British Chess Championships 2010

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Matthew Turner
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Matthew Turner » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:31 pm

The Appeals Committee should first of all listen to both players. Whilst the situation is quite complex, there should be a relatively simple way to sorting it out.

Did Francis Rayner have a good enough excuse for being late (i.e. performing CPR in an emergency)?

If No, then he loses. The fact that an arbiter gave him bad advice is regrettable, but it happens.

If yes, then the game should go ahead. The arbiters set a suitable time control to fit in with other commitments with Francis Rayner starting 30 minutes (or a pro rata amount) down on the clock.

Eoin Devane
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Eoin Devane » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:32 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:The Appeals Committee should first of all listen to both players. Whilst the situation is quite complex, there should be a relatively simple way to sorting it out.

Did Francis Rayner have a good enough excuse for being late (i.e. performing CPR in an emergency)?

If No, then he loses. The fact that an arbiter gave him bad advice is regrettable, but it happens.

If yes, then the game should go ahead. The arbiters set a suitable time control to fit in with other commitments with Francis Rayner starting 30 minutes (or a pro rata amount) down on the clock.
That all sounds very sensible.

Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:37 pm

I agree. Awarding more than 1 point for a game is a very bad solution in my opinion, especially when it involves the players near the top. It's the sort of thing I've done in the past when running under 9 tournaments, but that's because the players are very likely into burst into tears or call on their 6'4" fathers to negotiate with me.

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Wilf Arnold
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Wilf Arnold » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:38 pm

TomChivers wrote:Out of curiosity: had those commenting on this thread been on the Appeals Committee, what would they have argued there?
It's hard to say without the full facts - who told who what and when would be part of my weighing up.

The chances are the call would've been dealt with by the Office, and without knowing the layout of things in Canterbury the relaying of the call could be delayed for multiple reasons. There usually has to be someone in there at all times to keep an eye on things (security-wise), so it may not be possible to pass the message immediately on if there's only one person there when the call comes in. The other thing is that the person who takes the call may not appreciate what board in what section is affected.

A second call 15 minutes (or so depending on circumstances) later to find out the decision from the appropriate section controller may have solved this. In that time the message may have got relayed to all parties and then there should be no surprises.

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Peter Sowray
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Peter Sowray » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:40 pm

TomChivers wrote:Out of curiosity: had those commenting on this thread been on the Appeals Committee, what would they have argued there?

Quite straightforward.

I would have awarded the game to Angus French.

Unless the arbiter who spoke to Rayner on the phone had told him that the 30 minute deadline would be waived, in which case the game should have been started at 2.46 or whenever Rayner arrived. And whoever refused to play the game would be defaulted.

If, as seems plausible from the various accounts, Rayner was given some kind of assurance over the phone and the situation was not explained to French, this ranks as incompetent arbiting. The situation would then be tough on French, but he would have to put up with it. He wouldn't have been the only player to have been inconvenienced by poor officiating.

The decision as reached is terrible. It is grossly unfair to the other participants and leaves loads of wriggle room in future disputes. Expect more disputes in future.

Peter

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Adam Raoof
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Adam Raoof » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:49 pm

Peter Sowray wrote:
TomChivers wrote:Out of curiosity: had those commenting on this thread been on the Appeals Committee, what would they have argued there?

Quite straightforward.

I would have awarded the game to Angus French.

Unless the arbiter who spoke to Rayner on the phone had told him that the 30 minute deadline would be waived, in which case the game should have been started at 2.46 or whenever Rayner arrived. And whoever refused to play the game would be defaulted.

If, as seems plausible from the various accounts, Rayner was given some kind of assurance over the phone and the situation was not explained to French, this ranks as incompetent arbiting. The situation would then be tough on French, but he would have to put up with it. He wouldn't have been the only player to have been inconvenienced by poor officiating.

The decision as reached is terrible. It is grossly unfair to the other participants and leaves loads of wriggle room in future disputes. Expect more disputes in future.

Peter
So, not so straightforward.
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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:51 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:The Appeals Committee should first of all listen to both players. Whilst the situation is quite complex, there should be a relatively simple way to sorting it out.

Did Francis Rayner have a good enough excuse for being late (i.e. performing CPR in an emergency)?

If No, then he loses. The fact that an arbiter gave him bad advice is regrettable, but it happens.

If yes, then the game should go ahead. The arbiters set a suitable time control to fit in with other commitments with Francis Rayner starting 30 minutes (or a pro rata amount) down on the clock.
I would agree with this entirely had Angus been informed at the start that Francis would/might be late. It's totally unacceptable for one player to win (or 'win' if you prefer) a game and only then discover that he may not have done so.

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David Shepherd
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by David Shepherd » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:31 pm

Its difficult I have come accross the 1.5 scenario before when a player made an error in a drawn position when in time trouble and then shortly after noticed both clocks were going at the same time!

It is difficult to judge without knowing the full facts - why did the arbiter not inform Angus, was it even the arbiter of that section that Francis spoke to (surely if so as the default time neared they would have realised and said something)?.

