Indispensabile per rappresentare graficamente la fase a eliminazione di un torneo il tabellone delle eliminatorie ha una lunga e curiosa storia da raccontare.
In the mid-1800s or before. One of the first single-elimination tournaments in the modern era was the London 1851 chess tournament, organized by the British champion Howard Staunton. Motivated by "the chivalrous anxiety to test the relative skill of the most distinguished champions," he invited the top players from around Europe to London's Great Exhibition. In a prospectus, Staunton laid out in some detail how a field of 32 competitors might neatly be whittled to a single champion by matching them in 16 pairs, then eight, then four, and so on-suggesting that the concept of a single-elimination tournament was not yet widely understood. "The mode adopted for pairing the combatants, will, it is hoped, bring the two best players in the Tournament into collision for the chief prize," he explained.