In the first round of the ongoing Nicosia FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2023, Alexandra Kosteniuk
led the white army versus Zhongyi Tan,
who chose the Berlin Defense, which has a reputation for being a defense played with a view to making a draw. Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov once said something about we “lesser players” not understanding the “subtleties” of the Berlin Defense. Garry obviously did not understand the subtlety of the opening in the game below:
When things got outta hand in Checkers because of the plethora of drawn games the openings known to be drawn were discarded, and later particular openings were assigned. How long before Chess players will follow in the Checkers footsteps?
In the second round game between Gunay Mammadzada (2449)
and Kateryna Lagno (2558)
the following position was reached in a game that featured the Berlin defense:
It should be more than a little obvious the way to win with the Berlin defense is to subtly bore your opponent for many hours until they finally blunder. Unless, that is, I am missing the more subtle aspects of the defense.
The Mechanic’s Institute Newsletter appeared this morning after moving from a weekly to a monthly newsletter. Regular readers know I have been an inveterate reader for many decades. FM Paul Whitehead has published an outstanding editorial in the #1030 issue of October 8, 2022. After reading this writer had trouble with what to print and what to leave out. After deliberation the decision was made to publish the entire editorial as is, with media added by yours truly:
Hans Niemann: Chess at the Top
By FM Paul Whitehead
“Money Changes Everything” – The Brains
By now we are all familiar with the scandal engulfing the chess world, boiled down to this: lame-duck World Champion Magnus Carlsen loses a game in the Sinquefield Cup to 19- year-old American up-start GM Hans Niemann. He then withdraws from the tournament, at the same time making a vague insinuation that Niemann has cheated. A couple of weeks later in the online Julius Baer Generation Cup, Carlsen loses yet another game to Hans, resigning before playing his 2 nd move. Shortly afterwards he makes a statement on social media, asserting that Hans had cheated during their encounter at the Sinqufield Cup – and offers not a single shred of evidence. I want to offer my own opinion, based on long experience in the chess world plus my own interactions with Hans when he was an up-and-coming player at the Mechanics’ Institute. It is not an easy path to the top of the chess world. It takes great fighting spirit and single- minded determination. Magnus Carlsen, like every other World Champion before him, has demonstrated those qualities. Other top players I have observed, like GM Walter Browne (one of Hans’ early coaches), manifest that desire to win in an almost visceral and physical way.
I have no doubt whatsoever that the will to win (and not to lose!) can cloud a chess players moral compass. Ashamedly, I remember engaging in fisticuffs with my own brother over a disputed game. With that said, I’m curious what the reader might think of the following example. Captured on video, Carlsen attempts to take a move back against GM Alexandra Kosteniuk in the 2009 World Blitz Championship, and then leaves the table without a word or a handshake: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeyXKTVYenA&t=161s
If this was not an attempted cheat, then I don’t know what is. Perhaps even more damning is the following video, Carlsen’s own live-stream of the Lichess Titled Arena in December 2021. The World Champion clearly takes the advice of GM David Howell to trap GM Daniel Naroditsky’s queen. I understand the tournament had a 1st place of $500. The critical moment is at the 1:44:00 mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRdrf1Ny3x8
I am not trying to throw just Magnus Carlsen under the bus here. Both of these videos show very typical displays of fighting spirit. Sadly, they also display not particularly rare examples of un-sportsmanlike behavior. For the World Champion to accuse Niemann of what he himself is clearly guilty of is, in my opinion, just flat out wrong. If Niemann has cheated, then so has Carlsen. And many, many others. Thirty years ago (and more) it was a common sight to see chess masters and grandmasters walking the hallways together, whispering in each other’s ears. I don’t believe the majority of players were outright cheating perse, but innocent questions or statements such as: “What do you think of my position?” or “Maybe it’s time to go home!” accompanied by frowns, raised eyebrows, coughing, laughing, et cetera, were quite common. Of course, this is different information than one can get nowadays. After all, a grandmaster is only human, and their suggestions and advice will only take you so far. But Stockfish is a God. Nowadays the top players are electronically frisked, and their trips to the bathroom are monitored – all under the smoky pall of large prize funds, large appearance fees, and generous corporate sponsorship. While the top players and streamers, and the private interests that sponsor them (purporting to speak for the regular player), wring their hands worrying over the “integrity of the game” and the “existential threat” posed by cheaters, they are living in a chess world unimaginable only 30-40 years ago. Back then, top players might have lived out of their cars or crashed on a friend’s couch, all the while waiting for a few paltry bucks from their chess federation or a miserable cash prize to pay their expenses. Chess lacked the glitz that corporate sponsorship and lots of money can buy: the glamorous world of The Queen’s Gambit,
