Keizer Pairings

Using Swiss pairings, or FIDE Approved Swiss Pairings, to run your tournament is great for serious events, or competitions with a large number of players. But sometimes you need something more flexible, and Keizer pairings is a good option.

A number of chess clubs use Keizer pairings to pick opponents, especially small clubs who have ‘drop-in’ style of attendance. The beauty of Keizer is that it is designed to cater better for absent players than a Swiss.

Trying to find a description of the Keizer pairing system was not easy – the best I could find was here. We have implemented something as simple as possible with the main difference from a Swiss paring method being:

You will ALWAYS find a legal pairing

That means, yes is possible to play the same opponent twice during a single tournament. Or three times. But each round the pairing will look for the most interesting and competitive opponent for each player.

Pairing principles of Keizer

The pairings have a more complex background scoring system, and the scoring is recalcluated every round. This means you might get 14 points for winning your first round – but after the third round that first round win is only worth 10 points. I know, complicated.

Select Keizer pairings in Event settings

Round 1 pairings are done 1 v 2, 3 v 4, 5v 6 etc. And each round opponents are picked in the same fashion. Always pairing the two players closest to each other. Where possible, the system will not pair:

  • The same opponent 3 times in a row
  • Any player to play 3 whites or 3 blacks in a row
  • Any player with total colour balance greater than +2
  • A player with a Bye 3 times in a row

Winning a game gives you the Keizer score of the opponent, draw gives half and losing gives you 0 points. The Keizer score is allocated for each player starting with the highest ranked player and descending by 1 point each time until the bottom ranked player has a score of around 1/3rd of the top player.

Working on
  • Updating our Game Page to make the online games experience better
  • Updating the design of the tables on our pages
  • Support for adding Deputy Arbiters

As always, we’re keen to hear your feedback about our user friendly pairing program. How can we make your life as a chess tournament organiser, arbiter or TD, easier!

Kind regards,


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