To grade or not to grade

General discussions about grading.
Andy McAtear
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To grade or not to grade

Post by Andy McAtear » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:55 pm

Having recently taken over as Cumbria's grading officer, I'm unsure as to whether or not this game should be sent for grading:

Scenario: Player A arrives 45 minutes late for an evening match, his clock was started at 7 pm (the official start time). Player B's captain asks "isn't there a rule whereby a player defaults after 30 minutes?" but no one is certain of this. However, as player A has turned up, player B agrees to play the game, having been assured that, if there is such a rule in the constitution, he will win by default anyway. Despite having half the time of his opponent, player A wins the game with seconds to spare. Having got home and read through the constitution,where indeed there is such a rule, player A's team captain reports the result to the league controller as a default in favour of player B.

My question is this, should the game be submitted for grading purposes?

........Andy.

David Robertson
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by David Robertson » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:09 pm

I know absolutely nothing about the arcania of grading rules. But that certainly won't stop me giving a judgement:

The game should not be graded

Why? Because no lawful game has taken place

(...and if this doesn't generate a dozen pages of argy-bargy, I'm an arbiter :-) )

Andy McAtear
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by Andy McAtear » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:17 pm

Can you elaborate David? In what way was the game not legal? It was played under match conditions and both players were happy to play it. If both players were at the board for the start time but white took 45 minutes to play his first move, is he penalised? (other than by 45 minutes of his time).
Thanks for your reply.....Andy.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:25 pm

The usual precedent is to score the default for league purposes but grade the game as a "friendly". That's conditional on the players, arbiters or match captains having agreed to this preferably before the game started. A half hour default in league chess is unusually harsh. Many leagues would set the time at an hour or an hour after the notional start time.

David Robertson
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by David Robertson » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:25 pm

Point 1: I said "lawful", not 'legal'. That should get m'learned friends involved!

Point 2: The scenario you just described would be lawful if that's what your laws allowed

Point 3: in the first case though, your laws expressly rule against. Moreover, the only evidence we have is a result scored as 'default'.

No grading!

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:27 pm

I would submit it for grading for the reasons that Andy gives.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by MartinCarpenter » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:29 pm

I'm with David, not perhaps for the (likely accurate :)) pedantry but because it really, really messes with peoples motivation (as so skill) to know that, whatever they do, there's a good chance that the game they're playing will be scored as a default loss/win.

I'd definitely not want that sort of friendly graded myself.

Andy McAtear
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by Andy McAtear » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:44 pm

Sorry David. I meant to say legitimate. If the game was played by all the rules of chess and both players agreed to play it. I am of the opinion that it is a gradeable (if there is such a word) game. The fact that it does not count toward the match result has nothing to do with it.
.......Andy.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:45 pm

The players agreed to play, so I think the game should be graded. (But David's assessment is a fair one.) The late player's captain has conceded the default, which is sporting of him. Scoring it for league purposes as a default looks entirely reasonable. But a game was played.

However, the captains should know the rules!

Having had problems with one particular club where someone turned up after 50 minutes and screamed at me for not agreeing to play him (as we were past 30 minutes), and another similar problem, I am nowadays out of the door after less than 31 minutes. That avoids such problems. I did have one guy complaining that I had left the venue after 30 m + 3 s, and he said if I had good manners, I would have waited for him to turn up so he could apologise in person! As this was the 6th time he had defaulted against me, I thought his comments a little unreasonable.

David Robertson
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by David Robertson » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:54 pm

If the game is treated as 'played', it should be scored as 'played'. But it hasn't been; it's scored as 'default'.

Moreover, to grade the game as 'played' establishes no fairness between the parties. Player B has hung around; been accommodating; and now faces a grading loss as reward for his generosity. Meanwhile Player A, having breached the laws of the competition, suffers no penalty; to the contrary, has a win graded. Come on. Don't be silly! It would be fairer to grade the default

David Williams
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by David Williams » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:07 pm

What would have happened if player B had won? If it would have been scored as a default win anyway once the rule had been discovered, then I'd be inclined to say the game was a friendly. But if, as I suspect, no-one would have been too bothered what the default rule was and it would have been reported as a normal win for B, then the actual result should be graded. Otherwise A could only lose and B could only win in grading terms.

Or you could just consider that the maximum difference of a single game to anyone's grade is 3 points, and toss a coin as to what you do.

Andy McAtear
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by Andy McAtear » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:09 pm

The way I see it is that there are very good arguments to grade the game but, on the other hand, there are also good arguments to not grade it:

Arguments for:

1) The game was played.

2) Both players agreed to play it.

3) It was played under match conditions and despite one player taking 45 minutes to play his first move, there was sufficient time on the clocks at game commencement.

Arguments against:

1) The constitution states that a player defaults after 30 minutes for a 90 minute game. Why? I don't know but as a 2 hour game has a 1 hour default threshold, shouldn't a 90 minute game have a 45 minute threshold? If both players are present at the start but 'white' takes 50 minutes to decide on his opening move, does he default?

2) The game point, for match purposes, was awarded according to the constitution rule. So, as a defaulted game, it shouldn't count for grading despite the arguments for(above).

David Williams
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by David Williams » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:13 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:25 pm
A half hour default in league chess is unusually harsh. Many leagues would set the time at an hour or an hour after the notional start time.
Is that so? Surely many leagues play a three hour session, and either have, or once had, a time control after an hour and a quarter. If the default time is as long as an hour it's hardly worth having a default time at all.

E Michael White
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by E Michael White » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:15 pm

The game should not be graded as both players were not given equal time at the agreed start time of the friendly game.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: To grade or not to grade

Post by Michael Farthing » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:20 pm

Had the rules of the competition been found to be otherwise then the game result would have stood and not to grade it would clearly be against ECF rules since either all games in a competition must be submitted or none.

The later establishment of the competition rules can not affect any aspect of the way the game was actually played - which must have been played in the expectation of grading. As the game was completed within the laws of the game and with time constraints making it suitable for grading then it MUST be graded. The fact that a legally played game was not admitted into a competition is an irrelevancy . To do otherwise is grade fixing - overtly admitted by David who thinks Player A is a baddy and shouldn't therefore have his win acknowledged.

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