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.

a

The number of rounds to be played is declared beforehand

b

Two players shall not play each other more than once

c

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

d

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

e

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

f

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.

g

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.

h

  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.   

i

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

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