Columns | December 02, 2009 22:19

Too late to leave?

FIDE - never too late to leave"In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace—and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock," said Harry Lime in Orson Welles' The Third Man. In FIDE, for twenty years they lacked democracy and love for chess, and what did that produce? The zero-tolerance rule.

For the first time since Toiletgate, chess has managed to make the ChessVibes editors really angry. And, as usual, it had nothing to do with chess but with politics, rules and regulations. We are talking, of course, about the ludicrous, disproportionate forfeiting of Li Chao and Wang Yue for arriving a little too late for their second rapid game in round 3 of the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk.

What’s interesting in the discussions on this site and others, is that a lot of people actually agree with the measure taken against the Chinese players. Never mind tolerance, exciting competition and great chess – rules are rules and they simply must be complied! To us, it’s a bit surprising that usually sensible and intellectually developed people like chess players can be so strict and narrow-minded, especially in a situation where reason and the will to solve problems in an intelligent (rather than bureaucratic) way, seem to be called for.

We do not want to discuss too deeply the facts of the case of Li Chao and Wang Yue, in part because there is a lot of speculation and unclarity about their statements and what exactly happened during their smoking-break. For instance, it's not at all clear whether the players were actually warned that the games would shortly start, as Chessbase stated. Also, as GM Onischuk has pointed out, it's practically impossible for any player to figure out when exactly his game is going to start (apparently, it just depends.) There also was no message board, or a beeper (as Onischuk has suggested) or (our own suggestion, based on the tradition at the Corus tournament) a gong before the games are due to start. All this now makes the whole matter unbearably bureaucratic.

More importantly, we think the facts are completely irrelevant in this matter. It’s the zero-tolerance rule itself (in fact any zero-tolerance rule) that we have problems with.

Interestingly, the question almost nobody seems to ask in the case of the zero-tolerance rule for arriving late is: is the strictness of the rule balanced against the severeness of the problem it tries to solve? In other words: is arriving late (while your clock is ticking) such a big problem that it justifies the strictness (loss of the game) of the measure?

Here’s a little quiz for proponents of this particular FIDE rule: what would you say if your boss made a new rule stipulating that any employee (including you!) who arrives just one minute late at work, does not receive his monthly salary? To our mind, this is not an unfair analogy: Wang Yue and Li Chao – we can regard them as employees of FIDE - lost a lot of money – more than a month’s salary for ordinary people, we bet - for arriving just a few minutes late. All the work, the preparation, the hours spent looking for novelties – all gone in two minutes. (We know the players lost "only" one rapid game, but the shock effect must have been terrible.) Would you really say that’s a fair deal?

Now, we don’t know about you, but although we think it’s important to be at work on time, and though we usually manage this, we would consider it to be extremely stressful and uncomfortable when we absolutely HAD to be on time every day for fear of losing an entire month’s salary. Still, this is what all chess professionals have to do: they HAVE to arrive at ‘work’ on time every single game. And for what?

Li Chao and Wang Yue

Li Chao and Wang Yue on the left | Photo Galina Popova, courtesy of FIDE

This is another mysterious thing: why is it so important to be on time for a chess game anyway? At work, it’s perhaps because of a meeting, an appointment, or because you have agreed to make 8 hours a day, or simply because all your colleagues also start at that time. In all cases, others suffer from your being late – but in a chess game, you only have to deal with your opponent, and he actually benefits from your being late: he wins time with it.

The thing is, this latest FIDE-hobbyhorse is directly related to the well-known incident, on January 2, 1998, when FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch had to wait ten minutes for the arrival of Anatoly Karpov for his final against Anand. It seems that Ilyumzhinov desperately wants to impress the IOC by showing how well everything is under control in the world of chess.

Actually, we do think it’s good etiquette to arrive at a decent time for your game, but the beauty of etiquette is that the message of respect it contains is precisely in the fact that it’s not compulsory. After all, if something is compulsory, it’s not a matter of effort but of obeying a rule, and this has nothing to do with respect but with fear of violating the rule and being penalized for it.

