Zero move game: should it be graded?

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:25 am

David Sedgwick wrote: I don't see why you want to change things. Do you really want a player to be able to turn up, decide he doesn't fancy the game, and leave without the game being rated?
If the rule of zero tolerance is applied, that is the result. So a player can be present but if not seated at the board for the start of the game, they will be defaulted and the game not rated.

It would not be a legal draw offer if made before making a move, but the interpretation is still that illegal offers can be accepted.

In a match context a game agreed drawn without play is equivalent to one double defaulted. In a league context , the tie-break might be board points and it could then matter whether a game was counted as a mutual half point bye or a double default. Neither of these would be graded so if special circumstances are not reported, the league controller and grader have no (official) knowledge of the circumstances.

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David Shepherd
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by David Shepherd » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:33 am

Looking at the FIDE rules

1.1 The game of chess is played between two opponents who move their pieces alternately on a square board called a ‘chessboard’. The player with the white pieces commences the game. A player is said to ‘have the move’, when his opponent’s move has been ‘made’. (See Article 6.7)

The question arises - if a move has not been played by both players has a game been played?

The requirement for a game seems to be alternate moves by two opponents so I suspect the answer is no, hence the FIDE rules require one move each for the game to be rated. This does not prevent a competitor receiving a point if their opponent fails to turn up. So for example in a league the score could be 1-0 if an opponent doesn't turn up but no game has taken place.

I guess another question is, if the score is 1-0 because a player doesn't turn up, is the game graded by the ECF?

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:37 am

As Edinburgh I Captain I once agreed a no match draw over the phone.
We filled out the score sheet over the phone (six 'hard fought' draws), forged the signatures and sent them off.

When they found out all hell broke loose and I was banned for 10 years from ever being a league captain again.

"Let us hope in the future you will be more mature......." (I was 34!).

Played some great Chess after that, being a captain was always a time consuming pain.
Getting 6 chess playing bods in the same place at the same time without a mishap is a gift.

The other lad got off free as it was my idea.

We were ordered to play the match and my lot won 4-2.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:53 am

David Shepherd wrote: I guess another question is, if the score is 1-0 because a player doesn't turn up, is the game graded by the ECF?
That would be up to the local league. Normal practice would be to remove the name of the no-show and also sometimes the winner so the game would be excluded as a default win. If the names of the players were left in, the ECF grading system would be none the wiser.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:24 pm

Geoff >When they found out all hell broke loose and I was banned for 10 years from ever being a league captain again.<
The only way that could be assured would have been had you been executed if you survived 10 years. That seems a bit extreme.

A totally unplayed game should not be rated. On a tournament chart it is not usually shown as 1-0 but as + -. Of course mistakes get made. The League Committee decided that particular game should count and thus it is correct that it be graded.

It is possible for a game to be forfeited, but played. First they must play one move each for a game to be rated. I do indeed believe, if a pairing is announced and only one player sits at the board, the defaulting player should get zero and the player present one point, but the game not be rated. This is also what the QC thinks as shown in the Rating Regulations.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:17 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:It is possible for a game to be forfeited, but played. First they must play one move each for a game to be rated. I do indeed believe, if a pairing is announced and only one player sits at the board, the defaulting player should get zero and the player present one point, but the game not be rated. This is also what the QC thinks as shown in the Rating Regulations.
That's not what the Regulations say. It's what you think the Regulations ought to say. With all due respect, that's not the same thing.

In Delchev v Conquest, European Team Championships 2009, the game went 1.d4 0-1, as Delchev's mobile phone rang. The game was rated. (I've just checked that.)

You and I are due to play, with you having White. I don't fancy the game much anyway, as you're a better player than I am. You play 1 c4, for which I haven't prepared. So I resign.

Are you really saying the game shouldn't be rated?

The present Regulation specifies that the game must be rated if each player has made at least one move, but leaves it to the discretion of the arbiter where that is not the case. That still seems sensible to me.

