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View Full Version : "Piecutter" armageddon blitz tiebreak concept

Kevin Bonham
23-05-2008, 09:54 PM
This from Mig's Daily Dirt.

Under the regs, Krush and Zatonskih split the money for first and second but went into a playoff for the title. They swapped wins with white at 15 3, then swapped wins with black at 5 3. The final stage was an Armageddon game, with an innovative plan, similar to something I proposed once (and I think I recall Greg Shahade proposing something like it too, am I wrong?), where player A (chosen randomly) determines the time split, allocating 10 to 12 minutes between the colors as he/she chooses (Black having less time but draw odds) but player B then chooses which color he/she wants. The point is that this is fair to both players, in that A must try to make the split as fair as possible so that A is no worse off no matter what B chooses. This is called a "pie-cutter" method because it corresponds to the fair way for cutting up pies - you cut, I choose. By contrast, in previous Armageddon games, prearranged so that White has 5 minutes and Black has 4, or 7 and 5, or whatever, it might be that one player is left griping that white has too much or too little time and that he or she got the short end of the color draw.

Unfortunately I don't know what the Armageddon time control turned out to be, or who picked it, and it's not in the article (yet). I only know that Krush ended up with white and a good position but apparently lost on time, leaving Zatonskih as the 2008 US Women's Champion.

May seem that this is harsh on A since no matter what they pick. B can make a choice that is either favourable or equally favourable. However if B knows enough to know whether any given choice is favourable, then A could use the same knowledge to split the chances dead evenly, so this is not a very valid objection.

It's unorthodox but I can't see much wrong with it (as armageddon blitz decider methods go, that is, which isn't very far!)

[Edit: In this case the player choosing (not sure who) chose 6 mins for white and 4.5 with draw odds for black. At one stage Zatonskih (who was black) had 2 seconds left to Krush's 20, but Krush lost on time!]

Bill Gletsos
23-05-2008, 10:28 PM
From Chessbase at http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4650:

The rules called for one player to name the times (with black having draw odds) and the other to chose which color she wanted. No time increment. Krush had white with 6 minutes, while Zatonskih had 4½ minutes and the draw odds. A tense game ensued and both players entered severe time trouble. At one point Anna had two seconds left compared to about 20 for Irina. But Anna’s draw odds were a big advantage here – she could blitz out moves hardly thinking (just moving the piece nearest to the clock), while Irina actually had to do something with her moves since she had to win. Krush lost on time with 0:01 left on Anna’s clock! It doesn’t get any closer than that.

Kevin Bonham
23-05-2008, 10:41 PM
But Anna’s draw odds were a big advantage here – she could blitz out moves hardly thinking (just moving the piece nearest to the clock), while Irina actually had to do something with her moves since she had to win.

Not quite sure how this follows unless the game was played under some US equivalent of 10.2 or something like that. After all, in a guillotine blitz game when you have 20 seconds to 2 you can normally stop trying so hard to win and just make meaningless moves until your opponent runs out of time; it's their punishment for getting so close to the edge.

Alexrules01
23-05-2008, 10:57 PM
Wait... if one player chooses the time limit, cant he or she give themself like 10 minutes and the other player 1 for example?
Unless theres specific rules I don't know about

Bill Gletsos
23-05-2008, 11:03 PM
Wait... if one player chooses the time limit, cant he or she give themself like 10 minutes and the other player 1 for example?
Unless theres specific rules I don't know aboutBut it is the other player who gets to choose whether they take the 10 minute or the 1 minute.

Alexrules01
24-05-2008, 12:00 AM
But it is the other player who gets to choose whether they take the 10 minute or the 1 minute.
oh yes i see, i read it wrong! :)

Phil Bourke
24-05-2008, 03:30 AM
Does anyone know who chose the time controls used in this match? None of the reports that I have found thus far seem to contain this bit of information.

Is it possible that a player could nominate a 10 minute to 1 minute game in this scenario? Of course, it would be implausible to think that Black could survive in such a game, but with the amount of bullet chess now being played, some players may be tempted to gamble 9 vs 2 and hope that they can draw in that time!

Bill Gletsos
24-05-2008, 12:00 PM
This from Mig's Daily Dirt.

Krush chose 6 vs. 4.5 time split for the play-off, while Zatonskih chose the color (Black). Krush at first said that the method was unfair to the "split chooser", but Jim Berry pointed out that there was a coin flip to determine who chooses what and that's how it turned out and that's that.

Krush was coached by David Pruess and Zatonskih by Alex Onischuk in between play-off games and for the time and color decisions for the Armageddon game.