The only sensible reason for having the players sit behind the board for the first minutes of the game is that they can be properly photographed. Still, great pictures can still be made these days during the round, thanks to the improved quality of silent digital cameras. Besides, one can still make excellent pictures if the player does arrive a little late, as has been shown countless times in the many decades when players could still arrive fashionably late.

Finally, the zero-tolerance rules in general are often counter-productive because they do more harm than good. As is noted many times in literature, applying zero-tolerance seems to ignore some basic aspects of human standards, such as open communication and accountability. In an article called Are zero tolerance policies effective in the schools, published in American Psychologists, December 2008, the American Psychological Association Zero Tolerance Task Force concluded:

An extensive review of the literature found that, despite a 20-year history of implementation, there are surprisingly few data that could directly test the assumptions of a zero tolerance approach to school discipline, and the data that are available tend to contradict those assumptions. Moreover, zero tolerance policies may negatively affect the relationship of education with juvenile justice and appear to conflict to some degree with current best knowledge concerning adolescent development.

The problem with FIDE is that they seem to lack this kind of reflections on important matters. How is it possible that arguably the two strongest players of the past decade can play a game while deliberately refusing to shake hands, with arbiters, arms folded, are watching, but two ambitious, well-meaning chess professionals get kicked out of the World Cup for arriving a few minutes late for their rapid game, harming noone but themselves?

This really has to stop. FIDE is systematically destroying not only the dreams and hard work of two promising players, but also the entire structure and beauty of tournament chess, which has worked fine for over 150 years. Like Swiss clockwork.

Editors's picture
Author: Editors


Michael X Tractor's picture

At the very first FIDE KO, at Groningen 1997, Nigel Short declared "We are all prostitutes". If you sell out all principle for money, that is an appropriate description. The FIDE rules on default times, the ludicrous increment time-limits, the drug tests, all of these rules could be ended within 24 hours. All it needs is all the players in (eg) the Olympiad, or World Cup, to announce at the start of the first round, that they will not start play until these rules have been withdrawn.

Game over. End of story. But if all the GMs are interested in is Kirsan's dodgy money, then they have no leverage. If you choose to work as a prostitute, you have to put up with whatever indignities your pimp decides to inflict on you.

steven's picture

The strongest argument against the rule IMO is the disproportionate character of the penalty.
Zero-tolerance can however be necessary and effective, but not in a civilized sport
as chess.
Zero-tolerance is something for crime-ridden neighbourhoods in big cities, to
prevent that the situation becomes totally out of control.

Rini Luyks's picture

I agree completely.
Unfortunately this "zero tolerance" is a sign of our time and has very little to do with justice.
Compare with the France-Ireland world cup qualification football-match.
Always the federation bobo's manipulating their marionets and destroying the truth in sports, looking after their own interests.
Corruption and bribery all over the place...a shame.

xtra's picture

zero tolerans is obviously bad. But what would you suggest instead? Obviously it is also not good that people can simply show up whenever they please. Its not fair to the waiting player. Maybe some arbitrary time then before you auto-lose, like 5-15 minutes?

Arne Moll's picture

There are several options, xtra, e.g. a certain amount of money deducted from the prizes per late-arriving minute, etc. But of course there already is a penalty: you lose time on the clock.

Allan Stig Rasmussen's picture

Good article, I couldn't agree more. The zero tolerance rule is simply a brainfart, now there's even more proof...

KK's picture

Superb point. I too had believed they should forfeit, for lack of better information. But reading this article has made it clear that this rule is really ridiculous.

Stephen's picture

I am in favour of default if you are not present at the start of the game, although "zero-tolerance" seems to be a bit extreme in this situation.

At this level chess is a professional sport which means that the players are paid to play. The sponsor and the public expect certain standards from the players and being present at the start is one of those conditions.

Comparing it to being at work on time in the morning is not fair, it's more like being on time for an important meeting with clients. If you were late for such an important meeting it might cost the company a contract and you might be fired or lose your bonus as a result.

However, its seems that the problem was not with the players, but with the infrastructure e.g. lack of fixed start time, lack of notification system. On the face of it, the application of "zero-tolerance" in this situation seems extreme.

