- The EGF Tournament Rules are published on the European Go Federation website.
- The EGF Tournament System are published on the European Go Federation website.
UserName: Note that [the Tournament System] rules, especially the section on tiebreakers are not respected.
RobertJasiek: The rules are respected as far as I know, with the exception of the tiebreakers section, which is not always respected because SODOS is sometimes used in McMahon / Swiss tournaments contrary to the rules and related research in that tiebreaker in these types of tournaments. If you want to say that there were more violations of the Tournament System Rules, please specify which violations and provide evidence or reports.
RobertJasiek: Who and when set the tournament rules including tiebreakers for this tournament before the start of the tournament? The Tournament System Rules recommend tiebreakers, do not recommand SOSOS and say "Only in tournaments with a special system, other tiebreakers may be used.". Now the question is whether the European Women's Championship qualifies as having a special system. Apart from being for women only, not really. So using SOSOS in that tournament would indeed be a violation of the Tournament System Rules. But who violated them? We need to know who set them when. Did the EGF Committee only apply what had been set before the start of the tournament or did it even violate fundamental principles of tournament rules by changing tiebreakers after the fact of having the game results? That some players complained is immaterial because it is not the players that clarify the valid rules.
RobertJasiek: That says: "the EGF executive decided to correct an order of the final table. To avoid any misinterpretation, the EGF executive decided to use as tie-breakers those criteria which are generally accepted for EWGC and easily understandable, it means: points, SOS, SOSOS in that order." The description "generally accepted" seems to indicate that there were no permanent, fixed, written tiebreakers for the European Women Championship codified in tournament rules for this kind of events. When I was in the EGF Rules Commission, there were none. I do not know if some were set afterwards. This still leaves two major possibilities: there were none or some. If there were some, which are they and which body applied them correctly? If they were none, more questions arise. a) Were there verbal but generally agreed (by the EGF Committee, maybe the current EGF rules and tournaments commission, by the regular participants of the EWGC) tournament rules and if yes which? b) Did the EGF Committee or else the EGF rules and tournaments commission set that year's tournament rules including tiebreakers or leave it to the tournament director to set and announce them and were they announced? If the latter, then changing the tiebreakers after the tournament would be abuse of power by the EGF Committee (and not for the first time; after the Groningen EGC, such was done).
A minor issue here is why anybody as 2nd tiebreaker would want SOSOS and whether it is better or worse than random order tiebreaker for the given tournament system and expected number of participants. SOSOS pretends to be more meaningful (only for an assumed infinite number of simulaneous tournaments anyway) but this has never been proven.
UserName: It is on the AGM agenda it seems, maybe it will be explained there
Bass: Someone actually tried to use Direct Comparison in a serious tournament? Ouch. Whoever maneuvered that idiotic tie breaker into the EGF rules sure could use a swift kick in the shins. Props to the executive for overruling the results.
UserName: I would agree, but for the fact that the EGF haven't publicly disowned and replaced Direct Comparison. Therefore, those who seek for, then follow their official advice, may end up rather confused indeed to be told that they should have ignored it.
RobertJasiek: So far it seems that the major cause of EWGC 2016 tiebreaker "clarification" was a short tradition of using SOS-SOSOS in EWGCs. Tradition is bad a reason. Tiebreakers should be chosen (before the start of a tournament) for how well they work.
