Swiss Manager - Help Needed

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:49 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:Thanks, Roger. Is the file always http://www.ecfgrading.org.uk/files/grades[YYYY][MM].csv then?
That would appear to be the naming convention currently in use.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Michael Flatt » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:48 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:For the experts, though, here is a question.

Is there a way to get a full report (or a means to export the data) on all the players in an event, with all the entered data provided, including name, id, FIDE id, grade, rating, gender, club, date or birth, etc?

Or even better, that plus all the games played. That would be perfect for generating the necessary info for ECF grading, for instance.

However, if such a thing exists, I haven't found it, and I end up hacking together various columns from various reports to get what is needed, which seems like unnecessary drudgery.
Swiss Manager will output the tournament in a FIDE formatted file which is used for rating the tournament. (menu selection: Other > FIDE Export)

The ECF Result File Checker can read the FIDE results file and has a facility to output it in ECF format which the ECF Grader will accept. All ECF Graders have access to the Result File Checker program.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:05 pm

I am not an ECF grader, though I pass results on to someone who is.

It doesn't include all the information that the ECF grader needs, such as club, or ECF grading id, which given that this information is actually entered, isn't a really satisfactory solution.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Michael Flatt » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:14 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:It doesn't include all the information that the ECF grader needs, such as club.
None of the files I created this way have ever been rejected by the ECF Grading Administrator.
Generally, players are adequately identified by their grading code. Where a player is unregistered I add the club information and date of birth, if known.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:22 pm

Every time I send results in without club information for new players, I get a complaint.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Michael Flatt » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:27 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:Every time I send results in without club information for new players, I get a complaint.
Use the ECF grading code as the player's reference.
Edit the ECF submission file (created by the checker program) to add the new player's details.
Your local ECF Grader should be able to help you create acceptable ECF submission files.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:29 pm

So, in other words, the program requires manual intervention, and doesn't create the files needed.

The ECF's choice of IT seems designed to waste everyone's time. It is certainly not integrated.

I had a peek at the LMS, though. That seemed well thought out from what I saw, and written by proper software people, to a defined set of requirements.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Michael Flatt » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:35 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:So, in other words, the program requires manual intervention, and doesn't create the files needed.

The ECF's choice of IT seems designed to waste everyone's time. It is certainly not integrated.
It is not as bad as you paint. An experienced ECF Grader would have no difficulty in producing the ECF grading files, provided the ECF grading code is used as the player's identity.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:45 pm

It is a waste of time; you may be happy to spend your time cutting and pasting data from various sources, but other people have lives.

The reports generated should be the reports needed, or the software should provide you with adequate means to define your own reports. Swiss Mangler doesn't.

Furthermore, it is a basic function of well-written software that if you input data, you can one output it. Where can one output all the player data input? Nowhere that I can see, nor anywhere that you have suggested.

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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:46 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:An experienced ECF Grader would have no difficulty in producing the ECF grading files, provided the ECF grading code is used as the player's identity.
That also makes the imaginative leap, that the players concerned all have ECF grading codes. I deal on a weekly basis with players who don't.
Last edited by Paul McKeown on Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:47 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Paul McKeown wrote:that Alex doesn't know how things should work, but is happy to defend crap functionality, rather than accept that there is something wrong
I think that actually my mindset is to just get on with doing what the software wants even if it's inconvenient, rather than complain about stuff. The former gets the tournament run, and the latter achieves nothing.
The former gets the job done inefficiently.
Inefficiently perhaps, but that's more than achieving nothing.
Paul McKeown wrote:Sorry, but your response is crap, amounts to sticking your fingers in your ears and is a poor example of leadership.
I didn't realise that leadership was an important skill when it came to using a piece of software.

You do realise I'm not the guy who wrote the software, don't you? I've written to the person who writes the software with suggestions on occasions. I'm sure he wouldn't mind if you sent him suggestions for improvements.
Paul McKeown wrote:I had a peek at the LMS, though. That seemed well thought out from what I saw, and written by proper software people, to a defined set of requirements.
Well, while I'm not the guy who wrote that software, I did write the initial specification. :)
Michael Flatt wrote:Generally, players are adequately identified by their grading code. Where a player is unregistered I add the club information and date of birth, if known.
Paul McKeown wrote:Every time I send results in without club information for new players, I get a complaint.
I think you're agreeing with each other here. If a player has a grading reference there's no problem. If they don't, you need to supply the club.
Paul McKeown wrote:As the ECF's arbiters seem to be standardising on Mangler, would it not be a useful service for the ECF to produce two appropriate downloads for Mangler?
FWIW I don't put the entries in that way. My entry spreadsheet gets run through some software, which looks up grades and ratings of the right type automatically, and get translated into a NAT rating list as described by Adam. I then import everyone in one go by importing the whole NAT rating list. This was how we ran the Southern Gigafinal you attended. I didn't need to put anyone in any Swiss-Manager file until just before we wanted to print the pairings*, then just imported everyone in bulk. Meant I could get 600 players in about 15 tournaments with accurate data in about 15 minutes. Importing those players one-by-one would have taken several people several hours.

