“Glasscoe Pairings” to be used in February BCS Weekender

A variant of the Swiss System pairing algorithm will be used at the monthly BCS Weekender Feb. 8-10. The change was introduced by long-time Berkeley Chess Club director Alan Glasscoe in 1991.

Typically within a group of players sharing the same score, the group is sorted by rating, then split at the middle, and the top half plays against the bottom half. That is, if six players each had the same score, then the highest-rated player (#1) plays #4, #2 vs. #5 and so on. This can create some huge mismatches.

In a large scoregroup, the traditional Swiss System pairings result in stories like this: At the 1981 U.S. Open in Palo Alto, 704 players entered round 1 with 0-0 scores. #1 GM Gheorghiu played #353, while #352 played #704. As it happened, players #352 and #353 had identical ratings, and were sorted alphabetically. #352 was sorely disappointed, and griped for years because his last name began with “P”, and not “B”.

The Glasscoe system doesn’t split the scoregroup in half, but pairs #1 vs. #2, #3 vs. #4, #352 vs. #353. This makes for balanced pairings, more challenging for the players at the top, and less scary for the players at the bottom. (The drawback, theoretically, is that a greater number of drawn games makes it more difficult to find a clear winner.)

Stearman wins Berkeley Open

FM Josiah Stearman, no. 5 in the nation at age 15, won the Berkeley Open held Jan. 11-13 with a 4-1 score. Stearman is a BCS alumnus.

NM Michael Walder won the U2000 section with 5-0. Bryon Doyle directed 31 players in three sections.

Winslow wins Berkeley CC Championship for the third time

IM Elliott Winslow won the Berkeley Chess Club Championship held 9/28-12/14 with 7-1. His two draws came against NM O’Connor and FM Jirasek who were #2 and #3 in the standings.
Winslow also won the club championship in 2017 and 2014.

Shankland 6th at Tata Steel Masters

2018 U.S. champion Sam Shankland, a BCS alumnus, finished in a tie for 6th-8th place at the Tata Steel Masters tournament held Jan. 12-27 in Wijk aan Zee.

World champion Carlsen won with 9-4. His game with Shankland was drawn.

In the last five Tata Steel Masters events, Carlsen has four 1st places and one 2nd.

Compiled by BCS instructor Frisco Del Rosario