Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Attack of the clones

When I was a member of the FIDE Rules Commission we would occasionally discuss areas where the rules were silent. This wasn't because we felt the issue was too difficult to rule on, but more because we wondered what we would do if someone tried something really bizarre.
One topic was about playing more than 1 game at the same time. It started out as a method of avoiding defaults in team matches (ie could someone play boards 7 and 8 in the same round), and moved on to whether Kasparov could just enter the Olympiad by himself (playing a simul each round). We decided he could not (if the games were to be rated). There was also talk about whether a player could enter two sections of an event and play both at the same time, with a semi-famous case being Michael Adams playing a junior and open event at a British Championship early in his career. Again we thought it wasn't acceptable, in part because there was a risk that a player could 'transfer' information from one game to another, thereby violating the rule about analysing a game on another chessboard.
However the Denver Chess Club has decided to organise a tournament where players can play more than one game at once. The Clone Wars tournament allows a player to enter either as themselves, or to clone themselves once or twice. After that it is a normal event, except clones players are required to play two or three game each round. I assume you can't be paired against your clone, but your (or your clone) could play a different clone of a player you've already met. Whether you could play multiple games against the same opponent in the same round wasn't clear.
The event was run as a 4 round G/60m event, which I would assume gave players enough time to jump between boards (assuming you remembered which boards you were on!). The prize structure was also interesting, where a players total score (including clones) determined the payout (each point was worth a fixed amount). I don't know if the event was USCF rated, but I would assume that such event would not be FIDE rated (even with an eligible time control).
Here is a link to the tournament report, which contains a little more detail on the event than I can give you.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Again we thought it wasn't acceptable, in part because there was a risk that a player could 'transfer' information from one game to another, thereby violating the rule about analysing a game on another chessboard.

Given that it happens in top events (eg Sinquefield) that similar openings lead to players looking at their peers for guidance, this is hardly much of an argument.

David from Chessable said...

Interesting... to be honest I hope it doesn't catch on though. I relish OTB games as a time to concentrate and improve my game. By splitting your attention across boards it becomes closer to Blitz where you don't have enough time to immerse yourself. Of course, this doesn't matter for the great players who have mastered the game but for the ones improving, like me, this just seems like a disturbance.. probably fun.. but I'll stick to my game at a time :)

whatteaux said...

This happened in the Sydney Grade Matches last year. Shane Dibley played two games at once - one for an U1500 team and the other for an U1700 team at the same place on the same night (and won both games). The NSWCA banned the practice after that.

harada57 said...

thanks

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