Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Double the fun

Two big chess events are on at the moment, with one already running, and the other just starting.
The Sparkassen tournament in Dortmund is 2 rounds in, with Ruslan Ponomariov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave leading with 1.5/2. Also in the field are Vladimir Kramnik on 1, and Fabiano Caruana who has off to a slow start on 0.5.
The Bilbao Masters is the other event, with Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin being the main players of interest. That's not to ignore Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Anish Giri or Wei Yi, but the clash between the World Champion and his challenger is the headline story. Also of interest for this event are the slightly unusual tournament conditions. Time control is 40/90m+60m with a 10s increment from move 41, while it will be 3 points for a win, with 1 point for a draw. Also draw offers can only be accepted with the arbiters permission.


Anonymous said...

They come up with every scheme available to "avoid" draws, and likely it will still be 60%+ at this level (Bilbao).

Utbuck said...

Really a sad excuse for "top-level" chess is Bilbao.

They revive the rejected "40/90" time control that the players hated so much when Kirsan/FIDE tried it over a decade ago (though aberrantly they give a disproportionally generous 60m at move 41), use the inane 3:1:0 points scoring system that rewards whomever's opponent blunders more, treat the players as circus animals by not allowing agreed draws w/o "permission", and bizarrely have a "blitz tiebreak" even when the tie would be broken by standard means (e.g. head-to-head). Almost every no-no in the book from a chessic view, all in the name of "excitement" (do such bastardizations actually increase spectators?!). Bring me back Melody Amber (or even Mainz960), at least it didn't have delusions of grandeur interlaced with its side-show.

Anonymous said...

Also, they only have one rest day (after Game 5). Talk about a recipe for a blunder-filled finale. Speedy time control, make players overwork for draws, don't let them rest, score it by "football" methods, and in case of an unequal tie, still decide the winner's hat by a blitz coin-flip. How much is the Bilbao government spending on this? Should get a better chess consultant regarding the format.

Utbuck said...

So much for the "grand" Bilbao tournament. it's the "game of the year" between Carlsen and his presumed successor (in 5-10 years), Wei Yi and they balls-up the DGT move transmissions, so noone knows what really happened. Last year, they similarly failed to have the "exciting blitz finale" (their words) of Giri-So be broadcast on the board (they had lousy video though). Can't they spend a few extra euros on ensuring this? Well, at least they aren't Agon Ltd.

Anonymous said...

Well, Bilbao finally the fixed the game moves, but the problem wasn't just that one. Karjakin had a "mate in one" that he kept missing (vs Giri), according to the realtime game moves.

HansP said...

Factually, Bilbao is not using DGT.