Wednesday 6 October 2021

Fixing the result

 A recent decision by the FIDE Ethics and Disciplinary Commission has brought up the topic of pre-arranged draws, again. In handing down a ruling concerning two players 'arranging' a beneficial result, the EDC made comment on whether agreed draws were a form of match fixing.

I'm a little surprised they strayed into this territory, and I'm not sure that their conclusions have cleared up any prior confusion. If I read the decision correctly it seems that

  • Agreed draws (without conditions) are OK (as they are defined in the Laws of Chess)
  • Agreed draws (with conditions) are bad (as they are forbidden by the Laws of Chess)
  • Pre-arranged draws are OK, but may be considered a breach of sportsmanship 
  • Pre-arranged wins/losses are bad, as this is match fixing
Points 1,2 and 4 seem pretty straightforward, but I am pretty sure that point 3 is open to question. Certainly a player may decide that a drawn game is to their benefit (either to guarantee a certain place in an event, to have a rest, or some other tactical reason), but such a decision does not need the prior involvement of an opponent. 

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