*This isn't recommended if you haven't done this before, because if the import fails for some reason, you're buggered. But we'd done it for dozens of other tournaments, so we had no reason to fear a problem.
Paul McKeown wrote:I am not an ECF grader, though I pass results on to someone who is.
I normally do my own grading and rating. The only exception I can think of is the 4NCL Congresses, where Matthew Carr does the grading for them - however, he has all the information available anyway because he has access to the relevant Dropbox folder.

So here's a suggestion for you - if you don't wish to take on the responsibility of grading your own tournaments, but you're collecting your entries now and putting the information from the entry forms in a spreadsheet, you might investigate sharing that spreadsheet with your grader via cloud storage. That way he has all the information he needs readily available when he can do the grading. You can even put the FIDE rating files you create in there. So he has all the tools he needs to do his job without you doing anything more than you've done already.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:54 pm

My entry spreadsheet gets run through some software, which looks up grades and ratings of the right type automatically, and get translated into a NAT rating list as described by Adam. I then import everyone in one go by importing the whole NAT rating list.
Would it not make sense to make such software available?

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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:57 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Paul McKeown wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:
I think that actually my mindset is to just get on with doing what the software wants even if it's inconvenient, rather than complain about stuff. The former gets the tournament run, and the latter achieves nothing.
The former gets the job done inefficiently.
Inefficiently perhaps, but that's more than achieving nothing.
Paul McKeown wrote:Sorry, but your response is crap, amounts to sticking your fingers in your ears and is a poor example of leadership.
I didn't realise that leadership was an important skill when it came to using a piece of software.
That is obtuse, as you are no doubt aware.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:21 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
My entry spreadsheet gets run through some software, which looks up grades and ratings of the right type automatically, and get translated into a NAT rating list as described by Adam. I then import everyone in one go by importing the whole NAT rating list.
Would it not make sense to make such software available?
The 4NCL owns it, so I don't hold the keys to that kingdom.

However, it has no user documentation at all, falls over if there are certain data entry errors that I know to avoid but others will fall headlong into if they haven't used it before, and it's only capable of holding one month's rating list at a time (which poses a challenge if two tournaments on one weekend are using it, but with different rating list requirements). It really is only written for the two people who currently use it. So I expect you'd conclude that it suffers from all the same drawbacks as Swiss-Manager.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Swiss Manager - Help Needed

Post by Michael Flatt » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:41 am

Paul McKeown wrote:It is a waste of time; you may be happy to spend your time cutting and pasting data from various sources, but other people have lives.

The reports generated should be the reports needed, or the software should provide you with adequate means to define your own reports. Swiss Mangler doesn't.

Furthermore, it is a basic function of well-written software that if you input data, you can one output it. Where can one output all the player data input? Nowhere that I can see, nor anywhere that you have suggested.
As the Organiser, you have total freedom over which pairing software you adopt for running and rating or grading your tournaments.

If you want a program fully integrated with the ECF Grading System then use UTU Swiss. It does everything that you are asking.

FIDE and ECF have their own documented standards for result submission files for rating and grading, respectively. The ECF results checker program allows files to be reformatted from FIDE and ECF. If you want to be able to use it then you need to register as an ECF grader and then you can submit your results directly to the ECF.

Bear in mind that FIDE demand that all players register with their national federation and obtain a FIDE Identification Number (FIN) before playing in a FIDE rated tournament. ECF are more flexible and allow players to be registered on the ECF database at the time the tournament results are submitted for grading. To assist identification of individuals you need to supply an ECF registered club name or home town; date of birth also has to be supplied for juniors.

The ECF grading database is well established. It is successful because the local volunteer graders check that results from tournaments conform to the published standards.

I have found that the ECF Grading Manager, Brian Valentine, and ECF Grading Administrator, Matthew Carr, are responsive and extremely helpful. They can assist you if you have difficulties in submitting your results in the correct format.

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