Rich As A King

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Double forfeit


Translated from Chinese lanaguage which was published in Sina Sports http://sports.sina.com.cn at 21:21 hr on 21 September 2009.

In the 6th round of the Zhejiang Lishui Xingqiu Cup International Open Chess Tournament held in Lishui, Zhejiang Province, an extraordinary incident happened when two young star players Wang Chen and Lu Shanglei agreed to a draw. After the end of the round, the Chief Arbiter declared both players to have lost their game. This is the first time that a double default has ever been meted out in chess competition in China.

What actually happened? This brings us back to 16:00 hour when the Chief Arbiter announced the start of the round and the two players wrote their result as drawn, signed on their scoresheets without making a single move and left the playing hall. The Chief Arbiter from Singapore, Mr Ignatius Leong, General Secretary of the World Chess Federation, saw what happened and after checking that no move was recorded on the scoresheets, declared the game lost for both players.

After the incident, Mr Leong was interviewed by the sports reporter from Sina Sports. Mr Leong said that while this was the first time that such a ruling had been made in China, it was also the first time he had ever made a double default in his 30-year carrer of arbitratiion in major international competitions all over the world. In his opinion, such conduct does not show respect for the competition, the organisers and the chief arbiter.

There may be different reasons where short draws are made during a game. However, as in today's case, agreeing to a draw without making a single move are rare. When the reporter asked Mr Leong if there are regulations which support his decision, Mr Leong replied smilingly asked if there are regulations which do not support his ruling. "I have arbitrated in numerous major world and international competitions for 30 years and have not made a mistake. From my perspective, a sportive result cannot be achieved without making a single move.

The players had come to the tournament hall, signed on the scoresheets without makiing a single move and left the tournament hall immediately. This is as good as fixing the result prior to start of play. Such behaviour is bad for the image for the development of Chess. This was why he made such a tough ruling.

The reporter contacted a Chinese International Master Xu Yang who supported Mr Leong's decision. Xu said that such conduct of the players could lose the support of sponsors. Moreover, from the professional view point, this is unfair to chess fans who want to see interesting games.

Before the start of the 7th round, Mr Leong will announce his ruling in the presence of all the competitors. This will be a good lesson not only for the two players but to all competitors to respect their profession as chessplayers, to respect the efforts of organisers and to respect the development of Chess activities.

Source: FIDE.com
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61 comments:

Anonymous said...

well.....pre arranged draws are as old as sin...but to not even show up and make a few moves....thats another story. I agree with the ruling. Makes sense.

Mike Magnan

And just as an aside.....if the players didn't want to play...why are they in this tourney anyway?

Anonymous said...

Do explain.

How many moves and how long a time can we play chess before drawing, without the risk of being defaulted by the arbiter?

Anonymous said...

'but to not even show up'

The interesting article says the players did show up??

Anonymous said...

Someone with free time should report this unprescended incident to the Fide Secretariat and have the chinese players punished further. Also, all before tournaments held in China past five years could be retro-inspected for similar violations and retroactively punished by the governing body. Also, such brave and incorruptable arbiters should be awarded as warriors in armies with special Commendation Medals or Commendation Ribbons.

Anonymous said...

'pre arranged draws are as old as sin'

Can you name a few oldest ones, I'm really interested to know?

Anonymous said...

It's good to know chess approved arbiters have initiated war against corruption in chess, not only talk, but action! Keep up the good work.

אייבי ויילר said...

Mike, they showed up.

This question is a question of hypocricy or pretension vs truth. These two players are heroes of truth. They did not try to hide by making a show pretending they are playing a serious game.
If pre arranged draws as the professional term for this kind of behavior, happen all the time and no one is getting punished; in other words, if chess players are making short games with no effort to win but decide quickly on a draw, and they get away with this facade; if you think the later to be legal and fine, I do not understand why you think to just agree with not making a facade is worse and deserves punishment.

There is a problem here and I don't quite know how to solve it yet.

