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Garvinator
31-05-2008, 05:10 PM
Irina Krush has complained regarding events that happened in the armaggedon game from the US Women's Championship: http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/2008/05/irina-krush-protests-in-open-letter.html


Dear CLO,

I would like to explain what really happened in Tulsa, which has so far been obscured by the final tournament report that you published.

Anna and I were tied at 7.5/9 points at the end of the tournament. We started our G/15 +3 second increment playoffs approximately fifteen minutes after my six hour, 106 move game against Rohonyan ended. We split these rapid games with one win each, then went into the blitz stage of G/5 + 3 second increment, which we also split with one win each.

We then proceeded to the final Armageddon game, that was to be played without increment. As the defending champion, I was told by the organizers that I had to choose how the time would be divided, and Anna would choose the color she wanted to play. I decided that White would be given 6 minutes, Black 4:30. Anna chose to be Black with draw odds.

The relevant part of the game is not that I had the initiative throughout, and maintained a winning position until the end. The relevant part is, of course, the clock, since I was deemed to have "lost" the title of US Women's Champion due to my time running out while Anna had 1 second left.

So, about the clock. Tom Braunlich, one of the organizers of the event, wrote in his report "At one point Anna had 2 seconds left compared to about 20 for Irina." This is a plainly incorrect appraisal of the time situation. Then Tom, in an attempt to explain how my 20 seconds ran out before Anna’s 2, wrote that "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." Unfortunately, this statement also has no basis in reality. Despite having a winning position, I didn't need to "do something with my moves"- all I needed to do was move quickly and the person with much less time would flag first. And, in fact, that's what I did. I moved instantly, as can be seen very clearly in the video you've posted of that game. I moved instantly, all the while having a significant time advantage until I got to 0 seconds while Anna had 1. How could this have happened?

First of all, let’s establish what the true clock situation was. Tom was certainly off in his estimate, but the essence of what he said was absolutely true: I had a large lead in time, let's say 8 seconds to 3 at one point, or as Anna herself says in her interview, “I realized that I had two seconds. I was so shocked that I am going to lose right now. She has six (seconds). I played Rb8-e8 because it was so close to clock.” So let's take 6 seconds to 2. Watching the video, seeing me move instantly, how could 6 seconds lose against 2?

And that's the crux of the matter. My opponent, seeing herself on the verge of losing on time, began playing moves before I had completed mine. She made her moves before I hit my clock, and as soon as I pressed the clock, it was punched back at me. That is how my lead in time was chipped away at, and this process began during the advance of Anna’s c-pawn, quite a few moves before the game ended.

Obviously, making moves before your opponent completes theirs is illegal. Were it legal, White, having the “disadvantage” of the first move, would always lose on time to Black if the adversaries were to settle into the rhythm of Black using White’s time to move their pieces.

The sad thing is, no one stepped in as this was happening. No arbiter, no organizer, did anything to ensure that fair play was being observed in the final moments of the game. It was a free-for-all, where the person with the worse blitz habits “won.”

People have pointed out that I should have registered my protest during the game, or immediately after. Unfortunately, while I was certainly in disbelief as I watched my opponent complete 3 moves with her last remaining second and saw myself lose on time despite starting out with a large time lead, during the game and immediately after, I had no clear grasp of how she had accomplished this. It happened too quickly for me to understand, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, and that it should be ignored.

An injustice that wasn’t brought to light at the moment it occurred is no less of an injustice. Moreover, in our particular situation, it is not an injustice that is difficult to redress. As no one in our tournament was in any way affected by our playoff, no games need to be replayed, no scores adjusted, no ratings recalculated- all that needs to be changed is the way the ending of this story is told.

It has been announced that Anna, by virtue of conserving 1 second on her clock, is the 2008 U.S. Women’s Champion.

I fervently dispute Anna's claim to the sole possession of this title. I do not believe that a Champion emerges through one second they have managed to keep on their clock through illegal means.

In my view, a winner of a tournament is someone who at some point, perhaps in some minuscule and barely perceptible way, lifts themselves above their competitors. I would be interested to hear any view that holds that Anna, through legal techniques, did anything to earn the title of Champion over me.

I’d also like to address my reaction at the end of this game, when I knocked a piece off to the side of the board before walking out of the room. This may seem like poor behavior to some, but I believe that my reaction was nothing compared to the aggression leveled at me by my opponent during the end of this game. Knocking off a piece and storming away had no power or intention to take away anything my opponent had been working for during this tournament. When my opponent moved on my time, however innocuous that may appear to be, I believe that she was committing one of the worst transgressions possible: depriving me, through unfair means, of the just rewards of my labor. That is where the aggression lies in this situation, and not in my expression of frustration and anger over being wronged.

I am pained that this incident has raised doubts about my sportsmanship. I have never in my entire career been accused of showing poor sportsmanship. I have never displayed any outward sign of anger or aggression at the end of a game, within sight of my opponent or spectators, or anywhere in the vicinity of the playing area. I have never failed to shake my opponent’s hand at the end of a game. I lost two games to Anna in the playoff, and both times I offered my hand in resignation, even though this isn’t even required protocol in blitz chess. And I have never been accused of cheating or violating my opponent’s rights in any way. I want this point to be clear: my reaction at the end of the final game had nothing to do with “losing” and everything to do with the way it happened and my perception of something unfair having occurred. And although the following piece of information is not entirely necessary as I feel perfectly capable of defending my sportsmanship all on my own, it is rather funny. Guess what Frank Berry, the sponsor and organizer of the US Championship, stated I should get an award for during his closing ceremony comments: that’s right, “sportsmanship.” Thanks, Frank.

