the chess club; there are billions of possible chess games and you can't exhaust all of them even in one million years.

No reason? "Possible chess games" does not exhaust the experience of playing against a friend. Anyway, there must be reasons why people travel as far as they do to play chess; not least of these reasons is to face unfamiliar opposition.

As for collusions between friends, I think that honest players remain such even when playing with friends, and fraudolent players collude even with players that they don't know.

It is not dishonest to show more fighting spirit against players from another club than against one's clubmates, friends or family members. You may disapprove of such human sentimentality, but it's not dishonesty. Neither is it fraudulent to agree an early draw by tacit collusion; if not, then chess is riddled by fraud.

If and when the draw can avoid pairing players from the same declared club, it should do so - though very often that won't be possible. The point is firstly to increase players' enjoyment of the competition; secondly to ensure that games are played in as competitive and sporting a spirit as possible. Surely these are desirable things.

Locked