D.1 - Two Rulings

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Ken McNulty
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Ken McNulty » Tue May 31, 2011 11:38 am

Martyn Harris wrote:...First, the captains allowed play to continue after the claim, with the position shown being as reached on black's flagfall. The position at the time of the claim is not known, though it is believed by all parties that the claim was properly made.
Apologies to all for the slight error on position 1, although I was mostly concerned with looking at the position of 'arbitration' rather than the slightly messy procedures that led there.
Martyn Harris wrote:...Second it was black, not white, who had made the claim.
:oops: but I think this is such a position that either player may have feasibly made the claim, and the resultant discussion is relevant nonetheless.
Martyn Harris wrote:... Further, relationships between the clubs in the North Staffs league are good, and there is no question of a feud arising out of the ruling.
Absolutely! I'm sure it hasn't been suggested otherwise.

Martyn, any thoughts on position 2?

Ken McNulty
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Ken McNulty » Tue May 31, 2011 11:41 am

Bob Clark wrote: Is that right?
Are the captains not acting as arbiters in this situation?
Difficult when the team captains are also playing in the match. :)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue May 31, 2011 1:27 pm

Suppose there is a position which demonstrably can be won be normal means. This might be KR v K or KBN v K or even an ending or late middle game with equal chances. Should arbiters be cautious about declaring a draw in the absence of progress? If the game was taking place in the absence of time pressure, the player not making progress might have fifty moves to figure out a plan if repetition didn't force the draw first.

So therefore the arbiter should watch by all means, but only step in and award a draw if the "claimant" reaches a drawn position (or winning one :) ) or if a repetition is observed or the fifty move limit is reached.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue May 31, 2011 2:00 pm

Bob Clark wrote:Yes, normally there is no arbiter for a league match.
I was commenting on this specific case where it was stated that the captains allowed the game to continue, i.e. they were in this instance acting as arbiters.
Alex then commented that this invalidated the claim, which seemed a bit unfair.
Oh sure, if the players were asked to continue by the captains, don't penalise the players for it. That wasn't mentioned in the original synopsis of what happened though.

Ultimately, the claim should fail unless the position at the time of the claim can be presented.

Martyn Harris
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Martyn Harris » Tue May 31, 2011 5:16 pm

Bob Clark wrote:Yes, normally there is no arbiter for a league match.
I was commenting on this specific case where it was stated that the captains allowed the game to continue, i.e. they were in this instance acting as arbiters.
Alex then commented that this invalidated the claim, which seemed a bit unfair.
Bob
I'm increasingly tending to ignore Alex H's posts - the harder to tries to come across as a man of knowledge the more he seems to lack judgement.

The basic approach of the North Staffs league is that as far as possible captains should resolve matters on the night. In return the committee backs these decisions as far as possible. Admittedly most captains would not have tried to take this one on, but the fact that these did and then still needed to refer the game is not held against them. After all to automatically rule draw or loss on the basis that the captains combined actions did not accord will Alex' sense of correctness would be to penalise one captain but not the other.

I get the impression that in several parts of the country volunteers for captaincy duties are in short supply. Treating those that do come forwards with disdain hardly encourages them to continue nor others to step forward to take their place. Maybe we are wimps, but "a bit unfair" seems a perfectly reasonable reaction to Alex' kneejerk "invalidated" statement.

Ken McNulty wrote:
Martyn Harris wrote:... Further, relationships between the clubs in the North Staffs league are good, and there is no question of a feud arising out of the ruling.
Absolutely! I'm sure it hasn't been suggested otherwise.
No, but there are readers from elsewhere in the country where disagreements can lead to 50 year stand-offs.
Ken McNulty wrote:Martyn, any thoughts on position 2?
Taking position two as a hypothetical one in which a claim had properly been made, but no record of the moves was available I would say that both players have sufficient scope to go wrong that neither player should be able to make a successful 10.2 claim.



Back to position one.

