White wins in two moves and other matters

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Nick Grey
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by Nick Grey » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:08 pm

I hope you all had a good experience & that it all goes well in India.
Hope to see you next year.
Look at the photos on the website & hopefully you will find some to share.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:36 pm

Ignoring FIDE for a moment, in domestic events it is recommended that ungraded players are assigned a grading somewhere above the bottom rated player, so it stops Mr Zygote automatically getting the bye.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:18 am

Martyn Harris wrote: Thus whilst FIDE don't insist that the order be alphabetical, to avoid using this the arbiter would have to come up with some other criteria.
For UK tournaments, a converted ECF grade or National rating would frequently be substituted.

In the unusual situation for the UK of having a FIDE rated "Minor" tournament allowing several players to enter without having national grades or ratings, I could suppose that the arbiters were caught unaware by the drawback of the FIDE rule requiring that unrated players be ranked in alphabetic order.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:22 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:Ignoring FIDE for a moment, in domestic events it is recommended that ungraded players are assigned a grading somewhere above the bottom rated player
That doesn't seem to have been followed at the London Classic, but the existence of such a rule or convention would explain why the Zygote bye issue comes as a previously unseen problem for British tournaments

Michael Flatt
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by Michael Flatt » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:32 am

The tournament record[1] also shows that a number of games were won by default (5 in round 1; 3 in round 2).

Presumably their opponents didn't arrive at the board within the specified default time. Some other players seem to have taken a first round voluntary half point bye and some of those may have been missing in the second round.

References
1. 8th London Chess Classic Weekend under 1600: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr251654. ... =30&wi=821

NickFaulks
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:27 am

Roger de Coverly wrote: I could suppose that the arbiters were caught unaware by the drawback of the FIDE rule requiring that unrated players be ranked in alphabetic order.
Which, as we have established, doesn't actually require that at all.
Martyn Harris wrote: Thus whilst FIDE don't insist that the order be alphabetical, to avoid using this the arbiter would have to come up with some other criteria.
That is the crux of the matter. When faced unavoidably with an odd number of players, the arbiters have to decide somehow who gets the bye. Following what I believe is the default rule in some pairing programs and has ( unwisely in my view ) been endorsed by SPP must seem like the solution which requires the least thought and effort. However, if they believe this method to be unjust ( as in my opinion it obviously is ) then they cannot apply it anyway and bleat that FIDE made them do it. The "rule" is quite explicitly no more than a suggestion, and computer pairings can be adjusted manually.

Martyn Harris
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by Martyn Harris » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:35 am

NickFaulks wrote:The "rule" is quite explicitly no more than a suggestion, and computer pairings can be adjusted manually.
Which seems to translate to "Don't blame FIDE if arbiters fail to ignore their advice".

Roger de Coverly
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:41 am

NickFaulks wrote: The "rule" is quite explicitly no more than a suggestion, and computer pairings can be adjusted manually.
Aren't FIDE trying to outlaw the practice of adjusting pairings? Why then will they be insisting that for Norm tournaments at the very least, that the Norm request be accompanied by the tournament cross table, confirmation of the pairing system in use and access to the software used to generate the pairings?

NickFaulks
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:27 pm

Martyn Harris wrote: Which seems to translate to "Don't blame FIDE if arbiters fail to ignore their advice".
As I have said, I think SPP were foolish to offer a suggestion which was not a regulation - this only ever leads to trouble. The addendum "but if you don't like this, do something that you do like" will always be ignored.

Martyn Harris
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by Martyn Harris » Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:22 am

NickFaulks wrote:
Martyn Harris wrote: Which seems to translate to "Don't blame FIDE if arbiters fail to ignore their advice".
As I have said, I think SPP were foolish to offer a suggestion which was not a regulation - this only ever leads to trouble. The addendum "but if you don't like this, do something that you do like" will always be ignored.
You must have an unusual circle of acquaintances - most people seem to grab the option of substituting their own ideas for given advice.

The problem is that the combination of the alphabetical ordering of seeding and the allocation of the bye to the lowest seeded player in the lowest score group creates a situation whereby certain players find that they are regularly awarded byes in tournaments simply because of their names. However from the point of view of a single tournament the alphabetical ordering works fine, so why should its organisers say they don't like it?

This situation is particularly prevalent in junior tournaments in which it is not possible to get anything like a consistent set of estimates of strengths of unrated participants, so that there are several zero rated players at the end of the list. However I have also seen a variation in which a keen weak player starts playing congresses, finds he is always bottom seed - no great surprise - and keeps getting byes.

The solution isn't simply to disown the problem saying arbiters should find different orderings, but, as Roger says, to include a phantom bottom seed, thereby transferring the bye to the median seed in the lowest score group. This has several advantages:

a) The median seed will tend to vary from tournament to tournament, so that the same player won't be picked on from one event to the next.

b) By giving the byes to a relatively high overall seed in round 1, low (and often low-scoring) seeds remain to give the bye to in later rounds. This doesn't matter in large events, but in small ones finding a sensible choice for the award of a last round bye can be a problem if you don't want to award it to a potential high finisher.

c) The low seeds get a better (for them) set of opponents. Full point byes for low seeds tends to push them higher up the ranking list than their seeding warrants, giving them stronger subsequent opponents. For example in an odd numbered field without a phantom, the bottom seed can expect to start with a bye, then play the upper quartile rated player, and move down the list from there. With the phantom, they start with the player immediately above the median, then move downwards until they are the only player on zero, at which point their getting the bye seems entirely reasonable. Their overall set of opponents will be lower seeded than in the non-phantom case, which is likely to lead to a more enjoyable experience and an increased chance that they will participate again.
This may seem a strange point to those used to vast opens in which everyone has to participate in several potential mismatches before playing people their own size, but in fact many players prefer to play games in which they feel they have at least a semblance of a chance if they play at their best.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:10 am

I did advise a low-rated pupil of mine (who liked to play in higher sections) to ask for a bye in tournaments, to avoid being given a bye when you didn't want it.

NickFaulks
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Dec 24, 2016 4:40 pm

Martyn Harris wrote: The solution isn't simply to disown the problem saying arbiters should find different orderings, but, as Roger says, to include a phantom bottom seed, thereby transferring the bye to the median seed in the lowest score group.
I agree that this solution looks like an improvement on alphabetical order, but still think the option of doing something else should be retained. Experience indicates that people will always find something they don't like about any scheme and blame FIDE.

Brian Towers
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Re: White wins in two moves and other matters

Post by Brian Towers » Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:02 pm

Nick Grey wrote:I told the organiser if he had read my application I had already volunteered to be upgraded if the tournaments had odd numbers.
Some arbiters / organisers are masochists. In the summer I entered the major section of a weekend tournament. Arriving early I noticed that there were only 11 players in the open and having some idea of the problems that could arise I approached the arbiter and offered to move up if he thought it would make his life easier. "No, no! No need for that" he replied. Later I had a wander round the open section to look at some of the games while my opponent was having a long think. I found boards 1 and 2 no problem but board 3 remarkably had a couple of fellow competitors in the major. Then I saw one of the other open players wandering around looking at games. Finally I went and looked at the draw. 2 boards with one extra player wandering around was about right as 6 players had requested a first round bye! Have fun with that, Mr Arbiter, in rounds 2 through 5. Good luck next year attracting entrants. Pay for 5 games, get 4.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

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