Point system for Swiss format

August 17, 2010

World Championship 2010 is over, and ban list is around the corner. Therefore, I don’t wish to post about the game itself, but look at other things in the game.

As stated in the title, this post is about the point system used in Swiss tournaments. World Championship 2010 used Swiss system for Day 1.

In case you don’t know that Day 1 and Day 2 used different rules when it comes to time-out. You can read about it in my earlier post about the format, click HERE.

A swiss system was used in Day 1. It is not that hard to get a draw after the time is called, whereby the duel comes into a standstill. Points are allocated to players according to the result of every match. See below: (Source: Official Blog)

In the system used here today, 3 points are awarded to a player for a win, 1 point for a draw, and zero points for a loss.

It is the same system used in football league across the world.
Win: 3 points
Draw: 1 point each
Lose: 0 point

Take a closer look and you will realise there is no mention of the importance of winning a match 2-0 or 2-1. A win is just a win. 2-0 is equal to 2-1.

Now look at some of the local tournaments held in Singapore, points are not awarded plainly by win, draw or lose. But also the score of the match. Below is an example of the way points are allocated in a local tournament I’ve played in before.

Win 2-0: 2 points
Win 2-1: 1 point
Lose 1-2: 0 point
Lose 0-2: -1 point

Forget about what happen when there is a draw, that’s not the point I want to bring across. Winning 2-0 is worth twice as much as winning 2-1, which is the core of my argument here. imagine this, after 5 swiss rounds:
Player A: 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1 (5 points)
Player B: 2-0, 2-0, 2-1, 1-2, 1-2 (5 points)
Player C: 2-0, 2-0, 2-0, 1-2, 1-2 (6 points)

Player A made an impressive run with 5 wins out of 5 swiss rounds, and score 5 points according to the above system. While Player B won just 3 rounds but score the same as Player A who won 5. Player C’s result is even more ridiculous whereby winning just 3 rounds enable him to score higher than Player A who won all.

Some of the local tournaments use a slightly better system, whereby the number of wins are taken into account first, before the points are used as tie breaker. If we use the above example, Player A will be at the top among the three with a record of 5 wins and tie breaker of 5 points. While Player C beats Player B with tie breaker score. It seems quite fair isn’t it? However, YuGiOh is not designed to take into account of winning 2-0 is more valuable than 2-1. To back this up, the World Championship score system for Day 1 is one example. A win is nothing more than a win, and score does not matter.

Furthermore the principle of a Swiss tournament is that each player will be pitted against another player who has done as well (or poorly) as him or herself. As for ‘done as well’, it means winning similar amount of games and also taking into account of the opponents the players had played against in the tournament. Another words when players won the same number of games, the way to rank them is by looking at the score of the opponents they’ve played against. In conclusion, the system awards players who play against stronger opponents (determined by having better score or more wins). In contrary to the above example of using points awarded to 2-0 or 2-1, the method of evaluating players according to the strength of their opponents will certainly go better with the principle of a swiss format.

Not all organisers have the knowledge of organising a tournament, and it comes down to experience. That is what i learnt from organising different chess competitions at various levels. I will write about how to pick the right type of tournament format for different tournaments in my future post.

Written by Maxilicious


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