Wednesday 17 December 2014

What the what? - Episode 27

The 2014 London Chess Classic has finished in a 3 way tie for first place. Anand, Kramnik and Giri all scored one win and 4 draws to tie for first on 7 points, using the 3-1-0 scoring system. Anand won the title on countback as his win was scored with the Black pieces. Further down the table Nakamura scored 6 points (+1=3-1) while Adams and Caruana scored 4 points each, although Adam's single win relegated Caruana to last place on countback.
Of course it is kind of weird to see the final standings  the way they are (at least to me). In this instance the 'football' scoring system did not encourage decisive results, with 66% of the games drawn (NB this is not a comment on the quality of the games). Half the players finished in first place which is another oddity,while the player that lost 3 out of 5 games finished ahead of the player who only lost 1.
But rather than point the finger at the scoring system I think this is more a function of the small size of the field, and the limited number of rounds. Unless you have either big round robins (8 players or more) or double rounds (or even quadruple like tournaments of the past), you will get results like this, no matter who you invite.

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