I had hoped to resolve this matter in a friendly way, without being forced to voice my indignation in public. Four days ago, I wrote a letter to Anna explaining my position, urging her to study the video of our final game, and if she agreed with my conclusions about what happened, to write a few sentences for uschess.org where she’d communicate her non-objection to sharing the title with me. In any case, I told her, I looked forward to hearing what she had to say. Unfortunately, I have not heard back from her, and since there is no guarantee that I ever will, I decided to go ahead and make my views known to the chess community.

What do I hope to accomplish through this letter? First and foremost, I want the truth to finally be relayed to the American chess public. As I’ve mentioned, the final tournament report that was offered to you was misleading, and I have yet to see a retraction of its false assertions. Secondly, I believe that to continue into the future, unthinkingly parroting that Anna Zatonskih is the 2008 U.S. Women’s Champion with no regard for how she “won” this title, is a travesty of truth and justice. I believe I have at least as much right to this title as she does, and I would like this right to be acknowledged. To this end, I am asking for responses to this letter from Frank Berry and Bill Goichberg, the President of the USCF. This event was held under their auspices, and I would like to know what they think of the results, given the evidence of what transpired.

I’d like to use this opportunity to say that despite the unsatisfactory ending of the Championship for me, this letter in no way expresses my feelings about the organization of the Championship as a whole. I had a wonderful time in Oklahoma, and wish to thank Frank and Jim Berry for their unwavering kindness and hospitality on all my visits to their home state, as well as to Tom Braunlich, who, in his capacity as organizer, was solicitous and helpful throughout the event.

To conclude, I will state that sharing the title would be an acceptable outcome for me, but I would certainly welcome any initiative to decide the title in over-the-board games, with real time controls that don’t degrade the participants into clock punching monkeys.

Sincerely,
Irina Krush

Garvinator
31-05-2008, 05:11 PM
Apologies for putting up all the text, but Irina does touch on a few laws of chess and some that apply to blitz only.

What are the thoughts of other arbiters and players on here?

Aaron Guthrie
31-05-2008, 05:24 PM
So I see two main arguments. One, that one second ought not mark the difference between champion and not. I don't have anything to say about this one. The second that her opponent broke the rules.

"And that's the crux of the matter. My opponent, seeing herself on the verge of losing on time, began playing moves before I had completed mine. She made her moves before I hit my clock, and as soon as I pressed the clock, it was punched back at me. That is how my lead in time was chipped away at, and this process began during the advance of Anna’s c-pawn, quite a few moves before the game ended."

From what she says here, it doesn't seem as though her opponent broke the rules.

"Obviously, making moves before your opponent completes theirs is illegal. Were it legal, White, having the “disadvantage” of the first move, would always lose on time to Black if the adversaries were to settle into the rhythm of Black using White’s time to move their pieces."

And this comment seems absurd. To do so would require Black to have the game go on for a very high number of moves. (Further Black cannot switch strategys, as it were, for then White would get the certain win.) To use her own reasoning, were it true she was certain to win from the start, if she just settled into the rhythm of using not more time than Black to move her pieces.

edit- Oh wait, she can actually say she did use that strategy, it was just bested at the end by the counter strategy. I wonder how much there is in the strategy- in the game did it really work like Krush said, with 2 seconds besting 6 in a forced manner?

Kevin Bonham
31-05-2008, 05:34 PM
So, about the clock. Tom Braunlich, one of the organizers of the event, wrote in his report "At one point Anna had 2 seconds left compared to about 20 for Irina." This is a plainly incorrect appraisal of the time situation. Then Tom, in an attempt to explain how my 20 seconds ran out before Anna’s 2, wrote that "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." Unfortunately, this statement also has no basis in reality.

She is right about this; the 2 vs 20 claim is clearly incorrect and the claim that Krush had to do something (other than win on time) is also rather strange given that Insufficient Losing Chances (the US's increasingly nebulous equivalent of 10.2) does not apply in USCF blitz.

But this is the important bit:


Obviously, making moves before your opponent completes theirs is illegal. Were it legal, White, having the “disadvantage” of the first move, would always lose on time to Black if the adversaries were to settle into the rhythm of Black using White’s time to move their pieces.

This argument is total nonsense for two reasons:

1. Black would have to move immediately after white's move to always take advantage of moving before white pressed the clock. If white was thinking and black was responding instantaneously black would probably play bad moves, even in blitz, and therefore lose.

2. FIDE and USCF rules (USCF blitz rules here - PDF DOWNLOAD (http://main.uschess.org/images/stories/scholastic_chess_resources/blitz_rules_rev.2007.pdf)) both specify that a player is always allowed to stop their clock. Thus if Black did keep bashing out moves before White could press, White still has the option of pressing after Black moves. Then black presses back, then it is white's move and white's clock is running (etc).

There is no explicit prohibition on moving before the other side has pressed the clock in either FIDE or USCF rules.


The sad thing is, no one stepped in as this was happening. No arbiter, no organizer, did anything to ensure that fair play was being observed in the final moments of the game. It was a free-for-all, where the person with the worse blitz habits “won.”

Or more likely the player with the better understanding of the blitz rules and how to exploit them.


It has been announced that Anna, by virtue of conserving 1 second on her clock, is the 2008 U.S. Women’s Champion.

I fervently dispute Anna's claim to the sole possession of this title. I do not believe that a Champion emerges through one second they have managed to keep on their clock through illegal means.

Sheesh. Her dummy spit after the game has had some excuses made for it, and if they were just frustration at the situation of losing the game then that may be fair enough, but to extend it by disputing the opponent's title on the basis of such a weak argument and lack of understanding of the Laws is considerably worse.


