Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A moral victory

As many millions of chesslovers, I followed curiously the past worldchampionship between Anand and Carlsen. I expected an exciting battle with a decision only in the 12th game. Today we know that the story went differently. Without doubt it is interesting to find out which strategies both players adopted without making the mistake to pretend that we would've made other and better choices as in hindsight it is always easy talking (see e.g. my blogarticle I knew it ). 

Anand afterwards stated in an interview for the online newspaper The First Post that he was surprised that Carlsen so little had changed compared with his usual tournamentplay for this worldchampionship. He found it a sign of courage which reflects his enormous self-confidence. In previous worldchampionships the players always tried to prepare some surprises but Carlsen not. Nevertheless from another interview given to the Indian branch of CNN we can deduct that Anand did take into account this strategy of Carlsen. He stated that his strategy consisted in neutralizing Carlsens play by making him clear that with pure dry technical play you can't score points against a worldchampion. If I understand well then Anand wanted to put pressure on Carlsens nerves so try to force him psychologically play a different type of chess. Afterwards Carlsen indeed admitted to suffer from stress. Just to indicate that there was a logic behind the strategy of Anand. Also it is nice to hear that I am not the only one, having to cope with stress for a game of chess. The first game of the worldchampionship went completely like expected. Carlsen avoided as usual an openingconfontation but was forced very quickly to allow a draw to avoid worse.

Many journalists spoke about an important moral victory, see e.g. chessbase or the Indian newspaper Mid Day. However in the next games no psychological influence could be noticed. Carlsen just kept on adopting his hit and run strategy (for more explanation see my blogarticle tanguy ringoir is champion of Belgium) and in the follow up it became evident that Anands opening-preparation was insufficient to neutralize in each game Carlsens play. In the end we got 10 different opening-variations on the board. We have to return to the worldchampionship between Spassky and Fischer to see the same kind of variety of openings in which coincidence or not, a same kind of strength-difference can be found between challenger and reigning worldchampion. Chess is a complex game. It is surely an enormous accomplishment to have an answer for all critical lines but it is completely impossible even for a worldchampionship-preparation to have a reply ready for all possible openings. I am confident that Carlsen also was aware about that and therefore didn't pay attention to so called moral victories. Anyway a draw with white against the worldchampion is a normal result and not a bad one even for the number 1 in the rankings. 

Eventually only the score counts. It doesn't matter how good your position was as only with signing the scoorsheets we define who gets what. After my debacle with my scoresheet (see the previous article) Steven tried to sheer me up by awarding me the title of moral victor but we both knew that it was nothing more than excusing yourself for the luck received. To receive more than you would expect with your play, is certainly morally pleasant. In round 3 of the Belgian interclub I was hours defending with the back against the wall against the new joung Belgain IM Stef Soors but achieved thanks to persistent defending and some luck the draw.

Such game will be regarded by experienced players as a plus-draw for white but to me it is a bridge to far to consider Stef as moral victor. I am pretty sure that I was more satisfied going home than he. Talking about moral victories seems therefore also more rubbish than based on serious psychological elements.

Brabo

Addendum 18 december
Grandmaster Hein Donner writes in his book " De koning" : "The real chessplayer plays his game like a game of chance. This also shows in the fact that winning thanks to stupid luck can generate much more joy and satisfaction than winning based on correct play." Thanks to Hypekiller5000 for sending me the hint and Lelystadse schaakvereniging for finding back the quote.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The sadistic exam

Long ago when I studied for engineer, I remember that I had little to no stress before an exam. If you studied well then you knew in advance that you had a good chance to score well. In official chessgames on the other hand I always have a portion of stress. My wife knows me in the meantime well enough so before each game she asks me if I went to the toilet already as she knows that I always struggle with some cramps. Even after almost 20 years of competition, stress is still existing although I must admit it has improved during the years.

Obviously chess is more than just a game for me. I spend a lot of time on chess so it is somehow normal that you care about the results. Now at contrary to a classical exam in school, only 3 results are possible: 100%, 50% or 0%. Besides you don't know in advance what will be asked so preparing is often impossible. 1 wrong answer can be sufficient for a 0. In the book MFTL (which i reviewed in a blogarticle) Willy Hendriks talks about a chessgame as a sadistic exam and I fully agree with him.