Best wishes
A. Weiler

Anonymous said...

"Do explain.

How many moves and how long a time can we play chess before drawing, without the risk of being defaulted by the arbiter?"




First and most important point is that you must PLAY. Draw by agreement should be forbiden. It's the thing of the past. There is no other sport where the players can stop playing whenever they feel like and call it a draw.

Of course players can then always circumvent the rules and produce a 3-fold repetition and draw a game this way. But this brings out another question: If you don't want to PLAY, then why the hell do you take part in a tournament in the first place?


Now, you explain.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of starting a real arguement, you could eliminate all draws by assigning points to the pieces. If the players agree to stop play (i.e. agreed draws today) the one with more points will win. Yes, this will change A LOT of the strategy of play and put black at a disadvantage at the beginning. Using points will allow everyone to make adjustments to this over time. For example, black gets .5 points in these cases to eliminate statistical ties.

This system is used in the game igo, baduk, and weiqi. It does quite well and there are no draws.

Anonymous said...

This is indeed a huge embarassment for China chess.

Anonymous said...

Based on the article, and my experience with several of the actors, my comments are:

1. It has been apparent for some time now that China has a different standard when it comes to ethics. There have been many cases of cheating in open events but often it is because these are players who are not exposed to international conventions.
2. The part about the lack of respect for organisers and sponsors is correct and should end there and not include the chief arbiter - he is paid to do a job and that is to facilitate and not to sensationalise.
3. His actions have hurt chess and the event. I would have instead have called up the players, explained that what they did was wrong and order a replay if possible. Now they are "damaged goods" for what may have been a simple mistake.
4. It is very disturbing that the chief arbiter, an official of FIDE, instead of explaining the rules that guided his decision prefered to make it clear to media he has never been wrong (is he God?) and in fact has gone out of his way to make his heroic actions known on the FIDE website and that smells of ego.
5. Also, is that the same official that did not act over the apparent game fixing at the World Woman Teams earlier?

Anonymous said...

"Also, is that the same official that did not act over the apparent game fixing at the World Woman Teams earlier?"

No, that was another arbiter.

Anonymous said...

'if chess players are making short games with no effort to win but decide quickly on a draw, and they get away with this facade'

You don't play chess, do you? Chess has become a victim of internet bullies.

Anonymous said...

The two playes involved, Wang Chen and Lu Changlei, are just kids, 16 and 14 years respectively. They are good friends and roommates. Apparently they didn't know the rules (are there rules?) and signed the score sheets as draw without making a single move. They were quite regret and readily accepted the decision.

Anonymous said...

'he is paid to do a job'

And that's exactly what she did, after consultaions with the organizing team, who factually made the decision, but let arbiter take credit. Problem is I don't believe he was paid. Chess arbiters don't get paid. If you play chess on tournaments, you would know. Chess players have become more corrupt with time, and it's high time to put a stop to this nonsence.

Anonymous said...

Has Guert Gijseen been notified? He has a column in Chesscafe, where he answers all questions of this kind! He just is the only arbiter in the world who shares his vast knowledge with the common people.

Anonymous said...

'I would have instead have called up the players, explained that what they did was wrong and order a replay if possible.'

Suggesting to leave the matter to real arbiters.

Anonymous said...

"why are they in this tourney anyway?'

Mike, you're a great cartoonist, but leave all the other to pros.

Anonymous said...

"Based on the article, and my experience with several of the actors, my comments are:

1. It has been apparent for some time now that China has a different standard when it comes to ethics. There have been many cases of cheating in open events but often it is because these are players who are not exposed to international conventions."

Can you give some examples?

Remember it is China who implemented the ZERO tolerance policy by forfeiting Hou Yifan, who was 3 secs late, and another player, 5 minutes late, at their National Championships recently.

Anonymous said...

'The two playes involved, Wang Chen and Lu Changlei, are just kids, 16 and 14 years respectively. They are good friends and roommates. Apparently they didn't know the rules (are there rules?)'

