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McMahon Pairing Variants

There are many variations on the common form of McMahon Pairings.

First Example

One common example is when there are only two bars; for example, 1k and 1d. In a six round tournament, the tournament director might assign scores of zero for everybody in the in the 1k bar and two for everybody in the 1d bar. This variant is similar to an open Swiss tournament with separate divisions for kyu players and dan players. For the first two rounds dans would play only dans and kyus would play only kyus. A kyu player who won his first two rounds might play a dan player in the third round. A dan player would have to lose two games before he might play a kyu player.

The following McMahon Variants have yet to be used in KGS tournaments.

Second Example

Another example gives an initial score of zero to the players in the top bar and negative scores to players in bars lower than the top bar. This variant is rarely used. It is unpopular because people prefer to start out with a positive score. This variant is mathematically equivalent to the common form of McMahon.

Third Example

A third example of a McMahon variant is to use your score from a previous KGS McMahon tournament to determine your initial bar instead of using your KGS rank. If you never played in a previous KGS McMahon tournament, or if your current KGS rank is higher than your previous McMahon score, then your current KGS rank is used.

This variant compensates for the fact that some players are stronger when they are playing in tournaments. Players who are just as concerned about their KGS rank as they are about their KGS tournament results are happy because they win more games with this variant than with the basic system. Players who fight harder in tournament situations have the satisfaction of knowing just how much higher their tournament strength is than their KGS rating.

The advantage of this variant is that players are more likely to be paired with opponents of their own strength.

Fourth Example

A fourth example is to assign multiple ranks to each bar. This is analogous to a sectioned Swiss.

Variations from the basic system are usually spelled out in the tournament announcement.

The bar that you are assigned to at the beginning of the tournament is your "band." Often a separate prize is awarded for each band.

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