Maybe the 1.5 is the best of a bad situation, it is impossible to judge without knowing the full facts - for example Francis may have said he would arrive about half an hour late but offered to catch a taxi to ensure he arrived before the default time, but been told that was not necessary - in those circumstances it would be hard to justify giving him zero. I was present in Liverpool when discussions were held with Felix about starting his game late and the arbiters from memory were giving Felix a say in what happened and liasing with both players.

It would be difficult to justify not giving Angus the full point and unfair to make him play as to have suddenly not won the game would clearly impact on any play. Maybe a compromise could have been offered - that the game would be played but that Angus would qualify for next years British whatever the outcome of that and his final game, but still that would not have been fair on Angus.

Also there is a question of whether it is fair on Francis and whether he is happy with just half a point, but without knowing the full facts I really would find it hard to judge and even knowing the full facts I suspect it would be hard to decide.

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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:30 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:If Angus had been told from the beginning that the default time would be waived it would be a different matter ... but he wasn't.

Waiving the default time is one thing (and not something I particularly would support but I'm sure there are others who disagree). Waiving the default time and not telling the other player that his opponent has been given permission to arrive late? That's something else entirely. Would you - or anybody else - agree that this is justifiable?
I don't think anyone has sought to suggest that it's justifiable. Clearly something went wrong.

Arbiting and administrative errors happen - people are only human. However, they nearly always pose horrendous problems for Appeal Committees, precisely because they're not susceptible of a fair and equitable solution.

I said (quite a long way) upthread why I was inclined to think that the Appeal Committee's decision was the least bad option. Clearly that's not the consensus of opinion on this thread. That's fair enough.

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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:35 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:So we're specifying 30 minutes. When is the start of the "session", though? You could argue two interpretations:
1) The scheduled start time, 2:15pm
2) The start of the clocks, which probably won't be at exactly 2:15pm
I have a feeling the London League rules specifically deal with this, though I stand to be corrected.
From the Chess Arbiters' Association Comments and Advice on the Laws (my emboldening):

"Article 6.6 (a) sets the default time as 0 minutes unless the tournament rules say otherwise. In Great Britain the National Associations have said that this default time is automatically amended to 30 minutes for normal games and 10 minutes for Rapidplay games unless the entry form says otherwise. 6.6 (b) gives the Arbiter/Tournament Organiser discretion over the allocation of the time elapsed before either player is present. The actual start time, rather than the scheduled start time should now be used to determine if a player has defaulted."

From the London League Rules (my emboldening):

"In all matches, a player shall arrive not later than 45 minutes after the due starting time of the match. If a player does not arrive in time his/her game shall be lost by default unless a reserve is substituted before the default time.

The last sentence of the CAA comments should of course be construed to mean "unless the regulations for the event specifically refer to the scheduled time". Those words should perhaps be added to the sentence.

Alan Walton
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Alan Walton » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:41 pm

6.6 (b) gives the Arbiter/Tournament Organiser discretion over the allocation of the time elapsed before either player is present.

David using the above rule, does this mean if player x phones up one hour before a game saying he will be 35 mins late, and asks for a deferred start time, the arbiter can change the start time to accommodate the late player without consulting his opponent, or does he also need the agreement from his opponent to do this.

It seems a little unfair on the opponent if he has no say

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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:49 pm

Alan Walton wrote: It seems a little unfair on the opponent if he has no say
Actually, I think it's important that it's not up to the opponent, but the arbiter. The arbiter can take the abuse for a decision, but you don't want players warring with each other. The same applies if a phone goes off. Far better to default on the spot, rather than let the opponent choose if he's prepared to continue.

Ian Thompson
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:51 pm

Alan Walton wrote:6.6 (b) gives the Arbiter/Tournament Organiser discretion over the allocation of the time elapsed before either player is present.

David using the above rule, does this mean if player x phones up one hour before a game saying he will be 35 mins late, and asks for a deferred start time, the arbiter can change the start time to accommodate the late player without consulting his opponent, or does he also need the agreement from his opponent to do this.

It seems a little unfair on the opponent if he has no say
It is likely to be difficult for the arbiter to consult with the opponent in this situation because this rule only applies when the opponent is not present.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by Adam Raoof » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:59 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Alan Walton wrote:6.6 (b) gives the Arbiter/Tournament Organiser discretion over the allocation of the time elapsed before either player is present.

David using the above rule, does this mean if player x phones up one hour before a game saying he will be 35 mins late, and asks for a deferred start time, the arbiter can change the start time to accommodate the late player without consulting his opponent, or does he also need the agreement from his opponent to do this.

It seems a little unfair on the opponent if he has no say
It is likely to be difficult for the arbiter to consult with the opponent in this situation because this rule only applies when the opponent is not present.
The rule allows the arbiter to use discretion where neither player is present. No consultation seems called for when that occurs.

Where one player says he is going to be late, that seems to allow an arbiter to permit him to arrive later than the advertised default time without any penalty apart from losing time. I assume the latest he can arrive is 59 minutes, usually.

I don't see many situations where it would be fair to rearrange the start time when one player is present at the start of the game, unless that also means the normal time penalty applies.
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Re: British Chess Championships 2010

Post by John Philpott » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:08 pm

With severe traffic difficulties being reported, there may be further difficult decisions to be made today. See for example Spence v Haydon on the live boards: David Haydon is driving daily from Thurrock to Canterbury.

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