ECF to refuse to grade Games?

General discussions about grading.
Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:14 pm

NickFaulks wrote:If anyone could offer an explanation of how either of the two suggestions in the original post is of the slightest relevance to any FIDE regulations, either in place or under consideration, I should be most grateful.
The new FIDE Laws of Chess appear to ban the presence of mobile phones. Assuming a league or congress went against this and permitted them, should the ECF refuse to accept the event for domestic grading?

There's an opinion voiced by Stewart Reuben amongst others that the FIDE Laws of Chess do not permit the process of adjudication. Again the issue is as to whether the ECF should accept such games into domestic grading. That's not just where the game was actually terminated and a result then agreed or imposed, but whether the possibility of an adjudication should prevent a game being graded.

Given that the ECF raise money from individuals and organisations against the threat to exclude them from the grading list, that should of itself render the discussion pointless. But it's now out in the open, and the wider representation at the next AGM should be able to endorse, or more likely stamp on these fantasies from ECF directors.

NickFaulks
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by NickFaulks » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:03 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
The new FIDE Laws of Chess appear to ban the presence of mobile phones. Assuming a league or congress went against this and permitted them, should the ECF refuse to accept the event for domestic grading?
My point is that whatever you think the present or proposed FIDE rules say, they certainly do not distinguish ( rightly in my opinion ) between cellphones that are turned on and those that are not. The ECF idea, while they have every right to impose it if they want to, is of no relevance to FIDE.
There's an opinion voiced by Stewart Reuben amongst others that the FIDE Laws of Chess do not permit the process of adjudication.
I read this too fast, and thought it was about adjournments, not adjudication. I had actually forgotten that the latter still happen. Games with adjudication are certainly not permitted for FIDE rating, and I imagine never have been, presumably because they have always breached the Laws.

If the ECF were to require players to play their own moves in order that games be graded, then my personal view would be that the decision came not before time. Just don't do it "under protest" and blame FIDE, who don't care.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:25 pm

NickFaulks wrote:The ECF idea, while they have every right to impose it if they want to, is of no relevance to FIDE.
The point is that the FIDE rule is of relevance to the ECF. If the FIDE rule didn't exist ECF jobsworths would not be able to appeal to the "rules is rules" mindset to attempt to force leagues and Congresses to choose between continuing to exist without ECF grading or seriously reducing the number of players who could plausibly take part.

The big and obvious example is the London League. Many of those participating do so after their day's work and before their journey home by public transport. I would have thought it next to impossible for most of them not to have a phone in their possession. So the London League, despite the array of titled players for Wood Green v Drunken Knights clashes will not ever be FIDE rated. No-one would really care, but the ECF loses revenue and credibility if it forces the London League to go ungraded as well.

David Sedgwick
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:52 pm

NickFaulks wrote:I had actually forgotten that the latter still happen. Games with adjudication are certainly not permitted for FIDE rating, and I imagine never have been, presumably because they have always breached the Laws.
Your final point is not correct.

In the 1985 Laws, approved at Thessaloniki Congress 1984, Law 8.1 reads in part as follows:

"If, during a game, it is found that an illegal move was made, the position shall be reinstated to what it was before the illegal move was made. ... This applies to all sessions of play and to a game awaiting a decision by adjudication."

So the Laws admitted of adjudication at that time.

NickFaulks
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:31 pm

David Sedgwick wrote: Your final point is not correct.

In the 1985 Laws, approved at Thessaloniki Congress 1984, Law 8.1 reads in part as follows:

"If, during a game, it is found that an illegal move was made, the position shall be reinstated to what it was before the illegal move was made. ... This applies to all sessions of play and to a game awaiting a decision by adjudication."

So the Laws admitted of adjudication at that time.
Thanks, I'm offering too many hostages to fortune at the moment. I still think I'm right that they have never been rated, but await informed contradiction on that too!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:41 pm

NickFaulks wrote: I still think I'm right that they have never been rated, but await informed contradiction on that too!
That's almost certainly right as far as FIDE rating is concerned, since even allowing quickplay finishes to be rated came in at around the time the male minimum rating was reduced to 2000. That was 1990 ish. Before that, international tournaments would have had perpetual adjournments and repeating time controls.

The practice of adjudication, in the UK at least, pre-dates both FIDE and the development of grading or rating systems.

Mike Gunn
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Mike Gunn » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:10 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: The practice of adjudication, in the UK at least, pre-dates both FIDE and the development of grading or rating systems.
Surrey has been adjudicating games since 1883. It is not a practice that I favour personally but it is still preferred in Surrey by more than 30% of players (specifically these players choose adjudication over either quickplay finish or adjournment) although the number of games which are actually adjudicated is in single figures each year. If the ECF said they would not grade our league as a result of this practice then our members would decide what we should do, but there is a strong chance that Surrey would go its own way (and the ECF would lose some income).

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:39 pm

Mike Gunn wrote: although the number of games which are actually adjudicated is in single figures each year.
Did you mean contested adjudication where "Surrey" has to decide the result? Games unfinished at the end of session, but where the players, teams or captains agree an undisputed result are still "adjudicated".

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pm

30% is, of course, not a majority - and I expect they *tend* to be the older players too?