A major problem is that 'normal play' is not a well-defined concept. Blunders are a normal part of chess. At least (unfortunately) they are a normal part of mine. However in any given position a blunder is not a normal move. So if you are trying to win by giving your opponent an opportunity to blunder does this count as trying to win by normal means?
Thus from the position shown 1 g4 gives black the opportunity of the immediate blunder 1 ... fxg4.
Black can also protect the bishop first and then blunder:
1 ... Kd5, 2 Ba6 fxg4, 3 Bb7+ winning the bishop.
Another line similar to ones that nearly everyone will have met at some stage in their career:
1 ... g6, 2 g5 h5 locking the pawns.
3 Kd2 moving towards the open spaces on the queenside.
3 ... Kd5 to tie the white king down to the defence of his d pawn
4 Bxh5 Black will struggle to hold the draw now.
Which, if any of these, count as wins by normal means?

Endgame lovers might also like to look at the position resulting from the line
1 ... Bb1, 2 Bf3 fxg4, 3 Bxg4 Bf5, 4 Bxf5 exf5 in which white has 3 pawn islands to blacks 1. Nevertheless I think white may win after 5 Kd3, whereas after 5 h5 there appear to be natural lines leading to draws or wins for either side. Finding the best line at the table before losing on time will not be simple for those who ignore endgame study.

A final point in this post. In the position under consideration we can see that g4 gives black a chance to go wrong. Had the flag fallen a few moves earlier this position would have been no more than a latent possibility. White's plan then could have been little more than centralise king and look around for inspiration.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue May 31, 2011 5:39 pm

Martyn Harris wrote:Bob
I'm increasingly tending to ignore Alex H's posts - the harder to tries to come across as a man of knowledge the more he seems to lack judgement.

The basic approach of the North Staffs league is that as far as possible captains should resolve matters on the night. In return the committee backs these decisions as far as possible. Admittedly most captains would not have tried to take this one on, but the fact that these did and then still needed to refer the game is not held against them. After all to automatically rule draw or loss on the basis that the captains combined actions did not accord will Alex' sense of correctness would be to penalise one captain but not the other.

I get the impression that in several parts of the country volunteers for captaincy duties are in short supply. Treating those that do come forwards with disdain hardly encourages them to continue nor others to step forward to take their place. Maybe we are wimps, but "a bit unfair" seems a perfectly reasonable reaction to Alex' kneejerk "invalidated" statement.
It's simple to me:

"D.1 Where games are played as in Article 10, a player may claim a draw when he has less than two minutes left on his clock and before his flag falls. This concludes the game."

Here, it didn't conclude the game.

Or if it did, the final position of the game wasn't submitted. Some other position was submitted, which only arose when the concluded game played on for a bit. If the required position can't be provided - the scoresheets would be the only way - then how can you make any decision on the claim whatsoever?

Ian Thompson
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Ian Thompson » Tue May 31, 2011 6:06 pm

Martyn Harris wrote:The basic approach of the North Staffs league is that as far as possible captains should resolve matters on the night. In return the committee backs these decisions as far as possible. Admittedly most captains would not have tried to take this one on, but the fact that these did and then still needed to refer the game is not held against them.
That's very reasonable, but a bit risky with 10.2 claims. For example, at the time the claim is made, both captains agree to instruct the claimant to play on - that's fine. Later, the claimant's flag falls. One captain thinks the non-claimant has made a reasonable attempt to win; the other does not. Neither player has an up-to-date scoresheet. The committee can't decide which of the two captains opinions it prefers because it cannot see the moves that were played prior to the flag fall (unlike the team captains). So what should the committee do, other than change the rules for next season? There is no obvious answer that I can think of.

Martyn Harris
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Martyn Harris » Tue May 31, 2011 9:37 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Martyn Harris wrote:The basic approach of the North Staffs league is that as far as possible captains should resolve matters on the night. In return the committee backs these decisions as far as possible. Admittedly most captains would not have tried to take this one on, but the fact that these did and then still needed to refer the game is not held against them.
That's very reasonable, but a bit risky with 10.2 claims. For example, at the time the claim is made, both captains agree to instruct the claimant to play on - that's fine. Later, the claimant's flag falls. One captain thinks the non-claimant has made a reasonable attempt to win; the other does not. Neither player has an up-to-date scoresheet. The committee can't decide which of the two captains opinions it prefers because it cannot see the moves that were played prior to the flag fall (unlike the team captains).
Which is why most captains would not take on a 10.2.

