Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sore losers

While chatting a lot with other chess-parents I became conscientious how much ignorance there exists. People are convinced that our noble game is only played by gentleman always willing to help each other and never doing something wrong. Only after a couple of tournaments the first cracks appear in this idealistic view.

Chess is no exception to other sports and activities. You have nice and less nice people. In the last couple of months I experienced 2 situations in which people were accused of cheating. In both cases I detected a very high degree of typical engine-moves so something you don't expect from a player. Besides the players visited very often the toilet during their games. However some bullet-proof evidence was not found (nor searched) so I am obliged to be careful. We should avoid openly accusing somebody in such case as I explained already in my article distrust.

However I believe we shouldn't ignore those signals. It is a potential time-bomb for competitive chess and could accelerate the shrinking of chess-clubs. There exists no cheap/ free solution for standard-chess. Anyway you can't forbid somebody to visit a toilet.

To let every player sign a charter of fair-play at the start of a tournament won't stop the real cheaters but looks still useful to me. With this symbolic act you show your strong disapproval to cheating and probably some will think twice before trying. Also I would demand as organizer that each player sits at the board when he has the move. In my article food and drinks part 2 I wrote that this is just standard behavior but in practice I do see people going to the toilet from the moment they have seen the answer of the opponent.

Now arbiters should be a bit flexible with such rule. If you are away from the board while your opponent has the move then you can't always be back immediately in time. Or when your opponent plays so fast that you never get the chance to get up from the board then you should still be allowed once to get a small break.

Last I experienced something else. My opponent deliberately didn't return to our board but preferred to walk around/ kibitz. In the meanwhile more than a half hour went off his clock. It was my 8th game of Open Gent which I showed in my article jokes. As I wrote earlier, I don't have problems with players continuing the game in a dead lost position but then you keep sitting at the board. Besides it is not the first time I experienced something like that see Deurne wins the zilveren toren. However it was the first time that this happened by a pretentious absence from the board.
Photo of Dominik Klaus, from Chess-DB.com
I give him the first prize for worst loser which I ever played against. I even consulted during the game the chief-arbiter Marc Bils for this behavior without any success. On the other hand it is something which I very often experience online. The anonymity very often generates some bad mannered behavior. Even some strong players are not immune for the virus of being a sore loser. In the game below the black player (if it is his real name, a Russian international master) simply let himself run out of time in a completely lost position. So I just had to wait 2,5 minutes to claim victory.
[Event "Rated game, 3 min"] [Site "Main Playing Hall"] [Date "2016.12.24"] [Round "?"] [White "Brabo"] [Black "AlexanderGelman"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B84"] [WhiteElo "2359"] [BlackElo "2254"] [PlyCount "35"] [EventDate "2016.12.24"] [Sourcetitle "playchess.com"] [TimeControl "180"] [CurrentPosition "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.e4 { [%emt 0:00:00] } 1...c5 { [%emt 0:00:06] } 2.Nf3 { [%emt 0:00:02] } 2...e6 { [%emt 0: 00:01] } 3.d4 { [%emt 0:00:00] } 3...cxd4 { [%emt 0:00:02] } 4.Nxd4 { [%emt 0:00:00] } 4...d6 { [%emt 0:00:01] } 5.Nc3 { [%emt 0:00:02] } 5...Nf6 { [%emt 0:00:01] } 6.Be3 { [%emt 0:00:00] } 6...a6 { [%emt 0:00:02] } 7.Be2 { [%emt 0:00:03] } 7...b5 { [%emt 0:00:00] } 8.Bf3 { [%emt 0:00:01] } 8...Bb7 { [%emt 0:00:01] } 9.e5 { [%emt 0:00:04] } 9...Bxf3 { [%emt 0:00:04] } 10.Qxf3 { [%emt 0:00:01] } 10...dxe5 { [%emt 0:00:00] } 11.Qxa8 { [%emt 0:00:02] } 11...exd4 { [%emt 0:00:00] } 12.O-O-O { [%emt 0:00:01] } 12...e5 { [%emt 0: 00:04] } 13.f4 { [%emt 0:00:09] } 13...Bd6 { [%emt 0:00:08] } 14.fxe5 { [%emt 0:00:01] } 14...Bxe5 { [%emt 0:00:01] } 15.Bxd4 { [%emt 0:00:40] } 15...Bxd4 { [%emt 0:00:02] } 16.Rxd4 { [%emt 0:00:01] } 16...Qxd4 { [%emt 0:00:03] } 17.Qxb8+ { [%emt 0:00:01] } 17...Kd7 { [%emt 0: 00:02] } 18.Qxh8 { [%emt 0:00:03] (Black is completely lost. But instead of resigning, my opponent just let his time run out. So I had to wait another 2,5 minutes before I could claim victory.) } 1-0
It is not a record. I already once experienced that after 8 seconds playing my opponent blundered a piece without compensation and let his remaining time run out. Or even worse are the sore losers playing 1 more move just before running out of time (so after several minutes) just to check if you are still attentive online. Not seldom they still score a point with this act as their opponents don't expect such evilness.

