Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Natural Selection

This is Malaysia's selection process. It is only natural. That's how it has been done for years.

Jimmy, I was trying to be fair. Let me explain the specific example to you, this time, with evidence. Have a look at the cross table below. It is from the tournament that I was talking about, the NAG 2010 U-18 Boys:

Now, let's just assume the first 2 players declined. There is a tie from 3rd-5th place, each player scoring 4.5 points. First of all, should Izz be offered the place? The 4th and 5th placed players might complain. There should at least be a play-off. There is no reason why Izz is better than the other 2 players despite having a better tie-break. He did not even meet the 1st placed player. Heck, he did not even meet Mark or Nicholas. Is it his luck?

Now, let's say Izz declined the offer. Does Greg have the right to offer Mark the place? Just look at the cross table. Mark drew with Nicholas Chong in the last round. If you were to use the results of this NAG alone, Mark has not really proved to be better than Nicholas Chong. What would have happened if Mark accepted the offer and Nicholas were to protest? Nicholas' tie-break was penalized because he was paired with the 1st placed player, Ken Wei in the first round. This is by virtue of seeding, which is probably luck.

If Mark was offered the place, then Nicholas should be offered too. At least a play-off of some sort should be held. Or am I wrong? I am only trying to be fair. I have nothing to gain from this. I just hope for a transparent and fair selection process.


  1. I dont agree with your argument. "Mark has not really proved to be better than Nicholas Chong.". You really are splitting hairs now.

    A Swiss system does not really guarantee anything other than the first placing (depending on the number of rounds and participants sometimes even a winner is not correctly determined). The rest have to use some form of tie-breaks. Granted, it is not the best way to determine the rest of the placings but it is the best practical way.

    Normally only the champion will be decided by a play off and only for the most important tournaments (I'm thinking national championship).

  2. No question about the prize-winners. Tie-breaks can determine prize winners. Not going to argue about that. That is agreed upon by any participant of a Swiss tournament.

    But a place to represent Malaysia, is another thing altogether. To take away some player's "chance of a lifetime" through tie-break is brutal. You don't have to organize another tournament. Just specify a list of tournaments to use as results. That way, you can measure strength and consistency.

  3. Its not going to work. What happens when those involved in the tie-break did not take part in the tournament listed?

  4. The same thing that happens when you do not participate in a tournament. You forfeit the right to be selected. If the list is fixed, people will know where to focus their energy on. What tournaments they should play. If you don't play in those tournaments, you are ranked lower in terms of priority of selection.

    The "contenders" aka strong players will then play the "listed" tournaments, which would then make these tournaments legitimate selection criteria. It's a self-supporting system.

    That is why I don't think it should just be a "tie-break". Either an average of points over the listed tournaments should be used, with a minimum number imposed, or you can just count the total number of points, etc.