I’d also like to address my reaction at the end of this game, when I knocked a piece off to the side of the board before walking out of the room. This may seem like poor behavior to some, but I believe that my reaction was nothing compared to the aggression leveled at me by my opponent during the end of this game.

"Aggression"? :rolleyes:

Her last six paragraphs are basically just a self-serving rant (and there's a fair potential for incoherence in the way she claims that she was angry at something and hence reacting appropriately, but also claims she didn't know what had happened). My net sympathy for her complaint is considerably less than zero.

Bill Gletsos
31-05-2008, 05:49 PM
Well I am not sure what the USCF rules are but under FIDE rules the situation is clear.

Now I explained this back in early 2004 and again in late 2006 but I'll repeat it yet again as it probably well worth doing so. ;)

The following sequence is perfectly legal.
Player A pickups up a piece and moves it.
Player A releases the piece. Player A has not yet pressed his clock.
Now at the point that player A released his peice, it is entirely legal for Player B to touch one of his own pieces and start to move it.
Player B can in fact release his own piece prior to Player A still having touched the clock.
Now the critical point is even if Player B press's his clock prior to Player A having yet pressed his clock, Player A is entitled under Article 6.8 to always be allowed to stop his clock. Therefore if Player B presses his clock before Player A has, Player A can still stop his own clock and start player B's and Player B would then have to restart Player A's.
Note it is entirely illegal for Player B to not allow Player A to press his clock in the above sequence.


This whole thing comes down to FIDE's use of the words "completed", "move has been made", touched a piece", etc in various areas of the rules.


Thus the sequence of a move is:
1) A player touches a piece. Lets keep this simple and assume he touches one of his own pieces. A piece is considered touched when a player deliberately touches a piece with the intention of moving it.
2) The player then moves his piece to a square and releases the piece. The move is now considered to "have been made". Unless the move is illegal, the player can no longer retract or change his move.
3) If the move in 2) immediately ended the game under any section of Articles 5.1 or 5.2 then stopping the clock is irrelevant.
4) if the move did not end the game then the move is then considered to be complete when the player stops his clock. Note in Blitz it is not until this has occurred that a player can claim a win via illegal move.

Now the issue of when an opponent is able to reply to a players move is covered by the last sentence of Article 1.1 which states: "A player is said to 'have the move', when his opponent's move has been made.

Note the FIDE Rules commission deliberately changed Article 1.1 in the 2001 Laws to say "has been made". In the preceding rules (FIDE 1997) the wording was "has been completed".

CameronD
31-05-2008, 06:24 PM
The one thing that would interest me was wheather her hand was hovering over the board as that is against the laws.

I'll never understand how a long time control tournament be decided by ligtning armaggedon game, surly tied winners would be better.

Garrett
31-05-2008, 06:32 PM
I'll never understand how a long time control tournament be decided by ligtning armaggedon game, surly tied winners would be better.

I agree Cammo.

It's like Wimbledon being decided by okay - you serve, if it gets to deuce the other guy wins.

What a toss.

Keep playing rapids or 5+3 in MHO until a clear winner.

Cheers
Garrett

CameronD
31-05-2008, 06:43 PM
I've just seen the video.

Personally, I think it was a free for all from both players with them not removing pieces and moving pieces properly.

I hope the USCF charge and suspend her for throwing that piece as it hit an innocent spectator.

Duff McKagan
31-05-2008, 08:38 PM
In classical time control chess, players should be allowed to press their clock after their move, because pressing the clock is part of the act of completing the move. It is illegal for someone to make a move until the opponent has completed their move. However this game is played under blitz rules.

As Bill has explained, if you read the FIDE blitz rules, it is actually possible for you to press the clock once after you have moved, regardless if the opponent beats you to it. This is the only farcical path that Irina could have followed, and it just brings me back to the thinking that blitz game playoffs for big matches are ridiculous. Playing incremental time controls are a fairer way to decide such an important event. Unfortunately for Irina she didn't know or comprehend fully the blitz rules.

I have a couple of questions for the current situation:

1) If you are player A in Bill's case below and you haven't pressed the clock for the past 10 moves because your opponent has beaten you to it, are you now allowed to press it 10 times to compensate?

2) Is it normal chess etiquette to move before the opponent has pressed the clock?

Irina could likely have adopted the typical ICC tactic of randomly checking Anna's king with anything just to get the flag to fall, but perhaps she was feeling like this is not good chess etiquette. By playing blitz in the manner that she did, Anna did not show much etiquette for her opponent. I feel sorry for Irina, and although I understand why Anna pressed the clock like she did, she could also be gracious about it and allow Irina to share the title.

Bill Gletsos
31-05-2008, 08:53 PM
In classical time control chess, players should be allowed to press their clock after their move, because pressing the clock is part of the act of completing the move. It is illegal for someone to make a move until the opponent has completed their move.This is incorrect.
However this game is played under blitz rules.My scenario is not only legal in blitz but also entirely legal under the FIDE Laws of Chess in rapid and classical time controls as well.

As Bill has explained, if you read the FIDE blitz rules, it is actually possible for you to press the clock once after you have moved, regardless if the opponent beats you to it.Again this is not just valid in blitz but at all time contriols including classical.

I have a couple of questions for the current situation:

1) If you are player A in Bill's case below and you haven't pressed the clock for the past 10 moves because your opponent has beaten you to it, are you now allowed to press it 10 times to compensate?No. Player A had every right to press the clock after they made their move even if player4r B had already clocked.
However your question is based on a false premise on your part. Player A is always permitted to press their clock even if player B has already moved and pressed the clock.

