OlimpBase :: The Round Robin Restore front
Join the Round Robin Restore front!

Forget unfair, unclear Swiss system...

Round robinFor many years the Chess Olympiads were played according to the all-play-all system. This rule is known as the Round Robin system. Once the number of teams taking part exceeded capability of the Round Robin system the teams were first seeded to be drawn to form a number of qualifying groups. According to the results of the preliminaries teams entered respective championship groups. This is by far the best what the mankind could invent:

  • final results are reliable and reveal true strength of the teams,
  • each team has the same opponents so teams' results are comparable,
  • World's strongest players are more willing to take part because they knew they would play just top players from other teams and avoid losing rating points playing vs lower rated opposition (please don't forget that the well-known bug inside Elo system favours weaker players),
  • players can well prepare for next game (tournament scheduled is known from the very beginning).

Unfortunately the Round Robin system was abolished and replaced by dreadful Swiss system. Since then the Olympiads lost prestige and much of their unique atmosphere. The Swiss System has plenty of basic disadvantages, a. o.:

  • final results are accidental and very much depending on the results of penultimate and ultimate round,
  • only about top three and bottom three placed are determined according to true strength of the teams. The rest is drawing of Swiss lots,
  • results of the teams are hardly possible to be compared,
  • players cannot prepare well for future games,
  • sometimes luck has more to say than pure chess skills,
  • it is not true that the minnows have a chance to match the giants. From the very start the poor play the poor and the strong play the strong.

The sooner the Swiss shall be abolished the better for us! We should adopt new Round Robin based format NOW! Here's my proposal:

  • The pool shall be divided into consecutive sections named after following letters of alphabet (like section A, section B etc.). The background for premier division may be for example summarized number of points achieved at last three Olympiads.
  • Each section will consist of 16 (or 14) teams where all would play all once.
  • Final standings would be determined according to the game points. The following tie-breaking would be used to determine final order in case of equal number of game points scored: match points, number of wins, direct result, weighted Berger.
  • Top two teams of each section will get promoted into higher section for the next event. Bottom two teams will be relegated to the lower section.
  • Missing teams will be double-relegated to the section two levels lower.
  • This is it! This is simple, transparent, fair, just and will bring lots of exciting games.

This is just one possibility, I'm open to hear other. But it all has to be build on the basis of Round Robin system! Here's another format change proposal by Joby Geroge. It sounds very Americanized but is still worth reading.

If you are ready to support the RRR front (not necessarily my proposal, just abolishing the Swiss) then please fill in the form below. Please give your name and city. Your e-mail is not necessary. You are welcome to include your comments and opinions about the project. Once we get enough supporters, say 300 people, we shall try to make next step and impose some pressure on FIDE authorities.

To: OlimpBase Team
Subject: Yes! I want to join the RRR front!

Here are the members of RRR front:

  • Wojciech Bartelski, Warsaw
  • Moch. Husen Nawawie, Indonesia
  • James Pratt, England
  • Humberto Rubio, Mexico D.F.
  • Pere Moles, Terrassa, Spain
  • Nikolaas Verhulst, Antwerpen, Belgium
  • Carlos E. A. Drake, General Conesa, Argentina
  • Antonio G. Soares Junior, São Paulo, Brasil