trash-talking streamers angling for a date with one of the Botez sisters,
or better yet: the chance to be rich and/or the subject of world-wide attention. Chess at the top looks, sounds, and tastes very different now than it did not so long ago. The players are younger, have nice haircuts, and pay respect (if not outright homage) to their master, World Champion Magnus Carlsen. It looks quite cozy from the outside: for almost ten years now, the same 15–20 players have competed against each other over and over again in countless tournaments, over the board and online. Rarely are outsiders permitted into this precious circle, which helps to keep their ratings inflated just enough to keep the invites and appearance fees coming and the sponsorships rolling in. But cracks are starting to appear. Almost all of the top players lost rating points at the recent Olympiad in Chennai, where they had to compete with lower rated players. A younger generation is muscling in, in the shape of players like Hans Niemann, India’s Dommaraju Gukesh, and Nodirbek Abdusattorov from Uzbekistan. The latter became the World Rapid Champion earlier this year, defeating not only Carlsen, but Carlsen’s two most recent World Champion challengers, Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi. The young may also seem to lack the “proper respect,” which leads us back to what I see as the whole crux of this sorry Carlsen/Niemann affair. Right now, with the lack of any evidence that Niemann cheated in that over-the-board game against Carlsen, I think the only conclusion we can reach is the one staring us all in the face: Hans Niemann beat Magnus Carlsen fair and square at the Sinquefield Cup. I believe Hans has gotten under Magnus’ skin big-time, and, as is well documented here and elsewhere, Magnus hates losing. And to what extent, we are just now finding out. With Carlsen also abdicating the World Championship, I am reminded somewhat of an angry child that destroys his own sandcastle when told that it’s time to leave the beach. Hans Niemann played a lot at the Mechanics’ Institute as a youngster (11-12 years old in 2013 and 2014), and his progress was meteoric. As I outlined in our last newsletter, his rating jumping from 1200 to 2200 in just under two years. I myself played Hans a bunch of times, and his father recently sent me a video of Hans and I battling it out in a blitz game at the Mechanics’ Institute. I am totally winning for ages and ages, and his only hope is that I will lose on time. Hans hangs in there though, crying “Flag, flag, flag!” over and over. Both of us are enjoying the contest immensely… and I lose on time before I can mate him. His joy at winning is a sight to see. Not everyone appreciated Han’s brash and cheeky demeanor. It was either IM John Donaldson
or I who (affectionately) started calling him “Niemann the Demon,” but there were (and are still) players at the club who, perhaps, have forgotten what it was like to have been young once. When I see Hans in those post-game interviews at the Sinquefield Cup, I feel I am watching exactly the same person that I knew back then: a person with a great love for chess, supremely confident in his abilities, and with respect for no one. A stone-cold chess killer. Hans acts in a rough and tumble manner that surprises us nowadays, and harkens back to earlier times – perhaps strongly influenced by older coaches like GMs Walter Browne,
and IM John Grefe.
These are no-nonsense and worldly fellows, and Hans’ development was tempered in steel. I think the time has passed, if it ever really existed, when chess could lay claim to completely fair-play. Ruy Lopez de Segura (c.1530 – c.1580) a founding father of modern chess and a Catholic priest, advised his students to “place the board such that the light shines in your opponent’s eyes.” Behind the brouhaha surrounding Carlsen and Niemann, there are other factors and interests playing out. As we follow chess celebrities, minor and major (because that is what they are now) we should also follow the money. Is it a coincidence that Niemann was banned anew from chess.com whilst the Play Magnus Group was acquired by that selfsame chess.com? I find it fascinating to see who is lining up to defend Carlsen’s accusations, and why. There will always be attempts to cheat at over-the-board chess – some have been caught, others not. With the money pouring in, attempts to cheat will not stop, ever. Chess has entered the world of all other sports and games where these problems exist, whether it’s baseball or poker. The online world thrived like nobody’s business during the pandemic: perhaps the real “existential threat” to wealthy streamers and online platforms is not cheaters – it’s the return to over-the-board play. The chess world at the top has waited a long time for this moment – they’ve made it. They have world-wide attention, and they are rolling in the dough. In a sense they have gotten what they wished for, yet in another sense they are paying the price for those wishes coming true. But back here, for the rest of us in the clubs, in our homes and schools, I believe chess will thrive and continue to be enjoyed for the skillful, interesting, and fascinating game that it is – untainted by money and enjoyed for its own sake. The same way Hans and I enjoyed playing together, not so very long ago. (https://www.milibrary.org/sites/default/files/1030.pdf)
It was Saturday night and almost all was right, until young Arthur Guo let one go…like a hooked fish that somehow gets offa the hook…There I was, watching the action from Charlotte while listening to my man, H. Johnson, spin vinyl on his Saturday night program Jazz Classics on WABE FM from Atlanta, Georgia, a program to which I have listened since it’s inception way back in 1978.
