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View Full Version : Aribter Mistake Changing a Title Result?



Patrick Byrom
06-10-2019, 09:26 PM
This thread is inspired by the Rugby League Grand Final, which featured a very controversial reversal of a referee's decision, which arguably cost the Raiders the title. And there was a similar, although less controversial, umpire's decision in the Cricket World Cup, which may have cost NZ the title. In both cases, although I had a slight preference for the final winner, I wouldn't argue that the losers were hard done by.

But has anything similar ever happened in chess, at any significant level? I don't mean just an arbiter's mistake, but a mistake that actually changes the outcome of a title match.

PS There may already be a thread for this, but I couldn't find one.

Garvinator
06-10-2019, 11:41 PM
But has anything similar ever happened in chess, at any significant level? I don't mean just an arbiter's mistake, but a mistake that actually changes the outcome of a title match.
Yes, there is one that I can recall, but fortunately, chess has appeals and so the likelihood of an arbiter decision costing someone a game or match is much less likely.

But, yes, there has been a clear arbiter mistake at the highest level that could have had terrible consequences for the player on the wrong end of the decision.

In the 2008 Women's World Championship (KO format)- Polish IM Monika Socko, rated 2473, and Romanian WIM Sabina-Francesca Foisor, 2337 played out a two knights ending, with both players used her available time up to the maximum and then Foisor's flag fell when only two kings and two knights (one for each player) were on the board. The situation immediately triggered debate whether the flag-fall or the drawish position should be taken as the basis of the decision of the arbiters. After long discussions and official appeals provided by the players, the Appeals Committee made the final decision: the winner is Socko (Poland).

I remember this situation well, as I criticised the original decision heavily and wondered how a very experienced IA could make such a decision, when the rules of chess are extremely clear.

antichrist
07-10-2019, 01:51 AM
Yes, there is one that I can recall, but fortunately, chess has appeals and so the likelihood of an arbiter decision costing someone a game or match is much less likely.

But, yes, there has been a clear arbiter mistake at the highest level that could have had terrible consequences for the player on the wrong end of the decision.

In the 2008 Women's World Championship (KO format)- Polish IM Monika Socko, rated 2473, and Romanian WIM Sabina-Francesca Foisor, 2337 played out a two knights ending, with both players used her available time up to the maximum and then Foisor's flag fell when only two kings and two knights (one for each player) were on the board. The situation immediately triggered debate whether the flag-fall or the drawish position should be taken as the basis of the decision of the arbiters. After long discussions and official appeals provided by the players, the Appeals Committee made the final decision: the winner is Socko (Poland).

I remember this situation well, as I criticised the original decision heavily and wondered how a very experienced IA could make such a decision, when the rules of chess are extremely clear.

Is there a mating possibility with just one knight each and no other pieces on the board? With only one piece each surely they could not flag fall if there was increment time control?

Kevin Bonham
07-10-2019, 11:58 AM
Is there a mating possibility with just one knight each and no other pieces on the board? With only one piece each surely they could not flag fall if there was increment time control?

Which there wasn't. It was 2008 and at that stage they had no increments in the Armageddon game (6 minutes vs 5) and there were also at that time no rules allowing the old 10.2 to be invoked in blitz games. Nowadays an increment starts from move 61 in Armageddon games in these tournaments. The situation was discussed at length in the thread here: http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?8534-FIDE-quot-World-Womens-Champs-quot-knockout-in-Nalchik The correct decision was reached by the appeal panel so the arbiter's mistake did not change the outcome of the match. Although there is not a practical chance that K+N will deliver mate against K+N, there is a mathematical chance.

Craig_Hall
07-10-2019, 01:50 PM
Which there wasn't. It was 2008 and at that stage they had no increments in the Armageddon game (6 minutes vs 5) and there were also at that time no rules allowing the old 10.2 to be invoked in blitz games. Nowadays an increment starts from move 61 in Armageddon games in these tournaments. The situation was discussed at length in the thread here: http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?8534-FIDE-quot-World-Womens-Champs-quot-knockout-in-Nalchik The correct decision was reached by the appeal panel so the arbiter's mistake did not change the outcome of the match. Although there is not a practical chance that K+N will deliver mate against K+N, there is a mathematical chance.

It was also before the 75 move draw was introduced into the rules - now there would be a possibility of a draw through that if an arbiter was counting as they can stop the game at 75 without a claim.

For AC's benefit, White Kg6, Black Kh8 and Ng8, White plays Nf7# - as Kevin says, a mathematical possibility, but not practical to expect someone to play Ng8 allowing checkmate.

antichrist
07-10-2019, 02:01 PM
It was also before the 75 move draw was introduced into the rules - now there would be a possibility of a draw through that if an arbiter was counting as they can stop the game at 75 without a claim.

For AC's benefit, White Kg6, Black Kh8 and Ng8, White plays Nf7# - as Kevin says, a mathematical possibility, but not practical to expect someone to play Ng8 allowing checkmate.

Thanks, I will go through. I was going through multiple knight possibilities a few weeks ago when posted in Chess Whatever - you could end up in the grave trying all possibilities without a mate to stand on.