Saturday, June 03, 2006

Unethical Board Order

I've just returned from watching the Da Vinci Code. If you read the book, don't bother seeing the movie. Tom Hanks was wasted! That's all we're going to say about that.

Back at home now and what do we do but catch up on some reading? With so many things happening at this Olympiad, we sometimes overlook some interesting little tidbits that really deserve more inspection. For example, take a look at the Mongolian men's board order.

Here's what the BCM had to say about it:

One irritation for the Welsh squad was the board order of the Mongolian team. In board order (starting from board 1) the Mongolian squad is rated 2303, 2124, 2322, 2042, 2270... and 2433. That's right - the Mongolian board SIX is rated 2433, more than 100 rating points above any other member of the team. He is also a GM, whereas the rest of the squad are either FMs or untitled. Leighton Williams needs to play a third GM to have a chance of a GM norm, but he cannot play someone from the wrong end of the opposition team. How come Mongolia is allowed to get away with what most of us would regard as blatant cheating? Will FIDE allow the Mongolian board six to receive a board medal if he gets the requisite score? Anyone who has ever played team chess knows that you are expected to arrange your players in descending order of strength from board 1 down. But, as far as I can see, there is no written FIDE regulation governing the board order in Olympiads. Most self-respecting competitions have regulations which prevent the manipulation of the board order, but apparently not the Olympiad.

The Welsh team report consider this "unethical board order". What say you dear readers?


The Closet Grandmaster said...

Mr Gray -

You should learn to read first or at least open your eyes before you type.

Read who wrote what.


Anonymous said...

I guess the problem with regulating board order at olympiads is that there are a few countries where the team sponsor buys a spot on top board so he can get whipped by grandmasters and pretend to be a chessplayer. If you insisted on rating order (or some other formulation of that type) that practice would be impossible and it would be harder for some teams to get sponsorship to compete. Then again such a practice must mess with other teams' norm chances anyway so maybe FIDE should bite the proverbial bullet and insist that while teams are allowed to submit lists out of rating order, the order of players shall be a credible order of actual playing strength. If so, there should also be a process for teams to protest other teams' lists on such a ground before the Olympiad so that arguments of this type mid-comp are avoided.

Anonymous said...

Its a bad practice,but now that Kirsan has won it will not be changed in the future.

Anonymous said...

If you just look at the ratings, it seems a bit strange. But look at the performances of the players. Their first board is only 2300 but has defeated a number of grandmasters. Some other members of the team have also done far better than expected.

Anonymous said...

I think this is just stupid management. Teams with such board order cannot expect to show their real potential in the final crosstable. Anyone who played team event knows that lower boards are bringing points, but ONLY if top boards can hold. This is not the case with Mongolians. Imagine Ian Rogers on 6th board, what a shame would that be.

Board order should be submited either by rating or by titles.

Anonymous said...

Take the case of RP mens team, since the first 3 boards are already given to seeded players, do you think it would be cheating when we field Torre (2500+) on board 1 and Paragua (2600+) on Board 3? Its their strategy so what's the problem with that? Even if they win on board 4 then it doesnt matter when they losses the first 3 one's.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't be stupid/cheating since Torre was expected to hold the ground on the 1st board. If 1st board is sacked, then team has a stupid captain, it's not cheating

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