The rule needs to be amended to also emphasise that organisers must provide the facilities so that the players can meet their obligations.

Or, simply in this case, that the rule is only applicable when game start times are fixed 24 hours in advance.

Maybe the grandmasters and professional players bodies should be putting pressure on FIDE regarding this ?

Eiae's picture

You all forget the point of the rule. The (paying) spectators and sponsors want entertainment from first minute. Its ridiculous to have a pro sport where the participants are not present at the start of the game.
If you are uncertain about the starting time, be there in good time! Be seated and ready 5 minutes before you expect the game to start. Simple, really.

If you want chess to continue to be an amateur sport and you don't want to be paid for it, then by all means, show up when you feel like it.

Poek's picture

I am not even sure if the Chinese players had to be forfeited with the current rules. The rules say "Any player who arrives at the chessboard after the start of the session shall lose the game." but don't specify the word session. It might have been possible just to get them and to start their games when they have arrived?

guitarspider's picture

it's really a farce to forfeit players if they have no way to find out when the game starts. they should at least implement a rule change like "If a tournament uses zero tolerance there has to be a very clear way for the players to know when the game starts".

If FIDE wants players to be on time they should simply apply a reverse grace period. You have to report to the arbiter at least 10 minutes before the game starts, or sanctions apply, and you have to stay within the playing area until the games start. So easy do to, but of course FIDE is FIDE.

svej's picture

Guys at Chessvibes, this time you are wrong. There is no debate. If you have read the chat at the Chessdom live, there were 3 people blogging from the playing hall in Khanty (alegedly one was a GM that did not want to identify!), and all of them confirmed there were warnings that the round will start 3 minutes, 1 minute and at the start of the round. And in a rapid game being late, excuse me, but breaks the whole idea of rapid. Chessvibes totally wrong, I hope some editor will distance from the ludicrous opinion here.

I saw the facts live, and let me ask you. If Manchester united comes 10 minutes late against Chealsea what would happen??? Aaaa, this will never happen cause they are professionals. And you at Chessvibes advocate obviously unprofessional behavior.

Or you are smokers and defend the smokers:)

Anyhow, you are wrong, now go defend yourselves and scream about what I write, but I advise youto distance from that mistake as fast as possible. Chess should be professional sport and you advocate exactly the oposite, works even against you!

To summarise: you have the facts wrong, chess should be professional, stop smoking.

eso es's picture

In the last few years FIDE has imposed several rules on the organised chess playing fraternity which were highly unpopular:

- minor details like castling: first lift the king, then lift the rook over it - otherwise its an illegal move,
- or forbidding the use of upturned castles for queens in time trouble,

- the so-called FIDE time modus - needing electronic clocks - replacing the 2 hours/40 moves plus eventually adjournment rule.
Chess players grumbled - and acquiesced.

- the idiotic drugs tests - making everybade grimace with pain - I mean , who needs chess to be an olympic sport ?
Chess players grumbled - and acquiesced.

- and now the equally idiotic default rule if You are not at the board on time - Chess players grumbled - and acquiesced.

These rules were introduced by FIDE officials in FIDE General assemblies, and the bleeping sheep who represent chess players there voted them in overwhelmingly. Chess players themselves have no vote - they are represented by delegates from National Federations, who cdn't care less what players want. A truly democratic plebiscite of organized players would end these idiot rules instantly. But it is not just professionals who depend on chess for their livelihood who keep their head down - it is the huge mass of club players, occasional torunametn visitors and lowly federated players who who fall into line. Perhaps it has to do with teh disciplime chess inculcates from early on - respect the rules, or the game loses its sense.

The recipe against FIDE dictats and ukases: dissociate yourself from being a federated player - or stop playing competitive chess, which is what a lot of people are doing. Or the very best: organize non-FIDE tournaments, and to hell with ELO ratings. If You recall that is what the traditionalists in the Roman Catholic Church did (Lefebre's followers) - and in the end the Vatican did give in....

