Handbook ::  C. General Rules and Recommendations for Tournaments

C.04.1 Basic rules for Swiss Systems

The following rules are valid for each Swiss system unless explicitly stated otherwise.


The number of rounds to be played is declared beforehand


Two players shall not play each other more than once


Should the total number of players be (or become) odd, one player is unpaired. He receives a bye: no colour and as many points as are rewarded for a win, unless the regulations of the tournament state otherwise


A player who, for whatever reason, has received any number of points without playing, shall not receive a bye.


In general, players are paired to others with the same score


For each player the difference of the number of black and the number of white games shall not be greater than 2 or less than –2.
Each system may have exceptions to this rule in the last round of a tournament.


No player will receive the same colour three times in a row.
Each system may have exceptions to this rule in the last round of a tournament.


  1. In general, a player is given a colour as many times as he is given the other colour.
  2. In general, a player is given the colour other than that he was given the previous round.   


The pairing rules must be such transparent that the person who is in charge for the pairing can explain them

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