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.
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.