Peter Doggers's picture

@ svej You're missing the point, since this column is not about facts.

Arne Moll's picture

@svej, Eiae and others:

Please read the article. We don't say we think it's a bad thing that players should arrive on time. This is obviously good for a number of reasons, just as it's good to arrive on time for a meeting at work or whatever. But the current measures are simply disproportionate. The minor harm done by a player arriving a few minutes late can't even begin to be compared with the damage done for this player when he loses the game, gets kicked out of the tournament as a result and especially the enourmous waste of work, energy and money as a result of this measure.

EJ Wagenmakers's picture

Great article, couldn't agree more!

DrTom's picture

I had a few examples of zero tolerance absurdity, which happened during the latest chess european championship. But alas, I dont remember the names of the players. Anyway, it was in New in Chess a while ago :
- a player got forfeited because he was STANDING behind his chair at the time the game started, and not sitting on it ;
- a couple players got forfeited because they were IN THE PLAYING HALL and not right at their table when the game started ;
- finally, a player was forfeited because he was RUNNING TO HIS CHAIR when the game started ;
At least in cases 1 & 3, I would have punched the arbiter to death if I were the player. Just cause my mind can only bear a certain amount of stupidity and pure sadism. This rule is dumb, and to those you think it must be applied to "professionalize" chess, well let me tell you that chess never had such a little audience than since it's becoming "professionnal". If you want a big TV show, bet your money on chessboxing, cause it got more future as a mass entertainment.

svej's picture

@Peter: the fastest excuse :) but does not repair the anti sports view

@Arne: minor harm done leaving sponsors, officials, etc to wait in front of a crowd for the honorary move? Or the minor harm of leaving thousands of chess fans wondering if it is transmission problems? Or the minor harm of bringing chess to unprofessional level with a few late appearances (yes, a few is enough!). Please Arne, go the Peter way and find a fast excuse. You are just proving one more time youare out of line and do not have a clue what takes a sport to be professional and high level.

Any other editor want to show incompetence at this topic?

CAL|Daniel's picture

Wonderful writeup, I agree entirely. Just what was wrong with the onehour rule? Frankly, I think there needs to be a cut off somewhere where either the opponent shows up or doesn't but if its not going to be one hour then it certainly shouldn't be less than 15 minutes! Lets not forget Hou Yifan was forfeited for BEING IN THE ROOM with in 2 FEET of her seat but NOT sitting at it when the clock was started. I mean can you get any more ridiculous? The intent of the law is clearly to try to bring about professionalism by making the players on time. However, the reality of the law is that it is creating unprofessionalism by destroying many games that should take place! Intentions do not matter... reality does. The reality is the zero tolerance rule is hurting chess!

Thomas's picture

"What’s interesting in the discussions on this site and others, is that a lot of people actually agree with the measure taken against the Chinese players."

I may be (considered) one of them, but I would separate two issues:
1) Does the rule make sense? Personally, I do not have a definite opinion, but consider this - in the first instance - irrelevant for
2) Is it soooo hard to stick to the rule (which the players were well aware of)? Who is to be blamed (more) in the given situation, FIDE or the players?
I would say the players. Incidentally, the rule was strictly enforced at Chinese events, so Wang Yue and Li Chao probably cannot expect, and will not get support from their own federation.
Regarding "All the work, the preparation, the hours spent looking for novelties – all gone in two minutes.": this need not happen and will not happen if you are on time (or two minutes early to be on the safe side).

Yet another issue is nonsense written by some people such as
- Russian organizers discriminate Chinese players (when the decision, in accordance with known rules, was made by the Armenian arbiter)
- As players don't know (at all?!) when the next round will start, there isn't even time for a toilet or cigarette break. The next round starts 10 minutes after the end of the previous one. If your game is the last one to finish, you have guaranteed 10 minutes. If your game was _not_ the last one, you have 10 minutes, then you can return to the venue, and maybe you will have another 10 minutes for another cigarette .... .

Even if you don't understand the announcements, it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out that they concern the start of the next round - there is a remote chance that it's something else such as "happy birthday Mr. Shirov" .... .

