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Alexander Grischuk vs Boris Gelfand
World Championship Candidates (2011), Kazan RUS, rd 3, May-21
Queen's Gambit Declined: Three Knights Variation. General (D37)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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May-22-11  AVRO38: <Kasparov must have wet his pants laughing, when he saw the players walk out on this position.>

Please don't try to hold up Kasparov a some king of model of integrity. He was notorious for playing these type of bogus quick draws especially in World Championship matches.

The only reason he would be laughing at this game is because this is the kind of crap he used to do all the time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Is <SetNoEscapeOn> contradicting himself by saying <<We can all understand why they drew in 14 moves, but I can't see a compelling reason why they should be allowed to in the first place>>? No, he isn't.

There are lots of things Grischuk or Gelfand or you or I might occasionally do if everyone else was doing it and it was in our selfish interest to do so, like talking on a cellphone while driving. But it doesn't follow that society should allow such things.

I wouldn't blame tennis players for agreeing to call it a draw if this were allowed and most other tennis players were doing so, but it would be stupifying if the ATP or the WTA suddenly introduced a rule allowing them to do this, and the outrage of the fans (does anyone doubt there would be outrage?) would be properly directed at tennis' governing bodies, rather than the players.

Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: I blame the players a little. They knew they had a rest day today.

The warping effect of computer analysis on fighting spirit is that both players knew that 9...b5 was a move from the 3000+ future.

Neither was really comfortable, and we got a very careful 5 moves before they bailed.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<Bronkenstein: The quality of the games is not to be judged by simply counting the moves.>>

Absolutely correct. All this talk about short games is a total red herring. What makes a "GM draw" objectionable is that a draw is agreed when there is still life in the position. If you could reach a dead draw after 14 moves (and I'm certain you can after 20 or so), then it would be perfectly acceptable to agree to a draw. Meanwhile to end a game, even after 220 moves, and call it a draw, when it isn't actually drawn and there is still life in the position, is a violation of intention of the draw agreement rule and makes no sense, apart from the purely selfish interest of the two players.

So, yes, you cannot judge a game by counting the moves.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<tamar: I blame the players a little.>>

Fair enough. I blame the players a little, too. If I didn't, I couldn't express admiration for Bobby Fischer's integrity in almost never acquiescing to a "GM draw."

May-22-11  bronkenstein: My point is that they , simply , did play . I am not defending the right on short GM draw (though it is possible , but offtopic here)since it is not what happened . Your arguements are valid, assuming that the draw was reached prematurely , but that seems to be your conclusion AND your starting point :)

Social context and things that others do or don´t is offtopic aswell , it would be relevant if they went something like e4 e5 draw (insert any short well known variation) since , again, they played the game untill the dynamic equality was reached (confirmed in post mortems, and by players themselves, by agreeing to draw). Raping the dynamic equality is not too smart , and they both knew it well .

So , what else , but counting the moves, is your argument ?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: There was play left in the position. As I noted here earlier, this was alluded to by GM Shipov. So the game was not declared a draw by virtue of actually reaching a standstill or a position that could be considered a "dead draw", but rather because playing on would have been (and again, as I mentioned earlier, this was alluded to by Shipov) risky.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: This little game has generated a lot of discussion! This can be the new page for discussing short GM draws, ethics of said draws, theoretical novelties, when to spring them, is chess dying, etc.

The most convincing point here is that the players have the power to agree to a draw with play left in the game.

The decisive mistakes are made in the mid to late portion of the game due to fatigue, time pressure and weak moves.

With so much at stake Grischuk didn't want to risk it, and as black Gelfand was probably happy with a draw, even if it cost him a TN.

So who can blame the players? Grischuk is playing according to his strategy, and who can argue that it's not working?

It's not the players that are at fault, it's the ability to agree to draws in mixed positions that is to blame.

In other words, it's the rules of chess that are at fault so, by extension, it's FIDE's fault.