2) Is it normal chess etiquette to move before the opponent has pressed the clock?This is of course entirely legal under FIDE rules irrespective of the time control.
In fact you only need to have watched the FIDE knockout championships to see this happen at various times during the classical, rapid and the blitz games.

Kevin Bonham
31-05-2008, 09:22 PM
Well I am not sure what the USCF rules are but under FIDE rules the situation is clear.

The USCF version I linked to uses "determined" instead of "made", although I am not absolutely sure that is the official USCF wording (a poster on Mig's Daily Dirt said those were the USCF blitz rules but based on the colloquial tone I am hoping it's a paraphrase).

I cannot see any evidence that the meaning of the USCF rules is different although I would need to see their full rules to know that for sure.


I'll never understand how a long time control tournament be decided by ligtning armaggedon game, surly tied winners would be better.

A problem with tied winners is that it creates an incentive for players to draw their games towards the end, as a player is likely to care more about winning the title than with whether they share it. If winning a final round game means avoiding a tiebreak rather than sharing first prize, a player is more likely to try. (Of course, this argument loses all credibility if you allow an 11-move draw on board 1 of the men's event, but never mind that. :lol: )

The US has allowed ties in their Womens Championship in the past; the last time this happened was in 2000.

Garvinator
31-05-2008, 09:27 PM
A problem with tied winners is that it creates an incentive for players to draw their games towards the end, as a player is likely to care more about winning the title than with whether they share it. If winning a final round game means avoiding a tiebreak rather than sharing first prize, a player is more likely to try. (Of course, this argument loses all credibility if you allow an 11-move draw on board 1 of the men's event, but never mind that. :lol: )

The US has allowed ties in their Womens Championship in the past; the last time this happened was in 2000.
Another problem with shared winners, especially if there are four or five of them, is when the Championship is part of a qualification process for another tournament ie like the European Championship for World Cup spots.

Bill Gletsos
31-05-2008, 09:38 PM
The USCF version I linked to uses "determined" instead of "made", although I am not absolutely sure that is the official USCF wording (a poster on Mig's Daily Dirt said those were the USCF blitz rules but based on the colloquial tone I am hoping it's a paraphrase).

I cannot see any evidence that the meaning of the USCF rules is different although I would need to see their full rules to know that for sure.On Susan Polgars blog in one of the comments is the following from well know USCF TD Mike Atkins.


After watching the video several times, there was nothing illegal except for the piece being knocked over and not replaced. That rules states:
9.) If a player accidentally displaces one or more pieces, they shall be replaced the player’s own time. If it is
necessary, the opponent may press the clock without making a move. If the player presses the clock after displacing
pieces, then a penalty may be assessed.

I clearly saw Anna making moves while Irina was moving and you can see Irina doing the same thing. This is not illegal.

Duff McKagan
01-06-2008, 01:34 PM
This was just posted on chess.com website:


C_Evzpa

I was just watching the video and if you watch the 59 sec mark to the 1:02 mark you will see that Zatonskih's piece was moving BEFORE Kush's hand was off of her piece. This is a violation of the rules. The move ends when the hand leaves the piece, so Zatonskih was moving ON Kush's turn.

In this situation, what should Krush have done, if she had a complaint?

Kevin Bonham
01-06-2008, 02:04 PM
I was just watching the video and if you watch the 59 sec mark to the 1:02 mark you will see that Zatonskih's piece was moving BEFORE Kush's hand was off of her piece.

I've slowed it right down and played through it on full screen as close to frame by frame as I can and I'm not sure. It generally looks more to me like Zatonskih's hand is hovering right over the piece she is about to move each time and then the instant Krush takes her hand off the piece Zatonskih moves. But maybe if it could be slowed down even more a point could be found where both clearly had their hands on the pieces at the same time.

I'm curious about Atkins' comment:

I clearly saw Anna making moves while Irina was moving and you can see Irina doing the same thing. This is not illegal.

Under FIDE rules it is illegal to move before your opponent has taken their hand off the piece, so perhaps there is a difference in USCF rules, or perhaps by "moving" he just means the clock hasn't been pressed.

PS I've just been to the Polgar blog. The standard of debate about this there is abysmal.

Duff McKagan
01-06-2008, 02:27 PM
OK, but assuming that this is the truth, my question was, how does Irina go about a complaint, if she is in the middle of a hectic blitz game with a few seconds left?

Kevin Bonham
01-06-2008, 02:29 PM
OK, but assuming that this is the truth, my question was, how does Irina go about a complaint, if she is in the middle of a hectic blitz game with a few seconds left?

Stop the clocks at once. A player is always allowed to pause the clocks if they want to complain to the arbiter about an incident. The clocks stay paused while the arbiter investigates.

Alternatively (if it's all in the heat of the moment so she hasn't quite realised what's happened until her time's gone) file a protest immediately after the game ends.

Duff McKagan
01-06-2008, 02:37 PM
Ok, I thought that under the blitz rules, one was not allowed to stop the clock !?

Kevin Bonham
01-06-2008, 02:45 PM
Ok, I thought that under the blitz rules, one was not allowed to stop the clock !?

In FIDE laws:


6.13(d) If a player stops the clocks in order to seek the arbiter`s assistance, the arbiter shall determine if the player had any valid reason for doing so. If it is obvious that the player has no valid reason for stopping the clocks, the player shall be penalised according to article 13.4.

...and there is nothing added to that for blitz to indicate it is any different for blitz.

(Also FIDE blitz and rapid laws have "B5. The arbiter shall make a ruling according to Article 4 (The act of moving pieces), only if requested to do so by one or both players." which means that complaints of the kind mentioned would need to be made during the game.)

