Swiss Pairing Systems

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:06 pm

E Michael White wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:28 pm
ah what I mean was that 5v6 rounders would produce the same pairings for either ECF or FIDE, not necessarily ECF=FIDE.
In that case, yes, all methods that I know of will produce the same round 1 pairings for a 5-rounder as they will for a 6-rounder.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:09 am

I have only just come across this thread.
I introduced Seeded Swiss Pairings in 1965 with the first Islington Open. I imported that system from the US. Before that a lottery draw was used in Britain. But the lottery pairings persisted in Brtain, even in the British Championships until the 1980s.
I rather thnk Bob Wade used seeded pairings at Eastbourne in the Chess Festival, but diidn't tell anybody about them.
You can find some information in my book 'Chess Organiser's Handbook. There are 3 editions.

1969 I introduced Accelerated Pairings. There were 90 players in a 6 round Swiss The system had been explained to me verbally in Atlantic City in 1964 or 5. I misunderstood and invented a new type of Accelerated Pairings by mistake. 1976 The National Bank of Dubai Evening Standard London Chess Congress had 250 players for 6 rounds. Bojan Kurajica was the lone winner with 5.5./6.
I have also tried Dubov; The Crouch System and others.

The Dutch Seeded Swiss Pairing system has become virtally ubiquitous because there is an excellent computer program. But it is deeply flawed in my opinion.
1. Giving the bye to the lowest rated player has another disadvantage Jack. Often the first round pairings are done in advance. Often there are later entries or late withdrawals. The median is the most versatile player to choose.
2. There is the 'bouncing' effect. In Bermuda I played in a 5 round open Swiss. Roun1 1400 and I won with White. Round 2 a GM with Black and lost. Round 3 a 1600 player and won. Round 4 an IM and lost. Round 5 1800 and won with white. That was the last round. This why the Seeded System is unsatisfactory for distinguishing between players in the middle ranking.
3. It is very efficient for finding the 'correct' winner from up to 64 players in 6 rounds. By correct, I mean the person whose rating performance is highest in the tournaement.

The late John Brew told me what we call the Swiss System was used for Go in about the 15th century.

Somebody once used Swiss Pairings for a junior Tennis tournament. They wanted the chidren not to be knocked out.

I suspect, if you computer simulated 1000 tournaments, the fairest system would be a lottery. BUT one individual tournament would throw up terrible anomalies,

Very little statistical work has been done on various systems. I expect younger Swiss Pairings controllers don't even know of other systems. Pairings are done by putting the information on the computer.

You are interested in a system that has never been tried? Here is one. It is a seeded Swiss, but the ratings are updated after each round, depending on the results, with a k factor of perhaps 70.

O.G. Urcan
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by O.G. Urcan » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:44 am

Richard Forster wrote briefly about the origins of the Swiss System in Chess Notes item 4118: http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/wint ... ml#CN_4118

Craig Pritchett
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by Craig Pritchett » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:51 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:09 am
1976 The National Bank of Dubai Evening Standard London Chess Congress had 250 players for 6 rounds. Bojan Kurajica was the lone winner with 5.5./6.
Fake news!? Or simply some other tournament?!

I can quite categorically confirm that I finished outright first in that 1976 Bank of Dubai / Evening Standard Congress by defeating Bojan Kurajica in the last round (I played Black in a Sicilian Defence and the game featured in many publications, including most recently Geoff Chandler & Keith Ruxton's 'Rampant Chess' (2008).

I won the first £1,000 first prize ever to be put up in a UK weekend Open. Worth some several times more in today's money (inflation adjusted). Hard to forget that one!

Poor Kurajica's consolation prize (though he lost fair and square) was, as I recall, a measly three bottles of wine.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by Stewart Reuben » Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:04 am

Dear Craig,
Apologies. I now forget which year Bojan won with 5.5/6, netting £1200 .I remember Birnboim ISR came to me and said it was certain there would be more than one player with 6/6. I said, 'Wait and see'. After 4 round nobody had 4/4. Birnboim now came to me and said, 'it is magic'. The correct name of the sponsor was National Bank of Dubai.

I do remember you returned immediately to the wilds of Scotland and never bought me a drink!

Bill Hartston complained to me that the first prize should not be higher than the first for the British. I don't think I managed to respond to that.

The only person who ever scored 6/6 in the open in those events was Robert Bellin in 1972. Two players have managed 10/11 in the British Julian Hodgson and Michael Adams. Neither lost a game.
1005 scores in chess tournaments are very rare.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:43 am

This discussion has reminded me of the 1978 ES Open, where on the Saturday, I played Mike Surtees, Simon Webb IM, and William Watson, all of the games went to the QP finish, then I had to drive home. It rather put me off three games in a day!

