Newly endorsed pairing system from FIDE - Tornelo

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  • Newly endorsed pairing system from FIDE - Tornelo

    Received an email note about this just-endorsed pairing software. Tornelo.

    I have a bit of a rash about FIDE but has anyone had experience with this? I assume the CFC is still offering something like SwissSys (?) or similar.
    Whatever that was, I recall being somewhat unimpressed by that software despite it being adopted by the CFC.

    [apologies for chess-related post...]
    Last edited by Kerry Liles; Thursday, 5th May, 2022, 10:18 AM. Reason: point out this is a chess-related post
    ...Mike Pence: the Lord of the fly.

  • #2

    Never heard about Tornelo, but a variety of quality pairing software programs is welcome. So hopefully this one is up there in quality.
    My understanding is that CFC provides access to both SwissSys and SwissManager, but there are probably more available pairing software programs in the world.
    Some are more (or less) recognized by FIDE. I am under the impression that both SwissSys and SwissManager are accepted.


    My experience with SwissSys is slightly outdated (2017-2018 last time I used it) and double-edged. Super user-friendly, and allows the arbiter to play "The hand of God" very easily, at any and all times. If I am not mistaken SwissSys is either USA-based, or at least it was adapted to allow for a variant of its program to adhere to USCF rules, which are different from CFC / FIDE.
    Up until the end of the time I used it, I had all kinds of problems with it. Wrong pairings (ie when the proper pairing would be a product of using the 3th or 4th criteria of correct Swiss pairings, the program would regularly falter. It's as if it had been programmed wrong or just didn't account for further pairings criteria. To me using the line "but the computer produced those pairings" has always been extremely weak, at best, although some arbiters use it and many players love it. There were also issues with allocating forced byes to the wrong player (!), which I found absolutely astonishing.
    If I had to guess, SwissSys has enjoyed a phenomenal success for two reasons:
    - It may have rubbed off on us from the Americans, and I've had versions of the SwissSys program actually had a default setting to USCF (which is why I suspect it was made there), which screws things up even further for us. And like everything American, there's a natural tendency for us to adopt it.
    - We in North America are quite frankly, unprofessional hacks. Not because we're complete idiots, or lazy or ignorant (though some of that too, I bet). But because of the approach we take to organizing tournaments. We treat everyone like they are special and say "Yes" to everything. Need half-point byes (in USA in some places they even give last-round byes)? Want full re-fund by withdrawing 1 hour before the round? You're the odd-player out, want us to find you an opponent for a rated game? There's an odd number of players in your section, can we put you in the section above, or below, to even things out? Need special accommodations of some sort? Need to use your cellphone during the game so long as you do it in front of an arbiter? Would you like to play in our hybrid 2-day which converts into a 3-day and then a 6-day tournament, we'll insert you in half-way through depending on whether you had bad results, at an extra cost of course? Would you like to play up a section, down a section, change your mind last minute, or during the tournament based on results or whatever other factor? --- YES! We will accommodate you. --- These and other reasons, are some of what makes us "nice people" and ultimately unprofessional to my mind. Welcome, SwissSys, a dream's pairing software that allows us to barbarically eviscerate the integrity of the tournament.
    - With all that said, there have been (some) improvements with the most recently released versions of SwissSys, and perhaps I beat up on it too much based on previous bad experiences. One nice feature of SwissSys is the "Pairings Logic" which is meant to explain why pairings are the way they are. For the most part, these do help understand, if we can interpret the graphic with the corresponding lines (fairly straight-forward). But I've also caught this on occasion to be just wrong (the pairing, not the logic, since the logic was only trying to justify an incorrect pairing).


    SwissManager, from my experience, just does things correctly. It is programmed properly to make pairings in the Dutch (internationally recognized) system. If all the data was to be entered correctly and not manually fiddled with, this program seems to always deliver the proper product. At the Zonal with Aris, we would go through pairings one-by-one, to verify that the program was behaving the way it should. Not because we don't trust the SwissManager program, but because it's also our responsibility to verify that these are correct. And none of us regularly do manual pairings anymore, nor do we review all the minute criterion to make pairings down to the 3rd, 4th, 5th set of rules, with regularity. So often enough, when "things didn't look right" we dissected the pairings to verify that they were correct. And they always were!
    So why don't we (or more of us) use SwissManager more often? Is it because it's a pain in the ass? Depends, if we were to just do things properly, then it's fairly easy. But because we choose to play the hand of God, retroactively fix things that we either screwed up, or remake some pairings based on introducing a floater after the round has started, etc etc etc... this is what's painful. But it's doable. I consider myself not to be exactly a tech-savvy person, and far from mastering all the features that SwissManager has to offer. I learn something every time I use it and it annoys me slightly that I haven't yet figured out how to display something that I'd like to. But I prefer to be using a program I feel is correct, even with the extra hurdles and while not knowing all the features to maximize the experience, than to use something that produces technically inferior results on what matters.
    Chess-Results is a nice feature, but I hope it's not the reason for anyone to switch to SwissManager.


    To my mind, SwissSys is a great start-out software to get familiarized with how the whole thing works. If you screw it up, easy to fix. It's also quite fine at club level, maybe even preferable. Club level is exactly where it's acceptable to make all these last minute changes and accommodations. It's a casual environment where we want to accommodate as much as possible and if things end up not being perfect, that's fine. In real time it's also easy to fix things and just keep going.
    But in higher profile tournaments, with pre-registrations, FIDE-rated, etc... I am a big fan that SwissManager is the only way, given the two options. We just need to be aware of restrictions on accommodations, and set a decent amount of time between rounds, to do things properly.

    Alex Ferreira


    • #3
      Originally posted by Alex Ferreira View Post

      SwissManager, from my experience, just does things correctly. It is programmed properly to make pairings in the Dutch (internationally recognized) system.
      I have not updated the program for couple years. Before it was possible to use various pairing engines (more than 4, irc) within the program. One (main) engine was specifically maintained by some person with connections to the FIDE pairing commission.

      The biggest hiccup I had when starting the first round of the club tournament - after putting in and removing some players, then pairing, then repairing, moving in again as some came in, the program fed up and refused to pair anymore. Needed quickly to create a new file, enter players, and do pairings. With some delays the round started :)

      The program served me quite well otherwise.

      As for Torneo - I'm on a side that a excel spreadsheet is good enough for the 150 players tournament management :)


      • #4
        If I'm not mistaken, Tornelo uses the same JaVaFo pairings engine that almost every other FIDE-approved software uses, so it was only a matter of time before Tornelo was approved.

        Tornelo is actually quite pleasant to work with. When it comes to online chess, there's many settings that bring it closer to over-the-board-ishness than any other platform I've worked on.

        In the long haul though, I think if they more globalized their server config, they could become more popular.