Tuesday 14 September 2021

The limits to sportsmanship

 As is the case with Online Chess, some games are decided by external factors. In the current Online Olympiad players have lost by disconnection, or blundered material through a misclick or mouseslip. On more than one occasion a 'sporting' result has been agreed, which normally leaves everyone involved with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

That is, until it gets serious. During the knock out stage of the Olympiad there have been a few games where the players have misclicked. Despite suggestions from spectators, there have been no draw offers or repetitions, and the games have ended with a decisive result. As, in my opinion, they should have. Players should not feel pressured to bail out an opponent's mistake, especially if the game was running in their favour any (as the games I saw were). While it is unfortunate that games might end prematurely, this is preferable to adding another level of gamesmanship to tournaments, where the easiest way to secure a draw in a worse position if to actually blunder badly (not that I am saying this was the case here). Operating the playing equipment correctly is as important in online events as it is in OTB tournament.

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