Thursday, January 26, 2006

10.2 Brouhaha

Just a few moments ago, controversy erupted here at the New Zealand rapid-play championships. The players in question were NZCF president Bob Smith and Aussie junior Andrew Brown. The latter held a theoretically won position with K+B+2P (f and c), while Smith had only K+B.

With 7 seconds remaining, to Andrew's 27 seconds, Bob then claimed a draw. Amazingly, kiwi IA Bob Gibbon declared the game drawn!

New Zealander FM Stephen Lukey then pitched in and questioned the decision. Other players also disagreed. How could the arbiter make such a decision? The discussion went on for some time with Lukey and Bob finally checking the rule book.

Meanwhile, Andrew Brown still remained seated at the board looking at the position. At this point, a couple of international masters joined him and showed the correct winning method. Andrew, as is permitted by the local rules, appealed.

FM Bob Smith returned, while he and Andrew were given 2 minutes flat each to continue play. Of course, Andrew now won.

"All it proves is that he plays better at 2 minute chess", was Bob Smith's comment in the end.


Smith-Morra said...

So Andrew got help from 2 IMs before the outcome of the game was decided?

Doesnt that count the same as getting assistance during the game, and as such he should lose by forfeit? (and possibly even be kicked out of the tourny for cheating?)

The Closet Grandmaster said...

That's certainly one way of looking at it. In fact, when I Gibbon spoke to Andrew he acknowledged exactly this problem that, in the mean time, he (Andrew) had already been informed of how to win his position.

However, I don't agree that this "assistance" is relevant since it did not really occur during play. It was the IA's decision that led to that circumstance in the first place.

The chess nut said...

IMHO Andrew Brown would have won it on time anyway had the Arbiter not made the decision.

Smith-Morra said...

Yes I was just pressing buttons when I said "cheating" and "kicked out" etc :)

The arbiter screwed up big time here but the result was highly likely to be a win to Andrew anyway (on time), so was justice done after all? However both players have good reason to be upset with the manner in which this game concluded

Btw, Bob Smith is no stranger to controversy and arbitration .. do a google search for "Bob Smith" and "Fritz" - He made the front page of the NZ Herald for that one ....

tanch said...

... I think the words escape me when an arbiter makes such a questionable decision.

As for Robert Smith, I think his record speaks for himself.

Interesting to know that chess can bring out the best and the worst in people. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Smith should have been penalised for the incorrect draw claim. Brown should get 2 minutes on the clock.

Geez reminds me of Ian Murrays poor decision re Brett Tindall position in a queensland weekender several years ago. He awarded a fellow queenslander a draw in a position because the centre was closed! Thankfully Miles and Wohl saw the appeal, pissed themselves laughing and got the ruling overturned. Of course the queenslander went on to lose several moves later.

Anonymous said...

In this age of electronic clocks, why not use an incremental time control? Then all these problems disappear. Roland Brockman.