My Blog

UTU Swiss

UTU Swiss has been launched. UTU Swiss is a replacement for Tournament Director for Windows.

A free trial of UTU Swiss can be downloaded from the UTU Swiss website.

Tournament Director for Windows has been retired and no further updates will be released.

Existing Tournament Director for Windows users can upgrade to UTU Swiss for the discounted price of £20

UTU Limited

UTU Limited has taken over the licences and support of Tournament Director for Windows. UTU Limited is currently developing UTU Swiss which will be the replacement for Tournament Director for Windows.

Tournament Director for Windows Redevelopment is now ready

Tournament Director for Windows has been renamed and is now called UTU Swiss. have a look at the new website if you want to have a look at the new software.

The key functionality needed to run a tournament to the English Chess Federation rules has been developed including the new swiss pairing rules. If you would like to try the software during the Beta test period, then visit the UTU Swiss website for a free download. More features will be added over the coming months.

Tournament Director for Windows Redevelopment - Install Testing

All the software development for the core elements of the redevelopment of the ECF version of Tournament Director for Windows has been completed. Incidentally, I will be renaming the product.

 I am currently working on the install process and I am having issues with the install on Windows 7 and Windows 8, which I am trying to resolve. Hopefully, I will shortly have a version ready for Beta testing. I have a few volunteers to help with the Beta testing, but if you are interested in helping, please let me know

TDW works on Windows 8!

Windows 8 was released by Mcirosoft on 26 October, along with a massive marketing campaign. I'm sure you have seen some of the adverts on TV and if you want to find out what Windows 8 is like, you can always pop into your local electronics store and have a play. I'm still not convinced its a step forward, but time will tell.

I have set up a machine with Windows 8 to try and get Tournament Dircetor for Windows working. After a considerable amount of playing with the install process. I have managed to get TDW to install and work on Windows 8. So, if you are lucky enough to have a new Windows 8 machine you can still use Tournament Director for Windows.

Fix Release (V7.5)

I haven't produced a fix release for a long time, but a number of fixes have been accumulating, so I thought it was time to pull them all together and issue a fix release.

The fix release is for the folloing problems:

  • To allow the  ECF Grading list to be downloaded from the ECF Webiste and loaded into Tournament Director for Windows. The ECF have change the format slightly which was causing a problem.
  • To sort out a couple of issues with the FIDE Data Exchange format file on dates of birth and FIDE titles.
  • A few other minor problem

The download is available in the usual place.

Windows 8

I have just been playing with Windows 8. It is going to take a lot of getting use to, it is a totally different way of working to all previous versions of Windows. I think it will work great with a touch screen device, but I am not convinced if you are using a mouse.

I have also tried installing Tournament Directors for Windows on Windows 8 and it totally failed. I could not even get it to install. Looks like I have some work to do there, or I will have to get a move on with the redevelopment of Tournament Director. I will keep you up to date on progress.

Tournament Director for Windows Redevelopment

I am currently redeveloping TDW using the latest Microsoft tool set. I am currently making good progress and hope to have a beta release ready by mid year. If you would like to be a beta tester please let me know.

Some of the new features in the redevelopment of TDW are:

  • ECF Swiss pairing based on the new agreed Swiss Pairing riles for England, Scotland and Wales as documented by Chess Arbiter's Association Swiss Pairing booklet
  • New Report and print processing, including exports to Word, Excel and HTML formats.
  • Ability to define Local grades/ratings for players.
  • Easier process to setup and maintain Tournament details.
  • Easier process to add players to tournaments.

Plus many other changes and enhancements.

ECF Swiss Pairing - Significant progress!

At long last I have made significant progress with the ECF Swiss Pairing process in Tournament Director. As stated in my previous blog, I have been having problems with performance. Now I seem to have solved them. One of the pairings use to run all day and still not produce a complete pairing now runs in under 1 second! 80% of all pairings run in under 1 second. 95+% run in under 10 seconds. A few still take longer. At present the worst run time for a pairing is 10 minutes (on a fast computer). This is where all players have to be handled as a single score group as the bottom player must play someone in the top score group as they have played everyone else.

