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  1. #1
    Account Permanently Banned firegoat7's Avatar
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    Is this claim correct?

    Ian Rogers wrote in his column on the 8/2/04:
    However a seventh round loss to a little-known Norwegian (see below) dashed Speck's hopes and, on a score of 3/7, Speck then walked out of the tournament. The chief arbiter Stewart Reuben refuted suggestions that Speck's withdrawal had been due to illness: "Speck was sick - sick of chess and could no longer score an IM [result]." was Reuben's diplomatic description of Speck's decision.
    I want to know if this actual claim is correct because I put it to Mr Rogers that he is just engaging in cheap psychological banter

  2. #2
    CC Candidate Master jase's Avatar
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    Only Nick will ever know the answer to that.

    As an arbiter it looked like he bailed after a disappointing loss. But Nick is quite a straight-up, tell-it-as-I-see-it kind of guy, so if he says he was ill, then I think that's how it was.

    My information is that Nick had intended to withdraw the previous round, but felt compelled to play on, for both the possibility of a norm and also because it was his last tournament before flying home.

    Ian is a great columnist because he is not a master of politically correct conservatism. He got a great quote from Stewart and ran with it.

    I'd bet a schooner of St.Arnou that Ian didn't go to the trouble of seeking a response to Stewart's assessment from Nick.

    Sensationalist journalism? Frequently. "Psychological banter"? Please.

  3. #3
    Account Permanently Banned firegoat7's Avatar
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    Why would it matter what Reuben claims. My understanding is he was not the chief arbiter. Did Speck actually even speak with Reuben?

  4. #4
    Account Permanently Banned PHAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jase
    Only Nick will ever know the answer to that.

    As an arbiter it looked like he bailed after a disappointing loss. But Nick is quite a straight-up, tell-it-as-I-see-it kind of guy, so if he says he was ill, then I think that's how it was.
    Hmmm. I do not know Speck personally, so I will take your word for it. However, I also recall some very odd behaviour by him in the previous Australian C/S. Ther was the "spending" of 80 minutes on a move and then move with a minute on the clock - game #2 [?] and the 7 [?] move draw to lose the match. Now Ian Rogers quoting lines like, "Speck was sick - sick of chess..."

    At some point, one's behaviour starts to take on the apperance of character.

  5. #5
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jase
    As an arbiter it looked like he bailed after a disappointing loss. But Nick is quite a straight-up, tell-it-as-I-see-it kind of guy, so if he says he was ill, then I think that's how it was.
    He may be a "straight-up, tell-it-as-I-see-it kind of guy" however based on his article about the Asutralian Championship play-off in the Nov/Dec 2003 issue of Australia Chess which is full of veiled innuendo he seems anything but that.

  6. #6
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    Of course Speck approached the main organiser and arbiter (Reuben) before he withdrew from the Gibraltar tournament. There was also an Australian arbiter in Gibraltar who tried to talk Speck out of his decision, to no avail.
    I used the Reuben quote because it an accurate desciption of why Speck withdrew from the Gibraltar tournament. Of course Speck had other reasons for his decision - saving on hotel bills, getting back early for the new school year - but they were peripheral to the fact that he could no longer score an IM norm.
    I don't understand how accurately explaining why Speck withdrew from the Gibraltar tournament could be interpreted as 'cheap psychological banter' at all.
    Ian

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_Rogers
    I used the Reuben quote because it an accurate desciption of why Speck withdrew from the Gibraltar tournament. Of course Speck had other reasons for his decision - saving on hotel bills, getting back early for the new school year - but they were peripheral to the fact that he could no longer score an IM norm.
    I don't understand how accurately explaining why Speck withdrew from the Gibraltar tournament could be interpreted as 'cheap psychological banter' at all.
    Ian
    Yes I always read your article on the Sun Herald, and thought that what you reported was fair. Although sometimes I wish like peter parr's columns, there are more news on the local scene, thanks for keeping us informed on chess issues. Also I guess you are writing for the average reader not a chess person
    Always do your Best

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    I don't know why you're making such a big deal about it.. if a player wants to withdraw from a tournament he should be able to do so at his own discretion, provided he informs the tournament directors of his intentions. So leave the guy alone, sheesh.
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Dickinson
    I don't know why you're making such a big deal about it.. if a player wants to withdraw from a tournament he should be able to do so at his own discretion, provided he informs the tournament directors of his intentions. So leave the guy alone, sheesh.
    but that means it is okay for a player who is losing in a weekender, or a club tournament to quit just because he is playing badly
    Always do your Best

