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Nadezhda Kosintseva vs Tatiana Kosintseva
FIDE Women's Grand Prix (2011), Rostov-on-Don RUS, rd 3, Aug-04
Spanish Game: Exchange Variation. Alapin Gambit (C69)  ·  1/2-1/2

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Kibitzer's Corner
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Aug-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Dom>

The point is ethics. Not "what you can get away with within the rules."

Also, it wasn't a "tiny percentage" at Curacao 1962. In fact, the organized collusion caused such a big stink that FIDE actually changed the method of of how to pick Candidates because of it.

The behavior of playing a composed game is disgusting. Period.

Regardless of being within the rules.

I don't know who is conflating the abortion on this page with illicit match-fixing in other sports, not me certainly.

Illicit match fixing in other sports isn't just against the rules- it's a criminal offense. Just ask Shoeless Joe Jackson.

The travesty on this page is not a criminal offense, not against the tournament rules, as you've pointed out- and yet- still a travesty.

Aug-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Domdaniel: ....There was some controversy in the 1970s about one-move games (eg 1.c4 e5 drawn) and no-move games, and some results were nullified by tournament directors.>

One such controversy involved the follwoing game: Huebner vs K Rogoff, 1972.

<It happens at all levels of tournament play..... I've seen a GM on 5/5 paired against a 2100-rated player in the last round, needing only a draw to win the tournament outright. He lashed out ten moves of theory and said 'I offer a draw' -->

In the final round of the 1996 state championship where I used to play, the GM got to about about the fifth move before proposing a draw vs a 2250 in this situation.

In 2000, the year Maurice Ashley shared first at Foxwoods, he agreed a draw in the final round when he and his opponent were on 5/6 and no-one else had more than 4.5, before most of us had even got set up, and I doubt anyone was surprised. Any other result would have been a shock to me, even with that 2600 GM playing White.

With prize money in swisses being what it is for even professionals, I don't blame them one bit for doing this; one need look no further than the recent Canadian Open, where the three winners got ~$4K and the numerous players who shared fourth were awarded the princely sum of less than $300 for being one-half point short.

Aug-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: C. H. O'D Alexander, on the subject of agreed draws:

What is the correct attitude to agreed draws? I am sure that it is wrong to try to legislate against them. This is partly because it is not technically feasible. At one time, for instance, there was an attempt to say that no game could be agreed drawn in less than 30 moves, but this was always absurd. ... But a more powerful argument is the same as that against prohibition of alcohol; you can't enforce a law that has the majority against it--and the majority of strong players are against such legislation. ... For this reason I am favour of one-move draws; one can see clearly what is happening. Indeed I would prefer "no-move" draws.

"A Book of Chess" p.81

Aug-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: In the circles of Hell, sisters splitting points would be in the First Circle.

I would propose their eternal punishment be that they be banned from competing in the same tournaments.

Tough luck if they both both qualify. Higher rating goes in, the other sits.

Aug-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Jess> I disagree, obviously. I don't think there's an ethical issue here: it's not 'what you can get away with' versus 'what is ethically correct or appropriate'. It's simply the way things are. Agreed draws are part of chess - as are 'theoretical' draws by repetition, like this one.

The heat and light generated on this topic, IMO, comes from an unwarranted analogy between chess and other games and sports - where, in general, agreed draws contravene the rules and result-fixing is wrong. But that is simply not the case in chess.

<perfidious> mentioned some typical last-round scenarios - I've been involved in a few myself, though I don't think I've ever drawn in less than 15 moves. Another tempting situation is the 3rd game on the Saturday of a 6-round weekend Swiss, when you're exhausted from the earlier games - but reckon a quick draw and a night's sleep will set you up for two wins on the Sunday. It rarely works out, but it's a tempter. I tend to accept draw offers under such circumstances, but not to make them.

The other issue here is the human sense of fairness or justice: it seems to be universal, in one form or another, though the details vary. No doubt mine is underdeveloped.

And I just don't understand the people who say this is wrong because they are sisters. So they have a duty to wear themselves out revealing secret family opening ideas to their rivals? I think not.

