Swiss Tournaments - How it works and selects

I tried to make a go Swiss Tournament, of 16 players, and for me this should mean that you would get in 4 rounds 1 only champ, but it didnt work and it neither had 4 rounds (thing that i cannot select when i do it!)

The tournament was selected with Slide and Slide for both pairing methods that it should mean by points, but we couldn’t understand how it paired at the end of the tournament a lot of players where with 4 victories and the tournament kept giving more rounds, thing that didn’t make sense for us. Please tell me if Swiss Tournaments works (There is nothing on how to make it in the FAQ) or its better to never make it here.



It sounds like you are talking about this tournament ( Please correct me if I am wrong.

Anyway, based on what you’ve said, ‘16 players, and for me this should mean that you would get in 4 rounds 1 only champ’, I would guess that what you were looking for is a “Single Elimination” type tournament.

I’m not highly familiar with Swiss tournaments but I understand that in such tournaments everyone plays everyone else one at a time.

See also:

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I know that i can get that with single elimination, but in swiss all players get 4 rounds not 1 if you lose at the start, thats why is not the same :).

In swiss is like everyone keeps playing and the players that are unbeaten are playing like in single elimination the rest of players keep playing between them, is way more interesting if you are not top player.


In that case I think you can create what you want by using a 4 round McMahon tournament. Just be careful to make it ‘McMahon’ and NOT ‘Simultaneous McMahon’ which is a whole different ball game, especially live!

I’m not highly familiar with Swiss tournaments but I understand that in such tournaments everyone plays everyone else one at a time.


There are basically three types of tournament.

  1. Knockout (& double elimination)
  2. Round-robin (& double robin)
  3. Swiss (& McMahon)

A knockout tournament is the classic pyramid shape, where each time you win a game you move into the bracket of people who won in the previous round. This is practical for when there are a middling number of people, let’s say 8 – 64. A double elimination knockout uses a second pyramid as well, designed to give everyone who loses before the final a second chance via another route.

A round-robin is what you’ve described, where every competitor plays against every other competitor. This is practical for a small amount of people, generally less than ten. A double round-robin is the same thing, but you all play each other twice – this is used so that every encounter happens with both colour combinations.

A Swiss system is what you use when you have quite a lot of people, and you don’t have time for many rounds. There are two types of Swiss system tournament: the basic Swiss and the McMahon. In a basic Swiss, every player starts with a score of zero and is paired randomly. As the tournament goes on, players are matched against opponents with the same score. This system is used by professional tournaments like the Chess Olympiad. Your basic amateur Go tournament, though, uses the McMahon system. In a McMahon tournament, players begin with a score based on their rank – this prevents having a few mismatched rounds at the beginning.

PS. “the bar” in a Swiss system tournament is the lowest rank at which, if you finish with the highest score, you’re counted as having won (because in the majority of tournaments there isn’t enough time for the stronger players to build up a natural lead.) In my experience in the UK, the bar is usually set at 2k – 1d.



Yeah i had made a lot of swiss tournament in my life, but the Tournament settings in OGS doesn’t pair people with the same number of victories, for example i was 3-0 and i was paired against a 0-3 player and not a 3-0. We don’t understand why it works this way in OGS. In Latin America we use Swiss in place of McMahon because we are strange (and less players in the tournament).

Swiss should work just like McMahon but with the problem that 1° round is random, but in here it doesn’t work that way!

Thats the issue someone had done a swiss tournament in OGS withouth issues? Couldnt find any tournament like that.

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The problem is that a Swiss tournament must be solved in log 2 n rounds, where n is the number of players. And in this one, there were less than 16 players and the tournament was not resolved in 5 rounds.

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We want to have a quick tournament in four consecutive rounds. However, automatic pairing does not allow this.

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Swiss and McMahon on OGS are strange. The pairing in every round uses the players rank, not the points in the tournament. The number of rounds for 16 players is 5: How do Tournaments Work?


Does the McMahon being by rank mean that if I am worse than other people in the tournament, I get minus points? Why is that? Why don’t the better people just get extra points or them not have this at all?

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a) I honestly don’t know why the better people don’t get extra points! I mean, it’s the same thing either way.
b) They have this so that, at the beginning, when everybody is the same (if they didn’t have this), the better people might’ve been matched up with worse people, which is lopsided (though this wouldn’t happen if you compared rank, as in strength pairing).


Usually there initial score is your strength. So (ignoring the bar for now) if you are 4 Dan you start with 4 points, 1 Dan - 1 point and so for lowly kyus you are into negative numbers. This is easy to understand for all tournaments. If you gave starting points based on who is the weakest then you’d get different points each time and the dans would end up with 20 or so points and be fighting to get to 23 say, which seems odd

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