Recently I managed to set a new sad record in terms of most painful blunder ever in an official game with classical tempo. Already quite an achievement as I already managed to do some exploits. I remember that I once permitted mate in 1 while 2 moves earlier I was still 3 pawns up without compensation or how I spoiled a completely won endgame of rook against knight by putting the rook an a square after which my opponent could fork it with my king. This time I managed to lose on time not only in a totally won position but also with an increment of 30 seconds per move. 
Final position Geirnaert - Brabo
Losing with an increment of 30 seconds, sounds like I was sleeping on the board which could have been  possible ,considering the position and the time late in the evening. However if I explain that I let on purpose run the time out then clearly there was something else going on. Before the game we agreed between the two of us, to play with 90 min for 40 moves and 15 min extra for the rest with 30 seconds increment from move 1. The fide-regulations tell us that with such tempo of 30 seconds increment that we are always obliged to record the moves (see article 8.4). This means that the players always know how many moves are exactly played. Once move 40 played, I chose to relax and quietly study the position. In the previous moves some blunders were made due to stress so it looked appropriate to take a small break. Naturally I was shocked when Steven claimed the win on time once my time was set to 0 and told me that I hadn't played yet my 40th move. My first reaction was that he joked but after checking my scoresheet, I noticed to my horror that he was bloody-serious.
My scoresheet
Line 30 below column 1 was left open which caused me 10 moves later wrongly to assume that move 40 was played. Initially I thought the scoresheet was partly responsible as 30 moves per column is not something I use standard. However even more recent I made a similar mistake in my game against Luc Winants while using the more classical scoresheet with 20 moves per column. Fortunately that time I was still able to correct. It seems therefore more correct to admit that I was simply not attentive enough. I already longtime ago learned to accept defeats as it is inherent to chess but to these kind of disasters I never get used. It is no surprise that afterwards I couldn't catch my sleep and instead played mindless bulletchess till late at night without success.

After the game one of the kibitzers told me that he would've agreed to a draw in such situation but I find this nonsense. In my blogarticle about fairness I stated that giving presents has nothing to do with being sportsmanship and is even often a source for conflicts. I remember a polemic some years ago in the Belgium championship correspondence chess. Yen Peeren made a serious analyzing error by inattention of setting up the pieces. Once Yen discovered that he analyzed the wrong position, the position was already beyond repair but the opponent had mercy and accepted anyway the draw-proposal. A heavy debate arose when this was made public on schaakfabriek especially as the present played an important role in defining the champion.

Correspondence is of course another discipline than otb. On the other hand correspondence chess can be considered as an open book exam in which you have access to all kind of tools so I don't see any serious reason to be suddenly gentler than otb.

Let us return to the fact that i lost on time as I still want to add something to the story. Afterwards I realized that I could have deducted from the digital clock that I didn't play 40 moves as the extra 15 minutes are added automatically once the 40 moves are played. Even more astonishing is that the helpful Austin Apemiye showed in advance how the specially selected clock works. However during the hectic final phase I completely forget about it and just thought the clock works as usual so only adding time for a new period when the remaining time of the previous period was fully consumed (and the number of mandatory moves was achieved). To wait with adding time when a clock first shows 0 is preferred if one doesn't want to give information about the number of moves already played. Before, waiting with adding time was propagandized by fide, see e.g. dgt 2010 time correction in option 21 with move counter. In Germany the DGT2000 is even forbidden to use, see e.g dgt 2000 nicht fuer fischer modus geeignet.

Today however I hear other sounds on the internet after some surfing. In his monthly article of August 2012 Geurt Gijssen writes that he understands the problem but a serious answer is missing. His reference that a lot of tournaments are using screens on which live games are shown, is nonsense as there exist no regulations about how such projection should be done (remember the commotion last year in the Belgian interclubs). Also he mentions that arbiters can't share the number of moves played as they can make errors hereby completely ignoring that an electronic clock also easily can show a wrong move-counter.

Our regulations are clearly lagging with the technological developments. It is not wishful to have several clocks behaving differently. Today I recommend not to trust the move-counter of a clock as we don't know in advance when time will be added for the next period. Taking care of a proper recording is the most wisest choice but this seems easier for me said than done.

Brabo

Addendum 10 december
Yesterday once more was proven that our regulations are lagging with the technological developments. It is sad that Ivanov Borislav can make a comeback see e.g. chessvibes as we are one year further compared to my blogarticle cheating and no progress has been made.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to win from a stronger player?

