Chess in Iran

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Timeline for 2800 ratings

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:46 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:44 pm
FIDE have a regulation that, if two countries are at war with each other, yet are playing in the same event, then they are allowed to refuse to be paired together. Thus presumably, during the Falklands crisis, Argentine and UK teams did not have to play against each other.

The problem regarding Israel is that some Arabic countries and Iran regard themselves as being at war with Israel. BUT Israel does not regard itself as being at war with them.
In this post-Geneva world, no two countries will ever declare war on each other again. War implies prisoners of war whom you have to treat humanely. No-one wants that.
Stewart Reuben wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:44 pm
It is not the fault of the chess federation. If there is any fault, it is the decision of the national government. I doubt the chess federation has any say in the matter.
Can English players get out of playing against Russians if our national government (rightly) decides to further sanction Russia? I think we should petition them to do that. That would give our players a huge advantage in international competitions!

There's no reason we should tolerate Iranians opting out of playing Israelis. If that means unfairly penalising Iranian players, so be it. Get them to take it up with their national government. Pressure from their own players counts far more than pressure from us.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for the ancient kingdom of Bernicia (or Northumberland and Durham, if you prefer).
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Nick Burrows
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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by Nick Burrows » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:56 pm

Punishing Iranian players for the actions and threats of their government is a) deeply unfair b) will not change their governments stance one jot - they do not give a sh*t about chess in the wider context of their enmity towards Israel.

Are we or Israeli players really losing anything by them not playing each other? Who cares?

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:21 pm

Nick Burrows wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:56 pm
Punishing Iranian players for the actions and threats of their government is a) deeply unfair b) will not change their governments stance one jot - they do not give a sh*t about chess in the wider context of their enmity towards Israel.

Are we or Israeli players really losing anything by them not playing each other? Who cares?
It's not deeply unfair. It's treating them the same as everyone else. The subsequent actions of their government are what's deeply unfair. They could very easily choose not to ban those players.

How do we know it won't change their government's stance one jot? We haven't tried it. How do you think things ever change? If you could predict everything that was going to happen, word would have gotten out.

Israel's top 10 players outgrade Iran's top 10 players by about 100 points, so refusing to play Israelis is a competitive advantage for Iran. The equivalent would be if we refused to play Russians.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for the ancient kingdom of Bernicia (or Northumberland and Durham, if you prefer).
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:56 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:21 pm
Israel's top 10 players outgrade Iran's top 10 players by about 100 points, so refusing to play Israelis is a competitive advantage for Iran.
It's not, no. The situations where this will occur are either Olympiads (in which case Iran will instead be paired against a team as close in standard to Israel as possible), or individual tournaments (where an affected Iranian player will be paired against someone as close in rating to the Israeli they should have played as possible).

The only situations where Iranians' refusal to play Israelis tends to make large differences are ones where the organizer outright refuses to change the pairings to account for that situation, and then the Iranian tends to lose by default, which is clearly a competitive disadvantage.

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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:19 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:56 pm
The only situations where Iranians' refusal to play Israelis tends to make large differences are ones where the organizer outright refuses to change the pairings to account for that situation
Where organisers are willing to take this principled stand, why would they not back it up by making it an explicit condition of entry that players must agree to play anyone they are drawn against? Failure to conform would result in automatic expulsion from the tournament.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:53 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:56 pm
individual tournaments (where an affected Iranian player will be paired against someone as close in rating to the Israeli they should have played as possible).
Sure, if you're selecting the players from an infinitely large pool. But taking an Iranian's finite pool of potential opponents and removing the Israelis from it will make it a lower-graded finite pool on average.

Extreme example, a 9-round Swiss consisting of the top 10 Israelis and the top 10 Iranians. With Israeli-Iranian pairings barred, each Iranian will play the 9 other Iranians, and each Israeli will play the 9 other Israelis. This is great news for the Iranians, who get lower-graded opponents.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for the ancient kingdom of Bernicia (or Northumberland and Durham, if you prefer).
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:01 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:53 pm
IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:56 pm
individual tournaments (where an affected Iranian player will be paired against someone as close in rating to the Israeli they should have played as possible).
Sure, if you're selecting the players from an infinitely large pool. But taking an Iranian's finite pool of potential opponents and removing the Israelis from it will make it a lower-graded finite pool on average.
That's extremely dependent on who the actual entrants are.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:48 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:01 pm
Chris Goodall wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:53 pm
IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:56 pm
individual tournaments (where an affected Iranian player will be paired against someone as close in rating to the Israeli they should have played as possible).
Sure, if you're selecting the players from an infinitely large pool. But taking an Iranian's finite pool of potential opponents and removing the Israelis from it will make it a lower-graded finite pool on average.
That's extremely dependent on who the actual entrants are.
Yes. Of course. Which is why the generally higher grades of Israeli players is significant. Take the Chess World Cup. In 2005, Iran's Maghami (2586) outgraded Israel's Erenburg (2582). In the six CWCs since then, every Israeli has outgraded every Iranian. (Not a slur against Iranian players, but a simple observation - Israel had rather a head start after all.)