One of the best things about the internet is being able to listen to a program from home while in another part of the country. While listening I was also watching the Chess games being contested at the Charlotte Chess Center. One game in particular captured my attention, keeping my eyes transfixed on the screen for far too long, I’m sad to report, because my eyes were blurred upon awakening and even after a mid-morning ‘nap’ to rest them they are still somewhat out of focus. That’s OK though, because it was worth the time spent watching the game, which follows. At one point I eschewed the other games and gave my full attention to this game exclusively, rooting for Arthur while thrusting my fist in the air and shouting, “YES!,” or sometimes, “NO,” or “Oh No,” with a “What The Fork?” thrown in for good measure. WHAT A GAME!!! As far as this reporter is concerned this game was THE GAME of the tournament. Granted, I have not reviewed all the games, but of those that I’ve seen this was THE ONE! I’m telling you the game gave me HEART PALPITATIONS! At the conclusion of the game I was EXHAUSTED as if it had been me making the moves. Chess, and life, don’t get any better than that, I’m here to tell you, that is if you are a Chess Fan. At times the AW was yellin’, “Go Authur Guo, GO!” I’ve heard something about those that can no longer do, watch…Yes, I admit to living last night vicariously through the moves of future Grandmaster, and fellow Georgian Arthur Guo. The game can be found all over the internet, and I have provided a link to FollowChess, and would like to recommend this one from Lichess.com (https://lichess.org/broadcast/2022-charlotte-chess-gm-norm-invitational/round-7/BamwVdbA) I will also recommend you play over the game at followchess.com and make notes before surfin’ on over to Lichess.
IM Arthur Guo (2412)
vs GM Aleksander Mista (2541)
Charlotte Spring GM A (round 7) C50 Giuoco Pianissimo
e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 (The ChessBaseDataBase gives Fritz 17 @depth 42 playing 3 Bc4, and it gives it twice in lieu of another program. Wonder why? The other program shown, Stockfish 300121 @depth 85[!] considers 3 Bb5 best) 3…Bc5 (Fritz 17 will play this move, but Stockfish 070215 @depth 48, and SF 14.1 @depth 62[!] will play 3…Nf6) 4. d3 Nf6 5. a4 (SF 14.1 @depth 59 castles) 5…d6 6. a5 a6 (The CBDB contains 16 games in which this move has been played; one with 6…h6. Stockfish 080222 @depth 36 will play 6…h6, SF 14.1 @depth 35 will play 6…0-0) 7. c3 (Again the most often played move according to the CBDB, with 17 examples and only 4 games showing 7 0-0. Fritz 16 plays the move, but Stockfish 11 [Eleven? Why does the CBDB show a move from such an antiquated program? Obviously the CBDB needs an upgrade] will castle) 7…h6 (The most often played move, with 11 games at the CBDB. There are 7 games containing the move 7…Ba7, and it is the choice of Fritz 18. Stockfish 14.1 will play 7…0-0, and so should you. There is only one game in which the player behind the Black pieces castled and it was found only at the CBDB:
Alexandra Kosteniuk 2516 (RUS) vs Ryan Hamley 2077 (USA) Titled Tuesday Intern Op
O-O O-O 9. h3 (The most often played move, but SF 14.1 @depth 40 will play 9 Nbd2) 9…Be6 (9…There are 10 games at the CBDB in which the move 9…Ba7 was played, and it is the choice of SF 191221 @depth 34 plays the move, but SF 14.1 @depth 39 will play the move played in the game) 10.Bxe6 fxe6 11. Be3 (Although this move is the choice of SF 14 @depth 37, SF 14.1 @depth 49 will play 11 Nbd2, which will be a TN if’n it’s ever played by a human. The move 11 b4 was seen in the following game, found only at the CBDB:
Kirill Alekseenko (2699) (RUS) vs Alexander Zubov 2598 (UKR) Titled Tuesday Intern Op 2021
Kosteniuk is rated 2495; Koneru 2560. Both players are clearly at least one category below male Grandmasters, and two categories below what are now called “Super Grandmasters.” Yet because they were born female they are battling for big, in Chess terms, money. That is money that should be going to the best players regardless of sexual orientation. Because of rating we know how inferior are women at Chess when compared to men. This begs the question of why women, with only very limited exceptions, such as Hou Yifan,
are inferior to men players.
