European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Apr

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Sean Hewitt

Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:58 am

John Saunders wrote:The zero-tolerance rule is just plain stupid and indefensible. It infantilises players and creates unnecessary extra work for arbiters and team officials. It's just another ridiculous way the Fidementors have found to suck the life out of chess.
I'm just thinking about Man Utd -v- Chelsea if one team racked up 15 minutes late :lol:

In fact, there I can't think of any other game or sport where it's permissible for a participant not to be present at the start.

As I said, I don't think it's necessary for most events but for a small minority of high profile tournaments I can see it's value. To say it's indefensible is not to see it from the organisers or sponsors point of view.

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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:10 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:Didn't the FFE try to get the rule removed for the Euros? FIDE said no.
As I understand it, that's correct.
I think it was the European Chess Union which insisted on the rule, but the point stands.

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote: It helps if the arbiters aren't that keen on catching players. In Dresden and that Chinese event, it seemed as if the arbiters were determined to catch people, if only on a technicality. In Khanty, didn't they try to get a "ready to go" signal from each match?
The instructions to us were to be flexible in round 1, but strict thereafter. Consequently, we compiled a full list of instructions which we would announce at the start of round 1. In English and French (and Italian and Spanish if necessary) to ensure all players made it. Of course, the announcements were started at 3pm :D As it happens, everyone was seated at the board at 2.57pm so no problems.

Yesterday, in my playing area (200 players) we were told to start on the dot at 3pm. So we put up large digital clocks on wide screens, and announced 5 mins to go, 4 mins etc. We started at exactly 3pm with all players present.
I'm fascinated by the practicalities of some of this.

You have a long list of instructions, which you have to read out in English and French whilst at the same time checking that everyone has turned up. Had there been any absentees, you were to proceed to read the instructions out in Italian and if necessary in Spanish. What would have happened if someone had still been missing - did you have German and Russian texts prepared just in case?

I imagine the sight of you working your way through these various scripts would have served to lift the tension to which Richard Bates alluded up thread.

At Guernsey there are about 100-120 players and I have a view of the room from a stage at one end. I would have difficulty in knowing for certain whether or not everyone is present at the start of play. However, you are apparently expected to determine this with double the number. Good eyesight is clearly a requirement for being an arbiter at an event of this kind.

How are things going to work if, later in the event, there are a couple of players missing in different parts of the hall? How can you default them both at once? I've had this problem even with a 30 minute default time, with a player getting away with turning up 30 minutes and 10 seconds late whilst I was defaulting someone else.

My assumption that it's just you in the area is, of course, a wilful misinterpretation on my part. I imagine that in fact you're part of a team of three or four, with a variety of language skills. All the same, my points stand to some extent. Is there any chance of getting some photographs of the hall at the start of play, so that we can see how it all works?

Anyway, do please keep up your dispatches from the front line and good luck for the remainder of the event.

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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:18 pm

"In fact, there I can't think of any other game or sport where it's permissible for a participant not to be present at the start."

I believe in snooker you forfeit a frame if you are late, and then the match if you're somewhat later? In poker, you keep losing your ante until it runs out.

The zero-default came in as they were only thinking of tournaments where all the players are staying in the venue (assuming the venue is a hotel). It might seem sensible then for a few players, but not for a bigger event, and not where transport is involved...
Also if you are standing by the board, you are there - it is daft to say you are absent.
You need the legislators to actually think about what they are doing. Hockey changed the laws so you could lift the ball as long as it was safe, which was fine for international players, who could doubtless control an aerial ball very well, but it proved to be complete chaos in Surrey Division 3!
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:23 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: I'm just thinking about Man Utd -v- Chelsea if one team racked up 15 minutes late :lol:
.
You postpone the kick-off. The whole world may want to see the match.

When are there ever defaults in football?

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John Saunders
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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by John Saunders » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:24 pm

No, that won't do at all, I'm afraid, Sean. Footballers are paid vast sums of money to do what they do and in return they have to accept a number of responsibilities. It's easy enough to penalise them (via their pocket) if they break the rules without resorting to aborting the match. That's what we are talking about it, isn't it?

