Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Boylston Last Weekend/ Pairings Incident

After I won my first game, I had a large dispute with the tournament director regarding the pairings. There were 9 players with 1 point going into the 2nd round. It was clear the lowest should drop down to Shmelov, the highest rated player with 1/2 who took a bye in the first round which he did. However, due to colors, it was unclear how to pair the other ones. As it turns out, if the pairing was done normally, 1 plays 5, 2 plays 6 etc.., two out of the 4 pairings would force players to play without their due color. For this reason, the director did an interchange, in which Instead of pairing me on the top half playing #8, he paired me with Riordan on boad 1. Having not remembered all the rules clearly, I insisted that this was the wrong pairing... Afterwards, I emailed a select group of experienced tds ( senior and national level) for their opinions.. It turns out, I think both the TD and I were at fault. Admittedly, it was a legal pairing, if not better than without the interchange, as my friend and Senior TD Andre Harding said, " It seems like the correct pairing to me; in even-numbered rounds it is very desirable to equalize colors so that there isn't a +2 color balance of one color over the other. By interchanging Rabin and Meredith, everyone in the scoregroup was assigned their due color. And, the rating difference was 43 points, well within the 200-point boundary to interchange for color equalization." Another Senior TD Polly Wright did agree with Andre. However, they also agreed, by the way in mutually exclusive emails, that the director should look into Swiss Sys's pairings more closely and be able to point out exactly why the pairing is correct in the rulle book, which the Boylston TD was not able to do: "My only gripe is that the TD could not explain what an interchange was, and why it occurred. Had he been able to do that then you would have been able to play the game knowing it was correct pairing."( Polly Wright). Anyhow, as I did not think the pairing was right, and rather frustrated, I did have a hard time concentrating and spent much of my time analyzing the wall charts and debating with the director the right pairing as I thought the pairings were unfair. Fortunately enough though, during the amount of time I did spend at the board, I defended rather well to a draw and as it turns out I was actually slightly better at one point. Heres the game:

So, I was happy I ultimately did not let my frustrations interfere with my play, which is often one of my biggest weaknesses, as my and on and off coach GM Yudasin always tells me, " No Evan! You must not play Emotional":) So looking back at the incident, I do regret arguing as much as I did and due owe the director an apology, which I will give, but at the same time think I wasnt the only one wrong as he should have been able to pin-point in the rule book where his pairing was legal rather than just saying Swiss-Sys is always right and defining what an interchange is. Anyhow life moves on... I shall pay one warm up either at the Waltham club or Boylston the first weekend of February, then play at the USATE with a killer catdog team!


  1. I see you got the pgn viewer working. Much easier to follow the game. The diagram is microscopic! I would recommend changing the orientation to vertical instead of horizontal. That's why my diagrams are bigger.

    Whose on your team for USATE?

  2. Thanks for the advice.. will do for my next post. I'm with Paul Mac Intyre (Bd1 ) , David Plotkin (Bd3) and Nick Panico(bd4)- another balanced line up- the way to win:).. do you have a team?

  3. I'm playing with the usual suspects from the Bob Peretz Club, Guy, Alan and Silvio. I'm playing board 1 on a poorly averaged team. Our team average is 1623. I need everyone else on the team to sandbag a bit so we can be 1599.

  4. This is the most common complaint about the pairings at BCC-- the interchange to fix the colors. Even very strong and experienced players complain about it. It is a correct pairing, but it confuses people sometimes.