Yes, there are many rules. If you don't know them you get punished by deputy arbiter and then by chief arbiter also. It is organizers duty to read out all the chess rules before starting the tournament to make sure everybody knows them.

Friends tell me on ICC you can offer draw without making first move, so what's the big deal? ICC is far more popular and with bigger audience than board chess.

Anonymous said...

Chinese are the highest ethical of all, from what I read. That's why they are playing best chess now? Ethics is important to save the souls.

Anonymous said...

'it is China who implemented the ZERO tolerance policy by forfeiting Hou Yifan, who was 3 secs late'

Why in heaven's name would someone forfeit a player for being three seconds late? What has this world come to?

Anonymous said...

It look like a new proposal is at the table, for audinece who buys tickets, but doesn't show up at start have to pay the ticket again, because it is bad for media to take images of auditorium empty at start of tournament.

Anonymous said...

"There is a problem here and I don't quite know how to solve it yet."

Solution is very simple. You require all players to pass examination on rules before starting first round. Then if they break the rules, it is for sure not on purpose.

Anonymous said...

I like chinese chess game.

Anonymous said...

'They did not try to hide by making a show pretending they are playing a serious game.'

This comment is very interesting. Nobody ever said it before. It could be a revolution in draw handling.

Anonymous said...

Arbiters decision is final in any sport. End of story.

Anonymous said...

'They are good friends and roommates.'

Roommates? Whish sport has competitive players sleeping in the same bed? And how to prepare if paired against each other?? One goes to the WC???

Anonymous said...

'From my perspective, a sportive result cannot be achieved without making a single move.'

1. A hand move had already been made, with Black pressing White clock to start the game.

2. I have no idea how to solve this mystery.

3. Have the players allowed to continue the tournament? It would be very funny if they made the same thing twice!!

Anonymous said...

I thought Gijssen was the most courageous arbiter, but I was wrong.

Anonymous said...

'From my perspective, a sportive result cannot be achieved without making a single move.'

This statement baffles me. They were punished, yet the sportive result of 0-0 remained? It's very common in football to have 0-0, too.

Why not -1:-1? That would be more logical.

Spock

Anonymous said...

The arbiters decision was suported by local international master. Thats enough proof for me.

Anonymous said...

'Moreover, from the professional view point, this is unfair to chess fans who want to see interesting games.'

Since when have fans become so important in open chess tournaments? And if only they understood any move played.

Anonymous said...

It has come to my attention that chess arbiters dont know their own rules well. Similar to GMs not knowing their openings good. And many courses are being organized worldwide by the famous arbiters committee to fix this recurring problem. Unfortunately for the players, for reasons unpublished, only few pass the exam after the course is done. For example, last course in Bangladesh (see fide.com) had 25 participants and only six passed the test?!

Anonymous said...

Many sports have, at some point in their history, reached a stage when people had to find ways to make those sports more popular and attractive for spectators. For example, tie-breaks and a modern rating system were introduced in tennis. Recently the point-scoring system was altered in volleyball and table-tennis.

This problem is also real in chess, as our game is not as popular as it deserves to be. How can we improve the situation? The chess world saw several attempts in recent years. One was implementing the knockout system, which I believe is a very good idea. It could be improved upon by allowing more games at the later stages of the tournament, but the idea itself is progressive. An opposite example is speeding up the game. Yes, games now take less time, but chess has not received more attention from the press and TV. Meanwhile the quality of the games suffered – not only because blunders became more frequent, but also because now it is almost impossible (no time!) to find deep ideas over the board. Chess fans suffer as a result, as most are following chess in books and magazines, not live.

Other problems include divisiveness in the chess world, the need for proper anti-doping and anti-computer controls, and the over-development of opening theory. There are many problems in modern chess.

Anonymous said...

In Chinese chess, be it weiqi (Go) or xianqi, for hundreds of years, they emphasize both skills and ethics. To be a complete chess player, you need both, skilful and good ethics.

Anonymous said...