I will be talking to the ECF to check my pairings as they differ slightly from the example pairings in the Chess Arbiter's Association Swiss Pairing booklet

I am working to update the complete program to allow it to work more efficiently on Windows 7 and the upcoming Windows 8. A beta version should be available Feb or March this year. If you are interested in trying it Contact Me

FIDE Swiss Pairing Rules

FIDE Have issued an update to their Swiss Pairing rules as agreed at the FIDE Congress in Krakow 2011. I will review these changes and assess the impact on the pairing processing and look to see what updates, if any, are required.

ECF Swiss Pairing - an update

As I said in my last blog, I have been updating the ECF Swiss Pairing process in Tournament Director. Initially I had a number of performance issues, which I have been working on. I have managed to fix the majority of the performance issues, now all bar a few exceptions are pairing in under 10secs, a few take 10mins.

I am now looking at large tournaments, like previous year British Championship sections. Most of these pair reasonable efficiently, but there is always one!

I am now having problems with memory rather than performance, because of the number of permutations that have to be considered and the way the rules have been written, the system is creating a very large number of permutations, which then use up the memory.

I am now looking at different methods of generating the permutations so that I do not have to store as much data. This isn’t easy. I will keep you updated.

If there is a mathematical genius out there who would like to help out with combination and permutation theory please let me know!

ECF Swiss Pairing

I have been working for a while trying to update the ECF Swiss Pairing process to meet the new Swiss Pairing rules as documented by the Chess Arbiters Association. I have managed to reproduce the pairings defined in the guide to Swiss pairings booklet. I have also run the new processing against a large number of other tournaments and so far it is holding up reasonable well, but….

As with most complex computer problems I am finding a few problems. The biggest issue is that the pairings can take a long time. Most of the time it will generate the parings in seconds, occasionally it takes minutes, but unfortunately it has run for much longer. The longest it has run is 9 hours! Obviously a big issue.

The next step is to look at performance and to try and identify the reasons for the long running processing. As the processing is so complex it will not be an easy task. I’ll keep working on it, maybe I’ll find a simple solution or maybe not!

FIDE Endorsement

Tournament Director for Windows was submitted for FIDE Endorsement early last year. FIDE Swiss Pairing committee have evaluated the software (the chairman plus three other committee members) and have endorsed the program at the 81st FIDE General Assembly held in September 2010. The minutes from the Swiss Pairings Committee have recently been publish and formally document the endorsement Tournament Director for Windows by FIDE.

Tournament Director for Windows is the only software package that supports automatic ECF and FIDE Swiss pairing and grading/rating

New Release

Version 7.1 of Tournament Director for Windows is now available. The main changes in this release are:

  • Enhancements to allow Tournament Director for Windows to be installed and run on Windows 7. These changes mainly relate to layout, but there are a few changes to handle the new features of Windows 7.
  • FIDE Swiss pairing. The software has been enhanced to allow automatic Swiss pairings to be generated based on the latest FIDE Swiss pairing rules. Either ECF or FIDE pairing rules can now be used for Swiss Pairings.
  • The full range of FIDE defined tie breaks have been incorporated.
  • The FIDE Data exchange standard has been included in TDW to allow tournament data to be passed between people and software packages.
  • ECF Grading submission file has been enhanced to remove redundant data and to define the colour for players in the pairings
  • The conversion between ECF Grading and FIDE Rating has been updated for the new ECF Grades
  • Several minor bugs have also been fixed

FIDE Swiss Pairing Committee Meeting

The Swiss Pairing Committee met at the 80th FIDE Congress in October 2009. Tournament Director for Windows was considered for Endorsement. Unfortunately, as the committee members had not finished their testing, TDW was not endorsed. The Swiss Pairing Committee members will continue their testing and, if happy, Christian's can approve the software prior to the next 81st FIDE Congress.