Aug-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: This is one of my personal favorites: Miles vs Huebner, 1985

It's *saturated* in ethical dilemmas. Miles, suffering from a back injury and unable to play sitting up, found he could play lying horizontally, and a special table was set up for him. Some opponents objected. Korchnoi's problem was particularly nice: he thought it was like playing a disabled person, who should not be allowed in a tournament with 'normal' people.

Huebner, a complex and ethical man, agreed to neither protest nor not-protest, but would accept a draw.

Arbiter: "Please make the moves sensible".

Huebner: "Oh no, it was always my intention that the moves should be utterly stupid."

Miles: "Okay, I'll play sensible moves and you do what you like, and I'll offer a draw on move five".

Miles, Huebner and Korchnoi were joint winners of the tournament on 8.5/14.

Aug-15-11  Agent Bouncy: Domdaniel, you amaze me! Result fixing is not wrong? Please don't say it happens all the time - I know that -- and therefore we should just accept it. There really is no choice but to accept it because there is no way to stop the practice. But so what? It's still wrong. Ethically I don't see the difference between pre-arranged draws (not draws agreed to after a legitimate struggle) and throwing a game. There is no way to stop that either. How can we tell whether a game-losing blunder is really a blunder or is done on purpose? We can't. So there isn't much we can do about game-fixing in chess. But don't tell me it's OK.
Aug-15-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Something is 'wrong' when people agree to see it as wrong: wrongness is not an intrinsic quality. The rules of the chess game differ in places from the rules of the society game. As any Pragmatic philosopher will tell you.

My point is slightly stronger than 'it happens all the time' - it is an inevitable consequence of the structure of the game.

Aug-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Dom> re: your last post there, yes that's all true.

It's also an inevitable consequence of the structure of tournaments and matches, and the way in which chess masters get paid.

So why not stop all pretense?

As someone posted above, why not just allow a "null game"?

In fact, if you really wanted to eradicate the hypocrisy of "keeping up appearances," why not allow players with pre-agreed draws to phone in their "score"?

Seriously, not joking here.

There is no difference between the public embarrassment of this game here and simply phoning in the result, except that phoning it in would be much, much more honest.

It's the "wink wink" hypocritical bull that really rankles me.

Either reform the rules of the games and the organization of tournaments/ matches, or call it like it is- allow the "phone in result."

As you pointed out, accurately, this kind of game is a rarity, and Curacao 1962 was also a rarity, albeit an extremely high profile one.

Why can't the players, organizers, and sponsors just openly admit the truth of your post?

"It is an inevitable consequence of the structure of the game."

Aug-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: I think <Grischuk> might have benefited from this kind of innovation at the Candidates' Match.

It could even be taken further- they could have just phoned in six games at the same time, then played the tiebreaks.

This would have saved everyone a lot of time and money, and also avoided the colossal waste of the chess fan's time in this year's Candidates' "Matches."

The death of chess doesn't lie in "draw death" due to computer-aided overpreparation, that's just silly, since no human could remember enough to "guarantee" a draw in each case.

The death of chess lies in the "structure of the game and its organization," a structure that made, perhaps, this year's travesty of a Candidates' Match an "inevitable consequence."

Aug-16-11  Everyone: Let me ask you something, what is not art?
Aug-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <The Real Housewives of Orange County>
Aug-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The following game was played in the final round of an event which secured Black his final GM norm and was pre-arranged: Nunn vs Speelman, 1980.

It should be noted that Nunn liked the line enough for White to repeat it a few years on: Nunn vs Short, 1986.

Aug-16-11  Boomie: I played in the Canadian Open and found myself a full point ahead in my class going into the last round. I was paired against yet another expert and fully expected to get my head handed to me although I did manage to beat a couple of them earlier.

On the way to the tournament room, my opponent asked me if I would like to agree to a draw. He needed to catch a plane back to LA and had to leave before the round would be over. Naturally, I accepted. We played a dozen or so moves into the hyper-drawish 4 pawn attack of the Alekhine Defense...heh.

He got to catch his plane and I got 200 Loonies to add to my collection. Should we be flogged for being so practical minded? You make the call.

