Saturday 12 July 2008

A free pairing program

Looking for a free pairing program to handle small (less than 30 player) tournaments. Today a friend of mine told me about one such program. Called Vega, it is free to download and use, and runs under both windows and Linux.
The fact that it runs under Linux has two benefits. Firstly, it runs under Linux, and secondly, the 30 player restriction doesn't apply to the Linux version. This is because the development environment is free and therefore developers do not incur purchasing costs. I've seen this pricing model used for other software as well (eg If I have to buy Microsoft Visual Studio to write my software I will charge the end user, while developing for Linux will result in no such cost), and I'm all for it.
As for the software itself it looks pretty good (based on 20 minutes of use). A nice GUI interface makes entering details of players pretty easy, and producing the draw is just a single click. Modifying pairings is fairly straight forward, although a little more round-about than swiss perfect.
It seems to be developed in Italy, meaning it is tailored to the Italian Chess Federation but it does support FIDE/USCF reporting. Also it uses the Dubov system by default, and supports the Lim System (which was the system prior to current Dutch System).
As I've just discovered it I won't make this review a 'recommendation', especially as I'm trying to get the 'late entry of players' functionality to work properly, but I'm sure this can be solved by me reading the downloadable user manual.

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