FIDE Rule Changes?

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John Saunders
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FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by John Saunders » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:24 am

Does anyone know the details of FIDE rule changes made at the recent Kallithea Congress?

I can't find anything specific at the FIDE website but a reliable correspondent from elsewhere in the world has sent me the following message...
Decisions taken at the recent FIDE Congress haven't been widely circulated yet - in fact I don't know which items on the Agenda made it through - but one that did is a 500 euro penalty (as well as the forfeit) for being microseconds late at your board (and this will be in force at the Olympiad next year, we're told). 500 euros - how many little chess nations can afford that?
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Matthew Turner
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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by Matthew Turner » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:27 am

Never mind the small nations, could the ECF afford that?
Theoretically at least isn't it a 45,500Euro liability?
7 players, 13 rounds?

Leonard Barden
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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by Leonard Barden » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:45 am

Don't you mean 8 players? The women's Olympiad is now also 4 boards.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:52 am

John Saunders wrote:Does anyone know the details of FIDE rule changes made at the recent Kallithea Congress?

I can't find anything specific at the FIDE website but a reliable correspondent from elsewhere in the world has sent me the following message...

Quote:
Decisions taken at the recent FIDE Congress haven't been widely circulated yet - in fact I don't know which items on the Agenda made it through - but one that did is a 500 euro penalty (as well as the forfeit) for being microseconds late at your board (and this will be in force at the Olympiad next year, we're told). 500 euros - how many little chess nations can afford that?
There's something up at the BCF site

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/images/s ... ngress.doc

in which
- A proposal by the Presidential Board that players who fail to appear at the start of a game, not only lose the game by default, but also give them a penalty of € 500 (a second time € 1.000 and a third time € 2.000) met a lot of opposition and was taken back. Possibly it will return next year in the General Assembly.
You wonder whether the FIDE Presidential Board are on a mission to close down amateur chess. They might actually - it's full of griping older players who do not appreciate idiotic rule changes. Professionals and younger players would feel unable to complain.

Also
- Transfers between federations have been made more difficult and more expansive.
This would presumably include ENG/WLS/SCO/IRL and I think they mean expensive.

So that's two issues for Nigel to get his teeth into.

Matthew Turner
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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by Matthew Turner » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:54 am

I stand corrected, so that is a 52,000 Euro liability then.
Hmmm?

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Ben Purton
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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by Ben Purton » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:10 am

Honestly I can't understand where Chess gets its stuck up image from :lol:
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Hating the Yankees since 2002. Hating the Jets since 2001.

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John Saunders
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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by John Saunders » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:05 pm

Thanks to Roger for providing that pointer to the file on the ECF website. (Incidentally, why do some webmasters insist on putting things online in *.doc files rather than in clear HTML? This really annoys me)

The zero default time rule is bad enough without FIDE trying to make money out of defaults. The fact that they should even propose such an absurd penalty shows that they are completely out of touch with most of the world's competition players.

I'm led to believe that the problem stems from an incident some years ago where Ilyumzhinov had invited an IOC dignitary to a major chess event (with a view to currying favour with the Olympic movement) and a player (I think it was Karpov) turned up late for the game. If this is true (apologies if my facts are wrong), I would actually have some sympathy with Ilyumzhinov - it would have been both embarrassing and detrimental to chess's wider ambitions. But that is no reason in itself to change the laws of chess. A question: was Karpov contracted to turn up on time? If not, the fault would lie with the organisers for not ensuring his compliance with their requirements.

The laws should serve professional and amateur players alike. In scenarios like the one quoted above, the best way to ensure the professional player toes the line is to put a formal contract in place, e.g. they get paid X to play in an event or turn up for a ceremony on condition that they perform certain ancillary duties (e.g. wearing a good suit or appropriate clothes, turn up bang on time, meet and greet the VIPs, etc) - if they fail to comply, they forfeit an agreed part of the fee. Rather than vandalising the laws, it would be far better if FIDE were to promulgate a form of words which could be used as the basis of a contract between the organisers of tournaments and professional players, both in FIDE tournaments and private events. I suspect these agreements are often much less formal at the moment (probably just an exchange of emails in some cases) but I can think of one or two chess controversies which might have been averted had players and organisers had a formal contractual relationship and thus been fully aware of their specific obligations to each other.

