Adjournment Tales...

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John Upham
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Adjournment Tales...

Post by John Upham » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:37 pm

Not wishing to contaminate an existent thread about player exclusion I bring to you at Christmas time this happy tale of adjournment woe...

Many years ago a game was adjourned with the sealer recording a move in a lost position at venue X.

The game was resumed and the victim (for reference: I refer to anyone who is forced to travel to resume an adjourned game as a "victim" although I am not a member of the Green Party)
duly arrived at the home venue (Y) of the player who had sealed.

Correct procedures were followed and the envelope was unsealed and the move revealed.

The recorded move was not legal and this was agreed by both parties at the time.

The victim (a 200+ FM) correctly claimed the game.

The sealer explained that he has obviously meant a certain move and it was not important that he had sealed an illegal one! :lol:

The victim continued correctly to claim the game.

Other members of the sealer's team joined in the debate and agreed with the sealer.

The victim continued correctly to claim the game.

Further rancour was followed by physical ejection of the victim from venue Y. :shock:

Unbeknownst to the victim the sealer made the move that he decided was better than the illegal move and started the victims clock! :roll:

The victim was unable to return and "lost on time" Heisenberg type issues arise in my mind at this point...

A claim was made by the victim but was rejected by the League committee!!

And, as Jeremy Clarkson might say, "On that bombshell!" we leave the story.
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Jon D'Souza-Eva

Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:49 pm

Terrible (*) story. I want names...

(*) By "terrible" I of course mean that what happened was terrible, not the telling of it.

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John Clarke
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by John Clarke » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:04 pm

John Upham wrote: A claim was made by the victim but was rejected by the League committee!!
Which of course makes you want to know who was on that committee, and what kind of relations (good and/or bad) they had with the players concerned.
"The chess-board is the world ..... the player on the other side is hidden from us ..... he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance."
(He doesn't let you resign and start again, either.)

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:34 pm

John Upham wrote: A claim was made by the victim but was rejected by the League committee!!

And, as Jeremy Clarkson might say, "On that bombshell!" we leave the story.

So why wasn't the illegal sealed move sufficient to win the argument (as it obviously should have been had one been made)?

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:50 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
John Upham wrote: A claim was made by the victim but was rejected by the League committee!!

And, as Jeremy Clarkson might say, "On that bombshell!" we leave the story.

So why wasn't the illegal sealed move sufficient to win the argument (as it obviously should have been had one been made)?
It sounds like the person sealing the move claimed that a different move was sealed. And retained and destroyed the evidence (or wrote down a new move and put it in a new envelope). i.e. Blatant cheating. This sort of thing comes down to one person's word against the other (or in this case, the others). I'd have photographed the evidence as soon as it became clear what was happening (though this destroys the trust that should exist between chess players). Seizing and destroying a camera/cameraphone to win a game of chess you'd hope wouldn't happen. Unless you mean that the sealer agreed that an illegal move was sealed and still tried to play on with a different move, and admitted this to the league committee, which would be bizarre if that is what happened.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:34 am

John Upham's story is an interesting anecdote. But we have only read one side of the story. It is quite likely there was a different account. When you an arbiter you must NEVER assume that the first person to provide an account is necessarily correct. You must hear all viewpoints. It is very difficult to get an absolutely clear account of what happened. The same is true in a court of law. There are at least two examples of stories on this forum this year, in which the first account may have been absolutely true or it may have been incorrect.

Here are a 3 nice little anecdote. Ton y Miles aainst Portisch sealed resigns in the 1980 Olympiad. He told me many years later his reason for doing so was because there was no arbiter around to accept his resignation.
In Torquay in 1982 a Barbadan U16 sealed resigns. When asked why, he said, 'I was told to seal my next move.'

Matulovic sealed resigns in a zonal at which Gerry walsh was the chief arbiter. it was the only game adjourned and necessiatated opening up the playi ng venue at some cost. Gerry fined Matulovic the sum. He appealed and the committee overturned Gerry's decision.

An Appeal Committee has considerable powers and often makes decisions contrary to common sense or the Laws.

Ola Winfridsson
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Ola Winfridsson » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:40 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:Here are a 3 nice little anecdote. Ton y Miles aainst Portisch sealed resigns in the 1980 Olympiad. He told me many years later his reason for doing so was because there was no arbiter around to accept his resignation.
In Torquay in 1982 a Barbadan U16 sealed resigns. When asked why, he said, 'I was told to seal my next move.'

Matulovic sealed resigns in a zonal at which Gerry walsh was the chief arbiter. it was the only game adjourned and necessiatated opening up the playi ng venue at some cost. Gerry fined Matulovic the sum. He appealed and the committee overturned Gerry's decision.

An Appeal Committee has considerable powers and often makes decisions contrary to common sense or the Laws.
With all due respect to Tony Miles, wasn't his opponent there to accept his resignation?