In USCF it's even clearer:


10. In case of a dispute either player may stop the clock while the tournament director is being summoned. [..]

Duff McKagan
01-06-2008, 02:51 PM
OK, thanks Kevin.

Trizza
01-06-2008, 04:27 PM
I've slowed it right down and played through it on full screen as close to frame by frame as I can and I'm not sure. It generally looks more to me like Zatonskih's hand is hovering right over the piece she is about to move each time and then the instant Krush takes her hand off the piece Zatonskih moves. But maybe if it could be slowed down even more a point could be found where both clearly had their hands on the pieces at the same time.

I'm curious about Atkins' comment:

I clearly saw Anna making moves while Irina was moving and you can see Irina doing the same thing. This is not illegal.

Under FIDE rules it is illegal to move before your opponent has taken their hand off the piece, so perhaps there is a difference in USCF rules, or perhaps by "moving" he just means the clock hasn't been pressed.

PS I've just been to the Polgar blog. The standard of debate about this there is abysmal.

I think that even calling the posts on the Polgar blog a 'debate' is generous ;)

Having spent far too long replaying it slowly :) I agree with KB on the 0:59-1:02 period. I think it's after that, in particular the final two moves of the game (at about 1:07) where there could be an argument that black, in trying to press the clock quickly, is preventing white from pressing the clock. However this is after white knocks a rook off the board.

In fact if you go back earlier, white plays Re1-e7 and a bit of this piece seems to be on e8 to me. A few moves later white plays Rb7xb6 and it seems like the rook ends up on b5 and next move goes from here to a6 (no time to adjust as black had already moved!). Then the following move white's arm knocks over the b2 pawn - which may have helped to notice to capture the c3 pawn next move.

So it was just a not uncommon end to a blitz game where both players have less than 10s left and there is no increment. Inevitably this can result in pieces going everywhere in the mad rush. Irina's claim is totally without merit, except that surely there has to be a better way of deciding the title than this. At the very least I would always include an increment.

Btw does anyone know if the playoff was only for the title or for prize money as well?

Kevin Bonham
01-06-2008, 04:48 PM
I think that even calling the posts on the Polgar blog a 'debate' is generous ;)

The one I like the most (out of many worthy contenders) is the one that says there's a rule against hovering your hand over your rook. :lol:


Having spent far too long replaying it slowly :) I agree with KB on the 0:59-1:02 period. I think it's after that, in particular the final two moves of the game (at about 1:07) where there could be an argument that black, in trying to press the clock quickly, is preventing white from pressing the clock. However this is after white knocks a rook off the board.

Yes, Krush clearly reaches out to make a move, knocks a rook clean off the board where it comes to rest against Zatonskih's hand, and presses her clock with no attempt to adjust the piece on her own time whatsoever. This is the first clearly illegal action I can see on the video.

Under USCF rules, Zatonskih could legitimately just press the clock back without moving, forcing Krush to adjust the piece on her own time, which would probably have caused Krush to lose on time immediately.

And yes, as you note there is some spectacularly sloppy piece placement!


Btw does anyone know if the playoff was only for the title or for prize money as well?

Just the title. Prize money was split.

antichrist
02-06-2008, 01:26 PM
Without having the time to read all previous posts here may I bring up situtation again that took place in Ukrainian Club Blitz championship. It was my move and I made a move without letting go of my piece that enabled checkmate for my opponent. Before I could let go he moved his piece to checkmate me, he said that is he move no matter whatever I do. So I put my piece in a different position to block his move making his move illegal then pushed my clock and said he had moved illegal and so had lost the game. He was my best mate before this, a Yugo guy, then he got up walked out and never spoke to me again. Was I correct?

Kevin Bonham
02-06-2008, 01:41 PM
Without having the time to read all previous posts here may I bring up situtation again that took place in Ukrainian Club Blitz championship. It was my move and I made a move without letting go of my piece that enabled checkmate for my opponent. Before I could let go he moved his piece to checkmate me, he said that is he move no matter whatever I do. So I put my piece in a different position to block his move making his move illegal then pushed my clock and said he had moved illegal and so had lost the game. He was my best mate before this, a Yugo guy, then he got up walked out and never spoke to me again. Was I correct?

:lol:

Not under the Laws, but he got what he deserved!

The touchmove rule (4.3) only applies to a player who has touched a piece when they "have the move" (which means after you have let go of your piece.) I'm not actually sure if you can enforce touchmove on a player who touches a piece before that then keeps their hand on it (but they can be penalised for touching the piece when it isn't their turn.)

A player can't be committed to play an illegal move in advance just because they have said they will. Even if the piece they have touched has no legal moves they have to move another one.

antichrist
02-06-2008, 01:47 PM
:lol:

Not under the Laws, but he got what he deserved!

The touchmove rule (4.3) only applies to a player who has touched a piece when they "have the move" (which means after you have let go of your piece.) I'm not actually sure if you can enforce touchmove on a player who touches a piece before that then keeps their hand on it (but they can be penalised for touching the piece when it isn't their turn.)

A player can't be committed to play an illegal move in advance just because they have said they will. Even if the piece they have touched has no legal moves they have to move another one.

He had let go of his piece, I can't remember if I had let go of my piece and not pushed the clock. It was 9 years ago. If I may boast I was the Ukrainian Chess Club champ of 1999. That was the last year of their comp. I won about ten games after only winning 2 the previous year. I studied and trained intensively. I beat Ivanchuk's uncle, the first time in 17 years. I trained 2 weeks esp for that game.