May-22-11  bronkenstein: If you refer to Shipov , he said aswell that none of them is to be judged (blamed , depends how you translate it from russian) for the decision.

Playing untill dead draw or anything alike is reached is really not my vision of chess , not @ the top level at least.

Another thing that is often overlooked here is the amount of work prior to the game, on that day, that month, that year...or even further ( sometimes , the novelty is found several years before it´s played ).

Their working day is not over with the game , nor it starts with it . Lots of hard work , not just analysing , but picking the variations and memorising unbelieveable amount of lines + ideas ( no wonder they sometimes fail @ that ). Gelfand is especially known for his high erudition and diligent work in openings-to-midgame , even before the computer era .

So , we are often judging them by loking @ the top of the iceberg, the moves actually played and , eventually , the variations . Good part of this battle is played (and won, from black POW) , prior to the beginning of the game.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<Bronkenstein>> How does the amount of work put into pre-game preparation excuse the fact that FIDE allows players to bring an interesting game to a sudden premature conclusion by mutual agreement?
May-22-11  bronkenstein: Sudden? Premature? Dont use things you want to proove as are making it circular...for more than second time already.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: How has "premature" not been established? GM Shipov implied (and I'm more than good enough at chess to see this for myself) that there was play in the position, which makes a declaration of a draw premature *by defintion*.
May-22-11  bronkenstein: I already covered it all, and multiple vain it seems .

Shipov clearly stated his POW on whether they should play on or not . So neither to him, nor to me the ˝link˝ you established is obvious. And misusing his words to conclude what he never had in mind will not help your matter much.

May-22-11  SetNoEscapeOn: <bronkenstein: <We can all understand why they drew in 14 moves> doesnt go along very well with < I can't see a compelling reason why they should be allowed to in the first place> . If you really understood the former , you wouldn`t even think of saying the latter >

No. I understand- given the fact that they were allowed to do so- why they did.

May-22-11  bronkenstein: So, what was it, in your understanding , that made them draw ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: There seems to be confusion here regarding two separate matters: chess, and chess ethics. To review, Shipov said two separate things:

a) playing for a win by either player would entail risk, and Gelfand took a draw "from a position of strength"

b) the players are not to be blamed (judged?) for agreeing to a draw

Now then, (a), which is strictly a chess matter, clearly establishes that there was play in the position, which makes it premature, by definition, to declare it a draw.

On the other hand, (b) is Shipov's opinion regarding a matter of chess ethics (as opposed to chess per se, i.e. the evaluation of a chess position), in this case whether players can agree to a draw when there is still play left in the position. Apparently his opinion regarding this ethical matter is that they are blameless. I am perfectly free to disagree with his opinions on chess ethics, which I do, although, as I have said, FIDE is more to blame for allowing the players to agree to a premature draw than the players are for actually doing so.

To sum up:

1) the draw undoubtedly was premature, as testified to by Shipov under (a) above

2) as a GM Shipov is not necessarily an authority on chess *ethics* or sports *ethics*, and if he thinks that such draws are OK (*if* he does), then he is wrong

3) although such premature draw agreements are wrong, it is hard to blame the players given that:

i) they're allowed to do so
ii) it is often in their self-interest to do so
iii) virtually everyone else does it

4) Given (3), ultimately FIDE (and other organizers and governing bodies) is to blame for not prohibiting such premature draw agreements in the first place.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: Further to (4) above, not only FIDE but complacent fans, including GMs like Shipov, are to blame for creating / maintaining a chess culture in which premature draws are condoned.
May-22-11  bronkenstein: <(a), which is strictly a chess matter...> Deciding whether to take risk or not is human decision. Risk is by no means chess specific.

<Shipov is not necessarily an authority on chess *ethics* or sports *ethics*> You have any specific authorities on chess ethics in mind?

... (CBA)...

