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tag1153 31 ( +1 | -1 )
Controversy in U.S. Women's Championship main.uschess.org

Be sure to view the Armageddon game in question. Irina has a point (although I agree she should have said something right then and there....)
kansaspatzer 6 ( +1 | -1 )
The USCF, sad to say, is a joke. But at least it's better than FIDE.
heinzkat 12 ( +1 | -1 )
Happy times behind the chess board www.youtube.com
ganstaman 36 ( +1 | -1 )
It all sounds so nice and good, so long as it's true.

The only part I don't like is when she 'explains' her own throwing of the chess piece at the end of the game. She basically says "It's not as bad as what Anna did, so you shouldn't care about it." Saying sorry with one sentence to explain that she was more fustrated than normal would have been ten times better.
heinzkat 3 ( +1 | -1 )
That was just an alternative way of tipping the King, right?
tim_b 1 ( +1 | -1 )
...or decapitating it.
chessnovice 6 ( +1 | -1 )
... At least she didn't swat the king in Anna's direction...
scarper 9 ( +1 | -1 )
But looking at the video, i think Irina is right about the over lapping of moves
ionadowman 412 ( +1 | -1 )
Fascinating... ... in a ghoulish sort of way. I did a little checking, and it seems to me that overlapping moves, that is to say, playing one's move and punching the clock before the opponent has punched the clock is not in fact illegal.

Consider: you are sitting at the board, the enemy makes a move and forgets to punch his clock. Are you entiotled to make your move? Well, according to the USCF Official rules of 35 years ago, one would have to infer yes. The rules actually talk about whether the arbiter, noticing the omission ought to warn the player. The Rules come down against the arbiter doing any such thing. Which suggests to me that the opponent doesn't have to wait until the enemy punches the clock in order to make a move.

The Rules do state that (14.4) "When determining whether the prescribed number of moves has been made in the given time, the last move is not considered as completed until after the player has stopped his clock." Given the time control in the "Armageddon Match" this doesn't apply.

From that perspective, I incline to the view that Irina Krush doesn't really have a case.

But I do sympathise. Look where the clocks are placed: as is standard, to the right of the Black pieces. Playing right-handed, Black's hand has less distance to travel to the clock; White has to reach right across her body to reach the clock.

Simply: the physical placing of the clocks confers an advantage to a right-handed player of Black, or a left-handed player of White. We might decide this is unfair, but look at the time control: 6 minutes for White; 4 and a half for Black, who gets the margin of draw. I think the extra 90 seconds ought to subsume any slight disadvantage to White owing to the physical placing of the clocks.

The problem I have with this whole affair is the problem I have with a good many sports events: this stupid insistence that there has to be a sole winner. I quite fail to understand what is so bad about joint winners of a sporting event; why a draw/tie/dead heat is to be avoided at all cost.

This insane stampede for determining the winner of a competition leads to some peculiar results: The UEFA Champions' League being determined by a penalty shootout; the "Golden Point" in Rugby League; even the toss of a coin on one or two occasions I've seen. The "Golden Point", or sudden death in some sporting events makes a certain degree of sense, but even then it might be a matter of luck who begins the period of sudden death with possession of the initiative (i.e. the ball, in ball games, say). But others strike me as entirely arbitrary, including the method used in US Chess Championship. The two protagonists ought to have shared the title.

If there had to be a winner, the process by which it is determined has to be entirely symmetrical: keep playing pairs of games under whatever time control you choose until one side is a clear point ahead after an even number of games.

That final game was asymmetrical, and therefore biased. I'm not saying it's biased against White, be it noted: for all I know it may be biased against Black (however, it became pretty clear that the advantage of one minute was't enough to offset Black's margin of draw!).The fact that the bias exists is in my view sufficient to disqualify it as a fair means of determining a winner.

It would have been fairer to have played a second game under the same time control having swapped colours.

But doesn't this game strike you as arbitrary anyway? Where is the quality of chess? The whole concept of blitz emphasises one skill over others - the ability to play fairly well quickly over accuracy of analysis, endgame skill, strategic planning, tactical vision...

Well, when all's said and done, I can't see the USCF overturning the decision, and, on balance, it probably ought not. But, if there absolutely must be a single Champion or the world will explode, then do it by fair and symmetrical means.

Cheers,
Ion
cascadejames 10 ( +1 | -1 )
Avoiding blitz I watched this video, and it just strikes me as an excellent reason to avoid Blitz. Each to his
own.
ionadowman 20 ( +1 | -1 )
Before anyone comments on it... ... I did note that it was Irina Krush who chose the time control the final game would operate under. Her opponent got the choice of colours.
Don't make the process a fair one, though...
Cheers,
Ion
pgroenborg 29 ( +1 | -1 )
holding down the clock It seems to me that the "winner" at at least two or three points is holding and keeping down the bar of the clock thus preventing the "looser" of winning... because the alleged culprits time can't be started.
Do you see the same thing?
I love blitz and am perhaps too familiar with the thing.

I'm with Irena.
bucklehead 53 ( +1 | -1 )
It's a tough call. Going through the video several times slowly, I can see Irina's point. On the other hand, it looks like, at one key point, Irina captures a piece and places it on the clock side of the board, but does not press the clock. She may have done it all in one movement; but if not, that's a place where time can bleed away. And the time to lodge a complaint was then and there, but instead she stormed off. So in the end, probably the best result was reached...though I'm not sure a 5-minute blitz game can ever tell us who's the best chess player.
tag1153 15 ( +1 | -1 )
response to I.K.'s letter main.uschess.org
ionadowman 82 ( +1 | -1 )
response to I.K.'s letter... ... Well, that's pretty clear cut... not! It does raise quite a few issues that have already got a mention in this thread.

It does indicate that not a lot has changed since the publication of my own copy of the USCF/FIDE Official Rule Book of 1974. Neither player played strictly illegally in the time scramble (give or take I.K.'s failure to restore the rook she knocked over - had she done so she would have lost the sooner).

It is sad, I think, to see an important event like this settled in such a fashion, not only by a means that can be described justly as arbitrary; but also end in such ... well, not acrimony exactly, but not a particularly savoury taste in one's mouth.

I go back to my earlier idea. If you can't settle the contest in satisfactory manner, then accept the notion of a joint winner.

Cheers,
Ion