During the game, a player has to make judgments often based on very little information. It makes that an uncertainty is created on the quality and eventually also the result. The elo-system takes into account this uncertainty as it makes a prognosis for each game based on an extensive statistical research depending on the difference in playing-strength between the 2 players. In 2011 there was a competition to develop a rating-system which provides a more precise prognosis, see the deloitte fide chess rating challenge. A lot of teams succeeded in presenting a clearly better performing mechanism as you can notice on the leaderboard. Still an adaption of the existing elo-system didn't happen by fide. I was not involved in the internal discussions but I can imagine some good reasons: 
  • The better performing mechanisms are based on complex formulas which have to rely heavily on computers.
  • To replace the current rating-system by a new one signifies extra costs. 
  • The rating-system has as primary function to define the playing-strength of a player. To prepare a prognosis for a single game is of minor interest. It is why the current rating-system is sufficient.

The disadvantage of defining a prognosis is that they can often be intimidating for the lower rated player. If you have 200 points less than your opponent that the expectancy score is only 24%. Intimidation is not a good adviser. Often you see players playing passively against stronger players to avoid big errors while it is exactly this policy that makes them lose without a chance. As there is little mentioned in literature about maximizing your chances as underdog, I thought it would be interesting to write an article about it.

First i have to admit that as lower rated player that you can't do much if the difference is 300 points or more. The opponent is then so much stronger on every domain that each of your plans will be sabotaged long before you even thought about it. An example of such scenario can be found in my blog-article met een kanon op een mug schieten. If the difference is smaller than 200 points then there are more chances to create resistance as weaker player. The strategy mentioned e.g. on the blog of the Ukrainian grandmaster Igor Smirnov is probably the best known one. If you play against a stronger player then play as bold as possible and complicate even if it costs material. The principle is based on the earlier mentioned uncertainties which pop up during a game. If we would have a game of 100% uncertainties then we can assume that the result will be random so the prognosis will be 50%. The bigger the complexity, the more uncertainties, the more interesting for the lower rated player as his expectancy score will improve. Somebody you don't need to tell him twice to complicate, is my clubpresident and teamcaptain Robert Schuermans. In 2006 Robert made a sensational exploit by beating with black in a sharp game the Ukrainian grandmaster Stanislav Savchenko.

The game is a nice example of how a grandmaster completely lost control over the game and eventually made the first big error. Despite that I see clear rewards on this chaos-strategy, I also have some critics if this method is really the best for everybody. Exists there no risk that you as weaker player won't create complications which mainly will backfire so leading to just extra mistakes solely for yourself? In my blogarticle tactic I wrote that I don't like to take risks so I doubt playing against your own style is the most clever strategy. Therefore I don't find it redundant to look if other strategies exist which can improve your chances as the weaker player.

I remember last year that the Dutch expert Danny De Ruiter defeated in 2 weeks time, the well-known grandmasters Ivan Sokolov and Jan Timman.  This article explains how Danny spent 3 weeks to prepare different variations for his game against Sokolov and in the end was fully rewarded for it. The game-preparation is an important weapon for the lower rated player. As described in my blog-article de sterktelijst the available materials for studying your opponent increase seriously with his rating. Myself I remember 1 victory on the Bulgarian grandmaster Ventzislav Inkiov based on a successful game-preparation.

Now it is a delusion to think that it is always that easy to get an advantage out of the opening against a grandmaster. I believe my Bulgarian opponent likely never suspected that I could prepare myself sufficiently in 1 hour( time between announcing the pairings and the start of the game) on a system which I had little to no experience (I had no games in the database) with. As described in another blogarticle of Igor Smirnov most grandmasters will deviate from their standard repertoire from the moment they sense some danger. A fast playing opponent in a for him unfamiliar opening is surely a warning signal which the professional won't ignore.

An approach which I like a lot, is to find positions which maybe don't guarantee an advantage but are easily playable. Besides studying openings also psychology plays herein a role. The higher rated player will feel obliged to play for the win but the type of positions will require disproportional risks. Already in the first round of the new Belgian interclubseason I showed the merits of this approach.

My teammate Daniel Sadkowski summarized well afterwards by stating that I chose the easier playing side of the board. Loyal readers will surely still remember my blog-article green moves in which I discussed the usage of openingbooks for engines. Well if you would check the opening with a recent openingbook then you would quickly discover that I regularly didn't follow the most popular/ critical continuation but instead chose the best scoring in practice continuation. We all know that statistics have their limitations but concerning practical chances for a boardgame they are pretty useful.

