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Advance Pairings are Useless

Advance Pairings are Useless

Jan 4, 2014, 2:11 PM 2

While I never do this for my own club, some TDs post the pairings for the next round in advance, a practice I vehemently oppose.  In no particular order, here’s why I feel this way:

UNRELIABLE: The likelihood of pairings changing is very great due to last minute byes, entries, and withdrawals.

PREPARTION USELESS: “Prepping” for an opponent is a waste of time at the amateur level in my view, and I have harbored that opinion for some time.  Amateur games go in so many directions with so many “sudden” opportunities due to mistakes, that prepping isn’t worth it.  Just stick with what you know and play your best rather than force an opening or style of play you’re not comfortable with.

LOWERS INTEGRITY OF TOURNAMENT:  When a player knows his/her opponent in advance, it sets up potential problems that wreak havoc on the integrity of the event.  For example, a player who’s having a bad tournament may see he’s paired against a much lower rated opponent in the final round and decide to withdraw since he knows he won’t get much of a game (ratings wise).  Or – a lower-rated opponent who scored an upset in round 1 may decide to take a half point bye for round 2 if he sees he’s paired against the top-rated player, entering round 3 with 1.5 points rather that a likely 1 point, while avoiding a much stronger player.  You may disagree with these strategies but there are players who think this way and advance pairings give them these opportunities.

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