Swiss Pairs and Swiss Teams

A popular belief is that Swiss Pairs must be converted into VP:s, otherwise it is not Swiss Pairs. This is not at all an option in Magic Contest. Instead you can score Swiss Pairs exactly like all other pair events, i.e. as matchpoints, IMPs across the field, or butler using datum scores.

This documentation is written from a pair contest perspective. Most of the documentation also applies to Swiss Teams. There is no particular difference between the underlying logic in pairs and teams.

Swiss is best described by a quote from Jannersten’s book Movements, page 242:

A Swiss Pair movement is a kind of barometer movement in which the order of meeting the other pairs depends on the results obtained in earlier rounds. The principle is that the highest pair meets the second highest, the third highest pair meets the fourth, etc.

Alternatively the starting positions may be randomized, or decided by some earlier contest. When the scoring can be carried out quickly (that is to say, when the number of tables is not too big), the results from the first round may decide the placing in the second round; then the cumulative scores for the two first rounds determine the placing in the third round, etc.

If scoring will take some time there is nothing to prevent you from organizing the seating one round in arrears. In that case the players may move after the first rounds as in a Barometer Howell, or you may instruct the EW pairs to move to the next higher table and arrow switch at every even table. The results from the first round control the placings in round 3, and the standing after the two first rounds will control the placings in round 4, etc.

Barometer Howell does not apply in Magic Contest but instead the latter option is used where East-West moves to the next higher table and where boards are arrow switched at even tables. This arrow switch is optional, and removing it for round 2 simplifies the instructions to the players.

Considering the Swiss mechanism there will sooner or later be pairs meeting pairs they have already played. You can select to allow or prevent such double meetings. Allowing double meetings is often referred to as Danish and that terminology will be use through-out this website.

You can select between no delay and one round’s delay when assigning opponents. You can also arrow switch some tables in some rounds.

Before the final round or rounds you can select to use Danish even if you have run the previous rounds as Swiss. You can also turn off the delay.

There is an option called 95% Swiss. If allows you to, in spite of having no delay, to post the new seatings before the last result has been entered.

This document will not in detail describe how you score a contest but focus on the parts that are specific to Swiss.


Table of contents