Monday, September 27, 2010

Swiss Pairings Committee

I sat at the back of the FIDE Swiss Pairings Committee as an interested observer. The meeting was pretty quick but there were two significant decisions that came out of it.
The first was a change of wording to correct an error in the Dutch Pairing Rules. Section C.6 is now changed (in part) to read "If now p pairings are obtained in compliance with B1 through to B6 the pairing of this score bracket is considered complete".
This is an important change (in Australia at least), as Arbiters who insisted that pairings should always be top half v bottom half in a score bracket would point to the previous wording to justify their case. Of course this was just an error in the wording, as committee chairman Christian Krause stated at the outset.
The second change was to do with the selection of a player receiving a bye (if necessary). Instead of the bye going to the lowest ranked player (who hasn't already recieved one), the bye will now go to the lowest ranked player who 'equalises' the colours in the bottom score group. What this means that if there is a choice of players in the lowest score group who could receive a bye, choose the lowest player that results in the most number of remaining players being paired with their correct colours.
Apparently Swiss Master already does this, but it is unclear which other programs do it as of now.
There was a long discussion by by Eduard Dubov concerning both his own pairing system, and his proposal for a new system for the Olympiad, and both of these were held over for future testing and discussion.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pairing half point byes

I had a chat with the chairman of the FIDE Swiss Pairings Committee Christian Krause about how to treat half point byes for pairing purposes. For the moment the FIDE pairing rules are silent on this matter, and a number of pairing programs take a different approach. Sensibly he said that a half point bye should be treated the same as a full point bye ie no opponent, no colour, downfloat. Hopefully this will become part of the published pairing rules in the future, allowing authors of pairing programs to all take the same approach with this issue.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2010 Olympiad - Captains Meeting

The Captains meeting for the 2010 Olympiad was held last night. The first half of the meeting was spent getting teams to submit correct teams lists, as a significant number (>50%) had not signed off on their board orders (or even who had shown up). This took a good 45 minutes, and given the previous insistence that teams needed to be registered in July, may have been handled in a different way.
After that the important rules for this years were announced/discussed. The significant ones were
  • Zero default rule in operation
  • Team pairings announced after 10pm (depending on last finishing game)
  • Board pairings announced at 11am on the morning of the round
  • 3 players (minimum) needed for a team
  • Teams missing a player must play 1,2 & 3
  • Doping control towards the end of the tournament
  • No restrictions on draw offers

Of these the the change to the draw offer rule was the most surprising. Players can now offer a draw at any time, although the chief arbiter has the right to change the result to 0-0 in the case of 'pre-arranged' games.
Also the Zero default rule is being applied with a little more flexibility. The round will not start until the Chief Arbiter (Sava Stoysavljevich) announces the start, giving her the right to delay the round in case of problems with players reaching the hall. Players who are at the table before the start but have to leave before the game starts (usually for a medical reason) can receive permission from the match arbiter to do so)