Sunday, 23 November 2008

Package draws

Previous Olympiads had there fair share of packaged draws (pre-arranged 2-2 results with quick draws on all boards), but it had been expected that the 'no draws in under 30 moves' would prevent this.
However, Craig Skehan came up with an idea over breakfast which still may allow such 'deals' to occur. Teams simply agree to arrive late at alternate boards, meaning that at the start time, 2 players from each side will be defaulted for arriving late, resulting in a 2-2 score. Of course this is cynicism in the extreme, but it would appeal to the 'a result is a result, no matter how it happens' crowd. The other complicating factor is one of trust, in that you had to make sure the opposing team did not renege on the deal by making a last second run for the chairs, but surely amongst gentlemen such a thing would not happen.


Anonymous said...

Honest, I hadn't seen your post before issuing this Open letter a few hours ago:

Evil Days Ahead: End of the Rubinstein Rule

FIDE is proposing that, as of July 2009, games be forfeited
if a player is not present at the scheduled start of the game.
There may be a "compromise" of 15 minutes suggested, but that
too is flawed.

I need not tell other Canadians about the vagaries of public
transit. A bus may be late or not appear at all. To avoid
forfeiture, bus-enabled players will have to arrive over 30
minutes early, at the start of a 12-hour day of play, and often
stand outside a locked door in the snow or rain.

That is just one of the nightmares of a zero or 15- minute
rule. Among the others are logistical and administrative.

But here's one that they surely didn't think of: a zero or
15 minute rule encourages cheating. A nasty form of
cheating is the thrown game. In 2008, if a player does
not show up at the start of the round, he is often hunted
down by friends or tournament directors and dragged to the
board before the Rubinstein one hour has elapsed. If he
wants to throw the game, he has to make bad moves, or
intentionally exceed the time control: quite an investment
in time for doing nothing. Either way, he loses both
rating points and face. In 2009, the same player just
appears ten seconds late, apologizes to the opponent, loses
no rating points, experiences no internal conflicts, and
the rest of the day is his.

If forfeit games are rated, that opens up the full
panoply of thrown-game cheating.

If games in which no moves are played are left unrated (
as at present) the zero or 15- minute rule opens up a new
method of cheating. The norm hopeful will have to pay the
unscrupulous opponent simply to show up on time for the

I encourage all FIDE member nations to vote against this
rule change at the 2008 General Assembly in Dresden.

Jonathan Berry

Anonymous said...

Ensuring compliance with the pre-agreed draw is simple. The buddy system. The defaulting players stay with each other, outside, until the round starts.

Jonathan Berry