Friday 24 February 2017

I'd thought I'd seen this disaster before

Flicking through the games from the FIDE GP in Sharjah, I was surprised by the number of draws. I know at the top level it is pretty easy to make a draw if you want to, especially with White, but I had expected the change in format to an 18 player swiss (rather than a round robin) would have at least encouraged more decisive games. As it stands around 75% of the games have been drawn, although this number seems to be coming down.
There was one real disaster in round 5, although it wasn't the one I first thought it was. Playing through the game at firt I thought Black was in big trouble after Qc6+. I've seen a number of games where the king gets kicked around the board after going to e7 and I assumed this was one of those. It turns out the Black is fine, and it was White who quickly found himself in trouble. 17.O-O could bes be described as 'brave' but 19.Rd1 was the real lemon, and after Black found Qh3, White did the sensible thing and resigned (as f4 drops the rook to Qg4+)

Riazantsev,Alexander (2671) - Jakovenko,Dmitry (2709) [A30]
Sharjah Grand Prix 2017 Sharjah UAE (5.7), 22.02.2017


McAdams said...

Shaun, do you know if "no 3 straight colors" is an absolute criterion under Swiss Dutch, even in the last round? Adams has third straight Black in Round 9 (facing Nakamura), and while the general rules state that the last round can make an exception, this is not listed explicitly for Swiss Dutch (as it is for Lim and others).


Anonymous said...

it seems that the person who was spreading this calumny didn't realize that "top scorers" in Swiss Dutch meant anyone above 50% in the final round. the GP pairings are correct as given.

Shaun Press said...

As has been already noted, 3 blacks (or whites) in a row is permissible in the last round for 'top scorers'. Nonetheless I've always thought this an odd rule. Firstly because it happens so rarely, and secondly, if the intention is to have potential prize winners play each other (rather than float down to easier opponents), then why just this specific case.
Of course Adam's was very unlucky, although in a 18 player 9 round swiss, this is more likely to occur. I did once run a 12 player blitz (swiss), which was supposed to go for 9 rounds, but as an experiment I played two extra rounds, and it managed to pair those correctly, giving a slightly odd 12 player round robin!