Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

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ben.graff
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Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by ben.graff » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:58 am

I've just been reading about Armenia's Martirosyan losing to India's Sarin in the semi-final of the FIDE online chess Olympiad. Aronian appealed on the grounds that this was a Chess.com connectivity issue, not of Armenia's making. The appeal was rejected.

By chance I was disconnected twice last night when playing in the ECF online slow-rapid. (I was definitely losing in the first of these two games, but had barely started the second.)

It did make me wonder if this is another challenge for online chess? (Or at least serious online chess.) To be fair, I've never had any connectivity issues on Chess.com prior to last night, so I'm presuming this is quite a rare event? I'd be interested to learn more about others experiences and how you think this issue should be treated.

Are particular provisions needed for Olympic/ top level matches?


https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/spo ... 808590.cms
Ben Graff
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John Swain
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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by John Swain » Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:24 am

I've experienced several disconnections playing online chess and see them as an occupational hazard of the activity. It's why I only play Bullet and Blitz for fun and not slow Rapidplay or Standard play, especially in a team event where connection problems let others down. i used to play a lot on chess.com but now do so only occasionally, preferring lichess which I have found to be much more reliable. A friend has had the same experience and also recently switched to lichess from chess.com for the same reason.

Our experience may be atypical. Perhaps someone could set up a survey?

I hope that there aren't further disconnections in the Semi-Finals or the Final; the event has certainly been entertaining (including the chat between Simon Williams and Jovanka Houska in the interlude whilst the appeal was ongoing!)

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by Adam Raoof » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:00 am

this is a hazard for any online platform - on the Tornelo platform I use, we don't default anyone for disconnecting, but their clock keeps running!

It is usually a local problem, rather than the platform, although Chessdot and lichess do have major crashes occasionally, and service suspensions.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:03 am

ben.graff wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:58 am
It did make me wonder if this is another challenge for online chess? (Or at least serious online chess.
The first round of the ECF's online County Championship was wrecked by a server reboot.

Roland Kensdale
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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by Roland Kensdale » Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:41 pm

India had previously lost 2 points in a match v Mongolia when power failure caused 2 of their players to default. Local hotels offered their internet connection to the players to avoid this happening again.

Probably the hotels have their own generators to cope with a regular problem. Report: https://www.chessbase.in/news/FIDE-Onli ... 2020-Day-2

Report on India-Armenia match: https://www.chessbase.in/news/Online-Ol ... 2020-Day-4

ben.graff
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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by ben.graff » Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:33 am

All very interesting points. Where I work, the most senior people get VIP IT support. This obviously can't stop someone from being disconnected. However, it does mean that they get particular help to sort out problems when they arise. It appears when elite matches are played on Chess.com, no equivalent help is on hand. That can't be right. A top player is not going to suddenly go AWOL part way through a game in an Olympiad. The solution Adam outlines in relation to the Tornelo platform he uses (no defaults but clocks still run) or even no defaults and a clock freeze while the problem is sorted, would seem to make a lot of sense. Such provisions would not only protect the players, but also online spectators in terms of guaranteeing the contest will play out.
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David Sedgwick
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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:01 am

ben.graff wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:33 am
A top player is not going to suddenly go AWOL part way through a game in an Olympiad. The solution Adam outlines in relation to the Tornelo platform he uses (no defaults but clocks still run) or even no defaults and a clock freeze while the problem is sorted, would seem to make a lot of sense. Such provisions would not only protect the players, but also online spectators in terms of guaranteeing the contest will play out.
My understanding is that the Armenian player was not defaulted, but was unable to restore his connection within the 50 seconds remaining on his clock.

My understanding again, in the Magnus Carlsen Tour events they now have a clock freeze.

I doubt whether that is feasible throughout an Online Olympiad. In a number of countries, internet connections are poor and power cuts are endemic.

However, I wonder whether there should be special provisions for the Knockout phase. I don't think that anyone wants to see matches decided in this way. Speaking for myself, I also don't like seeing players continuing until the end in hopeless positions, in the faint hope that their opponent might disconnect.

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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:54 pm

We may or may not have had a disconnection issue in the final. No word as yet but two Indian players did both lose on time within seconds of each other which resulted in a balanced match at 1.5-1.5 suddenly being decided in Russia's favour. Ironically the two losses on time were the first decisive games of the final after nine draws!

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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by Martin Benjamin » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:25 pm

India appealing against the result in the final because of the disconnection. Given the Armenia result in the semi-final, hard to see India's appeal getting anywhere.

Chris Rice
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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by Chris Rice » Sun Aug 30, 2020 3:20 pm

Joint winners, seems really, really harsh on Armenia.

Nick Grey
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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by Nick Grey » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:10 pm

Harsh on Armenia.
Disconnections before and during games is likely to give online leagues issues for members, clubs, leagues, controllers and disputes.
We have 1000s employees 100000s clients and internet has issues on multiple connections. So I also don't like seeing players continuing until the end in hopeless positions, in the faint hope that their opponent might disconnect.
Plus all the storms. Some ECF members may not engage.

ben.graff
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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by ben.graff » Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:31 pm

I see the story has made the BBC. Such a shame. Definitely some learning to be done for future serious online events.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-53965748
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Joey Stewart
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Re: Armenia v India - Online disconnection dispute

Post by Joey Stewart » Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:40 pm

I have been of the opinion for a long time that there are ways to hack websites and forcibly disconnect an opponent during a game - on chesscube (a now defunct server) I lost count of the number of times I would have dead won positions and the site suddenly kick me out, just long enough for the tool I was playing to get the win on time. It never seemed to happen when I was losing either....

When players will stoop to such wretched means of cheating just to inflate a worthless blitz rating it makes you wonder what they will be capable of when there is prestige and even money on the line!
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

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