However, it is totally inappropriate and unfair to treat amateur players in the above way. They are customers, not employees. Most Olympiad players are amateurs and shell out a small fortune to travel halfway round the world to play in these events. They should expect better treatment. Punishing them with the zero default rule is ludicrous - fining them more money on top would be utterly outrageous. Hopefully, the ECF's newly-elected FIDE delegate will take up the cudgels on the federation's behalf and carry the fight back to FIDE.
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Eoin Devane
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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by Eoin Devane » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:11 pm

From an interview from Sport Express, posted on the Chessbase website in November:
Question: At the recent Olympiad, there was a lot of talk about the new rule, whereby players are defaulted if they are even one minute late for the game. At a press conference, you said that this will be extended further, to all official FIDE events. Why such maximalism, Kirsan Nikolaevich?

Answer (Kirsan Ilyumzhinov): But you remember the Olympiads at Calvia and Turin, when the hall was half-empty for the first few minutes? And to this day, I still remember with shame how during the world championship match in Luzerne, on 2 January 1989, I stood on stage with IOC President Juan Samaranch, waiting to start the clocks in the Karpov-Anand match. Anatoly Evgenievich turned up ten minutes late. And Samaranch said to me “You tell me chess is a sport? Can you imagine if a boxer turned up in the ring ten minutes late?” I did not know what to say! But at this latest Olympiad, the chief arbiter told me that, out of thousands of games, there were only three or four where anyone was late. So yes, I proposed that in all official FIDE events, the rule should be that a player who is not present when the clocks are started, loses immediately. It is claimed that chess disciplines a player’s thought processes – for that reason, we include it in many countries’ education programmes. It will be good, especially for children, if chess players behave in a disciplined way.

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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:20 pm

John Saunders wrote:
I'm led to believe that the problem stems from an incident some years ago where Ilyumzhinov had invited an IOC dignitary to a major chess event (with a view to currying favour with the Olympic movement) and a player (I think it was Karpov) turned up late for the game

Would it have been any better for the game not to have taken place at all because Karpov had been defaulted? Back in 1967 (Sousse) and 1972 (game 2) great efforts were made to make Fischer play and to avoid defaults. In any event other sports have lenient practices towards default times. There was an incident at this year's Wimbledon where the prospective ladies' champion was late.

Could you win a tournament at any other sport with a 100% score by playing no games whatsoever? That's now plausible at chess - it always was possible in theory but difficult in practice with one hour defaults.
Kirsan wrote:But you remember the Olympiads at Calvia and Turin, when the hall was half-empty for the first few minutes?
I remember at Calvia - it was because of the security needed to get into the building - They had to stagger the schedules of the men's and women's events to cope. The security at Turin was not so onerous, but it could still have been a factor.

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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:26 pm

Why is Ilyumzhinov so keen to bond chess with the IOC? Are there sporting reasons, or are they purely financial?

It seems that default times set to zero and the drug testing are just so he can tell the IOC it's a sport. Why the attempted ties?

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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:29 pm

Kirsan wrote:From an interview from Sport Express, posted on the Chessbase website in November:

Can you imagine if a boxer turned up in the ring ten minutes late?
Boxers will obviously know what happens in practice, but like tennis, particularly if there was a worldwide television audience awaiting the contest, perhaps the bout would just start 10 minutes late. Unlike chess where there could be a 10 minute time penalty, would any penalty be applied to the latecomer?

Surely the message to get across is that other sports do not spend large sums of money and effort to set up particular contests only to default one or more of the participants before the event has even started.

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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by John Saunders » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:42 pm

Eoin Devane wrote:From an interview from Sport Express, posted on the Chessbase website in November:
Question: At the recent Olympiad, there was a lot of talk about the new rule, whereby players are defaulted if they are even one minute late for the game. At a press conference, you said that this will be extended further, to all official FIDE events. Why such maximalism, Kirsan Nikolaevich?

