PairFX: a free new chess program for running scholar tournaments

  • 22 months ago · Quote · #1


    Hello everybody,

    I've written a program to run scholastic chess tournaments. Its free for you to use. It is translated into Dutch, English and French.

    The pairing system is simple but a little different of what we usually do in the club.It is different in a way that there are no rounds. Just pairings. Let me explain.

    example: say you have 30 players playing chess. So you add them, make pairings and they play. After 10 minutes or so, 12 of the 30 players are already done.

    You can't keep kids waiting for the rest of the games to finish, you want to put them at the board quickely.

    With PairFX, you just select them and make new pairings. That's right,not every player will have the same amount of games played. But that's no problem. They can just keep playing. Players can join late, players can leave early.

    You can order (and pair) players based on the number of points they have, but you can also base the complete system on percentage. That way a player who joined the tournament late can still compete at the top if he wins the same percentage of games as the strongest players. Of course there are some flaws to this system, but in practice it works great.


    You need to install java (most of you probably already have this) , there is a link on the site.

    Don't forget to UNZIP the program in a folder, otherwise it won't work. Then click on PAIRFX_EN for it to start in english or PAIRFX_Fr for french.

    Who am I ? I'm a Belgian chess player and professional java developer. PairFx is good and future proof. I still work actively on it and some nice new features are coming up.
    It is quit new, first release was december 2013.

    If you have question, don't hesitate to ask.


  • 21 months ago · Quote · #2




    I like the idea of a "run-through" tournament.  How would the final standings be calculated if there was an uneven number of games played?

    Also, I cannot seem to get the program started in English.  No matter what I click on first, it always comes up in dutch.  Any help? 

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #3



    You can choose how you want your standings, by points or by percentage.

    I'm not sure I understand the 'uneven number of games' part of the question...

    If you play 3 games and score 3 out of 3, you'll have 100%. If I score 1 out of 2, I'll have 50%.

    If you score 3 out of 3 and I score 2 out of 2. You'll be first because you played more games.

    Are you sure you've extracted the zip file ? Be careful, windows opens it in explorer as if the zip were a normal file. You really have to extract it. If you click PAIRFX_EN, a dos box should pop up and stay there (for the current version 1.13). If you just see something a dos box flashing, you probably didn't extract the zip...

    I just tried this on a pc that never ran pairfx before and the languages work.

    Let me know if you still have questions, I'll be glad to help. Or mail me personally on mark dot dechamps at

    good luck and thanks for the interst!

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #4


    What is a scholar tournament? Did you mean scholastic?

  • 21 months ago · Quote · #5


    Indeed :) I also use it in the club for youth tournaments

  • 16 months ago · Quote · #6


    PairFX is now open source :

    There is a 2 minute demo on youtube: Pairfx demo

  • 16 months ago · Quote · #7


    This looks wonderful. I am sorry thst it took me so long to post back regarding thi posting but I travel a great deal. I am a full time chess instructor and coach, specializing in teaching children/teenagers. so I look forward to field testing your program. Thank you so much for making this contribution!

  • 16 months ago · Quote · #8


    Thanks, it was fun making too!

    Several chess teachers here in Belgium are already using PairFX in the club for our lessons already. Including me, that's how I found and fixed some initial anoyances (and added the 'filter' and 'import from previous tournament'). Also it's being introduced in some schools as well.

    I've ran a few tournaments with it already and I personally find it to work very smooth now, hope you do too.

    You'd do me great pleasure if you'd give me some feedback (good or bad) on your first experiences with it. (This thread or pm me.)

    Good luck, thanks for your interest and have fun using it!

  • 15 months ago · Quote · #9


    This is awesome! I am a high school math teacher but this year I was able to get a new elective course, called "chess theory" approved. It's the first time our district has ever offered chess as an actual high school class. This program is just what I've been looking for. Have you thought about creating an app? (Didn't read through all of the comments, sorry if you've already answered this question) thanks again.

  • 15 months ago · Quote · #10


    Great :) Spread the word I'd say ;)

    I have thought about an app, but I'm not sure if its going to be an app or a website that works great on mobile.

    You can follow new releases on the facebook page (
    although it is in dutch, you can ask english questions of course.
    Let me know if you would have any problems/features you miss.

    Good luck!

  • 9 months ago · Quote · #11


    Version 2.01 is out.

    It has support for round robin tournaments and export to word, but the biggest plus of all : No java install required anymore! You can now unzip the downloaded file and just click the exe file to start.

    I've created a new site. There are some video tutorials on it now as well and I'm planning to make more.

    and on facebook:

  • 3 months ago · Quote · #12


    Hello, do you know ? It is free as well and both things could be complementary.

Back to Top

Post your reply: