After the opening ceremony, which was held last Friday, Sergei Tiviakov walked over to his townsman Sipke Ernst, his opponent in the last round, and offered him a draw. Ernst accepted, but then Tiviakov added that he could’t play on Sunday, because he had to play in the Croatian league on Monday. Ernst suggested him to contact the arbiter, which Tiviakov did. At that point the arbiter and tournament director didn’t object (yet).
After the third round (Tiviakov had drawn with Bitalzadeh, lost to Swinkels and beaten Miedema) the organizers told him that they couldn’t allow it. As stated in the players’ contract, which was signed by Tiviakov, all participants have to attend the opening, closing and all rounds. If he wouldn’t appear in the playing hall, his game would be declared lost by default. Tiviakov immediately decided to withdraw from the tournament, which thus lost its top seeded player.
To my mind, that Tiviakov had a problem with his scheduling isn't quite as important an issue as the whole pre-arrangement of his last round result with opponent Sipke Ernst. We complain about non-fighting draws, but this, well this one must surely cut more deeply into the sensibilities of chess fans every where. How is this practice even allowed?
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