Swiss Pairs

Our club is to instigate a new tournament (Swiss Pairs - single session) in January. (with a possible rehersal earlier in the year). I have not previously run such an event.

We will have (probably) 9 or 10 tables, which presumably means (for a 3-hour session) 5 rounds of 5 boards.

Now obviously 5, being a prime number, cannot be divided. I have thought of two methods

1) share 5 boards between 2 tables (1,2) : (relay) (3,4,5) with instructions to play boards in ascending order - for this we will need 5 sets of boards

2) Place boards in sequence (12), (34),(51),(23),(45) with each table told to only play one board on the third round - this needs 4 sets only.

So I have a couple of questions

1) Are there any guidelines as to the optimimum number of rounds for a SP?
2) Am I missing something re boards?


  • 2 sets of boards per 5 tables, therefore you can get away with 4 sets assuming no more than 10 tables. Boards in sequence tables 1-10 as your suggestion 2). Each board passed down 1 table as soon as finished. Boards from table 1 to table10. (Not sure what you mean by playing 1 board on round 3). So after 5 boards played, round 1 completed. Assign then set out 4 sets boards 6-10 for round 2.

    Not sure of guidelines for over-swissing , but with 18 pairs, 5 rounds seems ok.

  • Thanks. If I get 11 tables then I'll have to ask players at tables 1-5 to manually duplicate the first board they play.

  • I understand you're playing 1 board on round 3 now (they will already have played the 2nd board of the 2-board set). This was assuming you were passing the 2 boards down when both finished. Much better to keep boards moving as soon as one is finished.
    One solution for 11 tables, although slower (waiting on boards from slow players), is to just put one board 4 on table 10 and board 5 on table 11 with 2 boards on all other tables. Much better deal another set of boards if possible. Or, play 4 rounds of six boards a round if more than 10 tables. Here, one set of boards will furnish 3 tables, and will cater for 12 tables.

  • Thanks for the advice. Yes it's nice that 5X5, 6X4 and 4X6 are so conveniently close to an acceptable number of boards. I KNEW that the 'difference of two squares' would one day be useful.

  • Similarly for 48/49 boards: 6 x 8, 7 x 7, 8 x 6.

Sign In or Register to comment.