Kevin Bonham
02-06-2008, 02:00 PM
Once you've made your move and taken your hand off it, if he's silly enough to make an illegal move and take his hand off it because he believes he's morally obliged to, then you can claim a win.

I would've given both of you a serve for talking during the game!

MichaelBaron
02-06-2008, 04:15 PM
My simpathy is with Irina in this matter.

I must also state that there are several blitz players in Australia (including a certain IM) who never let their opponents complete their moves when in mutual time trouble. In my opinion, in such situations - arbiter should be on hand to reward the game to the person who is being victimised by opponents' illegal behaviour.

Garvinator
02-06-2008, 04:21 PM
My simpathy is with Irina in this matter.

I must also state that there are several blitz players in Australia (including a certain IM) who never let their opponents complete their moves when in mutual time trouble. In my opinion, in such situations - arbiter should be on hand to reward the game to the person who is being victimised by opponents' illegal behaviour.
This receives the same response. It is up to the affected player to stop the clocks and complain to the arbiter. So if the player complains, they might very well have the game awarded to them, or at least be compensated with a heavy time compensation.

Basil
02-06-2008, 04:26 PM
I must also state that there are several blitz players in Australia (including a certain IM) who never let their opponents complete their moves when in mutual time trouble.
I thought I had a good look at the video and tried to detect the alleged clock behaviour. I couldn't see it.

Had I seen it, I would have a different take on the matter, (being limited to the outcome, as opposed to Krush's poor behaviour including the sleeve rolling).

MichaelBaron
02-06-2008, 05:32 PM
This receives the same response. It is up to the affected player to stop the clocks and complain to the arbiter. So if the player complains, they might very well have the game awarded to them, or at least be compensated with a heavy time compensation.

Generally i would agree on this, but with 3 secs each..is there time to stop the clock? What if time runs out? :hmm:

Kevin Bonham
02-06-2008, 05:37 PM
Generally i would agree on this, but with 3 secs each..is there time to stop the clock?

Three seconds, or even one second, is enough time to stop the clock. Even if you can't stop the clock in time (say, something happens in your last second) but have a valid complaint the arbiter can still look into it, and if necessary give you back some time and continue the game.

Phil Bourke
03-06-2008, 09:14 AM
There is one practise that I have seen in Australia that falls into this category. Players making their move, pressing the clock, then adjusting the piece on the board because of it's 'sloppy' placement. As some of the players were doing this nearly every move, I soon came to realise that they were actually cheating their opponents, as the opponents generally sat their and waited while their opponent adjusted the piece correctly on their time, hence losing .5 to 1 sec per move. My thoughts were that the arbiter should actually fix this matter, but if no one complains, the arbiter isn't compelled to act.

Kevin Bonham
03-06-2008, 12:39 PM
There is one practise that I have seen in Australia that falls into this category. Players making their move, pressing the clock, then adjusting the piece on the board because of it's 'sloppy' placement.

Yes. This is illegal - only the player having the move can adjust pieces. Persistent sloppy piece placement should be punished by a requiring the offender to rectify on their own time, or by a time penalty.

Ian Rout
03-06-2008, 02:10 PM
The trouble with blitz is that the most important skill is not in making good moves, or even making good moves quickly, but in playing sufficiently outside the rules to gain an advantage but not sufficiently so to be penalised.

Of course this is what makes it interesting but also makes it unsatisfactory to tie-break a contest which has previously been about something else. I think a more suitable way to play blitz play-offs, if they must be used, is to do so over a computer interface to stop the sort of practices described above. Shaun Press proposes something more radical here (http://chessexpress.blogspot.com/2008/05/better-input-method.html).

Phil Bourke
03-06-2008, 11:21 PM
I am having difficulty in determining where I stand on this issue.

My dilemma arises because time has been an issue since the introduction of the clock to the game of chess. In many World Championship matches, many games were decided when one or both players got into a frantic time scramble to meet the 'leisurely' time control of 40 moves in 2.5 hrs, or 16 moves in 1 hr in the following periods of play.

Even regular weekenders often feature clock races in which the spectators delight. It is this aspect of the game that has an appeal to the cruel nature of spectators :)

In effect, a armageddon game simply intensifies this aspect. But the chess lover in me deplores these situations, as one can often see a player with a far better position losing on time. This just doesn't seem fair, no matter how often I remind myself that the clock is part of the game too.

So in essence, while I may never truly agree with an armageddon finish to a chess contest. I do support the notion of having some means as mentioned by Ian and Shaun to at least make it about chess ability as well as speed of action. The idea of linked computers in which the players don't use an actual board has a lot of merit to it. In this day and age with the majority of players using computers in preparation and playing lightning games on the internet, the language barrier is easily overcome, give them a mouse. :)

CameronD
03-06-2008, 11:29 PM
I am having difficulty in determining where I stand on this issue.

My dilemma arises because time has been an issue since the introduction of the clock to the game of chess. In many World Championship matches, many games were decided when one or both players got into a frantic time scramble to meet the 'leisurely' time control of 40 moves in 2.5 hrs, or 16 moves in 1 hr in the following periods of play.

Even regular weekenders often feature clock races in which the spectators delight. It is this aspect of the game that has an appeal to the cruel nature of spectators :)

In effect, a armageddon game simply intensifies this aspect. But the chess lover in me deplores these situations, as one can often see a player with a far better position losing on time. This just doesn't seem fair, no matter how often I remind myself that the clock is part of the game too.