RobertJasiek: For the purpose of using tiebreakers at all (instead of sharing places) for the final results (that is, not for the different purpose of pairing), there are lots of tournament systems and numbers of players for which Direct Comparison is a very good first tiebreaker for ordering top players. Like every tiebreaker used for ordering final results, it is also almost meaningless for ordering players below the top. At the top, we want to know how the top players have done relatively to each other. If applicable for same score players because they all have played the same number of games against each other, Direct Comparison does describe how they have played relatively to each other. It describes exactly what we are interested in. If not applicable, it does not pretend to produce meaningful information when there is too little. In the EWGC 2016, place 1 was decided on the score and the top 2 and 3 players should be compared as further top players. Direct Comparision was applicable to them and Svetlana beat Rita. Very meaningful! Compare instead application of SOS to them: in particular, its rounds 1 and 2 contribution expresses nothing more than the arbitrary pairing luck, which is not meaningful. For beginners of SOS understanding: simulate an arbitrary Swiss and watch the SOS development during rounds 1 and 2 to understand why this is meaningless. Compare instead SOS-2: it would disregard the worst pairing luck of two rounds and so is more meaningful than SOS because it does not pretend to produce more meaning from what is actually less meaning. In that tournament, application of Direct Comparison to the next top places was not possible. This is no problem because a) in this tournament with only a few players, places 4+ are not top places anyway, b) one must not try to retrieve more meaning than is actually there, c) further subsequent tiebreakers could still be applied (up to random, if it should really be necessary to determine undevidable prices or qualification to other tournaments. Direct Comparison has occasionally been applied to other EGF tournaments (including the European Go Championship but there restricted to the final place 1 of exactly teo players were to be compared) and will be applied, of course, in the EGC 2017 13x13, 9x9 and lightning tournaments' group qualifications for relative orders and places within every group (besides global tiebreakers for all groups). The EGF AGM adopted the tournament system rules, which also recommend tiebreakers. This had been suggested by the EGF Rules commission with Matti Siivola and myself. I am proud to have initiated the very meaningful Direct Comparison tiebreaker to be available for the purpose of final results of top places. We need not tiebreakers applied with higher priority that also measure components of pairing luck, such as SOS. If opponent-score dependent tiebreakers shall be applied at all for final results of top places, it is better to apply these less meaningful tiebreakers after the more meaningful (because of not containing any elements of pairing luck) Direct Comparison.
UserName: Here we begin to recycle an old discussion. The official pronouncement of the EGF executive (2016) is that the parts marked as Recommended are only recommendations, there is no need to follow them, the same is true of the Miscellaneous section, there is no need to follow it. According to the executive the general consensus is that the best tiebreaker is SOS.
RobertJasiek: There is no doubt that the tiebreakers in the EGF Tournament System Rules are recommendations and, in particular, do NOT prescribe a particular order of used tiebreakers (nor prescribe the possibly different pairing tiebreakers). The problem arises because of the sentence "Only in tournaments with a special system, other tiebreakers may be used." because "special system" is obvious in group stage - KO second stage side tournaments but can be ambiguous in some other tournament systems, because in non-special tournaments SOS-SOSOS is a traditionally popular tiebreaker combination (supposedly mainly because most pairing problems offer it because it is a reasonable pairing tiebreaking combination in McMahon/Swiss, people see walllists during the tournament, are often not aware of the different purposes of application for pairing / final results and programs do not always offer setting of these different applications; so people believe that what they see and so are used to must be good - a fallacy) and because SODOS occurs in Ing-sponsored tournaments regardless of its theoretical flaws. If bad tradition and Ing-rules-stupidity shall continue for some time, the sentence might be replaced by "Other tiebreakers may also be used.". Needless to say, I favour people to understand the different purposes of application for pairing / final results, the different behaviour of certain tiebreakers in different tournament systems and for different numbers of players and research in tiebreaker quality to continue. Most importantly, however, the tournament rules must be set before the start of the tournament so that results are not changed partially. If the EGF Committee wants to enforce certain rules, it must set them until the start of the tournament. If players want to complain about setting of tournament rules, they must do it until the start of the tournament. The tournament director must announce the rules until the start of the tournament. Only then do we have impartiality and fairness of competition.
UserName: Yes. The rules should be agreed and announced in advance of the start of the tournament, not at the start of the tournament. This is the correct level of visibility for a championship event, once competitors are in the playing hall preparing for round 1 they are far less likely to question the system. Regarding the tiebreaker recommendations in the document, the level of language used in this section is far below what one needs in an official document. It seems that it can be understood that the order of listing is the order in which tiebreakers should be applied, the tiebreaker definitions are generally unclear, and this constant usage of the relative order of priority is grating in the same extreme that it is unfathomable.
RobertJasiek: The clarity of the language can be increased indeed.