Sunday 15 June 2008

(Other) New Olympiad Rules

Apart from the changes to the format of this years Olympiad (which FIDE have spun as the "Reform" Olympiad), there are also some changes to the playing conditions as well.
The forfeit time for non-arrival at the board has been reduced to 0 minutes, ie if you arrive after the start time you lose the game. Personally I think there will be some difficulty in implementing this rule as the logistics in getting over 800 people into a venue and starting on time may defeat even the most efficient of organisers. And of course for those who believe in "black letter" FIDE laws, the current published rule on the matter is still 60 minutes before losing the game.
The other change is the "No draws before Move 30" rule. Again I will be interested in seeing how this works, although having some practical experience in this area, I may be better off than most.
At least such a rule will prevent a repeat of the Russia-Israel match from the 2002 Olympiad. In under 30 minutes Kasparov - Gelfand had got up to move 17. Kasparov had just played his 17th move and as Gelfand returned to the board, Kasparov said "Draw". Not as an offer, but as a statement of fact. Gelfand replied "Draw?". Kasparov then swept his arm in the direction of the other boards and said "All draws". And the match ended 2-2 at that point.

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