Purely playing the man without taking into account your own strong points, seems to me wrong. Above examples show that we can create optimal chances by starting from our own strengths: chaos for the sharp tactical player, opening-knowledge for the player willing to spend lots of time in the preparation and study, positional play for the more positional player,... Therefore I recommend to choose a strategy against stronger players based on self-confidence and your own trumps instead of fear (to lose).

Brabo

Friday, November 15, 2013

Stockfish 4

Last month I was triggered by hypekiller5000 that a new release of Stockfish became available and scored remarkably well on the ccrl (computer chess rating list) with a 3rd place. Important detail is that the program can be downloaded for free. Now I am always a bit reluctant to use free software as I immediately think about illegal copies but eventually I let myself seduce to test and use the program in my analysis. The main reason for this is that my method of analyzing is based on 2 engines (see blogarticle analyseren met de computer) and with such method of analyzing it is recommended to use 2 approximately equal engines (preferably also complementing engines). Last year I wrote on this blog that I bought  Houdini 2.0, which replaced Fritz 11. As a consequence Rybka 3 remained as second engine but I quickly experienced that the gap in strength between the 2 engines became too big to have a good return with my method of analyzing. We should not forget that the release-date of Rybka 3 was august 2008 so we may state that the expiry-data has been passed.

The first thing which stands out from Stockfish is the way how the engine evaluates the positions. If you are used to classical evaluations of Rybka, Fritz and Houdini then you are in for some surprise. I mean with Stockfish you can easily have evaluations which divert 1 or even more pawns (so 100/100sten). An absolute record I detected in an analyzed variation of my recent game against Steven Geirnaert, see below screenshot.
Stockfish shows an evaluation of 94 points for black !

Stockfish shows an advantage of 94 points for black. Even if you promote all the remaining pawns then still you can't reach this sum. Houdini by the way only shows 11 points advantage for black after 10 minutes calculating. On chesspub this fact was mentioned as a negative quality of Stockfish but I believe this needs to be nuanced.  The program is in the first place made to play as strong as possible and uses therefore a mechanism for the evaluations which helps optimal. These evaluations are shared pure informative to the end-users but it is never the intention to make a final judgement of the position about who has the advantage and how big it exactly is. 

One would expect with such high evaluations that the engine will be very strong in tactics. However comparing with Houdini then I notice it is considerably weaker. Especially with quiet unexpected sacrifices Stockfish seems to have troubles. The solution of the below analyzed variation is found within a second by Houdini but after 10 minutes Stockfish still didn't!

It is incredible that Houdini finds this breakthrough-move e4 so quickly and correctly calculates the consequences. Besides, the keymove reminds me on the only time that I was completely surprised by my opponent in my correspondence-career (20 games played in the period 1998-2003). With some trouble I still escaped with a draw.

Again Houdini finds the move instantly ( in 1999 this move never popped up on the screen) while Stockfish still needs more than 4 minutes. I still can show other tactical examples (eg. 8.g4 in my article on Houdini 2.0) but I assume that in the meantime it is sufficiently clear. Stockfish cuts a lot in the tree of variations to make an evaluation which causes it to regularly miss some tactic. Now how is it possible that there is only a gap of 25 points with Houdini, looking to the elo-rankings of the engines? Well clearly there is more than just tactics. It is very difficult to quantify but looking how Stockfish plays in stonewall-positions, I notice that the engine better understands than Houdini which plans are possible. On the other hand, in positions with fixed pawnchains as e.g. in the Portisch Hookvariant I notice no real difference in strength with Houdini. I deduct that pawnmoves could be a very important subset of how the mechanism for evaluating works of Stockfish.

As expected this effect is enlarged in the endgame. This is also confirmed in my first analyses. In this phase Stockfish overpowers completely Houdini. First I show an analyzed variation from my game against Raetsky which I briefly already mentioned in my previous article.

