British Chess Championships 2011

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
James Pratt
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by James Pratt » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:44 am

Dear Jack

You were there when I ordered my bulletins from Arnold Lutton, expressing concern as I did that they were not free to journalists. I have written my report what seems like ages ago. I ordered a set at Gt Yarmouth but ended up having to have my money back because they never arrived. I rang the BCF Offices loads of times (5?) but in the end reimbursement came my way. I did however get an unfriendly e-mail from a BCF senior for my trouble. He meant well...

Today, 3rd September, the last bulletin, No. 13, came, just as I was typing.

James Pratt
BCM ET

John Upham
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by John Upham » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:54 am

BCM had hoped to feature some of the junior games in the September / October issues. Playing through all of these games by hand to pick out any good ones is not an attractive task. :(

Will the games be made available to the media in PGN or CBV formats?
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

Mick Norris
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:34 pm

Interesting comments from the winner here:
http://www.michaeladamschess.co.uk/2011 ... ning-ugly/

Would be good if someone could officially address the points made
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Alan Burke

Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Alan Burke » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:28 pm

Regarding the comments made by Micky Adams on the above website .... I can understand the reason for not having a play-off for the English Championship. Suppose the top two English players in the British Championships finished eg: equal fourth; would people really be interested in waiting for a play-off for that title to take place, with the main Championship having already been decided.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:52 pm

I just posted this on Mickey's site.
Historically there has always been a playoff for the British Championship. (Indeed there used to be one for the British Ladies.) It used to be a separate event and was sponsored by Grieveson, Grant in their period. However they didn't consider it to be adequate value and that was discontinued. There are various ways in which the rules of a playoff can be written. None is perfect. Michael will remember he didn't want the playoff in 1997 to stretch on and on.
The alternative would be to use some tiebreak rule. If it had been the greater number of games with black, Nigel would have won this year. An alternative is the rating average of the opponents, discarding the individual encounter. I haven't looked that up, but probably Michael would have won.
The British Championship trophy was pensioned off in 2008 and resides in the library in Hastings. There should be a new one.
I disagree with Michael about the playoff for the English Championship. I think it is better that the loser of the match should have the consolation of the English title.
Stewart Reuben

Richard Bates
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Richard Bates » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:07 pm

Presumably having a playoff for the English Championship would also cause a great deal of difficulty if, say, there were several joint winners of the British Championship but only a subset of greater than one were English.

Richard Bates
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Richard Bates » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:11 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote: The alternative would be to use some tiebreak rule. If it had been the greater number of games with black, Nigel would have won this year.
I don't think so. Almost all of the top players* had 6 whites and 5 blacks (an interesting quirk in itself - was this coincidence or is it a feature of Swiss systems? If Mickey had had black in round one would most of the top players have ended up with 6 blacks?)

*the top 7 seeds and 9 of the top 11. Also 6 of the 7 players on 7.5 or more.

Mick Norris
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:49 pm

Richard Bates wrote: Almost all of the top players* had 6 whites and 5 blacks (an interesting quirk in itself - was this coincidence or is it a feature of Swiss systems?
*the top 7 seeds and 9 of the top 11. Also 6 of the 7 players on 7.5 or more.
I thought that was your fault because of your results in the first few rounds :)
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Stewart Reuben
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Stewart Reuben » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:47 am

Tut on me. I had assumed Nigel had 6 blacks because he had black in round 1.
The whole Swiss System is a wwizz because players who have white tend to score more than players who have black. Thus, in a normal Swiss, there is a preponderance of black seekers on the higher scores. They cannot all be satisfied because score takes precedence. Thus higher scoring players tend to have 6 whites and lower scoring ones 5. Gibraltar 2003 was an exception.
This bias cannot be overcome, except by having two games per round or by having an even number of rounds - as in Gibraltar, or by making colour more important than score. 10 rounds has the disadvantage that sometimes a player will get 6-4. In Gib 2003 Sulskis and Wohl got only 4 whites. The former had to play Nigel in the last round and he too had had 5 blacks.
In Plymouth one year in the British, Peter Large (or his opponent) had 7 blacks and only 4 whites on a very low score. That was our mistake. In such an extreme case, we should have broken the score group to avoid that, although you will not find that in any Swiss rules.
Stewart Reuben

Keith Arkell
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Keith Arkell » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:53 am

Stewart Reuben wrote: I disagree with Michael about the playoff for the English Championship. I think it is better that the loser of the match should have the consolation of the English title.
Stewart Reuben
I couldn't agree more :wink: ..even if the 2011 yearbook editor got him/herself into a muddle over it.

Alan Burke

Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Alan Burke » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:58 am

Why should the English Championship be a 'consolation' title ?

If an English player wins the British Championship, he is also the best in England and deserves that accolade too.

Keith Arkell
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Keith Arkell » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:07 am

Well, for me the consolation(in 2008) was that I didn't have both titles snatched away from me through rapid chess.

Richard Bates
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Richard Bates » Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:56 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:Tut on me. I had assumed Nigel had 6 blacks because he had black in round 1.
The whole Swiss System is a wwizz because players who have white tend to score more than players who have black. Thus, in a normal Swiss, there is a preponderance of black seekers on the higher scores. They cannot all be satisfied because score takes precedence. Thus higher scoring players tend to have 6 whites and lower scoring ones 5. Gibraltar 2003 was an exception.
Yes this is true. However, the surprising feature of this year's British was not just that the players with the highest scores turned out to have had more whites, but that the players with the highest ratings had a majority of whites (top 7 and 9 out of the top 11). Which if it were something other than a freak would imply that the top players are favoured by white being given to the top seed. (because of the observed point that having a majority of whites increases the chances of success in the tournament). The question (assuming this was anything other than a freak) was whether the top seed having black in round one, leads to the majority of the leading seeds having a majority of blacks, leading to an increased chance of a "shock" result.
Last edited by Richard Bates on Tue Sep 13, 2011 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:03 am

Richard Bates wrote: However, the surprising feature of this year's British was not just that the players with the highest scores turned out to have had more whites, but that the players with the highest ratings had a majority of whites (top 7 and 9 out of the top 11)
Last year's results are at http://www.britishchess2011.com/2010/ev ... onship.htm

Looking at the results for the top 14 finishers, down to 7/11 , there was a 9/5 split in favour of 6 whites and 5 blacks. Listing the 5 with a 5/6 split, they were Adams, Greet, Hawkins, Hunt and Gordon. Admittedly 4 of the top 6 (on tie break) had this split. A 5/6 split correlated with Black in the first round, only Greet had round 1 white and 5/6 and only Pert (R) had round 1 Black and 6/5 .

8 of the top 10 by rating finished in the top 14, the two who missed out, Williams (S) and Gormally both had Black in round 1 and a 5/6 split.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Simon Bibby
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Re: British Chess Championships 2011

Post by Simon Bibby » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:54 pm

Interesting theoretical issue here.
Highest rateds thus appears to be favoured with whites as highest rateds, thus given an extra boost. Is this correct from what Bates san has noted above?

If so (would like to see meta-analysis of this across several hundred tournaments) two possible solutions come to mind to try to reduce the notional head start given to the biggies:

1. Top ten rated all start with black in round one. (Number in fact depends on number of entries - leave that to a statto to calculate)
and/or
2. When there is competition for colours, to replace the current rule of 'highest rated gets due colour' (if that is still the rule, I am pretty inactive), change to 'highest rated gets black'.

Likely would have an impact...?

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