Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hou Yifan in shared lead

Chinese girl sensation Hou Yifan is currently joint lead with Vietnamese GM Nguyen Anh Dung after they drew their encounter.

In the fifth round she came a bit late. If we are late, most of us would make our first move the second we sat down right? But she calmly recorded the players names and other information, paused for a few seconds before making the first move. Probably lost three minutes. This is quite normal for most top players. They want to be in the right frame of mind before making even the first move.

The position below shows how strong the will to win is for the Chinese. This type of attitude is necessary if you wish to excel , well in almost any endeavour.

In this position Black only has to move his bishop along the diagonal. The only winning idea for White is to support the b-pawn with the king. This leaves the king-side pawns unattended and black will take all the pawns there.

This is an  obvious draw. By this time both were already short of time and stopped recording.  Yifan continued to play over seventeen moves trying to win on time. Black eventually appealed to the arbiter who ruled that the game is drawn.

I am not entirely sure if this decision is correct, readers are invited to give their views.


abdooss said...

because of opposite coloured bishops, Black can shuffle the King's Bishop till eternity. Thus 1/2 - 1/2 is justified. -my humble opinion.

Zaime said...

I read somewhere if there is a prove that there is no intention to play for win (by playing the moves on board) after certain moves, it can be declared as drawn. It was obvious that she tried to win by a time even though the position is drawn.

We cannot play to win by a time if the position is drawn. That's why there is a 50 moves rule (Rule 9.3)

Jimmy Liew said...

To claim 50 fifty move rule requires an up to date scoresheet. Since both players already stopped recording , there is no such scoresheet available

John Wong said...

The rules of chess cannot cover every possible situation which is why it is up to the arbiter to exercise judgement to determine if there is intent on white to win. In the end it really boils down to sportsmanship and ethics.

The same can apply to Q n K vs Q n K, R n K vs R n K etc. They are not theoretical draws but it is understandable that in sudden death situations the party with less time may blunder. However in the above case there is little chance Black will lose his bishop.

Zaime said...

My experience in the UK, usually if the game is in time trouble and involved top boards, there would be some observation by an assistant arbiter or arbiter itself. From the observation of several moves made, they might already know the intention of both players. They may also assist to write the moves to be used if any dispute.

Maybe there is a claim by Viet's GM that Chi's GM got no intention to win. Eg, Chi's GM might already make nonsense moves just in hoping to win by a time.

In my opinion, this is no need to wait until 50 moves when you already expect the outcome. The arbiter can just observe the several moves and can make a conclusion.

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