Magic Contest:  Documents
File specifications:  Microsoft Access

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Tomas Brenning
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As described in File specifications you can create a text file that Magic Contest can import into the internal member list. That is the official way to do it, and when doing it that way everything will work correctly in case the text file follows the specifications.

There is also another way to do it if you are a little bit handy using Microsoft Access. Remember that this opens up new exiting ways to mess up Magic Contest and the member list in case you make a mistake. It is however not that difficult if you know your way around Microsoft Access, so please give it a try.

Create database

First you must make sure that you have created a database through Magic Contest:

  • Click Member list in the main window
  • In case of "No member list" you must click Create to create one

The database is typically saved in the following folder:

     C:\Program Files\Magic Contest\Magic Contest Documents

using the following name:


Connect to database

Then you need to set up a connection to the Magic database:

  • Open Microsoft Access
  • Create a new temporary database that you save somewhere on your computer
  • Click File, select Retrieve external data, and select Attach tables (I am not quite sure of the exact menu item names in the English version of Microsoft Access)
  • Attach the tables called Player and PlayerSetup

The reason for this is that Magic Contest saves the member file in Microsoft Access 97 format, so if you open that right away with a later version unwanted things may take place later.

Use member numbers

The next step is to tell Magic to understand your member numbers:

  • Open the PlayerSetup table which is supposed to be empty
  • Add a row and enter -1 into the UseMemberID field
  • Leave the other fields empty
  • There can only be one row in this table

This quick reference assumes that you have official member numbers that you want to use in Magic. If not, you can ignore the UseMemberID step and leave that field blank. Then the data in the PlayerID field will work as member numbers (read more about this below).

Add players to the Player table

Next step is to add players to the Player table. This can be done in several ways, one being to import data from a text file, another to enter data manually, a third to run a query and that way transfer data from an existing database. This I leave entirely to you to figure out, but while inserting data you must consider the following:

Optional field:

  • MemberID: This can be numerical or alpha-numerical. If you do not have official member numbers you can leave this field empty.

Mandatory fields:

  • PlayerID: Read more below
  • Status: 0=Active, 1=Inactive, 2=Deleted, 3=Deceased
  • LastName: Last name
  • FirstName: First name
  • Sort1 and Sort2: Read more below

Extra fields:

  • Title: Mr, M., Mme, Mlle, and so on. If entered it will appear on starting lists and rankings.
  • Sex: 1=Woman, 2=Man. This can be used together with the Mixed option to automatically have women sorted first in the pair.
  • ClubName: If provided here the club name will appear on starting lists and rankings.
  • EMail: This can be used together with Report contest if you want to automatically send the contest result by e-mail to the players of the contest.

Use the Sort1 and Sort2 fields correctly

Under normal circumstances Sort1 = LastName and Sort2 = FirstName. However, some special names, typically last names starting with "van", "van der", "de", "d'", and so on, are sorted according to the main part of the name. If so you need to set Sort1 accordingly:

  • Marc van Beijsterveldt. Sort1 = Beijsterveldt
  • Catherine d'Ovidio. Sort1 = Ovidio
  • Martin de Chateau. Sort1 = Chateau

There is also a special case in Iceland where the phone book is sorted according to the first name and where the second name is not a family name but your father's or mother's first name + "son" or "daughter" in Icelandic. Here Sort1 = FirstName and Sort2 = LastName.

Use the PlayerID field

This is a counter that gives the internal PlayerID used in all other Magic Contest database tables. In case you really want to play around with all Magic Contest database tables, this field is the internal player identifier.

If you do not have national member numbers you can use the PlayerID field instead. Leave MemberID blank and make sure not to enter -1 in UseMemberID as described above.