John McKenna
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by John McKenna » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:30 pm

O.G. Urcan wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:44 am
Richard Forster wrote briefly about the origins of the Swiss System in Chess Notes item 4118: http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/wint ... ml#CN_4118
Some possible early Swiss tournaments -

1910 Hamburg Hauptturnier?

1915 American Chess Bulletin!?

1932 BCF Major Open London?

1935 Danish Ch. Copenhagen?

1940 Copenhagen KS?

1946 US Open Pittsburgh

1948 US Open Baltimore
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

NickFaulks
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:26 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:43 am
This discussion has reminded me of the 1978 ES Open, where on the Saturday, I played Mike Surtees, Simon Webb IM, and William Watson, all of the games went to the QP finish, then I had to drive home. It rather put me off three games in a day!
I played regularly in these weekenders, albeit at a less exalted level, and they were indeed brutal. I have always believed that they played a role in toughening up the greatest generation of English chess players.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by Stewart Reuben » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:58 pm

New York used the 3 rounds on Saturday model, so I im ported that to London and thus England.
I was quite surprised when I found out the US had moved to 1 Friday, 2 Saturday and 2 Sunday system while we still had 6 rounds in a weekend.

Of course weekend Swisses and QPF as opposed to adjudication had a big effect on the English Chess Explosion.
But the biggest was having a wave of strong players, immediately followed by another such wave.

But the thread is named: Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:39 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:58 pm
But the thread is named: Re: Swiss Pairing Systems
The 1948 British Chess Championship was an all play all of 12 players . The 1949 Championship was a Swiss of nominally 32 players over 11 rounds. Given the usual conservative behaviour of the BCF and British organisers, what British events prior to 1949 used a Swiss system?

In this thread, the 1977 Evening Standard has been mentioned. Probably because I had received a late offer from a club member of transport at the weekend to and from Central London, I had been a late entrant. As far as I recall, the late David Parr was top seed among the late entrants, I was second, and my former university colleague Mike Yeo was third. I think he had got 5/6 the previous weekend in the Under 190, which I hadn't been eligible for., According to the seeding/acceleration rules, I had to play David Parr. I actually beat him, being one of my bigger hits from the 1970s, but as perhaps as expected he didn't show up for round 2. In round 2 I lost to Hans Bohm, arguable best described as a hippy friend of Jan Timman. I lost in round 3 as well to localish contemporary Peter Acton. I think I then halved out for the rest of the tournament whilst Mike Yeo went from strength to strength and scored 5/6.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:59 pm

I don't remember how I paired late arrivals in 1977. I suspect on a first come, first served principle.
Hans Bohm later became an IM. Jan Timman was as much a hippy as Hans when he first came to Islington.

Leonard Barden
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by Leonard Barden » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:57 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:39 am
The 1948 British Chess Championship was an all play all of 12 players . The 1949 Championship was a Swiss of nominally 32 players over 11 rounds. Given the usual conservative behaviour of the BCF and British organisers, what British events prior to 1949 used a Swiss system?
There was a general feeling in the late 1940s that change was needed with extra places. In 1947, Gordon Crown was third in the championship as a late substitute. At London 1948 they tried a new all play all, the Premier, a souped up Major Open/championship reserves which if I remember right ended as a multiple tie including the Penrose brothers, and Alan Truscott that's three young players
So that was a further catalyst for change, which was also advocated by Chess and BCM. I think the BCF was aware of the US Open precedents, and there was also a strong Swiss at Southsea at Easter 1949 . Immigrants like Fazekas, Klein and Friedman wanted to play.
The case for a larger championship was thus very strong, and I don't recall any serious opposition. The first British championship Swiss at Felixstowe 1949 had Horne and Hooper, who had never got into an all play all, joint second behind Golombek, so was clearly a success. Players were selected from applicants in 1949, and in 1950 there were regional qualifiers plus a few wild cards of whom I was one having failed to qualify.

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John Clarke
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Re: Swiss Pairing Systems

Post by John Clarke » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:18 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:26 pm
I played regularly in these weekenders, albeit at a less exalted level, and they were indeed brutal. I have always believed that they played a role in toughening up the greatest generation of English chess players.
Even more brutal when combined with sessions at the National Film Theatre! My schedule at the LARA (Lambeth) U-160 in November 1975:
* Friday evening: Round 1. Round to NFT for late-night screening. Hared across river to catch last bus home from Trafalgar Square at 1.20am.
* Saturday: Rounds 2-4.
* Sunday: Rounds 5 & 6. Had to stay for prize-giving (I'd managed to finish 2nd-4th=, earning a "well done" from Leonard Barden), so missed first 15 mins of 7pm NFT screening.

Oh to be young and tough ....
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

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