Friday, 1 June 2007

The Art of Adjournments

I, for one, miss adjournments. Not because I enjoy playing games that stretch over a couple of days, but because it allows players to practice the neglected art of Analysis. Of course if you still want both the multi-day game, and being forced to analyse positions you can play Correspondence Chess, but OTB players can still benefit from some enforced hard work.
Here in Canberra adjournment sessions began to die out with the introduction of the digital chess clock. Probably the last tournament that still used adjournments was the ACT Chess Championship, before it moved to a 90m+30s per move time control. While adjournments were allowed there were a number of bizarre incidents related to them, often involving the same players.
In one instance their was a match between two players who absolutely despised each other (no names, people in Canberra know who they are). The game was adjourned with Player T sealing a move. Player B had a slight advantage but there wasn't a clear win. So player B contacts me and asks me to help him analyse. However he wasn't so much interested in my analysis ability, as that of the chess program I had on my computer. So on and off during the rest of the week I generated various lines to play in response to possible sealed moves. Having prepped player B with all that he needed to know I waited to hear the result.
"Did you win?" I asked. "No, I lost" came the reply. "What happened?" I continued. "I played the wrong move and got mated 3 moves after the resumption".
So a few years later the same two players were paired again in the ACT Championship. This time the game got off to a later start as the two players spent over an hour arguing about which board they were going to play at (one had a special chess set they brought to play with, the other had a special table they sat at). After much yelling the arbiter finally got them to sit down at the same board, with the same set and play. Due to the late start the game needed to be adjourned, which then started another argument. This time it was over where the adjournment was to be played. A suggestion from one player was met with outright refusal by the other. Eventually the Arbiter specified a time and date and ordered both players to show up. Player T appeared, Player B did not, and Player T won. Of course neither player really cared about the actual result, and Player B tried to get the last word by claiming the final position was drawn. Player T then filled up a couple of pages of the tournament bulletin with analysis proving otherwise.
After that the rules for adjournments were once again tightened, until finally adjournments were dispensed with forever.


Henrik said...

HEHE - a really good one.

cheers from Copenhagen.

TrueFiendish said...

I believe I know the two you mention. Both charming, considerate, selfless men who know not but how to give. Tremendously strong players also.