One section or multi section for Milton Sept Active

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  • One section or multi section for Milton Sept Active

    Hi all, I have gotten some people asking about having multiple sections instead of one section for the Milton Active in September. What is your take on this? The draw of the one section is alluring to some. It was one of our largest turnouts for a one day on May 04. I wonder if that's why people came? Any feedback would be welcomed. Maybe we will change from open to groups should we hit a magic number in registrations?

  • #2
    My opinion is that, in general, it's preferable to divide the tournament into sections if there are enough registrants. This reduces the range of ratings a player can face, making the games more competitive right from the start. One thing that I have done recently when registration numbers are modest, is to run a hybrid tournament. The top 6 rated players (or teams, for team events) play in a round-robin and the rest in a Swiss. This type of hybrid format requires less total registrants than a two-section Swiss tournament. This is not without risk however, as round-robins only work well when all players can play all rounds. My main motivation for setting up this format is to create at least two sections whenever possible.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Brian Clarke View Post
      My opinion is that, in general, it's preferable to divide the tournament into sections if there are enough registrants. This reduces the range of ratings a player can face, making the games more competitive right from the start. One thing that I have done recently when registration numbers are modest, is to run a hybrid tournament. The top 6 rated players (or teams, for team events) play in a round-robin and the rest in a Swiss. This type of hybrid format requires less total registrants than a two-section Swiss tournament. This is not without risk however, as round-robins only work well when all players can play all rounds. My main motivation for setting up this format is to create at least two sections whenever possible.
      What is in your opinion, enough participants? What is the magic number?

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      • #4
        Gord:

        It's also the reason I can't play in your active.

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        • #5
          Hybrid is an option, I guess.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by John Erickson View Post
            Gord:

            It's also the reason I can't play in your active.
            Hard to please everyone all the time, heck even once, ha ha. I understand John.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gordon Gooding View Post

              What is in your opinion, enough participants? What is the magic number?
              I don't know if there is a magic number but I do think that a reasonable rule is to try not to allow a section to have more than (2^N) players where N is the number of rounds. In a 32 person tournament after N rounds you can have at most the following number of perfect scores:
              1 round = 16
              2 rounds = 8
              3 rounds = 4
              4 rounds = 2
              5 rounds = 1 -> such that if you win all of your games you will be the only person in first

              In a 33 person tournament:
              1 round = 17
              2 rounds = 9
              3 rounds = 5
              4 rounds = 3
              5 rounds = 2 -> such that if you win all of your games you may not be the only person in first.

              As we saw in the last Milton active there were multiple champions with perfect records who never had a chance to face each other. I was unbeaten and finished tied for 3rd/69 but didn't beat a single player over 1050 rating. Also a bit nit-picky but I don't think pairing software is built to handle events like this and I'm sure a Swiss tournament which is too few rounds should not penalize the player who has had the toughest draw by giving an additionally tough draw in the last round (in this case we had the 1, 2, and 3 seeds in the tournament were all 4-0 entering the last round. The 1 seed had the toughest pairings, followed by the 2 seed, followed by the 3 seed. In the 5th round the way swiss pairings work- the 1 seed plays the 2 seed leaving the 3 seed to be paired with someone who doesn't have a perfect score. In actuality if a tournament is finished prematurely like this one it likely shouldn't give the 3 seed such a large advantage and should perhaps be manually adjusted to have the 2 seed play the 3 seed and the 1 seed have an easier draw rather than giving such a large advantage to the 3 seed).

              In reality this tournament brings in such a wide variety of players with such a wide variety of ratings I don't think the first 2 rounds of this tournament end up being overly enjoyable and I don't think the last 1-2 rounds of the tournament end up being overly decisive.

              I think 3 sections (perhaps u1000 u1700 and open) would give the best variety of games however if the turnout is expected to be smaller than last time I think 2 sections with perhaps u1400 and open would ensure most players have relatively reasonable games by round 2.

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              • #8
                Duly noted

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gordon Gooding View Post
                  Duly noted
                  I just want to say thank you Gordon for taking the comments of the community so seriously. I both emailed you and posted on this forum and it is quite clear my view is of the minority rather than the majority.

                  I still feel quite strongly that tournaments are better if players are matched against opponents of more similar strength earlier however I can understand of ~70 players who competed most others don't feel similarly and the goal is to find a solution that works for the most people.

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                  • #10
                    Mike I agree with you. As well as finding a clear winner, having a first round pairing where players are 600 to 800 rating points different, generally is a waste of time. I feel if there is more than 50 entries, then splitting into 2 sections makes sense. As well as finding a clear winner, there is also the consideration that if there are lets say only 15 players in a section and there are 6 rounds, sometimes, in the last round it is hard to make sensible pairings. At the Banff Open this year, we have made 2 sections. Over and under 1800. That was roughly where 50% of the players were rated from the previous year.

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