BTW, a "Corus gong" wouldn't help: clocks are switched on, and games start _immediately_ after the gong.

Vassily's picture

I must say that the drug testing rules FIDE is trying to impose are idiotic as many other things they have done. Drug testing has nothing to do with Chess; it is completely misguided when there has not been a concrete proof about which substances can have an effect for improved performance. Also, I am suspicious about the particular incident, I mean whether the Chinese had been properly warned or not, considering the fact there is no stict schedule for the rapid games.

However, I cannot but agree with the essence of the tolerance rule. There should be zero tolerance if we want to be a serious sport. It is a matter of conduct and respect towards the game and the opponent. All other opinions have their points but if you mention them to non chessic people the will look at you with a puzzled face. No, we have to be serious, a sport is a sport and punctuality is a part of it.

I, for example was playing a couple of years ago a game against Bjarke Kristensen. He came to the game with 50 minutes of delay. I got so angry that I could not think of anything during the game, I lost in 20 moves or so although I was about 200 or more rating points higher than him. It is funny that I consumed all two hours just thinking of how disrespectful this guy was towards me and he... played the game in just 20 minutes. I got crushed on the kingside like an amateur, while being a GM around 2630.
After the game he submitted to me his apologies...Rubbish.
This is not an ethical behaviour.
Making this rule is one of the very few things FIDE has done right.

Pablo's picture


Come on. You can do it. Let's think for a while. Human are human. And Zero Tolerance will not the change that fact. This rule, the way it is now, only will produce some forfeits before some games started. Because one player doesn't get to the chair at time. That happened and that will happen. That's a fact.

You are an extremist defender of the sponsors. But, let's do this. Just think for a while. If you were a sponsor. Do you prefer that some games doesn't start at all because some player didn't show up with perfect time? Or do you prefer, for instance, some more flexible rule (like the player lost of money of the prizes) and the game, when the player doesn't get to the chair in perfect time, be played after all?

You can answer that question. Is simple. But of course, you won't think at all. That's the way you are. You don't think. You just talk.

svej's picture

Agreed with Vassily, FIDE has done right.

The problem with Chessvibes is that they seem to lack this kind of reflections on important matters. (hm, I wonder where have I seen this sentence :) )

CAL|Daniel's picture

I stand corrected after reading DrTom's post... apparently you can get more ridiculous... being behind your chair standing instead of sitting. Sigh. I guess its a sign that chess will never be a professional sport if FIDE wishes to continue acting like a child on a playground.

svej's picture

@Pablo: If you watch the Premirship do you hear the commentator say "The game Chealse - Man U startted 10 mins late due to late appearance by the second team. The delays due to late appearance in Birningham - Aston Villa was 11 minutes, Arsenal surprisingly came a minute early!"

Come on. If you play chess in the garden ok, if you play for a large audience than it is not ok. SImple.

svej's picture

@editors: you will sparkle discussion, but do you want to ridicule yourselves in front of people who really care about chess and understand professional image of sports? The quicker you repair the points of view (and you are a blog that is easy to be done) the quicker you will repair your own image. For me now Chessvibes stands not professional. It was better when you were sticking to videos.

But that is just my opinion. As Peter said this is not about facts, but the fact is the decision is right and the discussion is useless.

Peter Doggers's picture

@svej I really don't understand why you're reacting so unfriendly. It doesn't really encourage me to reply any further.

@Thomas I think the answer is: Yes, it's difficult to be in time when you're a professional who is focusing on the game as much as possible, and one shouldn't have anything else on one's mind than the games. In between games one should be able to leave the room, rest and focus on the next game. In my opinion someone else, a board, a beeper or a Corus gong (of course not 1 second before the games are due to start, but e.g. 1 minute) should be responsible for letting the player know that it's time to start again in such a tense situation as an eliminating tiebreak.

svej's picture

And you launch against FIDE, but can you cite the price funds from 10 years ago? Can you calculate them now (in times of crisis)?

Well price funds are not the only professional thing about a sport, but as we already stated you do not get the other points right....

Chiel Reemer's picture

Don't whine, buy a watch.