Kosteniuk (2495) vs Koneru (2560)
FIDE Women’s Grand Prix – Monaco 2019 round 06
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 Be7
(4…d5 is the best move according to both Stockfish and Komodo. The game move is second best. The Stocky shown at the ChessBomb has 4…d5 best, followed by 4…Qc7 and 4…d6) 5 Nc3
(Like Be7, 5 Nc3 is a light blue move. 5 0-0 is the best move) 5…d6 (Komodo 13.2 64-bit @depth 38 at the CBDB likes this move, but going to depth 41 changes it’s whatever and prefers 5…0-0) 6 d4?
(I will admit to being stunned upon seeing this move. It is clearly inferior and I do not need a machine to know this fact. The Stockfish program running at the Bomb shows this move forfeits whatever advantage white had with the first move of the game. Could this have really been Kosteniuk’s opening preparation or was she simply “winging it”? 6 0-0 has been the most often played move but Komodo shows the best move being 6 a4) 6…0-0?
(This is unfathomable. 6…exd4 is the only move. The move played by Humpy is not even shown at the CBDB or 365Chess. There is a reason…)
There is no longer any reason to continue this exercise in futility. It is more than a little obvious one of the reasons women are inferior to men at Chess is their extremely weak opening play. Why women are so weak playing the opening is open to conjecture, but there it is for anyone to see. This game is, unfortunately, not an anomaly.
When it comes to playing Chess it is obvious the top women players are exponentially worse than the top men players, yet women play in separate tournaments with large prize funds because…I have no idea why there are separate tournaments for female players. There should be no tournaments for women only because women should play in OPEN tournaments which are OPEN TO ALL! In that event women would have to elevate their game or battle in the lower sections for a much smaller prize fund. There is not, and has never been, enough prize money in Chess to support inferior players playing for large sums of money which should go to better, and more deserving, Chess players!
The game in the last post was played in the third round of the ongoing Russian Women’s Championship Superfinal 2019. Former World Women’s champion Alexandra Kosteniuk
had the white pieces versus Margarita Potapova.
The game was chosen because when beginning to play Chess I played the Najdorf because Bobby Fischer played the Najdorf, and although I stopped playing the Najdorf decades ago I still play over many Najdorf games, and because I met Alexandra Kosteniuk at the World Open over a decade ago. She was sitting alone I said, “You are even prettier in person than in pictures. She smiled and sorta blushed. I asked her to sign her book,
telling her it was a surprise gift for a lady. She said, “Please, sit.” I did and greatly enjoyed our conversation. Upon reflection it was the highlight of the time spent at the event.
This is a terrible game. It looks more like a game brought to me for review by two girls playing in one of the lower sections of a tournament at the House of Pain than a game played by a former World Champion of Women. Unfortunately, it is indicative of the state of modern Chess. Pathetic games like this are foisted upon we the fans of the Royal game every day. The sad fact is that when the best players have little, or no time to cogitate the quality of the moves played deteriorate exponentially. When that happens Chess becomes uninteresting.
The game is replete with “Red Moves,” some of which are laughable, at the ChessBomb. The game can be found here:
“Chess – to the non-FIDE world – is and has always been a thoughtful, deliberate and difficult game. Chess represents our best intellectual qualities.
How far FIDE goes in the other direction, with its politics of dumbing down the game (faster time controls) or trying to make chess a child’s game by actively campaigning for its inclusion into schools, will not change the world’s perception of chess.
The only thing that will change is the world’s perception of FIDE.” – GM Kevin Spraggett
“The late resignation is, arguably, an even greater scourge. Early in our careers we are taught that it is impolite to play on in completely lost positions. Most people grasp the concept well enough, although obviously weaker players tend to be slower in appreciating their abject plight. The key point here though is the hopelessness: there is nothing reprehensible at all in continuing a bad or even lost position if the tiniest glimmer of light still flickers. Chess is a fight, after all. But when that hope is extinguished,, and nothing but irksome drudgery remains, the decent thing to do is resign and not waste everyone’s time. Do not, under any circumstances, sit there for ages, as Hikaru Nakamura did against Fabiano Caruana
earlier this year, petulantly wallowing in self-pity and not moving. That is ungentlemanly.” – Nigel Short New In Chess magazine 2017/8
seems to have earned the opprobrium of his peers during the course of his career. Consider this exchange in an interview of Levon Aronian
by Mark Grigoryan:
“In one of your interviews you said that: “When you play against a normal person, a normal chess player, then during the game you have normal relations. But if your opponent tries to unsettle you, behaves “unsportingly”, then naturally that creates a certain “baggage” that has an impact.” What kind of tricks have been used against you?
