Thursday 31 August 2023

Random Rounds

 Under the FIDE Title regulations, you cannot 'arrange' the order of rounds in a tournament to benefit a particular player (or players). This mainly applied to Round Robin events, where an event might not have the correct mix of foreign players but a norm might be achieved if the player plays the right mix over a shorter set of rounds eg claiming a 9 game norm from an 11 round event (NB Even this is no longer possible as all rounds must be counted for a RR norm).

However, it is the case that  norms do count if the rounds are ordered randomly. Historically, this used to be a thing, with the idea that it made it harder to prepare for an opponent. One famous example was the 1924 New York International, where each round was specified by random at the start of the day. It probably did not make a real difference , although the eventual winner (Emanuel Lasker) started off with a bye in round 1. Nonetheless the tournament saw each of the 11 players finish on a unique score (no tied places), so it may have had the effect of making each round as important as any other.

Yates,Frederick Dewhurst - Reti,Richard [B18]
New York International Masters-01 New York,NY (19), 13.04.1924

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