Pablo's picture

Svej. One more time. Compare chess to football is not exactly a great comparation. In chess you are alone. Let's think tennis, for example. The Us Open. Let's think if one player would get a few minutes late to an advanced instance. I don't think the organizers will forfeit that player. But still, comparations sometimes are not happy. We have to think about what is better for chess.

I agree, somehow, with Vassily. I was thinking about something like that. The psichological factor when a player arrived too late. Nigel Short lost a game when his opponent arrived like one hour and a half late. There is a lot of pression in that situation. Strange, but still. A lot of pression. I understand both point of views. But i think the rule has to be more flexible. But not "super" flexible. Just a little more.

Chessplayer's picture

Congratulations for the article...! We are still humans not robots even though some people try to convince us for the opposite !

svej's picture

@Peter: it is not unfriendly, it is critical. You are criticising a rule that is good for chess, but you do not accept criticism that would make this site better? That is Elista style :) Wait, even Elista accepts advice, so you see what I mean.

I see what you are doing, looking to hit the general public opinion on a debatable topic where you expect some 70% or more support. However, you miss the point that chess professionals want this sport to develop. And opinions like that, without facts (you stated it!) and without desire for improvement (again you said you do not want to reply) being a serious questionmark.

It is so easy to edit the article, now it is up to you to acknowledge if Chessvibes is working towards chess improvement or towards yellow media stories.

WGIFM's picture

The implicated conclusion:
By demanding players to show up at the start of their games FIDE destroys "the entire structure and beauty of tournament chess, which has worked fine for over 150 years."

Well, I think you go a bit far.

There are pros and contras in this issue, and I think your column is rather biased. You do not like this zero tolerance rule, it is obvious. Others like it, and you just do not make the slightest effort to understand them.
Hey chessvibes guys, you should be more open-minded!

Serdal's picture

Organizers are interested in a punctual start of the game. We all agree that this is sensible. What is the easiest way to ensure that the games start in time? Get all the players at the board, i.e. just look for them and tell them to come to the board. We are not talking about an Olympiad but an event where you can almoust count the contestants by one glance. Why didn't they do this? The stricter the rules the more arbiters and official need to handle things skillfully, i,e. avoiding cases of hardship where possible.
I don't like the zero-tolerance rule either but I think every organizer should be able to decide for themselves how important being on time is for them. But in practice I think that the most important thing is to make it easy for the players to meet all expectations (punctuality, dress-code etc.). And I have the feeling that in FIDE events this is NOT the case.
And, by the way, comparisons with (other) sports are more often that not totally out of place and just make the readers roll with their eyes. I'm confident most readers will agree on this.

svej's picture

@Pablo: at tennis if you are late for Wimbledon you do not get an invitation ever in your life. I do not know how it is with other events. So comparing to golf, tennis, football, or any other top sport is logical and brings one conclusion. The decision to enforce the rule is correct.

Someone said "people are not robots". That is why they should arrive on time and foster values as respect and dignity. Towards the thousands in the crowd and the oponent.

Bert de Bruut's picture

As stated before: chess is a turn-based game, so there obviously is no intrinsic need to be simultaneously at the board. When you are not present to make your move, the only time you waste is your own.

So please Svej-I-want-chessplayers-to-look-professional, and others, stop comparing chess to real-time based sports, that's simply ludicrous.

And FIDE of course is a mockery of a democratic organization, in fact it's a mockery of an organization proper.

svej's picture

@Bert de Bruut: aaa, so politics now? hm, but this is not about politics, it is about normal human behavior and respect. The respect towards chess fans.

Chessvibes fosters anti FIDE opinions at this article, but as stated by WGIFM in a closed minded out of line way. And you Bert, as a good crowd go with the sheep (sorry, but I mean it!).

I actually like playing blitz. So one day if I meet you over the board, I will go to the cafe sit, talk to my friends, watch F1, and then I will return for the last minutes. I do not care about the score, I play for fun, but I am sure you will be pissed.