So in essence, while I may never truly agree with an armageddon finish to a chess contest. I do support the notion of having some means as mentioned by Ian and Shaun to at least make it about chess ability as well as speed of action. The idea of linked computers in which the players don't use an actual board has a lot of merit to it. In this day and age with the majority of players using computers in preparation and playing lightning games on the internet, the language barrier is easily overcome, give them a mouse. :)

I can picture it

I didn't release the mouse button, the machine stuffed up

or

what if a player doesn't have the physical ability to use a mouse, but can write and push wood. My father couldn't use a mouse for medical reason, but can write and move pieces.

Trent Parker
03-06-2008, 11:36 PM
give 'em a touch screen :D drag and drop :D

Trent Parker
03-06-2008, 11:37 PM
Damn lost the title on mouseslip! :D

Phil Bourke
04-06-2008, 02:07 AM
Yes, it doesn't open up a whole new can of worms.

I can almost see Danialov's first complaint!
Kramnik applied something to our mousepad and during the game that gummed up Topalov's brain, errrrrr.....sorry, mouse, it wouldn't work properly. :D

Ian Rout
04-06-2008, 08:51 AM
I can picture it

I didn't release the mouse button, the machine stuffed up

or

what if a player doesn't have the physical ability to use a mouse, but can write and push wood. My father couldn't use a mouse for medical reason, but can write and move pieces.
These days nearly everyone can use a mouse and chess software, and certainly those involved in ties for important tournaments. Most people who have some physical problem would be equally disadvantaged in playing on a physical board.

But for those rare cases where playing electronically is not reasonable there could be provision for an exemption, it isn't a reason to turn every playoff into the sort of debacle described above.

Aaron Guthrie
06-06-2008, 12:12 AM
Susan Polgar also seems to think that moving before your opponent has pressed the clock is illegal.
Now, on the technical issue, both players committed violations. If you watch the YouTube video, you will see that around the 1:10 mark, Irina knocked over a rook and did not pick it up. On the other hand, Anna also moved before Irina punched her clock. I have played in countless blitz tournaments and this looks like a normal blitz game to me. I do not see anything unusual and I do not think that either player was doing anything “illegal” on purpose.http://www.chesscafe.com/polgar/polgar.htm

Bill Gletsos
06-06-2008, 12:17 AM
Susan Polgar also seems to think that moving before your opponent has pressed the clock is illegal.http://www.chesscafe.com/polgar/polgar.htmAll that demonstrates is that Polgar apparently doesnt know the Laws of Chess.

Aaron Guthrie
06-06-2008, 12:19 AM
All that demonstrates is that Polgar apparently doesnt know the Laws of Chess.I agree that it demonstrates that. I think this is of note because the mistaken belief seems to be so widespread.

Basil
06-06-2008, 12:21 AM
Wow? I didn't know that.

WhiteElephant
06-06-2008, 12:28 AM
If it isn't illegal then it should be. Otherwise there is just chaos. Both players could just move away, why have a clock?

Bill Gletsos
06-06-2008, 12:31 AM
If it isn't illegal then it should be. Otherwise there is just chaos.Not really. A player is always pemitted to stop their own clock no matter what.

Both players could just move away, why have a clock?See my post #5 in this thread for the correct procedure and the rules.

WhiteElephant
06-06-2008, 12:41 AM
See my post #5 in this thread for the correct procedure and the rules.

Oh ok thanks, hadn't read it.

Sorry if this has already been discussed but I feel that the rule as it stands has the potential to cause all sorts of disputes.

eg Player A makes a move but has not yet pressed his clock...
As he is completing his move, Player B moves
Player A, seeing that Player B has begun to move, presses the clock and starts his next move
And so on...

All havoc can break loose as both players have forgotten whose turn it is to press the clock, moves are made and clocks pressed randomly.

If a player was not allowed to touch a piece until his opponent had pressed the clock then this scenario could not occur.

PS..not trying to be argumentative, just can see how problems might occur

CameronD
06-06-2008, 12:44 AM
Oh ok thanks, hadn't read it.

Sorry if this has already been discussed but I feel that the rule as it stands has the potential to cause all sorts of disputes.

eg Player A makes a move but has not yet pressed his clock...
As he is completing his move, Player B moves
Player A, seeing that Player B has begun to move, presses the clock and starts his next move
And so on...

All havoc can break loose as both players have forgotten whose turn it is to press the clock, moves are made and clocks pressed randomly.

If a player was not allowed to touch a piece until his opponent had pressed the clock then this scenario could not occur.

PS..not trying to be argumentative, just can see how problems might occur

Best solution is to outlaw chess under an hour each and must have an increment of at least 10s

WhiteElephant
06-06-2008, 12:46 AM
Best solution is to outlaw chess under an hour each and must have an increment of at least 10s

Hey, I like time scrambles! :) But the rules should keep confusion to a minimum.

Bill Gletsos
06-06-2008, 12:48 AM
Oh ok thanks, hadn't read it.

Sorry if this has already been discussed but I feel that the rule as it stands has the potential to cause all sorts of disputes.

eg Player A makes a move but has not yet pressed his clock...
As he is completing his move, Player B moves
Player A, seeing that Player B has begun to move, presses the clock and starts his next move
And so on...Except that player A has no right to start his next move until player B releases his piece.

All havoc can break loose as both players have forgotten whose turn it is to press the clock, moves are made and clocks pressed randomly.My experience does not show this to be the case.

If a player was not allowed to touch a piece until his opponent had pressed the clock then this scenario could not occur.Of course it could still happen. After all the arbiter cannot watch every board and even if he could in rapid and blitz any such violation requires a claim by a player.

PS..not trying to be argumentative, just can see how problems might occurI appreciate that.

arosar
12-06-2008, 03:44 PM
Latest development in this saga is that Krush has challenged Zatonskih to a match!!

