Monday, June 22, 2009

High Emotions in Gold Coast

Day two saw the most bizarre incident so far in the Zonal tournament. Playing black against Sydney's IM Irina Berezina, Kiwi lass Sue Maroroa resigned her position after just 8 moves into the game. I watched her sobbing as she and Irina exchanged scoresheets. So, did Maroroa somehow walk into a trap? Was she losing a piece? Neither. Check it out

Berezina I.
Maroroa S.

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O O-O 5. d4 d6 6. c4 c5 7. d5 b5 8. cxb5 1-0

It's a line that's been around since the 1940's and recently witnessed in the game, Nikolic - Burg, Noteboom Memorial 2009, 1-0. Over on his live commentary, GM Rogers let us all in on the story.

By the way, not so long ago Caoili's main rival Irina Berezina was handed a free point when her opponent, Sue Maroroa, could not handle being asked not to talk to her boyfriend (GM Jones) during the game and resigned in tears on move 8. Sue had been playing well this tournament but it is amazing that a player would expect to be allowed to leave the playing hall to chat with anybody during a Zonal tournament.

Later during my live blog session, GM Gawain Jones confirmed this by saying, "Sue's okay. The [was] someone [who] had complained to the arbiters about us "talking" (cheating e.t.c) and said that she was not allowed to talk to me which upset her. Unfortunately after this she wasn't able to concentrate but hope to be back tomorrow."

In another incident players were left bemused when suddenly, in the midst of all that silent concentration, a sound, as if like a tweeting bird to me but apparently more like an aeroplane to IM Gary Lane, slowly but steadily grew from a low noise to a full-throated crescendo! Joselito Marcos, you naughty boy!

Instant death, we all thought. Nope, not for Marcos. The arbiter on duty at the time, Gary Bekker, at first issued only a warning. A warning? The rules are absolutely clear cut: no mercy. Thus, after a few more minutes, Mr Bekker returns to Marcos (who was by now actually seriously considering his next move and possibly thinking that he was a lucky sod) and tells the PNG player the real deal. Sorry mate, you're out!

The first game today will feature a most unexpected name on board 3, FM James Morris of Melbourne. At the half way mark he is undefeated on 3.5 points after posting two straight victories yesterday against more fancied players, Steadman and Ly. Morris' first assignment this morning will be IM Gary Lane.

Down on board 6, the 3-IM norm holder FM Greg Canfell will be seeking to make amends after losing last night to GM Zhao. Greg seemed quite upset about that setback so hopefully he's cleared his head for today's battles.


Anonymous said...

Sue did not leave the playing venue nor ever asked to. What upset her was the double standards being adopted in the tournament where most people are talking to each other. I've seen players leaving the playing venue and even with phones in their hands while playing and while I do not believe anyone is cheating it is unfair not to allow Sue to talk to me merely because I am a GM. I have also seen players out in the "analysis room" (the area just outside the hall itself) and even sitting at a board moving the pieces while still playing. It also seems unfair that only smokers are allowed outside while other players might like some fresh air too. She would have been fine were the arbiters enforcing the "no talking during the game rule" to all players but this type of bias is upsetting. Mr Rogers should not publish events he does not know all the facts about and we would like a retraction that she ever left or asked to leave the tournament venue.

Anonymous said...

Sue did leave the playing hall (not the venue, which is a huge club) a number of times to talk to Gawain during her fourth round game so there is nothing to retract.
Gawain fails to mention that he was also asked not to talk to Sue during her round three game and ignored that request.
Ian Rogers

p0ubelle said...

The playing hall includes the toilets and thus the area between them and the chess boards. We spoke once during round four and then the arbiter came out and upset her by saying we couldn't speak which was unfair as others were talking. Many players are there during the games. In fact when she came out we were just talking to the parents out there who could attest to the fact that we weren't cheating. We were careful not to talk without anyone around. I have seen many players out there talking during the games.

I did not receive an official warning, the warning you are talking about I presume is from your wife who is not an arbiter here and I just made sure after that, that someone could always overhear what we were saying. It was also upsetting the way she acted after I had come to an agreement with the arbiters and organiser that Sue would be allowed into the arbiter's room to talk to me as Cathy said she would have forfeited her had she been chief arbiter when we had agreed with all the arbiters as an end to the situation.

Sue didn't speak to me once during her last game (which she won very quickly) and she's happy not doing as long as everyone else abides to the "no speaking during the game" ruling.


Anonymous said...

Players chat amongst each other regularly during tournament games. I talk alot during games as a stress reliever, however if an opponent becomes paranoid and specifically asks a player to refrain from talking during a game then that player should stop talking as a courtesy to the paranoid player. The bottom line it is against the rules to chat during a game but most people are relaxed about it and in the odd occasion that you get a paranoid player then you have no choice but to sit at the board and concentrate!

Jimmy Liew said...

I think Gawain and girlfriend are taking this too far. If someone complains about you talking..just stop talking and do more playing. Do not take the point that others are allowed to talk as your moral high ground.

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is that Sue's self-inflicted punishment was far worse than anything the arbiters did, which was just a warning anyway, not even a time penalty.

S.C. said...

I disagree with what cmliew wrote. I think Gawain is right to stand up for a fair treatment for his girlfriend. Sue's self-inflicted punishment reminded me of the way Kramnik forfeited game 5 of the match but that is her choice.

It is perhaps advisable that the Rogers should be less self-righteous, especially when it involves someone else's personal matters. As Gawain had explained, he'd already come to an solution/agreement with the arbiters involved, which were not the Rogers.
The point that Gawain was trying to make was that there seemed to be a double standard, just for the fact that he is a GM should not stop the two chatting to each other if the other players are allowed to and are doing so within the same playing area. Fairness for all players is a must at any chess tournament and that is the real bottom line.

Well done to Sue on reaching her WIM title after all of this controversy!