Thursday, 14 April 2016

Dubai Open

There is a good report on the first couple of rounds of the Dubai Open over at So much so that there is no need for me to repeat the salient details. However there was one interesting point in the report, about the make up of the field. Over the last 15 years International Opens have become more attractive to top GM's with events like Qatar Masters and Gibraltar attracting 2700+ and even 2800+ GM's. However the Dubai Open has not done that (no 2700+ players) but has instead attracted 46 Grandmasters, with 24 players rated between 2600 and 2700.
To me this is still impressive, as such fields still provide both competition and entertainment. Anyone in that group of 2600+ players would conisder themselves a chance of taking the top prize, and this should lead to an interesting tournament. In the next group down, the usual incentives are aslo there, with rating points, title norms, and prize money all being important.
As for local interest, IM Moulthun Ly is one of 3 Australians taking part, and he has started with 2.5/3. Also playing are IM Vladimir Feldman and IM Irina Berezina. Feldman has also had a good start, scoring 2/3 including a win over IM Krshna (2404).
Apart from following the event via, you can also see up to date coverage from the tournament home page.


Joe said...

Time to bring up the stupid chess rules again.

Say in position A, Black has castling rights but White has just put Black in check, and Black's only legal moves involve moving the king (so the castling rights are purely theoretical).

Position A is then "repeated", obviously without the castling rights now. Are they the same? Rule 9.2 says they are not AFAICT, but the "thus" preceding the final 2 points is actually bogus IMO, exactly for the reason presented here ("all possible moves are the same" in the given example). Can't the Rules guys figure out these lacuna ahead of time? Or are they too busy ensuring zero tolerance and making capturing a king illegal?

Why not just return to a 5-rep rule (like Steinitz championship), so that it's clear that no one is being rooked on accounting?

Shaun Press said...

Actually this was discussed at some length by the FIDE Rules Commission in the time when I was a member. The principle we settled on was that castling rights are only changed after the move has been played. This has the benefit of being simple to explain, and more importantly, simple to enforce. NB The discussion wasn't all one way, but this was the position I did support.

ThanklessTemerity said...

From a legal standpoint, I think the Law should be rewritten to exemplify the Commission's intent. Typically, if a clause has a explanatory codicil which is actually false (the "thus" here), it is ignored, and the precedent language applies ("all possible moves the same"). Though here, perhaps one could argue that the intent of "all possible moves" is clarified(?) by the codicil, though personally I don't think so.

My guess is that the CAS would rule against the standard FIDE interpretation if ever pressed, though FIDE would likely be able to weasel out (sadly IMO) by saying this is a "sporting rule" and thus by Statute 13.4 not subject to CAS jurisdiction. (The CAS is not likely to disagree, though I am inclined to think they should, as this is a matter of rule drafting, independent of chess specifics. Or at least, I think the CAS should have jurisdiction to indicate to FIDE that (as a matter of Swiss law?) it must ignore any contradictory explanatory codicil when interpreting Rule 9.2.)

Unfortunately, I don't have a slick way to phrase what is intended without defining "castling rights" abstractly (rather than as contingent upon "all possible moves").

Maybe: Positions are considered the same if and only if: (a) the same player has the move, (b) pieces of the same kind and colour occupy the same squares, (c) abstract castling rights and en passant potential are the same. (Note that I am trying to be careful about a pseudolegal en passant capture for instance by a discovered check pawn push, which by my understanding you want to treat as different, though I admit I personally find this dubious, much more so than castling, as I don't think any player would find the positions to be "different" if you had a "potential" e.p. capture that was irrelevant because you had to escape check. With castling rights I agree there can be a debate.)

By saying "if and only if" but then talking about the ill-defined "possible moves", the Rules Commission didn't strike the right tone IMO.

tetly said...

so what you are saying, is that "possible moves" is ambiguous, depending upon whether you think abstract castling rights are "possible moves" even when by board constrictions the actuality of such castling is necessarily forbidden

i agree, that "rights" are not properly "possible moves"