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Main » 2012 » March » 27 » US Open 2012: Tournament Tables Issues
US Open 2012: Tournament Tables Issues
4:13 PM
The tournament, that we had anticipated and worked on organizing for almost 6 months is unfortunately over, but we hope that it was a memorable event for all who participated in it.
Couple of farewell remarks:
  • For a while, there was an issue with presentation of our result table on this website.  Somehow, MHT file was not shown properly. Finally, I switched to PDF format and it seemed to resolve the problem - you can check here
    Please note that this table DIFFERS from the table presented by Theo Dijkstra on KNDB website in that it does not contain the coefficients and placement of players below 8th place.  This was done intentionally and is part of our regulations (item 3, last bullet). Mr. Dijkstra and I had a long discussion on this after the closing, and I tried to explain to him that this is not laziness on my part, but is rather a statement of philosophy and motto of our organization.  We believe that Swiss system is not 100% accurate and can put a player at a disadvantage where he does not have a control over the situation: an arbiter, or a computer, or a chance offen selects the opponents, and it is in a way similar to throwing the money into a slot machine in the nearby casino.  Therefore, in ICAONA we believe that we should not rank the people based on who they played with, unless it is an issue of awarding a monetary prize or a trophy. Only then the tie break mechanisms are important. So, everyone with the same number of points will be assigned a placement at the top of that group.  Mr. Dijkstra's argument was that "people want to rang themselves against each other" - very well, for that the FMJD rating system exists, which will be updated once we submit our results to FMJD, but for our tournament, we want to have all players feel good about their results  and we honestly believe that each of them deserves to be at the top of that group numbering.  We are trying to follow FMJD regulations as much as possible, but in some principal matters like this one, as it said in our tournament regulations: "In the event of a conflict between this document and the references cited herein, this document takes precedence."  Sorry, Theo - I guess we will be left at our own opinions: you believe in absolute wisdom of mathematics, and we - in boosting morale and promoting the fairness of the game as much as possible.
  • Mr. Pawlicki of FMJD brought to my attention a frustrating mistake in hand-written Blitz-Tournament table. When summing the points, I miscounted the points of Mr. Fredrick Kamara of Uganda by giving him 6 points instead of 8.  I sincerely apologize to Fredrick and I replaced the hand-written version with a corrected typed table here.
Views: 1705 | Added by: Lu | Rating: 0.0/0 |
Total comments: 2
0 Spam
Dear Luba, a reaction of a PLAYER.
Regarding your comment about the website KNDB: Your ranking (only the first 6 on coefficient) in a Swiss tournament is unusual. The KNDB website software don't provide in such a ranking. Sorry!

The final ranking used by you is very contrary to the philosophy and principles of the Swiss system. The coefficient or Solkov system also used by you, is indispensable in the Swiss system, because it shows the force of the opponents during the tournament.
Not necessary in a round tournament with everyone against everyone.
The strength of the opponents in a Swiss tournament is of great importance in the lot drawing and in the end result. Players want to have this visualized. Its a misunderstanding and demonstrates ignoring of the desires of players, if you say that showing the difference in the groups of points is not necessary.

Finally, the rules described that the lot pairing is "totally transperant" was not true! Your moving with players cards was very unclear and the used criteria partially unknown. Where the ratings allways exactly taken into account in point groups? Was it the highest against the lowest or medium? Who and why was playing against a player in the following group? Completely unclear and worthy of a Las Vegas casino. wink

As a player and as an organizer, I recommend to use the Swiss computer program, so all the criteria and results are quite clear. It will never be 100%, but for the players much clearer than your handmade lot pairing system and general standings.

Best regards, Theo
Sorry for my bad English.
0 Spam
Dear Theo,
First of all, thank you very much for your comment, we always welcome the comments - both good and bad. As a matter of fact, we were trying to solicit everyone's opinion what can we do to improve after the tournament was over. I am sure there always be things that we will be looking to improve, does not matter how hard we try to make it perfect.
However, this is not one of the cases that require improvements. At all times there will be people with different philosophical views and preferences, and that is what makes humans humans. I have already explained our position with ranking. I am sure that a lot of people will agree that Swiss system is not ideally fair as could be the case with round robin (even then there are some small advantages with who plays who first). With Swiss system, everything is in the hands of arbiter or computer system. A player has no say who he or she is paired with - here the casino analogy. Therefore, if you were paired with the player who did badly in the tournament comparing to someone with the same score, who by the shear luck got stronger player - why should you be penalized? Of course, the placement for going to next level of competitions, trophies and money prizes are all important, so "artificial rating" that attempts to be fair is "the necessary evil", but no more than that... No reason to do it when not needed- I am sure, if a player shares 12 through 16 places, he rather would be ranked as 12th than coming up as 14th just because his opponents gave him 2 points less than to someone else (and they may not necessarily be "easier opponents" either!). This was a deliberate decision made by organizers of ICAONA and its first tournament, and I am proud that my Dad was one of the people who created our system.
We are not afraid to be unorthodox or innovative, and this is one of the things were we feel strong that it makes more sense and fairness to be different, does not matter if other federations do not follow same ideas.
As of transparency, here is where I take it personally. I am sorry and concerned that you have not seen it this way. The pairing was always done open doors, in presence of multiple witnesses right after the end of the last game. I always called it to people's attention before I started the pairing. If you had some concerns, you should have asked me the questions. Several people did and I always took time to explain to them why they have to play the same color twice, or play with someone above or below, etc. But if you do not ask questions, you may never know the answer, right? smile I certainly hope that I have not scared you - I am trying to be friendly and approachable with all players. There is nothing magic about doing the pairing by hand and the rules are simple: first you match the number of points, then color (that is if you do not use ratings). If someone has to go up or down, he or she should go in opposite directions as soon as possible. Rule of thumb is to avoid playing 3 times in the row same color or going repetively up or down. The rest is lottery. The simple rules turn into skills when the conflicts appear: people in the same lot already played, bottom player have played with each other, etc.
Sometimes we have to choose between bad choices looking for minimal exceptions. The less people you have, the more difficult this becomes.
Now, can the computer program you recommend explain you all this? smile Or is it more transparent to you what it is doing? It is always funny for me to see people looking at computers as having some sort of divine power over humans. There is no ethernal wisdom or brain in computers: it is all plastic, metal and electrical current. Computer programs tell computers what to do. And guess what: computer programs are written by PEOPLE, and they are as good as PEOPLE who wrote them. If I learned anything working over 20 years as a computer programmer, all people make mistakes. Some mistakes are visible immediately, some take years or special occasions to discover. The computer program under normal circumstances may work reasonably good, but give it some complex situation and my bet would be that experienced referee will find a better solution, as it happened many times - I've heard enough computer pairing error stories to this account. Referees are not prone to mistakes, same as computer programmers, but at least with human mistake, having extra pairs of eyes can prevent the issues, with computer - this possibility is diminished.
So, next time if you are puzzled or see something incorrect - do not hesitate to ask! Who knows, you may be right, and I will give you big hug and thank you for correcting me smile ! And your English is very good too!
Warm regards, Luba
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