Both girls took their time at first for the Armageddon game, trying to win it on the board. The time scramble started when Zatonskih glanced at the clock and saw that she had 2 seconds left vs. 6 seconds for Krush. When the dust cleared, Krush's time expired while Zatonskih still had 1 second left on her clock. The mode that was chosen didn't show the tenths. Krush said "come on!", threw a Rook (at an angle to the board, not trying to hit Zatonskih or anyone else), and stormed off. The pieces were rolling around during the time scramble as well, so you might say she simply got the last throw in. Krush was back at the closing ceremony, reserved a bit maybe, but with no additional acrimony expressed.

Bill Gletsos
24-05-2008, 12:01 PM
GTIlro_-tiY

Kevin Bonham
24-05-2008, 02:04 PM
Is it possible that a player could nominate a 10 minute to 1 minute game in this scenario? Of course, it would be implausible to think that Black could survive in such a game, but with the amount of bullet chess now being played, some players may be tempted to gamble 9 vs 2 and hope that they can draw in that time!

The thing here is that while they might think they have good drawing chances at 9 v 2, it's extremely likely that their opponent will choose to play white with 9 and leave them defending the 2, so they may as well go 8-3 or 7-4 instead to give themselves some more time when the opponent inevitably chooses white.

I would find this an interesting system to play under because my own record in normal games is that I score the same with the white and black pieces, and more rarely lose with black. I suspect that this is also the case in blitz. So I would probably nominate a split of something like 6.5-4.

It looks like the report of Krush having 20 seconds left to 2 is incorrect and it was actually only 6 seconds.

Phil Bourke
24-05-2008, 02:41 PM
Thanks Bill.
I watched the video and would have swore that it was her own king she sent on a jet propelled flight into oblivion with a neat swipe that got it and nothing else. :)

Kevin Bonham
25-05-2008, 06:30 PM
Thanks Bill.
I watched the video and would have swore that it was her own king she sent on a jet propelled flight into oblivion with a neat swipe that got it and nothing else. :)

It certainly looks like the king on the different-angle video posted by AR here (http://closetgrandmaster.blogspot.com/2008/05/justice-or-entertainment.html)

I like AR's comment in his typical style about the matter:

Firstly, on the Krush incident: as far as I am concerned, Krush only had herself to blame. She failed to hustle. Bad time management, bad play and capped off by poor attitude. My sympathies for her are about as much as I give to that hapless side Chelsea FC. Zero!

A player playing white with six minutes to four and a half shouldn't really be losing on time on move 33. In the final scramble, Krush missed the capture of a rook for nix on move 31 that would probably have been a faster move than what she played.

I have seen some comments accusing Zatonskih of cheating by moving before Krush had pressed the clock but that is not cheating by FIDE rules; I cannot vouch for USCF as they seem to go to great lengths to not make their rules freely available as that would undercut their profits from their rulebook sales.

Also if Krush did have a problem with Zatonskih's actions she should have stopped the clock before her time ran out. So it was all a bit of a dummy spit IMO.

Phil Bourke
25-05-2008, 06:45 PM
I would be a little more lenient, as it was really a frustration spit, and it isn't hard to imagine how she felt at that exact moment.

Plus she came back in time for the presentations without any further rancour.

Only a dribble in the ranks of dummy spits :) Now if it had of been McEnroe, he would still be there arguing with the officials over the rights and wrongs that had been done :)

Kevin Bonham
25-05-2008, 08:49 PM
Yes, there was no sign of any remonstration with the officials, the format or the opponent on her part, she was probably more frustrated with herself. I saw a similar thing in an Aus Champs some years ago.

pax
26-05-2008, 01:58 PM
I have seen some comments accusing Zatonskih of cheating by moving before Krush had pressed the clock but that is not cheating by FIDE rules; I cannot vouch for USCF as they seem to go to great lengths to not make their rules freely available as that would undercut their profits from their rulebook sales.
Also notable is that Krush knocked a piece off the board and both players continued, ignoring the absent piece.

I just thought it was a shame for such a prestigious title to be decided in such a coffee house finish.

Kevin Bonham
27-05-2008, 01:45 AM
Also notable is that Krush knocked a piece off the board and both players continued, ignoring the absent piece.

That seems to be not so uncommon. My favourite example was the Smerdon v Solomon blitz game several years ago that finished with all the remaining pieces on the ground and the players shaking hands on a win by flagfall over an empty chessboard!

pax
27-05-2008, 11:30 AM
That seems to be not so uncommon. My favourite example was the Smerdon v Solomon blitz game several years ago that finished with all the remaining pieces on the ground and the players shaking hands on a win by flagfall over an empty chessboard!
That's pretty funny.