Tournament Types Explained
Chess has a long and great history of chess tournaments. There have been 3 types of tournament format that have been used in chess:
Knock Out Tournament
The first-ever chess tournament, held in London in 1851, was run on a Knock Out system. Like in tennis tournaments this means that if you lose your match, you don’t get to play any more matches in the tournament, while if you win your match, you go through to the next round.
This doesn’t seem very fair, as some players won’t get to play much. So…
Round Robin Tournament
Chess moved away from ‘knock out’ events and started using the Round Robin system. This is where everybody in the tournament gets to play everybody else. It is a really fair way to run a tournament and the majority of chess tournaments were run using this system for over 100 years. The best player will definitely win the tournament, as everyone gets to play everyone else.
However, Round Robins work well with a small number of players, a maximum of about 20 players. What if 100 players want to play? Or over 1000? It would be almost impossible to play that many games in the time we have to run a tournament. So….
The system that we will be using in this room is called a Swiss tournament. It allows for a large number of players to play and there have been tournaments with over 1000 players competing. In a Swiss tournament, everybody plays round 1, and if you win you play someone else who won, while if you lose, you play someone else who lost. Everyone gets to play all the games allotted, and they will be put against someone on, or near the same score as they are on. Those players who are playing well will eventually have to play each other, while those who are less experienced will get to play each other. After a random start, everyone finds players around their level to play against, and you can’t play the same player twice in one tournament. Players also have to play different colours each round, so if they have white in round 1, they should get black in round 2, then white, then black etc.
Working out who has to play who in a Swiss event can be difficult, especially when there are lots of players. So we have an online management system to help us: It is called Tornelo.