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    Yeah that's right.. so what?
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Dickinson
    I don't know why you're making such a big deal about it.. if a player wants to withdraw from a tournament he should be able to do so at his own discretion, provided he informs the tournament directors of his intentions. So leave the guy alone, sheesh.
    I disagree totally. A player who withdraws without a legitimate reason on a regular basis should receive a lengthy ban. (Have you seen my TCA "three strikes" policy on unauthorised and unnotified withdrawals that I posted a while back? Harsh - hell yeah. Effective - hell yeah. )

    Withdrawals create numerous fairness-based problems to those left in the field. In a round robin, those who beat the withdrawer have their effort wasted if the withdrawer plays less than half the scheduled games, while those who fail to beat the withdrawer are penalised compared to those who do not play them if the withdrawer plays more than half.

    In swisses, tiebreaks for prizes are often done on methods like "sum of opponents scores". If a player withdraws you cannot accurately estimate what they would have scored, and players who've played that player may be unfairly disadvantaged (or advantaged) as a result.

    Withdrawals also rort the rating system by protecting a player from losing more ratings points when playing badly (often in club events, a player who scratches from a round robin sometimes won't have those results rated at all for practical reasons - extremely unfair on the player who scored an upset win over them). Finally withdrawals of the "why must I lose to this idiot?" type are extremely disrespectful to the opponent. And withdrawing when you can't reach <insert goal here> is disrespectful to the player who loyally supports the tournament even though they are not strong enough to reach <insert goal here> themselves.

    The monster swiss kind of event Speck was playing in may be one of those where a withdrawal would be relatively benign, I don't know if any prizes or tiebreaks would have been affected by him pulling out. However, generally, I really can't see why the practice of withdrawing due to poor results should be tolerated and can't think of any high-profile sport that allows players to pull out for such pathetic reasons as a lot of chess players do.

    NB In the above I withhold judgement on why Nick Speck withdrew and whether it was (IMO) legit, obviously I don't know all the facts. I'm just aiming to address the general issue of whether players should be allowed to withdraw with the kinds of feeble excuses that they do.

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    Ah I see Kevin.. wasn't aware it had such adverse effects on the draw. Still, perhaps allowances in the swiss perfect program could be made for withdrawls, since there are legit ones.
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Dickinson
    Ah I see Kevin.. wasn't aware it had such adverse effects on the draw. Still, perhaps allowances in the swiss perfect program could be made for withdrawls, since there are legit ones.
    sure there may be legit withdrawels, but they should be the exceptions rather than the rule. If you quit because you are not doing welll in the tourney, it is like taking the bat and walking home because you got out cheaply. not the done thing at all
    Always do your Best

  14. #14
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Dickinson
    Ah I see Kevin.. wasn't aware it had such adverse effects on the draw. Still, perhaps allowances in the swiss perfect program could be made for withdrawls, since there are legit ones.
    There are - my point is it's OK to put up with the inconvenience caused by a withdrawal when it's a legit withdrawal, but no reason to encourage such a practice to be more common. Probably poor performance is the commonest reason players quit weekenders, with illness and dissent over arbiter's decisions not as common. I don't favour harsh action towards people who withdraw over arbiter's decisions unless their case is completely without merit.

    There are no adverse effects on the draw itself in a Swiss, except that you may cause a bye (equally you may remove one) provided the withdrawal is known before pairings are done. The adverse effects are on the fairness of any tiebreakers you use to decide prizes

  15. #15
    Account Permanently Banned firegoat7's Avatar
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    I think Kb's post should be another thread, however I completely disagree with the idea to ban players for unofficial withdrawals. surely we want to encourage people to play chess, not prevent them from playing. I would actually just prefer to see withdrawals lose rating points as a penalty.

    Tony Ayris withdrew from a South Australian tournament once because his friend suicided. SACA, with all the commen sense of a goldfish at the time, banned him from chess for a year. Instead of argueing the point Tony just did not play for a while.

    Anyway back to the point of the post. Did Rogers ask Speck for his opinion before he printed the story? Secondly is Reuben a reliable source, one unconfirmed rumor is that Reuben was drunk at the time of the withdrawal, Is this true?
    Cheers FG7

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