As the software is being considered for Endorsement, I have received several requests to make this version of the software available for evaluation. Over the Christmas period, I will create an install of the software, as a beta release, which I will make available for people to download.

The Swiss Pairing Committee members have a agreed a couple of changes to the FIDE Swiss pairing rules. I will update the rules on this site shortly. I will also review these changes and consider the impact these changes have on the current Swiss pairing processing that is currently being tested by FIDE.

FIDE Accreditation

Over the last year I have been working on Tournament Director for Windows to add functionality to fully support FIDE. TDW already handles FIDE Ratings list and the FIDE tournament performance ratings. The software has been extended to support Swiss pairing based on the FIDE Swiss Pairing rules and to support the FIDE Data Exchange format.

I have recently completed the testing of TDW and it has been submitted to FIDE for accreditation. The FIDE Accreditation process is in three stages. Stage 1: The software is tested based on two sample tournaments to ensure it can reproduce the standard pairings. TDW has passed this stage of testing. Stage 2: is to provide the FIDE Swiss pairing committee with copies of the software so that it can be assessed independently be several members on the committee. TDW was send to the FIDE Swiss pairing committee in August and TDW has been passed to two members of he FIDE Swiss pairing committee for assessment. Stage 3: If the software passes stage 2, a recommendation is submitted to the FIDE General Assembly for accreditation the software. I am hopefully that TDW will gain FIDE accreditation at the November FIDE General Assembly meeting.

Once TDW has been accredited by FIDE a Version 7 of Tournament Director for Windows will be released containing the full FIDE functionality.

Install problems

A number of install problems have been reported recently. It looks like Microsoft has changed what system files are included as part of a standard Windows XP and Windows Vista install. This means that the Tournament Director for Windows install is failing when it tries to install these files. The install has now been updated to correct these problems. So, h0pefully, the install should no longer display any error messages.

Version 6.5 now available

At long last I have published the latest update to Tournament Director for Windows. Version 6.5 is now available. All existing registered users have received an email containing a link so that they can download and install the latest update.

The main enhancements in the latest release are:

  • Accelerated Swiss pairing
  • Ability to load the ECF Grading list from the ECF Website
  • Ability to compare manual pairings with automatic pairings

I had hoped to published this release much earlier, but I had numerous problems with the installation process. Microsoft no longer supports Windows 95, 98 and ME. This means some of their technology can no longer be installed on these operating systems. Unfortunately, this mean that Tournament Director for Windows can no longer be installed on Windows 95, 98 and ME. However, Tournament Director for Windows does work on Windows NT, 2000, XP and Vista.

I hope to test Tournament Director for Windows on Windows 7 shortly.

I will now start work on Version 7 of Tournament Director for Windows, which will be focused on getting Tournament Director for Windows accredited by FIDE. This means that if will include:

  • Swiss pairing in accordance to the FIDE Swiss pairing rules (in addition to the ECF Swiss pairing rules)
  • All FIDE recognized Tie Break methods
  • FIDE data exchange format to export and import tournaments

This is likely to take a considerable time. I will keep you updated.

Next update

I am currently working on the next release of Tournament Director for Windows. The next release will introduce some new facilities as well as fix a number of bugs. The main enhancements will be:

  • Accelerated Swiss pairing
  • Ability to load the ECF Grading list from the ECF Website
  • Ability to compare manual pairings with automatic pairings

The main bug fixes that will be included in the next release will be:

  • Correct the calculation of FIDE rating performance for players scoring less than 50%
  • Allow a default grade of zero for tournaments when using automatic Swiss pairings
  • Change the ways the scores are shown for byes

I am currently fixing a few remaining bugs and will then start testing. I hope to complete the testing by the end of November.

In parallel to this fix release I am also working on the next major release. This release will include FIDE Swiss pairings. I am currently working with FIDE to sort out the remaining issues. It will be early next year before this version is ready for release.