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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by Ian Thompson » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:31 pm

John Upham wrote:Quick question for the graders (and anyone else I suppose) out there:

If a local league game is recorded as a draw when zero moves have been played, should it be included in a grading submission?
Definitely not.
ECF Grading Website wrote:Games can only be graded if they are played under acceptable conditions, ...
It is required that:
...
b. Both players make at least one move.
...
Whether this is a good rule, or whether the rule as written implements what was intended, are different questions which many people have commented on in this thread.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:44 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
John Upham wrote:Quick question for the graders (and anyone else I suppose) out there:

If a local league game is recorded as a draw when zero moves have been played, should it be included in a grading submission?
Definitely not.
ECF Grading Website wrote:Games can only be graded if they are played under acceptable conditions, ...
It is required that:
...
b. Both players make at least one move.
...
Whether this is a good rule, or whether the rule as written implements what was intended, are different questions which many people have commented on in this thread.
Thank you for pointing this out.

It appears to be a new Regulation, as I can't find it in the printed 2012 (and last) Grading List.

It does raise (at least) two other questions besides those which you mention:

a) who has the authority to make changes of this sort?
b) when such changes are made, should they not be announced?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:10 am

David Sedgwick wrote: You and I are due to play, with you having White. I don't fancy the game much anyway, as you're a better player than I am. You play 1 c4, for which I haven't prepared. So I resign.
That's part of theory, Fischer-Panno from the 1970 Interzonal and Watson's books on the English.

The "at least one move rule" appears to have been slipped into the ECF grading system without documented approval. It might have been approved at the August ECF Board meeting, but outside of the Directors, no one has been allowed to know what may have been decided.

It does answer the original question , that a game of no moves isn't eligible for grading. But in practical circumstances, it needs a whistle-blower to make league controllers or local graders aware of the issue. That of itself is a recipe for the creation of conflicts.

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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by John Upham » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:21 am

Thanks to Ian for discovering this new rule.

Would the creator of this rule step forward and be credited please?

I will inform the grader of the league of this outcome.

The next question is should the result of the non-game be continue to be recorded as 1/2-1/2 or, as I believe, 0-0?
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David Sedgwick
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by David Sedgwick » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:26 am

John Upham wrote:The next question is should the result of the non-game be continue to be recorded as 1/2-1/2 or, as I believe, 0-0?
That really is a matter for the League Controller or the League Committee, surely?

Even if they weren't originally aware of the facts, I would imagine they must be now.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:11 am

"Games can only be graded if they are played under acceptable conditions, ...
It is required that:
...
b. Both players make at least one move.
...

Whether this is a good rule, or whether the rule as written implements what was intended, are different questions which many people have commented on in this thread.
----
Thank you for pointing this out.

It appears to be a new Regulation, as I can't find it in the printed 2012 (and last) Grading List.

It does raise (at least) two other questions besides those which you mention:

a) who has the authority to make changes of this sort?
b) when such changes are made, should they not be announced?"

Two very good questions!

On the rule itself, a player turns up to play board one in a league match when feeling ill and tired, but loyally arrives to push the rest of his team down a board, despite the fact he feels certain to lose. Then to save his grading, he just resigns without making a move. His team don't get fined for the default which would otherwise have resulted. This may seem far-fetched but I can think of one or two captains who would have done it.

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David Shepherd
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by David Shepherd » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:08 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote: On the rule itself, a player turns up to play board one in a league match when feeling ill and tired, but loyally arrives to push the rest of his team down a board, despite the fact he feels certain to lose. Then to save his grading, he just resigns without making a move. His team don't get fined for the default which would otherwise have resulted. This may seem far-fetched but I can think of one or two captains who would have done it.
Is that a huge problem though - the alternative would appear just to be a default. A player was ill and he was willing to turn up just to avoid his team being penalised, I don't have a huge problem with it. The opposing team still get a win and there was never going to be a game anyway. Why grade the game it seems nonsense to do so reflecting on neither players strength. If necessary write the rules so any player resigning without making two moves is a default.

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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:55 am

But it does reflect on the players practical strength. Certainly the player defaulting. Someone who is always perfectly heathly will score much better over time than someone with the same 'underlying' chess strength but who is often ill etc.

Its even more clear cut in the case of a 0/1 move draw as both players agree to that. Would you really want to rate a hypothetical player who gave one move draws on request but played at 3000 if refused at 3000?

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David Shepherd
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Re: Zero move game: should it be graded?

Post by David Shepherd » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:32 pm

The thing I object to is zero move "games" being graded - the game in my view doesn't take place. I don't really object to one move draws being rated, nor games being rated where one player makes one move and a draw is agreed (the logic being that the other player may offer a draw to avoid possible lines where the opponent plays a particular move). I don't even object to zero move games being scored 1/2-1/2 either as it seems more honest if a pre-arranged draw is taking place.

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