Ok, too many examples can be given, but all will point towards the fact (yes fact!) that this rule is necessary and the only wrong of FIDE is that it was not imposed many years ago.

svej's picture

@Arne: for the first time I see you not answering vigorously or defending your opinion. I hope at least you will distance from this farce. An article presenting an opinion throwing just a bunch of data, no facts, and stating "FIDE is bad" does not really show a point, and as it cannot be defended Peter preferred to stop talking. But I expect more from you as your articles normally are good.

Bert de Bruut's picture

@Svej, for some reason I had gotten the impression that it is not you that is the black sheep, but that it your kind that flocks to be fed by the IOC and perceived sponsors, and for that goal you willingly sacrifice the distinctiveness of chess, for the sake of pleasing the hand that hopefully will feed you a little more...

And as for the rest, when you willingly avoid being present at our board, I might be offended (though the free win when you take another coffee will be good compensation). However, in case your F1 car runs a flat tire and you arrive late, I won't mind playing the game as if nothing happened...

Pablo's picture

Anyway. The good thing with ChessVibes is that they really think what they write. This is like a magazine. You can perfectly disagree with the editor opinion. There's no problem with that. Even more: they have this chat place where we can argue with the writers and have a nice talk. No problem at all. After all, even if you don't agree with the main point of this "talk" or this article, you can still go enter in chessvibes and see the excelent coverage of the tournaments.

I don't understand why some people have to be, unnecesary, so rude. Maybe i'm defending Chessvibes too much. I know. But i can't defend those persons who attack this page in that harsh way. Like if the future of chess depends on what Chessvibes write about it. Lol. No sense at all.

svej's picture

@Bert: No man, not about IOC or any of the above :) For the sake of the chess fans (and in this case I am defending you as well!)

Thanks for the wish about F1 car and good coffee as well;)

Ricardo's picture

"To us, it’s a bit surprising that usually sensible and intellectually developed people like chess players can be so strict and narrow-minded, especially in a situation where reason and the will to solve problems in an intelligent (rather than bureaucratic) way, seem to be called for."

Way to go, Chessvibes editors. Assuming those who do not share your opinion are narrow-minded tells a lot about your own open-minded way to see the issue. It's awesome that you decided to start what could have been a healthy discussion making that clear.

Time to go share my narrow-minded ideas somewhere else, I guess.

Castro's picture

In all I'm sayin, pls believe me, no disrespect meant!

It's incredible that the "Editors", instead of really folowing (reading, but also really considering and really participating --- Arne had been answered, but shuted down from then on) the threads where this matter has been discuted, and come now with the power of a most parcial article which really demonstrates they considered zilt of those discusions and informations in their own site.

ChessVibes is good and animated enough --- honnor to them on that --- it doesn't need that kind of cheap provocations. But well, the site is yours, it's your notion of journalism that must prevail here, right?

I'm not going through everything again (maybe that's one kind of thing you guessed before writing this blind article?)
You're completely wrong.
When someone have the need and manage to say something like (puting it in other's arguments, of course!):
"Never mind tolerance, exciting competition and great chess"
One can see the weakness and demagogy inerent!

That's absolutely not a case of excess of bureaucracy, at least from my and others part and point of view, and at least in comparing with the aplication of other rules. Thats an easy demagogy that has been more than refuted days ago.

The "catastrofistic" comparison with a boss depriving you of your salary have that problem.
First, it hides what would be your vision about tolerance (or not!) in every other rules of competitive chess (for instance, how about getting 61 minutes late under the "old rule" of one hour? How about sligtly touching a piece but wanting to move other one? Are you a bureaucrat?? Get real!)
Then, even if a potential boss of your's would have that rule, it would be illegal, because he must pay at least what you worked before. Nothing comparable to the question "What makes you lose one game of chess in this competition?", ONE of the answers to which being "arriving late". Answers that, BTW are fully known and accepted by all and aplyed to all, from the begining!

You can be against the rule (as I am against several others) but I think it's somewhat irresponsible to feed a fuzz on this concrete aplication of it, which were nothing but fair.

