This year the Regionals in Germany are in a format I am not comfortable with. They are played as swiss tournaments with one additional round of play, but no cut to top 8. Instead there is a number of invitations given out based on attendance and these are handed to the leading players after the swiss is over. Also, already qualified players can’t play in the Regionals.
I don’t like this format for various reasons. To me the main purpose of the Regionals is to crown a Regional Champion (similar to what the Champs do in the US). And of course the Regionals Champions and all other players that placed high enough should be invited to the Nationals. But the way the Regionals are currently played out, it is just one more (big) Nationals qualifier. And many players can’t reasonably attend.
- There is no top 8. This means that the Regionals Champion is determined by swiss standing. But swiss standings have the disadvantage that many players just draw into the top ranks during the last round to ensure a Nationals invitation. Also, the thrill of watching elimination rounds is missing. There is no real champion, just the player that ended up first.
- Invitations for the Nationals are also given out based on rating or Pro Points. Now the rating cut is after at least some of the Regionals. But this means that players with a high rating will not participate in the Regionals, because they might threaten their rating with a poor performance at this K-32 event.
- And finally people who are already qualified can’t participate. This means that for example the reigning German Champion can not participate in the Regionals and can not also become his Regional Champion.
In my opinion it is a better idea to move the rating cut before the Regionals, allow all players from that region to participate, even if they are already qualified, hand down invitations if necessary, and play out the top 8. This would solve all the problems I mentioned.