On a more general note, it strikes me as profoundly silly (and in the second case a very literal and youthful interpretation of the request to seal his next move) and/or spiteful to seal "Resigns". This, as opposed to resigning without resumption, when one presumably has analysed the position and found it to be totally lost. Failing to turn up for the resumption (a sin I've committed myself, although I did try to phone my opponent in order to resign, but couldn't get hold of him) is another bad one, in my view.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:28 pm

Ola. No, Tony was totally alone in the playing area.
David Anderton, our captain, said he tried to ensure that Lajos did not see Tony's sealed move. But the Hungarian was adamant. I thought the English team behaved badly. They could have contacted the organisers who could then have contacted the Hungarians. The teams were staying in villas scattered around Malta.

The Barbadan was naive. Chilren often do literally what they are told.

Ola Winfridsson
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Ola Winfridsson » Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:52 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:Ola. No, Tony was totally alone in the playing area.
David Anderton, our captain, said he tried to ensure that Lajos did not see Tony's sealed move. But the Hungarian was adamant. I thought the English team behaved badly. They could have contacted the organisers who could then have contacted the Hungarians. The teams were staying in villas scattered around Malta.
Yes, I would agree with that. But how odd that he was actually completely alone in the playing area. I would have thought that there would always be an arbiter present as long as play is still going on.
Stewart Reuben wrote:The Barbadan was naive. Chilren often do literally what they are told.
My apologies, I didn't mean to say that the Barbadan was silly (that was meant in relation to grown-ups who seal "Resigns"), but rather naive and, as you say, his literal reaction is nothing unusual for children and many adolescents.

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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:37 pm

I quote verbatim from a Birmingham League Bulletin from 2001:

Division 4 - Mutual Circle v Bushbury - 20th February 2001

The game S Robinson v P Allan had been adjourned for the second time and the Mutual player, Mrs Robinson, went to Bushbury on 10th April as arranged. When Mr Allan did not arrive she went home and Mutual claimed the game by default. Mutual supplied the adjournment envelope and the Committee noted that the full date of Tuesday 10th April was written on it in Mr Allan's handwriting as the resumption date. Bushbury argued that this was a mistake in that Bushbury's home night was always Wednesday. About a week prior to the game there had been a telephone conversation during which Mrs Robinson affirmed her intention to play at Bushbury on the date fixed.

After careful consideration of the points made by Bushbury the Committee came to the conclusion that there was a clear intention to play the adjournment on Tuesday 10th April. The game was apparently confirmed to be played at Bushbury. Mrs Robinson turned up to play at the agreed venue on the agreed date and the claim by Mutual was therefore upheld.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:50 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:"The game S Robinson v P Allan had been adjourned for the second time and the Mutual player, Mrs Robinson, went to Bushbury on 10th April as arranged."

Here's to you Mrs Robinson.


As for the Miles-Portisch game that Stewart mentions, the really interesting thing about Miles sealing "resigns" is the fact that absolutely no mention of the incident was made in the BCM report of the Olympiad. Hushing stuff like that up - see also the BCM's failure's to report certain goings-on at Buenos Aires in 1978 - was clearly the magazine's policy at the time.

Mike Gunn
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Mike Gunn » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:32 pm

Isn't there a variation of the adjournment story where the sealer/ resigner doesn't turn up and the opponent opens the envelope to read some insult. (I don't recall the name of the sealer.)

Richard Thursby
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Richard Thursby » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:29 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:Isn't there a variation of the adjournment story where the sealer/ resigner doesn't turn up and the opponent opens the envelope to read some insult. (I don't recall the name of the sealer.)
This doesn't work when the person sealing keeps the envelope!

With respect to the Barbadian, you spend years telling kids to do what they are told and then complain when they do just that, (although resigning is arguably not making a move).

A number of games I have played in over the years have had a request to seal the next move responded to by resignation, usually if the result of the match is already decided.

Not quite the same thing; the 34th game of the 1927 World Championship match between Capablanca and Alekhine was adjourned and Capablanca sent a note to the resumption tendering his resignation.

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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:32 pm

Richard Thursby wrote:A number of games I have played in over the years have had a request to seal the next move responded to by resignation, usually if the result of the match is already decided.
Or indeed, a draw offer. Declining such an offer usually leads to a fate worse than death.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Adjournment Tales...

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:01 pm

It is dangerous to offer a draw at adjournment. If you sealed, then the opponent is entitled to say, 'I'll decide after I've seen your sealed move. If you didn't seal then the sealant can say, 'I'll wait until I see your reply to my sealed move.
Arnold Denker tried to get me to reveal my sealed move saying, 'If it's OK, I'll agree a draw.' I refused to tell him and he offered a draw anyway, which I accepted. Arguably I could, under the current Laws, claim a draw as offers have to be unconditional.

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