This is common sense, surely? If the distribution of Israelis in the grading list is such that the Israeli entering your tournament is more likely to be the top seed than the bottom seed, and you object to playing the top seed in your tournament, then you've got an unfair advantage?
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for the ancient kingdom of Bernicia (or Northumberland and Durham, if you prefer).
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Stewart Reuben
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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:52 pm

The silliest incident was the first round of the 2008 Olympiads. Israel was paired with Yemen in round 1. As soon as I saw this, I knew that Yemen was going to default. Thus Israel won 4-0 and eventually finished, I think, 3rd on tiebreak. They had received an advantage.
The excuse made was that Yemen had failed to put in a list of teams they could (would?) not play against. Complete nonsense of course.


In 1977 for the first Lloyds Bank Masters there was an incident at the earlier British Championships. Because of this I allowed everybody to select three opponents thy didn't want to play against, if possible. Quinteros and Torre were travelling with their wives. They asked not to be paired together, although realising it might have to be. As it happened, although the number 1 and 2 seeds, they never got close to meeting.

Danny Kopec asked not to be paired with Shamkovich. Avoiding that pairing meant Danny did not get an IM norm. Possibly that was later.

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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:55 pm

Chris Goodall wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:21 pm

How do we know it won't change (the Iranian) government's stance one jot? We haven't tried it. How do you think things ever change? If you could predict everything that was going to happen, word would have gotten out.
Chris, this is the government that bangs up British citizens with dual Iranian nationality and pretty much disregards any representations made by the UK government in that respect. It's probably unfair to call it a theocracy, because there is a secular element within government, but even this secular element has to keep looking over its shoulders at the religious leaders there. While those religious leaders believe that Allah tells them to give Jews, and even the wrong type of Muslim, a hard time they are not going to say, "Well, if that's what FIDE thinks, maybe Allah has got it wrong".

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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:56 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:52 pm
The silliest incident was the first round of the 2008 Olympiads. Israel was paired with Yemen in round 1. As soon as I saw this, I knew that Yemen was going to default. Thus Israel won 4-0 and eventually finished, I think, 3rd on tiebreak. They had received an advantage.
Dresden 2008 is of course remembered as the Olympiad where every imaginable stupid thing that could have occurred did.

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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:21 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:56 pm
Stewart Reuben wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:52 pm
The silliest incident was the first round of the 2008 Olympiads. Israel was paired with Yemen in round 1. As soon as I saw this, I knew that Yemen was going to default. Thus Israel won 4-0 and eventually finished, I think, 3rd on tiebreak. They had received an advantage.
Dresden 2008 is of course remembered as the Olympiad where every imaginable stupid thing that could have occurred did.
Do elaborate!

The only stupid things Google has revealed so far are that Ilyumzhinov wasn't at the Opening Ceremony because he was involved in a car crash, and "Leonid Timoshenko, a representative of the Ukrainian Chess Federation, has had a precious diamond he was carrying stolen." As you do.

David Sedgwick
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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:42 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:56 pm
Dresden 2008 is of course remembered as the Olympiad where every imaginable stupid thing that could have occurred did.
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:21 pm
Do elaborate!
While what Nick says about Dresden Olympiad 2008 may well be true, the Yemen v Israel non-match was at Khanty-Mansiysk Olympiad 2010.

The most notorious incident at Dresden Olympiad 2008 involved GM Evgenij Ermenkov. He arrived for his game in Round 11 and tried to head up his scoresheet, but his pen failed to write. On the arbiter's table at the end of the row of boards there were spare pens, so Eremenkov went to get one and returned to his board. The round trip took about 20 seconds, but during those 20 seconds the gong sounded for the start of the round. As he was not actually seated at the board at the crucial moment, he was defaulted under the zero tolerance rule.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Chess in Iran

Post by Chris Goodall » Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:50 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:55 pm
While those religious leaders believe that Allah tells them to give Jews, and even the wrong type of Muslim, a hard time they are not going to say, "Well, if that's what FIDE thinks, maybe Allah has got it wrong".
Allah never said anything about the appropriate punishment for playing chess with an Israeli. Note, Israeli, not Jew. Iranians have played non-Israeli Jews without controversy. Judit Polgar in the first round of the stupid Dresden Olympiad for example. Did Allah tell the leaders of Iran to distinguish between Jews from Israel and Jews from Hungary? Or did the Iranians make the rule up off the top of their heads and give it a religious pretext?

I think we should be careful not to take at face value the kind of strop to which, if it were thrown by a Christian country, our response would be "that's ridiculous, grow up".
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. ECF Grader for the ancient kingdom of Bernicia (or Northumberland and Durham, if you prefer).
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IanCalvert
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Re: Iran v Israel Chess

Post by IanCalvert » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:58 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:44 pm
FIDE have a regulation that, if two countries are at war with each other, yet are playing in the same event, then they are allowed to refuse to be paired together. Thus presumably, during the Falklands crisis, Argentine and UK teams did not have to play against each other.

The problem regarding Israel is that some Arabic countries and Iran regard themselves as being at war with Israel. BUT Israel does not regard itself as being at war with them.

One common sense approach might be that if at least one of the two countries federations formally states that " a state of war" exists then they are not paired for chess matches. Doubtless there will need to be some limit on the number of "states of war " a federation can claim. Would the Lloyds Bank three be enough for the US federation??

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