It’s happened many times. One Israeli player (not a leading one) drank tea during the game and squeezed a teabag with his fingers, then made his moves (laughs). During the game Alexander Grischuk,
who was nearby, came up to me and said: “Levon, it seems you’ll win the game, but will you be able to come up with something so you don’t have to shake his hand?”
It varies. Even when playing against top players it happens that they try to take back a move. For example, Nakamura and Carlsen. In both cases I called an arbiter. They continued to deny it, but the arbiters confirmed what I said. They also knew that there were devices recording it on video and, ultimately, they admitted I was right.”
One of the games at the 90th Hastings Congress began 1 e4 c5 2 Bc4 e6 3 Qe2. Naturally, this caught my eye. Regular readers know of my fondness for the Bishop’s opening, and also for the Chigorin variation against the French, or any opening containing the move Qe2. How could I not pay attention when both moves are played in the same opening? The game was between David Sedgwick (1995) and Ali R Jaunooby (2175), and was played in the eight round. The latter played 3…Nc6. I considered only 4 Nf3 or 4 c3, but Sedgwick played 4 d3, which I did not understand. A quick consultation with the Chessbase database (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/database/) shows only those two moves having been played, so 4 d3 must be a TN. The game continued: 4…b5 5.Bb3 Nd4 6.Qd1 d5 7.c4 bxc4 8.Ba4+ Bd7 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10.Nf3 cxd3 11.Qxd3 Nf6 12.e5 Nxf3+ 13.Qxf3 Ne4 14.Nd2 f5 15.Nxe4 fxe4 16.Qg3 Qb5 17.a4 Qa6 18.Bg5 Rb8 19.Qc3 h6 20.Bd2 Be7 21.Qg3 Kf7 22.Qf4+ Kg8 23.b4 Bg5 24.Qg3 Bxd2+ 25.Kxd2 Rxb4 26.Rhb1 Rd4+ 27.Ke1 Kh7 28.Rb5 Rf8 29.Rab1 Rf7 30.h4 h5 31.Qg5 Rf5 32.Qe7 e3 33.fxe3 Rxa4 34.Qxc5 Rxh4 35.Qc2 Re4 36.R1b3 Qa1+ 37.Qb1 Qxe5 38.Qc1 Qg3+ 0-1
Because of my experience playing 2 Qe2 versus the French I would never play a move like 4 d3, allowing the Knight to come to d4, attacking the Queen, so I checked out 4 Nf3 on the CBDB, learning that both Komodo and Stockfish play the Knight move. After 4 Nf3 both Komodo 8 and Houdini 4×64 play 4…Nf6, which would be a TN, as the CBDB contains no games with the move. It does show that Komodo 6 plays 4…Nge7, which is a move that has been previously played. Finding no games at the CBDB, I surfed on over to 365Chess (http://www.365chess.com/opening.php?m=9&n=75620&ms=e4.c5.Bc4.e6.Qe2.Nc6.Nf3.Nf6&ns=126.96.36.1992.2485.4268.4065.75620) finding two games with 4…Nf6, so we do have a “main line.” Both games were played last century, back in 1972, the year I met Bobby Fischer at the Church’s Fried Chicken tournament in San Antonio after Bobby bested Boris, winning the World Chess Championship.
Slavoj Kupka (2375) vs Josef Pribyl (2435)
In Chess Informant 118 Garry Kasparov writes, “The sharp character of these games shows the Berlin is indeed a rich and subtle middlegame, and not an endgame. And if White pushes too hard, the absence of queens from the board does not offer him any safety.” (http://www.chess.com/article/view/kasparov-on-berlin-defense)
In a recent article on the Chessbase website, “Kasparov: The quality of the games was not so high,” Garry wrote, “On a personal note, I find it ironic that 14 years after I was criticized for not beating Vladimir Kramnik’s Berlin Defense, when I lost my title in London, the Berlin has become an absolute standard at the highest level. Amateurs may find it boring, but it is really not an endgame at all, but a complex queenless middlegame that can be very sharp, as we saw in the final Carlsen-Anand game.” (http://en.chessbase.com/post/kasparov-the-quality-of-the-games-was-not-so-high)
As an amateur, I concur with Garry. The Berlin, with its concomitant early Queen exchange, is boring. The elite players play a different game from that played by the hoi poi. The commentators know this and go overboard in trying to inject some “excitement” into the Berlin for the fans, or at least the ones still awake.
