Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Extraordinary Stuff

The remarkable results of the Ilford Chess Congress, held over the Bank Holiday weekend, are beginning to be published. And whilst my own performance was rather good for me - that was nothing compared to the achievements of a very talented and highly promising trio of London chess juniors. One of whom even achieved the truly extraordinary score of 2½/3 from his games versus three International Masters - and he was pushing for the win in the draw most of the game, too.

Anyway, here's a quote or two from Ivor Smith's report (PDF file), to tell you more - although on a downbeat note, it also includes news of a rather unfortunate incident:
Subin Sen (aged 14) beat IM Colin Crouch in round 1, drew with IM Philip Morris in round 3 and beat IM Augustin Madan in round 4.

Akash Jain (aged 13) [finished] undefeated on 4 points ... and must be be the amongst the youngest (if not the the very youngest) [player] to qualify for the British Championship.

Yang-Fan Zhou (aged 13) on 3½ points was also undefeated until he met IM Augustin Madan in the last round. This was a most upsetting and unfortunate loss for Yang-Fan who was always slightly better during the game. Towards the end of the quick play finish, with both players extremely sort of time, Yang-Fan had just a knight and a rook’s pawn left whilst his IM opponent had just a bare knight. When Yang-Fan’s flag fell he perhaps naturally assumed that he would be awarded the half point that would have meant a share of 2nd place with 4 points. However his opponent insisted on claiming a win on the basis that he could still achieve mate with the bare knight however unlikely that might be. This apparently is the rule as we confirmed by referring to an appropriate website on the internet which was available to us at the venue. Our controller then felt that he had no option but to award the win.

What can you say . . . ?

13 comments:

ejh said...

I can say that exactly the same thing happened to me against Keith Arkell at a five-minute tournament in York in, I think, 2000. Knight against knight and pawn (I'd won a pawn on the black side of the Chigorin Defence and kept hold of it) and I lost on time.

It never occurred to me until somebody said so afterwards that there were any grounds from complaint. Were there? Not as far as I can see.

But could a draw have been claimed befdore the flag fell?

Anonymous said...

I can't see how a player or a contoller could refuse a draw to the player with the extra pawn. I also had a N vs N and P against Nick Pert (about a month before he became a GM) at Ilford (the year I got a famous, if lucky draw against ejh)with both of us with a few seconds left. Using a stalemate trick, I managed to sacrifice my N for the pawn. Onlooking Danny Gormally was not impressed with Nick Pert agreeing to a draw as I still had to make 2 moves to take the pawn. It would never had occured to me to claim a win on time.
Once in a junior tournament, my opponent was awarded the win despite him losing on time, with a Q and K versus K!
Tom you don't half work fast on this blog- I only brought this article to your attention less than 2 hours ago!
Andrew

Anonymous said...

Spoilsport I know, but i doubt very much if 13 is the youngest age for qualification to the British Championship.

Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia, Short was 11 when he qualified for the British.

Angus.

Tom Chivers said...

Had I not been at work Andrew, it would have been up significantly sooner! (& thanks for the tip-off, much appreciated.)

Yes Justin - I believe you should be able to claim a draw with N+P v N if you have less than two minutes left, on the assumption the opponent is no longer trying to win by normal means. Also I suspect most internet blitz sites would auto-adjudicate N+PvN as drawn if the N+P's flag fell, on the basis of insufficient material to mate...

Anonymous said...

I don't believe in such nonsense but if I did, I'm sure I would have found it spooky my game tonight. For the second time in my life I was involved in N and P versus N. This time I had an extra pawn, but it was to no avail. I had less than 5 minutes left also. I wasn't at all concerned about losing btw.
Andrew

Tom Chivers said...

So... you drew then?

Anonymous said...

Yes. Played a super solid 185 (he is an FM). He normally trots out all that d4 Bf4 stuff. This time he varied and I won a pawn, but he defended very well. Also it was game in 80 and so I was under time pressure and was happy to simplify to N and 5 versus N and 4 to get closer to the end.
Andrew

Anonymous said...

Andrew,
You're referring to the Russell Trophy match vs Hertford, right? I didn't realise Paul Byway was an FM - I thought Knott was the only titled Hertford player!
Antony

ejh said...

Byway used to beat my father in the Hertfordshire individual champioship (I think) about thirty years ago.

Anonymous said...

FM has almost zero status in Britain- it is often viewed as 'ok so you're not good enough to be an IM'. In Europe it is valued more highly- I know a number of my European friends were congratulating a Swede when he got his title.
Andrew

Tom Chivers said...

I think FM is viewed with a bit more respect than that by most, but I think IM indicates something bordering professional (at least in potential). Also, don't you have to pay FIDE for the FM title?

Adam said...

I think that Ivor was more than a little unfair to Madan in his press release - surely he could not expect a chess professional to turn down joint first prize and £225 rather than simply accept £20 and go home! A controller has no choice but to assume that the player with more material in this situation is playing for a win, and consequently risks losing. As in most of these disputes, a little knowledge of the rules goes a long way - if a draw had been claimed before the flag fall nobody would have disputed it. You live and learn... hopefully.