Gavin Strachan wrote:I'm not wholly convinced by this argument of people lowering their grade to be able to enter graded sections. The whole concept is fundamentally flawed.
You may or may not be convinced, but it definitely happens. Not much, no doubt - and as long as there’s no financial incentive (as you say) - it will remain that way - but it does happen. There’s a player in my area who’s name has not been mentioned on these boards or elsewhere with respect to the recent discussions as far as I’m aware, but who’s well-known for this behaviour.
I suspect the reason that you’re struggling to believe it probably lies in your assumption that the motive can only be financial. Actually, there are many other potential reasons for doing it. Just liking winning more than losing, for instance.
Another reason might be that you assume that for this activity to work you have to play deliberately badly and that would be a miserable experience that people wouldn’t want to do. Another effective method would be, say, to play normally but avoid winning by offering a draw when you’re a piece up without compensation.
That said, I wouldn’t want to overstate the problem. in 30 years or so of chess playing I’ve only had three occasions where I’ve suspected at the time or afterwards that the game might have been chucked. Even with these it’s perfectly possible that they weren’t, it’s just something didn’t feel right. Something over and above the playing of terrible moves for no apparent reason of which we’re all capable - at least, I am.