The stuff about sponsors is just a red herring, born of an incident when Ilyumzhinov and Samaranch were left waiting for a player to turn up to make a ceremonial move (been told many times, too boring to reproduce). Because of this one brief moment of embarrassment for the Chief Fidementor, and no doubt under heavy pressure from him, his minions came up with this ludicrous rule which skews the accepted practice of the game and causes players and officials a huge amount of aggravation.

And I thought you were against 'chess prevention'! That's what this is. The tournament you are arbiting may be lumbered with this daft rule, which is not your fault, but that's no reason to defend the indefensible. It's a travesty of a mockery of a sham of two mockeries of a travesty...

Good luck with the tournament.

EDIT: I see a number of others have jumped in on your dodgy analogy while I've been drafting this!
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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:29 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:I believe in snooker you forfeit a frame if you are late, and then the match if you're somewhat later?
You forfeit one frame for every 10 minutes that you're late, I think.

The example of this is that is the 1979 UK Championship Final between John Virgo and Terry Griffiths. Virgo had the wrong resumption time for the session on the final Saturday afternoon - it being an hour earlier than all the other afternoon sessions had been so that Grandstand could broadcast it - and he was docked two frames, reducing his lead from 11-7 to 11-9.

Griffiths felt guilty about receiving two frames by default, and allegedly offered to split the prize money with Virgo. He was still 11-9 down at that point! This riled Virgo, and probably gave him the impotace to go on to win 14-13.

Virgo usually mentions this at least twice a season; usually at the UK. Makes a change from "Where's the cueball going?!" and "It's the old problem. It's not hitting it, it's getting it safe."

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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:30 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
John Saunders wrote:The zero-tolerance rule is just plain stupid and indefensible. It infantilises players and creates unnecessary extra work for arbiters and team officials. It's just another ridiculous way the Fidementors have found to suck the life out of chess.
I'm just thinking about Man Utd -v- Chelsea if one team racked up 15 minutes late :lol:

In fact, there I can't think of any other game or sport where it's permissible for a participant not to be present at the start.

As I said, I don't think it's necessary for most events but for a small minority of high profile tournaments I can see it's value. To say it's indefensible is not to see it from the organisers or sponsors point of view.
In cricket, it's not essential that all the members of the batting side are present at the start of a session.

In snooker, you're penalised for being late by the loss of a frame, or more than one frame if you're very late. The same happens at certain types of bridge events - you get an "average minus" on one or more boards.

These are more severe penalties than merely having your clock started at chess, but less drastic than forfeiting the game or match.

At the London Chess Classic, Malcom Pein likes to welcome the players onto the stage, snooker style. Hence it is indeed embarrassing and awkward if players are late. If we wait for them, this irritates those who have made the effort to be on time.

Accordingly the players' contracts require them to be there for the start and if they're not Malcolm can deal with it as he sees fit. That doesn't necessitate our having a 0 minutes default time, potentially depriving the spectators of 25% of the action which they've paid to see.

Getting back to Manchester United v Clelsea, didn't Middlesbrough fail to turn up to play Blackburn a few years ago? My recollection is that Middlesbrough suffered a points deduction, but the game was rescheduled.

Sean Hewitt

Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:33 pm

John Saunders wrote:No, that won't do at all, I'm afraid, Sean. Footballers are paid vast sums of money to do what they do and in return they have to accept a number of responsibilities.
A schoolboy error Mr Saunders. That may be true in the Premier league, but it is not the case at lower levels.

I refereed Wigan -v- Northwich recently. They are not paid vast sums. And yet they were all able to make it onto the field of play to kick off on time. AMAZING :lol:
John Saunders wrote: And I thought you were against 'chess prevention'! That's what this is.
It's only chess prevention if players don't turn up on time. As the players (thus far) are turning up when they should that's not the case.