3 times Houdini loses the endgame while Stockfish marvelously defends (which doesn't mean that I claim that the endgame is for sure a draw against perfect play). Also in the 2 endgames discussed in my blogarticle on Houdini 2.0 Stockfish is clearly superior. 42...Th4! is found by Stockfish within seconds while Houdini 2.0 needs more than 3 minutes. Houdini 2.0 doesn't find the brilliant 48...Kd5! while Stockfish again does in about 7 minutes. However Shirovs brilliant Bh3 seems again a bit too hard for Stockfish as after 10 minutes it is still not found but of course here we are again talking about tactics.

Meanwhile it is for me clear that the program very well complements with Houdini 2.0. I am surprised that such strong program is offered for free. On the other hand I also realize that a collective of volunteers often presents better results than 1 or 2 professionals. Moreover it is expected that the next release of Stockfish could very well be the new number 1 in computerchess. No need to panic as we are still extremely far from solving chess so there still remains many years of pleasure to search for the unknown.

Brabo

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Problem moves

A spectacular game with a number of tactical blows will normally more appeal the audience than a more positional played game. Sacrifices and counter-sacrifices are not only fascinating but often also much easier to understand than the so called quiet moves. It is no coincidence that I chose in my blogarticle mijn mooiste zet for only tactical positions. Explaining well the concept of critical moves, is not easy with quiet moves which often differ little or nothing with the alternatives.

Nevertheless I won't deny that I can also enjoy a lot the quiet moves. As there are often in a game many of them which are trivial, it is not redundant to describe what can be a beautiful quiet move. In my opinion the most important characteristic is that the move must be rare and at the same time functional. Recently I bumped via the blog of David Smerdon on a game between L'Ami-Krasenkow in which the remarkable move Bh8-a1 was played.

A bishop in the corner has a minimum of squares to where it can move to. So moving a bishop on purpose from one corner to the other one, is not what we see every day on the board. Thanks to an old article of the fantastic website of  Tim Krabbe we know that this move happens once per x thousands of games. Next would be nice to know which move is the most rare one. Well except some minorpromotions all moves have been played at least once in practice. This with the restriction if we use the long notation. If we use the short notation then I am not so sure of that even if we don't take minorpromotions into account. 

A knight on the rim is grim, is a known proverb so we won't play a knight easily to the side of the board. Putting a knight in the corner is obviously even less done although not very rare as Herman Grooten recently illustrated in some articles on schaaksite: vier maal een paard op h1 en gespot 56 paard naar de hoek. Really weird it is when you put a knight in the corner when you have the choice between 2 knights. I mean you play a move like Nba8, Nca8, Ngh8, Nfh8, Nca1, Nba1, Nfh1, Ngh1. I played such move once in my career against Alexander Raetsky whom after the tournament became grandmaster.

After the game my opponent laughed in my face for the most idiotic move he ever saw although even today I still don't find it a bad choice. Anyway at move 36 I missed a beautiful drawing chance with Rc1 followed up with Rxc5. Now I do admit that with such moves you won't win many games. The former worldchampion Anatoly Karpov succeeded once with such sort of move but he was at that time still very young see his 29th move Nfh1 against Fedin. Of the 8 possibilities, I found 7 but I assume Nba1 is likely also once played. A lot more unlikely it becomes if we add the condition that the move can't be played on the own side of the board. I mean Nba8 for white instead of black. Out of curiosity I challenge the reader to find such example from the tournamentpractice (so without cheating and constructing a game.) 

So far the special moves but really nice things can be seen when several quiet moves are combined. Recently Luc Winants deservedly informed us about a nice moment at move 31 and 32 in his game against Moens.

We may rightly speak here about a bristol clearance. A lighter piece clears space for a heavier piece. In the problemworld this is well known but in practice you see such things very rare. A step further goes the below analysed opening in which i already discovered in 1997 a lovely novelty. If I can trust my databases then the move is still not played in practice. 

Here the heavier piece clears space for the lighter piece. In my old book of problems this is called a Turton-Bristol but I also found different names so there is discussion about what is the right name. Finally I also want to show a real problem which I built 20 years ago as a non clubplayer. There exist many more beautiful creations with this theme but it sounds to me anyway appropriate in the context of the blogarticle. The solution is mentioned on the bottom of the article as maybe some readers prefer to try first themselves although I expect it must be easy if you read this article.
Wit mates in 3
I strongly doubt that such problemmoves are possible in tournament practice. Anway schaakcompositities clearly show that chess hides many more possibilities than we will ever see in a boardgame. Therefore I also think that we shouldn't search too fast for the rare/ problem-moves in a game. It is not with that sort of moves that we will decide a game in our favor or you have to be a very strong player like the grandmasters in above examples. 