'his decision prefered to make it clear to media he has never been wrong (is he God?)'

Who can answer this one??

Anonymous said...

"he has never been wrong"

I can vouch that he has never been wrong on at least on three occasions.

Anonymous said...

After reading thouroughly everything carefully, my final conclusion is that the chief arbiter was wrong and should apologize to the players he defaulted.

Anonymous said...

What say the Association of Chess Professionals?

Anonymous said...

Mike Magnan for FIDE President!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like we have a vigilante arbiter on the loose?

Anonymous said...

According to report in http://sports.sina.com.cn/go/2009-09-22/21384600670.shtml, when told of the "Double Default" decision, the two players, Wang Chen (16) and Lu Shanglei (14), were very confused and repeatedly said that they had recorded the result in the score sheet. They rushed back to the tournament site and explained that they had recorded the result.

Their parents were very angry and criticised their behaviour.

They apologised to all concerned and promised not to make the same mistakes again.

Anonymous said...

'They apologised to all concerned and promised not to make the same mistakes again.'

Promises, promises. As if we haven't heard that one before.

The only way to ensure it is to ban them from chess competitions forever.

Anonymous said...

I feel pity for the boys, having ventured into the cruel men's world of chess. I hope their federation will not punish them further and beg all to forgive them, so they can also become grandmasters like many of us have.

Anonymous said...

'Moreover, from the professional view point, this is unfair to chess fans who want to see interesting games.'

Does this mean if I play a boring game I will get defaulted afterwards?

Anonymous said...

"When the reporter asked Mr Leong if there are regulations which support his decision, Mr Leong replied smilingly asked if there are regulations which do not support his ruling."

This is enough proof that this arbiter had no related-knowledge of his own rules, to quote at least one of them, instead of requesting the reporter to qoute chess rules.

Anonymous said...

The arbiter made a fair decision.

Anonymous said...

''his decision prefered to make it clear to media he has never been wrong (is he God?)'

Who can answer this one??'

You need to be an arbiter to understand the word tricks. What he meant to say was that his decisions were never overruled by an appeals committee. But, there are thousands of arbiters who can claim the same thing, so it's no big deal. To the news reporters who don't play chess it sounds good enough for a headline.

Anonymous said...

Does FIDE really expect 4-14 year old children to know their complicated rules, that even their own international arbiters dispute over on each tournament?? It's a ridiculuous assumption. Shame on them.

Anonymous said...

Posted by http://www.singaporechess.org.sg

'Have you ever thought of agreeing to a draw with your
opponent without even making a move ? Think again if
you have and read on - the article below which is
translated from the Chinese language which was published
in Sina Sports http://sports.sina.com.cn at 21:21 hr on
21 September 2009. This is a good learning lesson for us
and any players involved in bringing the sport into
disrepute shall be appropriately dealt with."

Any comment?

Anonymous said...

Chess is a joke. Get real, people. Go out, breathe some fresh air instead.

Anonymous said...

Again I ask you the same question:

Why do you got to a tournament if you then don't want to play.


Do you log in to playchess, ICC or whatever and then make draws because you don't want to play anyway???

Anonymous said...

I do it because I like draws more than anything in the world. Nobody loses, and everybody is happy. Nobody dies, and everyone lives. Nobody complains. I always offer draw, after every move I play, it gives me such confidence later in life. Even if I am winning, I offer a draw to my sad looking opponent, I cannot see him suffer after losing the game, it's too much pressure to take. Very often they accept and make me so happy. I have made about 1800 draws on ICC so far using this technique.

Anonymous said...

Never forget how Peter Leko almost became world champion by offering many draws, in almost each game. Also Tigran Petrosian and Bent Larsen.

Anonymous said...

'Go out, breathe some fresh air instead.'

The air is polluted. With every breath we take, we are closer to dying.

Anonymous said...

On the same theme, a story from the World Student Team Championship in Graz 1972.