To be fair - I'm not saying that zero default is desirable or suitable for all tournaments. Simply that I can understand why it is sometimes desirable to have players at the board at the start of the game and how this rule can be implemented in certain events without causing the chaos that some (including me before I witnessed it first hand) thought that it would cause.
Last edited by Sean Hewitt on Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Sean Hewitt

Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:35 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:My assumption that it's just you in the area is, of course, a wilful misinterpretation on my part. I imagine that in fact you're part of a team of three or four, with a variety of language skills. All the same, my points stand to some extent. Is there any chance of getting some photographs of the hall at the start of play, so that we can see how it all works?.
There are 4 arbiters in my playing hall and we look after 24 boards each. I have 101-124, which is just 6 rows on 4 boards so it's not too difficult.

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David Shepherd
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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by David Shepherd » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:36 pm

I was thinking something along the lines of your opponent being allowed to claim double the time you were late. So for example if your clock had used 10 minutes when you arrive 10 minute penalty allowed in addition. Interestingly if there was not a zero default time but you were late through finishing some last minute computer analysis could you be defaulted for using a computer whilst your game was in progress?

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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:37 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:"
I believe in snooker you forfeit a frame if you are late, and then the match if you're somewhat later? In poker, you keep losing your ante until it runs out.
In a recent Wimbledons, was it not the case that one of the Williams sisters was scheduled to play on an outer court and was last arriving as she didn't know where it was and was expecting someone to fetch her? The match was still played. Isn't it normal in tennis to play a few warm up rallies first, so matches always have a slightly variable start time, essentially when both players are present and ready to go.

There are many examples of sports and pastimes with flexible start times and penalties for lateness being somewhat less than forfeiture.

(edit) I think the point that chess is unique in allowing late arrival without forfeit is demonstrably false.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sean Hewitt

Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:41 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:Getting back to Manchester United v Clelsea, didn't Middlesbrough fail to turn up to play Blackburn a few years ago?
Yes.
David Sedgwick wrote:My recollection is that Middlesbrough suffered a points deduction, but the game was rescheduled.
The penalty was harsher than a default. They were deducted three league points which had the net effect that, had they won the re-arranged game, they would have recorded 0 points. As it was they lost anyway, scored a net -3 and were relegated from the Premier League as a result.

Are you suggesting we do that in chess instead? :D

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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:45 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Kevin Thurlow wrote:I believe in snooker you forfeit a frame if you are late, and then the match if you're somewhat later?
You forfeit one frame for every 10 minutes that you're late, I think.

The example of this is that is the 1979 UK Championship Final between John Virgo and Terry Griffiths. Virgo had the wrong resumption time for the session on the final Saturday afternoon - it being an hour earlier than all the other afternoon sessions had been so that Grandstand could broadcast it - and he was docked two frames, reducing his lead from 11-7 to 11-9.

Griffiths felt guilty about receiving two frames by default, and allegedly offered to split the prize money with Virgo. He was still 11-9 down at that point! This riled Virgo, and probably gave him the impotace to go on to win 14-13.
I don't understand the last sentence of yours which I've quoted. I can't find "impotace" in Dictionary.com.

I watched some of the broadcast to which you refer. My recollection is that the penalty was one frame for every 20 minutes of lateness, or part thereof, and that Virgo was 30 -35 minutes late.

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Ben Purton
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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by Ben Purton » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:46 pm

I wonder how many - points the Sambuca Sharks would get if this rule was put in to 4NCL
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Re: European Individual Chess Championship Mar 21st - 3rd Ap

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:49 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: The penalty was harsher than a default. They were deducted three league points which had the net effect that, had they won the re-arranged game, they would have recorded 0 points. As it was they lost anyway, scored a net -3 and were relegated from the Premier League as a result.

Are you suggesting we do that in chess instead? :D
In the 4NCL, failing to show up is a much worse offence than being up to an hour late. Ask Nottinghamshire.

If a team coach was delayed by traffic for a few minutes, you would reschedule the game rather than default it.

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