Aug-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Albertan: <jessicafischerqueen: <Agent Bouncy> <technically it's within the rules.>

<However, there have been high profile> <incidents of money changing hands in> <prearranged games, which nobody has> <the temerity to say is "within the >rules.">

For sure Jessica! You probably have heard of some chess players trying to buy GM and IM norms from opponents by asking the opponent to lose a game before it happens, in exchange for $$$

And what about the games of Botvinnik? I have heard that many players who played Botvinnik had to throw him games and if they didn't these players might expect to be sent to the Gulag or worse! Have you heard this about Botvinnik? I wonder if he had anything to do with this? To me it basically means that studying Botvinnik's games for any educational knowledge is extremely questionable if so many of his games were fixed!

Aug-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <Jess> Yeah, a phone-in null result is possible. I'm not normally a fan of pointless rituals, though I accept that they sometimes help the world go round. So if two people have to turn up to play a pretend game, maybe the little bit of ritual doesn't go amiss.

In my last tournament, I drew my last-round game after an epic 85-move struggle in which my brain went AWOL and I missed several forced wins. My teenage opponent needed only a draw to win a grading prize, but a draw was useless to me.

After about 5 hours of combat, the point was shared when I made my final error in a still-winnable rook ending. And I thought "A draw? I could've had that by *asking* for it any time during the past few hours."

People who actually play competitive chess will understand.

Aug-16-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: The amount of righteousness in this thread over one result is very amusing.

I offer two of the numerous stellar efforts on the part of a former world champion, who, so far as I can tell, was not playing a sibling in either case: Spassky vs M Rivas-Pastor, 1985 and Spassky vs Mednis, 1986.

Sep-11-11  Hot Logic: To those who complain about the short draws that the sisters habitually make with each other: please imagine if the opposite happened - people would never be able to know whether the 'winner' of a game between them had won it 'over the board' on the day if they had just pre-arranged it at home to help one out in the tournament. Also, considering that in most tournaments anything but 1st prize is not a lot of money their bahvaiour isn't really harming their opponents.

There is no satisfactory way for them to play each other if they are in the same tournament (to the satisfaction of critics) so I consider the draws to be the lesser of two evils.

Dec-19-11  waustad: Perhaps there will be a time when, like the Polgar sisters, they stop playing quick draws and start actually playing each other seriously. I hope so.
Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: There isn't really much serious chess between the Polgar sisters, is there? I know the games that exist are serious enough, but Judit never played against women, and the middle sister retired from chess early.
Mar-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <Boomie: He got to catch his plane and I got 200 Loonies to add to my collection. Should we be flogged for being so practical minded? You make the call.>

Flogging might be a bit harsh. So your opponent arranged a flight that ensured what happened, would happen. Meh.

The difficulty in this discussion is everyone understands the difficulty of reconciling what is against the rules with what a few/some/most people think is unfair. Usually people appeal to analogies in those attempted reconciliations. The problem with analogies is they sometimes introduce extraneous considerations that distract from the point under discussion. I notice many references to sporting events in the attempted analogies, which strikes me as reasonable. I also notice that those analogies are difficult to maintain since a draw/tie is a completely respectable result in chess.

I am on the side of those who find the family draws abhorrent. I think the call in idea really gets to the point of the problem. And if someone isn't persuaded by that, they aren't going to be persuaded. If I may, a sports analogy. World Cup qualifier, Brazil is in, and has injury issues and would like to rest. Germany needs a draw to qualify. Germany calls Brazil, and offers a draw and Brazil accepts. How exactly is that any different than the sham like the game on this page?

And again: Is it any different to throw a game by drawing as opposed to losing? Does the purposeful casting away of a half point render the behavior ethical as opposed to casating away a whole point?

In the big picture, until there's a strong consenus such behavior is wrong, it's not going to change. We recognize community standards in various legal situations, and I think that is in operation in the chess community.

Mar-18-12  HSOL: As long as the players don't get appearance money to play I can't see why they wouldn't be allowed to do what they like (especially tournaments where the players pay entry fees.)

As for leaders only needing a draw in the final round, it's obvious they'll settle for a draw.

If draws are not acceptable, either make it that black win if a draw, higher rated player lose or a blitz to decide the point if draw. Having some draws be acceptable and not other draws is ridiculous.

Mar-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <HSOL: Having some draws be acceptable and not other draws is ridiculous.>

What's wrong with the Russians conspiring to throw games? Having some wins be acceptable and not other wins is ridiculous.

Mar-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: None of their meetings have been long, although some have a bit of action.
Mar-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Yeah, big things come in small packages.
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