AR

Kevin Bonham
12-06-2008, 06:49 PM
Latest development in this saga is that Krush has challenged Zatonskih to a match!!

Zatonskih should challenge Krush to get over it :hand:

Phil Bourke
12-06-2008, 11:17 PM
Zatonskih should challenge Krush to get over it :hand:
Testify Brother Kevin, Amen!
Yes, she can make the initial complaint but, once that has been answered as finitely as it has, further complaints only sound like sour grapes!

Bill Gletsos
12-06-2008, 11:42 PM
Testify Brother Kevin, Amen!
Yes, she can make the initial complaint but, once that has been answered as finitely as it has, further complaints only sound like sour grapes!Now she is just turning those sour grapes into wine.

Garvinator
13-06-2008, 01:12 AM
Now she is just turning those sour grapes into wine.
I think it is pretty obvious that the USCF should do one of the following to Irina's last 'letter'.

1) Do nothing
2) Respond to her: Anna and yourself are free to arrange as many matches as you two see fit, but Anna will still be regarded as the 2008 US Womens Champion.

tanc
13-06-2008, 12:13 PM
Now she is just turning those sour grapes into wine.

Don't you mean 'whine'? :whistle:

Kevin Bonham
13-06-2008, 08:57 PM
I think it is pretty obvious that the USCF should do one of the following to Irina's last 'letter'.

(3) Lobby FIDE for her to play a match with Topalov for the title of Undisputed World Champion (of whinging).

eclectic
13-06-2008, 08:59 PM
(3) Lobby FIDE for her to play a match with Topalov for the title of Undisputed World Champion (of whinging).

but topalov would be for too busy preparing for his "get over it" match with kramnik :whistle:

Garvinator
13-06-2008, 09:17 PM
(3) Lobby FIDE for her to play a match with Topalov for the title of Undisputed World Champion (of whinging).
Fair enough, venue of course has to be Elista ;)

Garvinator
15-06-2008, 07:44 PM
I see chessbase has now put up an article which contains the opinions/reactions of the readers to the game in question.

The most 'frightening' thing to me is that across all forums that I have read and responses to various articles (except on this forum), very few posters have actually bothered to read the laws of chess (either USCF or FIDE) as they pertain to the video at hand.

The respondents certainly do not reference either version of the laws of chess when they make their responses.

A couple of thoughts come to mind:

1) If there was no video available, would there be such a 'controversy'?
2) When exactly did Irina believe she had been 'dudded'? Did she have any thoughts that something was wrong during the game, or was it only after seeing the video that she thought things were wrong.

I notice that Irina has never referenced her action of knocking the rook off the board and failing to replace it at all and certainly not on her own time.

Kevin Bonham
15-06-2008, 09:51 PM
across all forums that I have read and responses to various articles (except on this forum), very few posters have actually bothered to read the laws of chess (either USCF or FIDE) as they pertain to the video at hand.

This is also my experience. The issue has been a magnet for bad debating, with many posters getting huffy about claimed "illegalities" but making no attempt to reference the Laws in question to prove their claims.

Phil Bourke
16-06-2008, 01:22 AM
I notice that Irina has never referenced her action of knocking the rook off the board and failing to replace it at all and certainly not on her own time.
Do you think that it would cost her more than the one second she lost by to rectify her own mistake/illegality? :eek:
Actually from all conversations, that is the only proven illegal action in the game in question, that I can recall. :rolleyes:

Sheroff
24-03-2009, 01:23 PM
Ever since FIDE abandoned the old Candidates Matches system for World Championships and introduced the Knock-out format and made Blitz playoffs 'normal', more and more high-level tournament winners have been decided by Blitz play-offs. Blitz should have nothing to do with determining the winner of a serious chess tournament. It degrades chess. As Irina's situation demonstrates, it's too hard for an Arbiter to be right enough of the time in the heat (and speed) of the moment.

Too many Blitz players forget that if you're not sure about what's happening or you think something illegal or unjust is going on in your game, you do have the right to stop the clock and call the referee at once. Few do, because we all get into that 'Blitz frenzy' where we're afraid to stop zipping those pieces around.

I lost 3 and a half points last year at a Blitz tourney at the Gold Coast, due entirely to faulty clocks (which in the heat of play, you tend not to notice until it's too late). Graeme Gardiner, to his credit, immediately replaced all the clocks used for Blitz tourneys after my complaint (and that of other players who had similar clock problems). With all the banging and abuse that Blitz clocks get, it's no surprise that even good quality clocks can start to play up, often intermittently (which makes it harder to prove, of course).

But it saddens me to think that the US Women's Championship can be decided in such a farcical way. It makes a mockery of the term 'Champion'.

eclectic
24-03-2009, 01:41 PM
if you want the blitz mentality removed from real chess tournaments a good place to start would be to ban the playing of any lightning, blitz or off hand games in any formal tournament hall for the duration of the said tournament

Capablanca-Fan
24-03-2009, 02:46 PM
Ever since FIDE abandoned the old Candidates Matches system for World Championships and introduced the Knock-out format and made Blitz playoffs 'normal', more and more high-level tournament winners have been decided by Blitz play-offs. Blitz should have nothing to do with determining the winner of a serious chess tournament. It degrades chess. ...

But it saddens me to think that the US Women's Championship can be decided in such a farcical way. It makes a mockery of the term 'Champion'.
Perhaps so. But at least it's a genuine form of chess. What really makes a mockery is deciding a title on tie break gimmick that gives a pseudo-mathematical air of respectibility to something with no more merit than a coin toss.