Mc Mahon Example

  Difficulty: Intermediate   Keywords: Tournament

To help you understand how the McMahon System works lets consider a small example. We have 8 players in a tournament where the McMahon bar is at 2d.

Round 0

 no.  players name     rank   MMS
 1  Danny Strongbow    5d      0
 2  Daniel Burrly      4d      0
 3  Danial Knee        2d      0
 4  Cutey Pi           1k     -2
 5  Kyu Mcgrew         2k     -3
 6  Kyu Dibble         2k     -3
 7  Kyu Tibbs          2k     -3
 8  Kyu Bitz           4k     -5

Ok so how do they pair up for the first round? Let's consider an example of 4 games with handicaps and results shown.

 White     Black    handicap result
 Strongbow Burrly   even     1-0
 Knee      Pi       2 stones 1-0
 Mcgrew    Tibbs    even     0-1
 Dibble    Bitz     no komi  1-0 [1]

As handicaps are decided by McMahon Score (MMS) the 5d and 2d games is even.

Round 1

 no.  players name   rank   MMS
 1  Danny Strongbow   5d     1
 2  Daniel Burrly     4d     0
 3  Danial Knee       2d     1
 4  Cutey Pi          1k    -2
 5  Kyu Mcgrew        2k    -3
 6  Kyu Dibble        2k    -2
 7  Kyu Tibbs         2k    -2
 8  Kyu Bitz          4k    -5

For everyone who won a game their McMahon score increases by one point. In the case of a Draw, Jigo both players are awarded 1/2 point.


[1] Calvin: Why is this game no komi whereas the Knee-Pi game is 2 stones? Both have an initial MMS difference of 2.

Anonymous: You've got a point there, better change it :)

MrTenuki: One possibility is that Bitz entered the tournament at a higher rank, namely 3k...


I think this is a rather strange example. The idea of the McMahon system is to get the best player, by wiping out all uninteresting games. For example Strongbow - Bitz. This game is assumed to be won by Strongbow just by the ranking. This principle is translated into the McMahon points. If games are played with handicap, this does apply anymore. With handicap each player has roughly equal changes to win the game, so a McMahon score doesn't make sense. Sometimes a (reduced) handicap is used if the ranking difference is too big. This normally occurs in the lower rankings only. Also if one player is in the top McMahon group, there is never a handicap. So better change this example into non-handicap games.

IanDavis: Since handicap games can happen in a McMahon tournament, I included them in this example. That way a reader can understand what will happen when they occur. As the bar is at 2d the 5d player is treated as a 2d player, so he will experience reduced handicap. It may well be that the handicapping policy is something like MMS Difference - 1, so there is further handicap reduction. Overall, I don't think the example is that strange. It is just there to give an idea of how MMS scores are calculated during a tournament, and what effect the McMahon bar has.

willemien: This example is using the UK style of assigning initial McMahon scores. Continental Europe would use only positive scores, while under the AGA rules the initial McMahon scores would be something like below (it is not an exact science, it depends on bars and band seperations see [ext] http://www.usgo.org/standard-aga-tournament-protocols/ for the grity details

Initial McMahon score

 no.  players name     rank   UK MMS    EU MMS    AGA MMS
 1  Danny Strongbow    5d      0        5          0
 2  Daniel Burrly      4d      0        5          0
 3  Danial Knee        2d      0        5          0
 4  Cutey Pi           1k     -2        3          0
 5  Kyu Mcgrew         2k     -3        2         -2
 6  Kyu Dibble         2k     -3        2         -2
 7  Kyu Tibbs          2k     -3        2         -2
 8  Kyu Bitz           4k     -5        0         -2

This is the reason why in Aga tournaments it is much more rarer to play against players from a different group.


Mc Mahon Example last edited by 209.189.201.73 on June 9, 2013 - 04:06
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