Answer (Kirsan Ilyumzhinov): But you remember the Olympiads at Calvia and Turin, when the hall was half-empty for the first few minutes? And to this day, I still remember with shame how during the world championship match in Luzerne, on 2 January 1989, I stood on stage with IOC President Juan Samaranch, waiting to start the clocks in the Karpov-Anand match. Anatoly Evgenievich turned up ten minutes late. And Samaranch said to me “You tell me chess is a sport? Can you imagine if a boxer turned up in the ring ten minutes late?” I did not know what to say! But at this latest Olympiad, the chief arbiter told me that, out of thousands of games, there were only three or four where anyone was late. So yes, I proposed that in all official FIDE events, the rule should be that a player who is not present when the clocks are started, loses immediately. It is claimed that chess disciplines a player’s thought processes – for that reason, we include it in many countries’ education programmes. It will be good, especially for children, if chess players behave in a disciplined way.
One of the excellent things about this forum is that you can get other people to do your research for you - thanks, Eoin!

So Kirsan didn't know what to say, did he? I'm not surprised. The question remains: did anyone think to forewarn Anatoly Evgenievich that a VIP was coming the next day? If it was so important, they should have sent a car for him. If not, the fault is one of bad planning. Perhaps Kirsan Nikolaevich could have impressed Samaranch by answering: "My profoundest apologies, your Excellency - one of my staff has neglected his duty. I shall have him shot."

Actually, the honest answer would have been to climb down and admit that chess is not really a sport. I find most comparisons between major sports and chess to be pointless. The difference between them can be encapsulated in one word - money. The reason everybody turns up on time to take part in major televised sport is because they get handsomely rewarded. And if they don't (or misbehave, or bad-mouth officials), they get handsomely fined. And they often have a huge support team who are paid to pander to their every whim and ferry them to the venue. Let's face it, chess will never have the money to get into this league. Chess can aspire to a bit of professionalism (hence my comments about having formal contracts, etc) and ought to strive to market itself sensibly, but it can never compare with the professionalism of major sports.

Incidentlally, I think Kirsan Nikolaevich was being a bit conservative as regards the numbers of defaults recorded at the Olympiad. I have seen much large numbers quoted.
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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:34 am

I see there's a comment about "new anti-doping rules". Not that i know what these are at the moment, but in (other) sports all the discussion has been about the "whereabouts" rule requiring advance notification of availability at a set hour of every day - are FIDE planning to implement this?

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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by John Saunders » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:27 pm

It looks like they are intending "out of competition" testing and have already started doing it...
Herman Hamers on the ECF Website wrote:- New Anti-Doping Rules are adopted. The FIDE Rules had to be in line with the Rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). The Rules will be published on the FIDE-website in January. FIDE had doping controls during the World Championships and the Olympiad. There have also been out of competition controls. In total nearly 30 players were controlled. All of them tested negative.
The admirably informative document on the ECF website begs a few questions. My first question is: who is Herman Hamers? I've googled him and he turns out to be a recent Dutch Olympiad team captain. Second question: why is he doing the write-up for the ECF website and not someone from the ECF? Not sure of the answer to that one - can someone enlighten me? Perhaps he was representing the West European zone on behalf of a number of different countries ("dear zone members" is a clue). This might explain why the ECF was not represented at the meeting. If so, it might have helped if an ECF official had added this as a preamble to the document.

The document mentions that Global Chess is to be liquidated as it has not achieved its objectives and replaced by a company called Chess Lane - they have a website. All it currently has to offer are some business cliches (e.g. "Chess Lane’s mission is to create value for its shareholders by leveraging its marketing and creative strengths").

The document goes on to mention worries that the main hotel to be used for the 2010 Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad will not be built in time. But the organisers are "optimistic", apparently - so that's alright then. This is reminiscent of the 1998 Elista Olympiad where the venue was not finished in time for play to start. Perhaps prospective players should leave their laptops at home and instead take a box of tools with them to help FIDE build their hotel.
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John Saunders
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Re: FIDE Rule Changes?

Post by John Saunders » Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:39 pm

I've had a private response to my request for info from the ECF.
ECF wrote:Herman Hamers is the Elected Zonal President for the 'West Europe' Zone.

He would be attending FIDE meetings as Zonal President and has a good reputation for always putting out a brief summary of the major points to all Federations in his zone.
Thanks for that, ECF, very useful and the facts were much as I had surmised. The document was, as I said before, "admirably informative" even if some of things raised in it were worrying to say the least. It wasn't my intention to "shoot the messenger"!
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