In logic , it is well known that you can conclude whatever you want from wrong premises , a thing which politicians and lawyers like to abuse a lot.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: <<Deciding whether to take risk or not is human decision. Risk is by no means chess specific.>>

I was trying to establish that there was play left in the final position. To show this I cited Shipov's statement that playing on would have entailed risk. This fact was gleaned from looking at the final position on a chess board and seeing that there was life there, and it *is* therefore strictly a chess matter. Whether one decides to take the risk in question is a separate matter entirely, and falls under chess ethics.

<<You have any specific authorities on chess ethics in mind?>>

I do not need to maintain that there are any authorities on chess ethics in order to assert that Shipov isn't one. My point was that bringing the game to a premature halt was an ethical matter, and we're not beholden to GM Shipov's opinions regarding such ethical matters.

May-22-11  bronkenstein: Also , <there was play left in the final position> , repeated many times in various forms , is also very dubious construction . Computers will show you equality , both players judged it as the point they should draw @ , and BTW ( a propo the way you concluded it from Shipov) you can take risks even in an equal position .

<This fact was gleaned from looking at the final position on a chess board and seeing that there was life there> I wish i had it so simple.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: The fact that a position is equal does not mean that it is devoid of play, and does not give anyone the right to declare it a draw. "Equal" is very far from "dead draw."
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: They better bring us much better chess tomorrow.
May-22-11  bronkenstein: You can take risk risk even in position with no <play left> , to use your favorite term , whatever it might mean. (unless you assume that <no play left> = <dead draw> , ie players should be whipped like slaves into playing anything to the bare kings ... which just makes another type of mistake).

As long as you think that your own judgement is superior to the top GMs one ( and and especially its ´ethical´ part , if we , for a moment, accept that things can be separated that way artificially ) , your mind will not be opened for complex situation they found themselves in . The easiest job on this world is to criticize , count moves (!) and then point fingers .

And on the ´History of GM draws´ , different persons and organizations were trying to eliminate that ´evil´ for quite a long time , from simply not counting the draws in tournaments , forcing players to replay the (drawn) game on and on until it produces a winner , counting wins only in WC matches , reducing prizes per draw made etc , and the conclusion is that one simply can not (and should not, IMO )legislate against the draw .

BTW the last paragraph is kinda offtopic here , since the game we are discussing is not a typical GM draw ie it has more content than some flat 40movers.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: I think this subject has been debated rather poorly in the past, with people complaining about "GM draws" for the wrong reasons, and making bad arguments against GM draws, so that others are wasting time and energy countering bad arguments, etc, and then misattributing these bad arguments to others like me.

<Bronkenstein>, I made a point of saying that the number of moves is a red herring, and I disagree with a lot of the measures that have been taken against "GM draws" in the past, which is yet another reason why I support Sofia rules in the first place.

Sofia rules don't force players to play to bare kings, nor do they concern themselves with number of moves played, etc. The spirit of Sofia rules is that players can agree to a draw if the position is drawn, which is surely the origin of the draw agreement rule in the first place. This means that a game of chess ends when virtually any other game or sport ends: when it's over*.

*or at least over for all practical purposes

May-22-11  bronkenstein: There is another interesting idea, applied in the american championship this year . The (supposed) tiebreaks would consist of rapid armagedon , prior to which players do the licitation of this kind: they start with normal time for black player, and bid it lower and lower , untill one gives up. So, the winner ends with , lessay, 10 minutes against 25 , plus playing black, but having draw ods , ie playing on 2 results. Some kind of chess+bridge crossover.

Then, speaking of GM draws , I like the footbal scoring system (though in short matches of this kind, where , normally , one victory decides all,in case there is classical victory at all , that system wouldn´t change much ) , and I could accept The Sophia Rules , though many GMs would argue against that .

I pointed out the number counting , since I still see no other serious criterion for separating ´bad´ and ´good´ GM draws in your posts )besides still mysterious ´insight´ you claim to have connected to <play left> in the game . So we are still on numbers , although you formally declined that as a parameter ( pretty much the only rational POW regarding that ´method´ anyway).

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