Robert Hübner-Ken Rogoff: 1.c4 draw. The arbiter Jaroslav Sajtar wasn’t amused and ordered a new game.

Second game: 1.c4 Sf6 2.Sf3 g6 3.Sg1 Lg7 4.Da4 0-0 5.Dxd7 Dxd7 6.g4 Dxd2+ 7.Kxd2 Sxg4 8.b4 a5 9.a4 Lxa1 10.Lb2 Sc6 11.Lh8 Lg7 12.h4 axb4 draw.

Sajtar still wasn´t satisfied and ordered a third game. Hübner didn’t turn up for that one so Rogoff won on w.o.

Here's another prearranged draw between Elisabeth Paehtz and Raj Tischbierek that went unpunished:

The corresponding moves were 1.d4 d6 2.Dd2 e5 3.a4 e4 4.h3 f5 5.Df4 Le7 6.Dh2 Le6 7.Ta3 c5 8.Tg3 Da5+ 9.Sd2 Lb3 10.d5 Lh4 11.c4 e3 12.f3 f4 stalemate.

Sorry for the German notation.

Anonymous said...

Robert Huebner also once refused to
give his original scoresheet to the arbiter. He wrote all the moves on
another scoresheet and gave this "copy" to the arbiter. The arbiter did
not accept this and insisted that Huebner should turn over the original.
Huebner refused and the arbiter declared the game lost for Huebner. By
the way, the real result was a draw.

Anonymous said...

Though technically forfeits are games won with zero moves and there have been games drawn without any moves, the shortest recorded chess game was between German grandmaster Robert Hübner and then 19-year-old Kenneth Rogoff playing in the 1972 World Student Team Championship game.

Hübner played one move and offered a draw to Rogoff, who accepted (as the story went, the arbiters insisted that some moves be played so the duo played a few non-sensical moves instead!).

Anonymous said...

Of chess judges, I respect only the ones who regularly publicly contribute to the game.

So far, the only one, among thousands, is Mr. Geurt Gijssen. Please correct me if I am wrong.

The others just keep quiet and keep knowledge to themselves only, not counting ones who publish some books, but I don't know about these, there must be some anyways.

Anonymous said...

The latest FIDE Laws of Chess, which come into force on July 1, introduce a new offence of bringing the game into disrepute.

Certain players at the European Championship, which concluded in Ohrid, Macedonia some time ago, were grateful that the new rule was not already in force.

Scoring poorly, Russian Grandmaster Valentin Arbakov began arriving late and in an inebriated state for games before finally forfeiting the ninth round.

He was expelled from the tournament but will probably experience no other penalty.

A more complicated case arose in the eleventh round when experienced GM Konstantin Aseev was paired against Ruslan Ponomariov, until recently the world's youngest Grandmaster.

The night before the game, Aseev approached his 17-year-old opponent and offered to pre-arrange a draw.

Although such pre-arranged draws might seem to an outside observer to be bringing the game into disrepute and are in theory forbidden, for most GMs they are a standard tournament tactic; the Ohrid tournament saw around 50 pre-arranged draws. (Pre-arranging a win or loss, on the other hand, is considered absolutely unethical.)

Since Ponomariov was tied in second place with Aseev and was due to play with the disadvantage of the Black pieces, the youngster assented to Aseev's proposal.

Both players were thus able to dispense with onerous tasks such as preparing for the game and Aseev could even have joined Arbakov at the bar, had he wished to do so.

However, the following day, an hour and a half before the game, Ponomariov came to Aseev and told him that the deal was off - apparently Ponomariov's sponsor demanded that their charge play for a win.

Aseev, upset, lost the game and Ponomariov went on to tie for first in the tournament with Israeli Emil Sutovsky. (Sutovsky won the playoff.)

For Aseev and many of his colleagues, Ponomariov's action warranted strong condemnation.

In the looking glass world of top-level chess, 50 pre-arranged draws apparently do not bring a tournament into disrepute but Ponomariov's failure to stick to an illegal pre-game agreement was beyond the pale.