While you lose only a few minutes online due to sore losers, a completely different magnitude happens in correspondence chess. In below correspondence-game my opponent could've resigned surely earlier as I only got victory when I announced mate in 5 in the final position.
[Event "EU/M/1280"] [Site "?"] [Date "2000.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Goitre, F."] [Black "Brabo"] [Result "0-1"] [PlyCount "54"] [WhiteElo ""] [BlackElo ""] [ECO ""] [CurrentPosition "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O Nf6 5.c3 Nxe4 6.d3 Nxf2 7.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 8.Kxf2 d6 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bh4 d5 11.Bb5 Qd6 12.Kf1 Bd7 13.Nbd2 O-O-O 14.a4 g5 15.Bf2 a6 16.Bxc6 Qxc6 17.Qc2 g4 18.Ng1 f5 19.b4 Qh6 20.h4 gxh3 21.Nxh3 e4 22.Bd4 Rhg8 23.Nb3 f4 24.Ng1 f3 25.gxf3 e3 26.Bxe3 Qxe3 27.Qf2 Rxg1+ { (Only after announcing mate in 5, I got the victory awarded.) } ( 27...Rxg1+ 28.Qxg1 ( 28.Kxg1 Rg8+ 29.Kf1 Bh3+ 30.Qg2 Bxg2# ) 28...Bh3+ 29.Qg2 Bxg2+ 30.Kxg2 Rg8+ 31.Kf1 ( 31.Kh3 Qh6# ) 31...Rg1# ) 0-1
Probably we could've saved a couple of months if white resigned more properly. Besides it are again not only weak players that are sore losers. There are stories known of strong players continuing till mate while dragging the game maximally via their saved time. Earlier with the traditional mail a lost position could be dragged for 2 more years. Not seldom you could hear that a player with a completely lost position still won the game as the opponent deceased! Nowadays correspondence-chess is played on a server which allows things to proceed quicker. Nevertheless in the game below, black manages to drag the game for months in a completely lost position.
[Event "EU/C2015/ct01"] [Site "ICCF"] [Date "2015.03.15"] [Round "?"] [White "Telepnev, Igor Viktorovich"] [Black "Podgursky, Artur"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2519"] [BlackElo "2472"] [PlyCount "183"] [ECO ""] [CurrentPosition "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Ne8 10.c5 f5 11.Nd2 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.Nc4 g5 14.a4 Ng6 15.cxd6 cxd6 16.Nb5 Ne8 17.Kh1 Rf7 18.Bd2 Bf8 19.Be1 Bd7 20.Na5 Qb8 21.Bf2 h5 22.Ra2 Rg7 23.Qb3 Kh8 24.Rc1 g4 25.Nc6 bxc6 26.dxc6 Bc8 27.Bxa7 Raxa7 28.Nxa7 Qxa7 29.b5 d5 30.b6 Qe7 31.Rb2 Nd6 32.Qxd5 Nh4 33.Rcb1 Nb7 34.Rd2 Nd6 35.b7 Bxb7 36.cxb7 Nxb7 37.Rb6 Nd6 38.fxg4 Nf7 39.a5 hxg4 40.Bf1 Nf3 41.Rb7 Qxb7 { (To continue such position in correspondence-chess does not make sense especially at this level.) } 42.Qxb7 Nxd2 43.Bd3 g3 44.Qb2 Nf3 45.Qb8 Rg8 46.Qc8 Bh6 47.Qc4 Nd4 48.Qxf7 Rc8 49.Qf6+ Kh7 50.Qe7+ Bg7 51.Qa3 Bf8 52.Qb2 Rc7 53.Bf1 Bc5 54.Bc4 Ba7 55.Qa3 Rxc4 56.Qe7+ Kg6 57.Qe8+ Kg7 58.Qxe5+ Kh7 59.Qh5+ Kg7 60.Qg5+ Kf8 61.Qxf4+ Kg7 62.Qxg3+ Kh7 63.Qh4+ Kg6 64.Qg4+ Kf6 65.Qf4+ Kg7 66.Qg5+ Kh7 67.Qe7+ Kg8 68.h4 Bc5 69.Qg5+ Kf8 70.a6 Be7 71.Qf4+ Kg7 72.a7 Ra4 73.e5 Ra1+ 74.Kh2 Nc6 75.Qg4+ Kh7 76.Qe4+ Kg8 77.Qxc6 { (Now it even becomes ridiculous to continue in standard-chess.) } 77...Rxa7 78.Qb6 Ra8 79.Qb3+ Kg7 80.Qb7 Re8 81.h5 Kf7 82.Qf3+ Kg8 83.Qg4+ Kh8 84.Qe6 Rf8 85.Qxe7 Rb8 { (Black lacks clearly respect for his opponent.) } 86.e6 Ra8 87.Qf6+ Kh7 88.Qg6+ Kh8 89.e7 Rb8 90.h6 Rg8 91.e8=Q Rxe8 92.Qg7# 1-0
As the standard rate is 10 moves per 50 days see iccf playing rules black has 500 days for his 92 moves. You really need to be very patient when you play correspondence chess.

Running down the clock is a weapon sore losers often use. It seems there is not much you can do against it. A smart Bronstein clock could avoid such bad behavior but very few are interested. Today's clock with fixed increments is already hard to manage for many players.


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