The Legendary Georgia Ironman has for decades told students that an early Queen trade usually, in general terms, favors Black. Understood is the fact that, sans Queen, Black will not be checkmated early in the game. It goes without saying that the Berlin, as Tim has been heard to say, “Fits my style.” Why then give Black what he wants by trading Queens?
There are many ways of battling the Berlin without trading Queens. The Great man, Emanuel Lasker, showed the way in an 1892 match played in the USA:
4 Qe2 versus the Berlin should be called the “Lasker variation” against the Berlin. Here is another game with the Lasker variation in which a player well-known for playing Qe2 against the French tried it versus the Berlin:
Mikhail Chigorin vs Siegbert Tarrasch
I leave you with this game, played by a young boy from the Great State of Florida, who was one of the highly-touted junior players that left chess. I used a quote on this blog some time ago about an Emory student who told his frat brothers he was, at one time, a junior chess champion. I confirmed this before being told that AJ said he quit chess because “It has become a game for children.” Who am I to argue with AJ’s astute insight?
AJ Steigman (2242) vs Alex Sherzer (2494)
Philadelphia NCC 2003
FM Gurevich Daniel, NM Damir Studen, NM Michael Corallo, and NM Sanjay Ghatti travelled to Dallas, Texas, to participate in the UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014 chess tournament during the 51st anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, with the Coups d’état taking place in the heart of the city at Dealey Plaza, on Friday, November 22, 1963, a day that will live in infamy.
Georgia players made their presence felt in the first round:
NM Michael P Corallo vs GM Kayden W Troff
UT Dallas Fall Fide 2014
During the opening of the final round game between Nafisa Muminova and Alexandra Kosteniuk in the Tashkent Women’s Grand Prix being held in Uzbekistan it has been reported that Muminova lost when her cellphone went off. Mark Crowther reported via something called a “Tweet” that, “Muminova’s phone went off for an immediate loss.” http://www.theweekinchess.com/live
Here is the complete game:
Muminova, Nafisa – Kosteniuk, Alexandra
FIDE WGP Tashkent Tashkent UZB (11.2), 2013.09.30
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 a6 8.O-O-O h6 9.Bh4 Nxe4 10.Qf4 0-1
A short while ago my friend the Discman, after reading one of my posts concerning cheating, sent me an email asking if FIDE still allowed electronic devices in the playing hall. I was uncertain then, but it is evident from the incident today that FIDE does still allow gizmo’s in the tournament hall. Susan Polgar felt the urge to tweet, adding this on TWIC:
@SusanPolgar @albionado2 “It’s pretty hard to understand someone forgetting to turn off their phone in this day and age. Very careless.”
My mother used to have a saying, “It would not have happened if he had not been there.” I first heard it after the guys I usually drove around on the weekend as what would be called today the “designated driver,” since I did not drink, drove off an embankment and wound up in a hospital. Since I had a date that evening and could not drive them around, I was naturally blamed. If you think about it, in a way it is FIDE’s fault for not banning all gizmo’s.
One of my opponent’s in the Georgia State Championship, a fellow Senior, had his cellphone ring. Rather than answer it he just sat there looking stupid while it continued to ring and ring until he finally took it out of his pocket and turned it off. It was very loud and disrupted everyone in the vast playing hall. For this infraction of the rules he was penalized, losing only two minutes of time on his clock.
Geurt Gijssen discusses the issue in his column An Arbiter’s Notebook, on the Chess Café website of September 18, 2013, titled, “Widespread concerns about the potential for cheating.” Geurt writes in answer to a question concerning a cellphone going off:
“What are appropriate penalties? With the current Laws of Chess, there are few possibilities. See Article 12.3b:
Without the permission of the arbiter a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone or other electronic means of communication in the playing venue, unless they are completely switched off. If any such device produces a sound, the player shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. However, if the opponent cannot win the game by any series of legal moves, his score shall be a draw.”
There is much more to read and you can find it here: http://www.chesscafe.com/geurt/geurt183.htm