Brabo

Solution:
Loydse clearance: A piece clears space for another piece which uses it in the opposite direction.
1.Lh8 (dreigt Db2#), Kb7 2.Dg7+ Kb6 3.Db2#

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Swiss gambit

Even in tournaments with a modest prize-fund we see today more and more grandmasters participating. This was also the case in the Open of Gent this summer in which 7 grandmasters played for 5 full days despite only 2 serious prizes, see info about the prizes. I can't remember an earlier edition in which 7 or more grandmasters participated. As indicated in my blogarticle shooting a mosquito with a canon it is also crisis for professional chess and players can't be too choosy when selecting tournaments. Worldwide we count already more than 1000 grandmasters so the internal competition is very tough. Besides we can't deny that the title of grandmaster doesn't have the same importance as before so without doubt the commercial value has decreased. Therefore within Fide some people would prefer to create a new title like super-grandmaster or elite-grandmaster. Personally I don't think this is a bad idea as with a strong marketing-strategy it could make chess again more popular with the mainstream-media. 

I wrote already quite some articles of the past Open Gent, see gambits , sportsmanship , green moves , a Dutch gambit part 2 , chessintuition part 2 , which games to analyze , iccf , revolution in the millennium but I didn't mention yet how the tournament ended for me. Well for the first time I scored 7/9, twice my score of 20 years ago when I participated for the first time. This also meant that I received a prize which after the abolishing of the prizes for the best Belgium players had been a while. However as 2 players achieved 7,5/9 and 10 players obtained 7/9, it was only a very modest sum (if I remember well then it was 105 euro). 5 grandmasters also had to be satisfied with such remuneration after 5 days 'working' so once again it is clear that  chess is not an easy choice as profession today. 

Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that I didn't meet in any of the 9 rounds a grandmaster or even a higher rated player than myself. After an unexpected defeat in round 3 which I discussed in detail in my blogarticle chessintuition part 2, I was thrown back in the pack which caused me avoiding all the stronger players. In the last round I had some luck as I was again paired to the bottom, received white and on top was able to use my limited preparation. Due to the early starting-hour (11 am) and the playing hall on a distance of an hour driving from home, it was important to use my limited time optimal for the preparation. First I checked the repertoire of my opponent and afterwards I made a choice about which variant was most likely to pop up on the board. At last I searched with that specific variant some recently played games by strong grandmasters in the databases (mainly twics) as explained in to analyse with the computer.

Afterwards my opponent Johan Goormachtigh told me that he didn't have time to prepare. So on one side it is understandable that he chose something of which he had experience. On the other hand if you just like my opponent of round 7, see revolution in the millennium are not aware about the latest theoretical developments then this is looking for troubles.

This surely doesn't mean that I have now a fitting answer for my defeat against Negi, see shooting a mosquito with a canon but I am glad to win once again against the Scheveningen. Besides with Rxf7 I also show with reference to my blogarticle  my most beautiful move, that playing such moves isn't a matter of knowing the patterns but rather of calculating correctly which is of course not very difficult in the case above. 

Despite I played some good chess since the third round, I won't deny this is also the merit of the pairings. I mean scoring 7/9 via the help of the Swiss gambit isn't the same as obtaining the same score with playing continuously on the topboards. By using the tie-brake system based on progression scores, fortunately some distinction is made in the final standings. Hereby I also want to mention that it is good to notice that the organisation has abandoned Bucholts as tie-brake in favor of progression scores because of the unavoidable dropouts in the last rounds (this change I recommended in my blogaticle result in open gent agreed or not in advance).

Nevertheless I still see despite the chosen tie-brake, players choosing for a Swiss gambit as they consider money more important than a little meaning honorary place. It seems to me no bad tournament-strategy to link prizes to the tie-brake system. Personally I find the easy Hort System a fair choice in which half of the money is divided between the players with the same score and half linked to the tie-brake system.

As we had to wait for the prize-givings, it probably would be a good idea to use a program for the calculations. I triggered Ruben Decrop whom recently founded chessdevil. The program seems to me an nice add-on of the tournament-program but it is not clear if it is also commercially viable. In any case if amateur-programmers are willing to help for a more smooth prize-givings, then this will certainly be welcomed by the tournament-organisations.

Brabo