About time they were gently nudged into the 21st century, methinks ;)
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Mike Gunn
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Mike Gunn » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:26 pm

Before the game the players have to agree on whether the session ends with a quickplay finish, the game is adjourned or sent for adjudication. (In detail the away player offers 2 of the 3 and the home player chooses, so each player is guaranteed at least their 2nd choice and nobody is forced to accept the finish they want least.) Somewhere between 30% and 40% of games end up heading for adjudication but in the vast majority of cases the game result is agreed between the players (and captains) and only a small number (<10) is sent to the adjudicator each year.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:18 am

"Before the game the players have to agree on whether the session ends with a quickplay finish, the game is adjourned or sent for adjudication. (In detail the away player offers 2 of the 3 and the home player chooses, so each player is guaranteed at least their 2nd choice and nobody is forced to accept the finish they want least.) Somewhere between 30% and 40% of games end up heading for adjudication but in the vast majority of cases the game result is agreed between the players (and captains) and only a small number (<10) is sent to the adjudicator each year."

And because of the eminently sensible system outlined by Mike, many people will accept adjudication as it is preferable to adjournment. So there are not 30 % of people liking adjudication.

Added to that, if you force people into a time-limit they don't like, they might stop playing, and that would not be sensible.

Brian Valentine
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Brian Valentine » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:14 am

A few points on the discussion so far:
1. As far as I know the ECF directors have not been involved in setting up this exercise.
2. I wish I had commented on this first time: The issue is not the ECF refusing to grade games, but the grading team seeking to define what constitutes a game of chess (albeit for grading purposes).
3. The "natural starting point" is the FIDE laws of chess and then defining acceptable modifications (for grading purposes). (The website currently states that eligibility is that the FIDE laws of chess - without modification- are used. This is why the adjudication issue crops up.)
4. I don't regard it as within the grading team powers to change the way chess is played in England, but we are expected to supervise the system and report on developments. The July FIDE changes are such a development. Depending on where we get, the directors/council may get involved.

The issue with adjudication is that (as far as I can see) it is not covered by the FIDE laws. I played Surrey League chess for over 15 years and currently play Herts league, where both have negotiating rituals on exactly what sort of finish will take place. These related rituals are not part of how FIDE laws are founded - the implication is that one time limit schedule for the competition is set before the competition begins.

While we need as many similarly conducted games graded as possible to improve the accuracy of the system, there must be some limits on the definition of "similar" conditions of games included. For instance at present we separate rapidplay and exclude lightning and correspondence. Should we accept a game with a time limit of 10 moves in an hour followed by adjudication?

I have no gagging order!

Brian Valentine
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:26 am

Brian Valentine wrote:1. As far as I know the ECF directors have not been involved in setting up this exercise.
That's a worry of itself. It remains my view that the grading team went off at a complete tangent with the revaluation exercise, committing itself to a project expensive in man hours and opportunity cost without the approval of Directors or voting membership.
Brian Valentine wrote: The issue is not the ECF refusing to grade games, but the grading team seeking to define what constitutes a game of chess (albeit for grading purposes).
I'm inclined to think that is the same, or it becomes the same if you use a rigorous interpretation. You could just reword it to "generally in accordance with the FIDE Laws in Chess" with the intent that using descriptive notation, for example, or having no penalty for switched off devices didn't preclude a game from being graded.
Brian Valentine wrote: Should we accept a game with a time limit of 10 moves in an hour followed by adjudication?
Intrinsic to the concept of adjudication is the concept of a minimum number of moves. I'm not sure the lowest remaining minimum, it used to be thirty. Other than moans from the gamesmanship players who rarely venture beyond the statutory minimum, why not keep the concept but refine the detail? A minimum number of moves of 60 before a game can be adjudicated.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Michael Farthing » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:49 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Brian Valentine wrote: Intrinsic to the concept of adjudication is the concept of a minimum number of moves. I'm not sure the lowest remaining minimum, it used to be thirty. Other than moans from the gamesmanship players who rarely venture beyond the statutory minimum, why not keep the concept but refine the detail? A minimum number of moves of 60 before a game can be adjudicated.
But Roger, these are evening games, and as I hadn't appreciated earlier, it seems in London they all get played between work and teatime. What time limits (other than fast finishes) can get you up to 60 moves in an acceptable number of hours? OK, maybe 60 was just an example, but I think it would be hard to find a number that both addresses the gamesmanship and deals with the time constraints.

Up here, we go home, have a shower and tea, come out refreshed and get it done in the night with a fast finish. No choice. I don't really like the fast finishes personally but reluctantly I have to concede it's better than the alternatives.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF to refuse to grade Games?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:59 am

Michael Farthing wrote: What time limits (other than fast finishes) can get you up to 60 moves in an acceptable number of hours?
Ninety minutes. Notionally you play the first thirty at two minutes a move and the second thirty at one minute a move. You don't need to score with five minutes remaining provided the moves can be counted and it's basically a quick play finish without any of the "win by normal means" baggage. So if you have a winning position at move 30, you just have to reach move 60 and still be winning.

It didn't use to be legal under the grading rules because they had a maximum "pace of play" rule. That was abolished at least ten years ago, by which time league AGMs not dominated by the gamesmanship advocates had already switched to quick-play finishes.

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