Help with creating tournaments in a group?

I wonder if anyone could help me with this …

I started recently to run a group here for children and I wanted to create some tournaments within the group. However I seem to have had a few issues! I am not sure how much of this is just that I don’t really understand how tournaments work here (e.g. types of tournaments, time settings, handicaps). Any help or advice anyone could give would be great.

Some of the issues I had and some of the questions I had …

  • When we tried having a 3-round McMahon tournament, the same player got the bye in rounds 2 & 3. I am not sure if this is because of something I chose when I set it up?
  • I don’t really understand the tournament types e.g. I thought a Swiss tournament could have any number of rounds, but if I select Swiss I can’t seem to choose how many rounds?
  • I’ve had a lot of trouble trying to set suitable time limits e.g. if I select Fisher there don’t seem to be small enough time increments, If I select live absolute 10 minutes it seems to change itself automatically to blitz with a shorter time limit
  • I am not sure at all what to do about handicaps. There is quite a spread of abilities but people’s grades on OGS are not accurate. I’d quite like to set the grades for the tournament manually but I assume there is not a way to do that? Also I’d like to know how the automatic handicaps work for 9x9 and 13x13 and what they do with ungraded players but I couldn’t find that in the FAQ
  • I’d like to be able to have a tournament like the arena tournaments they have on chess servers where you just get paired after you finished your game rather than having to wait for a round to finish but I guess that is not an available type of tournament here?

When having a 3-round McMahon tournament, if the Pairing method is set to Strength, it will give the same player a bye. Try using Random pairing instead.
A Swiss tournament has floor((p+14)/5) rounds, p is the number of players, you cannot adjust that.
A suitable time setting is Byo-Yomi, with 5-10 minutes main time, and 3 30 Second Periods.
You cannot set a player’s rank manually. Players can play against bots, or other humans to find an appropriate rank. It typically takes 10 games to get a stable rank.
You can’t have an Arena type tournament here. OGS only gives distinct-round tournaments, or tournaments where the games are simultaneous, which isn’t good for live.

I’d recommend using McMahon with McMahon bars 24k-24k, which allows you to choose how many rounds, or Swiss. If you want a faster tournament, you can use Single Elimination. For time settings, it depends on the board size. What I’d recommend:

19x19 Blitz: 2m+5x10s
19x19 Live: 10m+5x30s
9x9 Blitz: 2m+5x10s
9x9 Live: 5m+3x30s.

I hope this helps!


Thanks Starline that’s very helpful!