Originally posted by wolfgang59
In a knockout competition (Wimbledon?) where there can be no draws, N teams enter. In the first round there are 'R1' matches and 'b' byes such that 'R1' - n is a power of 2. Thus the remaining rounds halve the participants until there is a winner in final.
eg N=10, then R1=2 and b=6 leaving 8 teams after first round. Then 4 teams are after 2nd, then ...[text shortened]... n 1 winner.
Question: What is the total number of matches before there is a champion?
I'd suppose it's N - 1 because to find out a winner, everyone else must be eliminated, therefore, 1 match for each loss of every other team. 10 teams, 9 matches, 1 winner, 9 losers.