1 1/2 points per game

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Roger Lancaster
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1 1/2 points per game

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:03 pm

The following is copied, unedited, from the Watford Club website at watfordchessclub.org. The 2010 occurrences were themselves the subject of much forum comment.

ECF decision "opens the door to prolonged wrangles"

Watford has criticised the English Chess Federation's explanation of its decision to award 1 1/2 points to a single game in one of the junior events at the British Championships at Aberystwyth last year.

A decision which the ECF described as "reasonable and well-considered" was, say Watford, "so fair that a 40% increase in the prize money was needed to try to convince parents of its fairness". And it risks setting up an undesirable precedent, the club adds.

Watford first raised its concerns with the ECF as long ago as 29 July 2014. By March this year, by which time the club had received no substantive response, it referred the concerns to Hertfordshire Chess Association. Once the association flagged up support for Watford, the ECF moved with speed to issue a statement on 20 March, a statement with which the club continues to take issue. The full history of this affair appears here (weblink supplied) and readers can judge for themselves how responsive the ECF has been.

As to the ECF claim that a 0.5-1.0 result is "not without precedent", that is true enough. In fact, two such results occurred during the Major Open at Canterbury in 2010. Of course, the ECF organise the Major Open so some might feel this is not the most meaningful of independent precedents. And, in any case, the circumstances in each of the 2010 occurrences were (as far as can be judged from comments on chess forums, because the ECF does not appear to have tried to explain the 2010 decisions) entirely different from that in 2015.

The singular point about the 2015 decision (as Watford understands it, an understanding not challenged by the ECF over the course of several months correspondence) is that the arbiting team, unable to decide between competing claims in a situation where an illegal move was alleged to have been made, elected to give both players what they wanted. This simply opens the door to prolonged wrangles with arbiters by future players hoping to secure the same concession and citing this decision as precedent.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:22 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:As to the ECF claim that a 0.5-1.0 result is "not without precedent", that is true enough. In fact, two such results occurred during the Major Open at Canterbury in 2010.
The second of these set an extremely poor precedent by virtue that it awarded an extra half point in the leading group, to the detriment of those not receiving such a credit. Ironically the dispute was self inflicted, since had the organisers maintained the traditional one hour's grace before default, the player arriving late would have been within time. ( A cause of the dispute was that one of the players knowing that his arrival was likely to around thirty minutes late had phoned through advising of this. The message had not been passed on to the opponent, who had claimed the game at the half hour mark). There's a long thread about Canterbury on this very forum, which has some of the contemporary views.

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1726

Discussion of round 10 from about here.
http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php ... 125#p34773

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:07 pm

I'm writing this in a personal capacity as an interested observer. Obviously I am an ECF official but have no involvement at all in the British Championship except for playing (badly) in the weekender.

While I can understand where Watford are coming from with regard to the precedent and their interest in the matter, I can't see that at any point
do they state what decision they think should have been made in this difficult case. Leaving aside the precedent question it does seem that the ECF have made the best of a difficult situation as this involved such young players.

I also remembering reading in Addicts Corner in chess monthly of an incident at (I think) the Richmond Rapidplay where both players were awarded a win (from memory one claimed mate and the other that his flag had fallen before doing so). While not an ECF event presumably it would have been ECF rapidplay graded.
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Brian Towers
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by Brian Towers » Wed Apr 15, 2015 10:08 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote:I also remembering reading in Addicts Corner in chess monthly of an incident at (I think) the Richmond Rapidplay where both players were awarded a win (from memory one claimed mate and the other that his flag had fallen before doing so). While not an ECF event presumably it would have been ECF rapidplay graded.
I vaguely remember a story like that where the Grendel and Somerset player, Steve Boniface, was the arbiter. I don't remember it being a Richmond Rapidplay but could be wrong about that.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Richard James
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by Richard James » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:10 am

Andrew Zigmond wrote: I also remembering reading in Addicts Corner in chess monthly of an incident at (I think) the Richmond Rapidplay where both players were awarded a win (from memory one claimed mate and the other that his flag had fallen before doing so). While not an ECF event presumably it would have been ECF rapidplay graded.
I'm afraid I don't remember. I don't think it was a Richmond Rapidplay though.

E Michael White
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by E Michael White » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:35 pm

Brian Towers wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote:I also remembering reading in Addicts Corner in chess monthly of an incident at (I think) the Richmond Rapidplay where both players were awarded a win (from memory one claimed mate and the other that his flag had fallen before doing so). While not an ECF event presumably it would have been ECF rapidplay graded.
I vaguely remember a story like that where the Grendel and Somerset player, Steve Boniface, was the arbiter. I don't remember it being a Richmond Rapidplay but could be wrong about that.
You may be thinking of an event, which was not rated, described (Here)

Paragraph 10 is the relevant one, repeated here:-

There's been a dispute - could you sort it?" A boy of about ten was playing a man in his late seventies and the boy was winning easily. He got a pawn to the eighth rank and announced a queen, but not finding a queen to hand he left the pawn in situ. When on his next move he attempted to move his pawn as a queen the man claimed a win for an illegal move (they were playing the blitz rule that illegal moves lose). Steve knew the final round was being delayed and the man was adamant that he must have the win; the small boy was looking very confused. Having checked that the result would not make any difference to any prize money, Steve came up with a quick and unique solution. He took the man off to one side and informed him that he had won the game. He then did exactly the same thing with the young lad.

I don't think arbiting in this way is appropriate. Surely rather than lying to a player explaining the rules is a better approach. At least one of those players went away with an incorrect knowledge of the rules, to propagate further disputes.