As for the pseudo-gravity of calling this rule "zero-tolerance", it's realy demagogic as it has the same tolerance, in aplication, as any other, namely the old rule, which in fact was more strict, because it didn't allow any other than 60 minutes time tolerance, and was as "fascist" or "bureaucratic" as any rule could be. A fact that you insist in hidding.
If organizing a tournament, maybe I'd adopt some time tolerance different (not some hour sharp), but is it so difficult for you getting at time or even somewhat earlier to a game? Play other tournament or, at least, if you enter or are a fan in this, don't pretend to be scadalized with the aplication of the rules, or do it with EVERY rule, for god sake!

If I was the arbiter and it came the time to forfeit some player because of being late, and I was grabing the clock 20 secons past that limit but in my back the player was arriving and geting my atention, like "Good afternoon!", I think I'd not forfeit him, but merely warn him of the thing I was about to do, and that he should be more careful next time.

Now the culmination:
"This really has to stop. FIDE is systematically destroying not only the dreams and hard work of two promising players, but also the entire structure and beauty of tournament chess, which has worked fine for over 150 years. Like Swiss clockwork"
What a moral teacher we have here!
Shame on you! You didn't need this kind of rubbish.

test's picture

You compare an event with ONE game with an event with 459 games (at the time of writing) and counting...
You compare an event with THOUSANDS of people in a stadium who PAYED tickets, possibly millions in front of their TV's, millions of advertising involved, with an event with 5 spectators in the hall, the rest online who can replay whenever and how often they like.
Etc. Chess is not football, chess is not tennis, chess is not golf. Etc.

Chessplayer's picture

We talk about two minutes delay and Chinese people didn't know the exact time that the rapid games start (because it was unknown ! ), some gays are not serious, they try with all their efforts to be but they simply are not .

svej's picture

@Pablo: I totally agree with you! They always write what they think and they defend it well except in this case... they just do not want to speak as probably they know they have made a wrong step.

I am not attacking the page "harsh", I am giving advise and also pointing out a mistake in logic and facts missing. And the "Chessvibes editors" are not little girls and they should stand up and a) defend what they say or b) correct themselves but not c) "I am not gonna talk to you because I do not want to"

Trying to summarize what I am pointing out with my posts: the article misses facts, has wrong logic, and brings out a "destructive" conlusion in many ways. But ok, who takes the conclusion seriously after reading the article.... my advise, rework the data with facts and try again.

Coco Loco's picture

If FIDE wants professionalism, they should act in a professional manner FIRST by not making a mockery out of their most prestigious event of the year.
Sure, Manchester United or Roger Federer or whoever show(s) up on time, but think a little about HOW that happens...
Whatever the rumors might be, it's 100% unlikely that the TD told the pleayers, or the Chinese coach, that they will be forfeited if they don't get their asses moving and the players said "oh, give us a break". Btw, these guys are Chinese and hence very much used to inflexible rules and stupid people in power - they would have run to their seats in no time.

Muadhib's picture

If UEFA can manage that ALL Champion's League games that are scatered all over Europe can begin at exactly the same time 20:45 (CET) then it can't be that difficult for a chess competition that is taking place in the same hall, to start all games at exactly same time.

And yes, punctuallity IS a matter of professionalism. Also my answer to your question about job and monthly salary is YES - I have no problem with it.

Castro's picture

How can you be quiet about the so-called "classic chess" London tournament (with FIDE's approval, BTW) is something that puzzles me, that one yes, realling destroying something big about 150 years chess, with his "Bilbao rule" that, in fact, changes the whole weight and relations of chess pieces and combinations, and the "Sofia rule" which fakes chess beyond what chess could be faked already.
THAT is amazing!

svej's picture

@Castro: Well done and good disection of the article, something I was ommiting to do. There are even more details that are simply incorrect, but the worse as pointed is bringing a conclusion that is simply not true in this case.

@test: just to clarify, I am comparing to other sports because we all want chess to be there. And every chess player, no matter with small or big rating, and every chess enthusiast should be happy if chess is aiming at that. Tennis became professional in only 2 years, with stable rules and good media presence. Why not chess?


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