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What software do you like to use as a TD? Or, do you know which software tournament directors like to use? Any good free stuff out there?
I would assume any spreadsheet software would work fine, would it not?
The standard, in the US (from what I can tell), is WinTD and it works pretty well. Some people use SwissSys, though I have no experience with it.
I have used Vega successfully in the past and if I didn't have a copy of WinTD I would use it for most of my tournaments. It is free for use on Linux and free for tournaments of less than 30 players on Windows. There was at least one bug in the version I used, when it came to generating tournment reports but if you are at all technical it isn't that hard to get it to work.
There are probably some other good ones but I only tested a few of the open source programs. Vega was the only one I really liked at the time (though it isn't really open source). I'm actually suprised there isn't a better open source pairing program out there; seems like there would be a pretty good overlap with chess players and decent programmers :D
You could certainly keep track of your rounds that way. If you are good with the pairing rules then you can probably manually create pairing sheets that way too.
Though, pairing programs are much faster and provide you with a way to generate the rating reports you need to submit the tournament to the USCF (in the case of the US).
Thanks. Looks like my poor spreadsheets need to be retired.
The famous TDs in the Northeast use Swiss-Sys. I have Win-TD, but have never used it and don't actually know how to! I know that Win TD is more popular in other regions, and in National Scholastics.
Andre Harding, Senior TD
World Open computer TD (2006, 2009) floor TD (2008)
National High School floor TD (2008)
Regarding Vega: We have a group of people who regularly play in our tournaments at the Westport Chess Club. In Vega, I do not see how to save a list of players or how to load them from a saved file. I was hoping I could add all of our players, then just select which ones are in the tournament that day. Are you able to do this w/ Vega? Or do I have to type their names in manually each time? Do the other two softwares you mentioned, Swiss-Sys and WinTD, have this ability to keep a database of players to automatically load into a tournament?
I find SwissSys to be quite adequate for both small and big sized draws.
SwissSys can load USCF golden databases (released as an update each month) as well as maintain a roster of "club regulars" who play tourneys, making their entry a one-click job.
It uses the USCF ID as a database keyfield and is quite useful in remembering when a player's USCF membership is expiring (warns you when you enter them into the tourney etc.)
I called the USCF 800 number and spoke to them. It was a surprisingly lengthy, helpful conversation. He said if I am going to do FIDE tournaments, then he recommends SwissSys. If I am going to do team tournaments, then he recommends WinTD. He said with WinTD, you have to save, and save often (SwissSys does a better job of saving the live data as the tournament progresses.) He said both are good, but SwissSys is his favorite--unless he's going to TD for team tournaments/matches, which he will use WinTD for.
My only question now is, now that I have run a tournament with SwissSys, what do I do with the thexport.dbf, tsexport.dbf, and tdexport.dbf files? How do I get them to the USCF for rating submission?
Will mail you a private message with a tutorial/write-up in a little while ... it's an involved process that can be frustrating the first time ... but easier as you keep doing it :)
I just tested again with Vega and while it has an option to export players and says in the documentation that you can import players, I don't see an easy way to do that. However, once you run a tournament and have it saved, you can load it, start a new tournament and it gives you the option to keep the players.
WinTD also has a master list of players you can create and use to import. It also supports the USCF golden databases to keep track of current ratings and membership expirations.
...My only question now is, now that I have run a tournament with SwissSys, what do I do with the thexport.dbf, tsexport.dbf, and tdexport.dbf files? How do I get them to the USCF for rating submission?
I will answer my own question to benefit anyone who may read this thread and wonder the same thing. Here are some videos, *not* by me, that should help:
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