Brian Towers
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by Brian Towers » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:28 pm

E Michael White wrote:I don't think arbiting in this way is appropriate. Surely rather than lying to a player explaining the rules is a better approach. At least one of those players went away with an incorrect knowledge of the rules, to propagate further disputes.
De mortuis nil nisi bonum notwithstanding, I agree wholeheartedly. Part of an arbiter's job is education when disputes like this occur. One side is right and one wrong and the least that should be achieved is that afterwards both should be aware of the rules to prevent it happening again.

Far better if he had explained to the little boy that he is entitled to stop the clocks and ask the arbiter to bring him a queen if there isn't one available and that's what he should do next time. Then explain that confusion would reign if some pawns on the board were really promoted pieces and that means he isn't allowed to do what he did.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Apr 19, 2015 12:47 pm

I agree to an extent that discreetly allowing both players their claim is sweeping the issue under the carpet and that arbiters should educate players on the rules where necessary. However (and I'm prepared to be controversial here) in the case above while the old man had the rights of the claim the young player was winning fair and square and for the old man to claim a win in such circumstances is pretty dispicable. Had I been running the event I might given the old man the point and promptly slung him out of the event for being such a bad sport.

It must be added that I say this partly because it puts me in mind of a club competition incident ten years ago that I still wish I'd handled difficulty.

Anyway we have drifted slightly from the point which is that Mr Lancaster, having started the thread, hasn't answered my question regarding what decision he thinks should have been made in the original case.
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Roger Lancaster
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:29 pm

Sorry, Andrew, but in saying "I can't see that at any point do (Watford) state what decision they think should have been made in this difficult case" you seem to have overlooked that Watford did precisely this in their response of 26 March published on the club's website.

After pointing out that the situation frequently occurs where the arbiter - not having been present at the critical moment - cannot distinguish between two conflicting accounts, Watford's response says "Normal practice in these situations – another example might be where one player claims the opponent intentionally touched a piece but the opponent denies this, the arbiter not having witnessed the alleged incident – is to give the benefit of the doubt". Paraphrased, unless the balance of probabilities is that an event did take place, it is deemed not to have taken place.

E Michael White
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by E Michael White » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:06 am

Roger,

Am I correct in thinking that the game in issue, being in the U8 event, would be played under Rapidplay rules due to the rates of play ? These would be the new FIDE rules as at 1st July 2014 which have important differences compared to the previous set.

If this is so the treatment of illegal moves and illegal positions is different from Longplay games. In addition required and discretionary arbiter intervention are governed differently, as is the return back to the immediately prior correct position stipulation.

I think that in the British Championships it is unsatisfactory if the U8 is played under Rapidplay rules and the U9 Longplay as the U8s would lose after 1 illegal move whereas the U9s after 2.

However best to establish the ruleset before further comment.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:21 am

E Michael White wrote: I think that in the British Championships it is unsatisfactory if the U8 is played under Rapidplay rules and the U9 Longplay as the U8s would lose after 1 illegal move whereas the U9s after 2.
Don't forget that the Chess Arbiters Association came up with "leniency rules" designed for use in Junior tournaments.

E Michael White
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by E Michael White » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:30 am

Yep I knew that bit. After FIDE issue new rules, the CAA nearly always come up with things they disagree with and cause much confusion with their utterances. The walkback and arbiter intervention parts were not tinkered with though. Without looking it up I think they only altered the number of illegal moves for young players but that would need to be mentioned in the program if the events were to be graded. Perhaps the games are played as Longplay but with a faster time limit. Usually if you ask young juniors which rules they prefer, they say the normal adult rules.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by Roger Lancaster » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:04 am

As to which rules, Watford explicitly asked ECF this at a very early stage, receiving no direct answer, but the most reasonable assumption appears to be that July 2014 rapidplay rules applied.

As to Roger's point about leniency, if I recall rightly this applied to young and inexperienced players. But the beneficiary of the "leniency" here was so inexperienced that the ECF had already selected him to represent England in international events in Asia and South America where, incidentally, he performed excellently. The point surely is that, if the ECF considered him experienced enough to play inter alia in a former Soviet republic, he was not the inexperienced player that the leniency aimed to protect - and the ECF knew this.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:34 am

Roger Lancaster wrote:As to Roger's point about leniency, if I recall rightly this applied to young and inexperienced players. But the beneficiary of the "leniency" here was so inexperienced that the ECF had already selected him to represent England in international events in Asia and South America where, incidentally, he performed excellently. The point surely is that, if the ECF considered him experienced enough to play inter alia in a former Soviet republic, he was not the inexperienced player that the leniency aimed to protect - and the ECF knew this.
I haven't actually seen the rule in question, but my supposition would be that it applies to events, not specific players within them.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 1 1/2 points per game

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:58 am

IM Jack Rudd wrote: I haven't actually seen the rule in question, but my supposition would be that it applies to events, not specific players within them.
I think the relevant material is in
http://www.chessarbitersassociation.co. ... E_Laws.pdf

which says
Illegal Moves (7.5b & Appendix A4b)
For inexperienced players (indicated by age and/or grade) it is advisable not to enforce this Article with its full vigour. Each illegal move should be penalised by giving the opponent additional time until the arbiter decides it is too distracting. The opponent will be given an additional 2 minutes in standard play and 1 minute in Rapidplay.
( The tournament entry form should state if this exemption applies. An error could still be punished to the full extent of the Laws.)
It's event based to the extent that it applies or not. But if it does apply, it appears worded as player specific.

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