However given that annually the average number of disputes we have to sort is closer to zero than one - I vaguely recall we had to sort something out round about the turn of the millenium - I imagine we'll let things continue in our casual manner.

Neill Cooper
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Neill Cooper » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:55 am

Ian Thompson wrote:That's very reasonable, but a bit risky with 10.2 claims. For example, at the time the claim is made, both captains agree to instruct the claimant to play on - that's fine. Later, the claimant's flag falls. One captain thinks the non-claimant has made a reasonable attempt to win; the other does not. Neither player has an up-to-date scoresheet. The committee can't decide which of the two captains opinions it prefers because it cannot see the moves that were played prior to the flag fall (unlike the team captains)...
Which is why, as match captain, I now try to record the moves in such a situation (including first time control claims).

Sean Hewitt

Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:07 pm

Martyn Harris wrote:Which is why most captains would not take on a 10.2.
To be fair to Alex H I think the point he was trying to make was that the laws of chess do not give captains the option of trying to take on a 10.2 claim.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:23 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: To be fair to Alex H I think the point he was trying to make was that the laws of chess do not give captains the option of trying to take on a 10.2 claim.
It's an issue which attracts the attention of county AGMs from time to time, namely to what extent if at all should match captains take on an arbiter's role.

Here's Oxford's take on the issue
http://www.oca.oxfordfusion.com/documen ... ce2010.pdf

from which I quote
It is widely agreed that the most difficult area for arbiters to handle is that of draw claims under the so-called „two minute rule‟. If, in a tournament controlled by an arbiter, a player with less than two minutes remaining on the clock claims a draw on the basis of Article 10.2 of the FIDE Laws, the arbiter has to decide very quickly whether (i) to reject the claim and award the opponent an extra two minutes, (ii) to accept the claim and declare the game drawn, or (iii) to postpone a decision till later in the game or after flag fall. Quite apart from the fact that one or both captains may still be
playing their own games, it seems unreasonable to impose that kind of burden on captains in the OCA League. Besides, even if both captains were available to observe, they might not agree on an immediate decision, and that would create an intolerably disruptive situation at a crucial point in the match. Therefore it does not seem feasible to regard the team captains as de facto arbiters charged with applying Article 10.2 of the FIDE Laws.
Instead, we should continue to follow, as far as is feasible, the procedure laid down for Quickplay finishes in games where no arbiter is available. Appendix D of the FIDE Laws, which covers this topic, says:
I think disallowing match captains 10.2 rights is key, no matter whether you give them other arbiter-like privileges , such as observing flag fall.
In the OCA League, partly because it is so desirable to reach a match result on the night, the team captains have a genuine arbiter-like role to play in cooperatively seeking an agreed determination of the result in these cases. Only if it is impossible for the captains to reach agreement is it necessary to take the matter further
So in Oxford, play ceases when the claim is made, but the match captains are requested to agree the result.

Neill Cooper
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Neill Cooper » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:23 pm

Avoiding "2 minute" claims is why I much prefer Fischer timings.

Mike Truran
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Mike Truran » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:27 pm

Tricky in many local leagues where premises have to be vacated at a set time.

Sean Hewitt

Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:37 pm

Mike Truran wrote:Tricky in many local leagues where premises have to be vacated at a set time.
In luddite Leicestershire, we now use 35 in 60, plus 20 mins, with 10 second increments. This allows a three hour (ish) session without the risk of going on forever. We don't have any venues where you would be kicked out into the car park at 10.30 but can see that this would be an issue.

Paul McKeown
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Re: D.1 - Two Rulings

Post by Paul McKeown » Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:44 pm

Mike Truran wrote:Tricky in many local leagues where premises have to be vacated at a set time.
Basically nothing works well if your opponent is unreasonable and the circumstances permit.

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