Thursday, November 28, 2019

Bullying in chess

This is a story about how a grown up man cheated an 8 year old kid of half-point in a chess tournament.

My student (let's call him S, so clever of me) was playing against the adult (I call him A). now A is the number one seed but not doing so well in the tournament. A closed position was reached and both sides started repeating moves. S offered a draws a few times, thinking that A could not make progress. Somehow A managed to break through but almost immediately blundered an exchange.
S now had a R vs B ending which was easily winning. As I was looking at the online chess-results I saw that S was accorded the win. To my surprise a few minutes later, this was changed to a draw result.

I asked S about it and he related the story. A kept badgering the arbiter to declare the game drawn. His reasoning was that there were mutiple three-fold repetitions and also S was repeately offering draws. In fact he held up the beginning of the next round by almost half an hour.

Finally the arbiter turned to S and asked him whether he agreed to the draw. In order not to create a bigger scene and to get the next round started, he agreed and a draw was recorded.

Other students have also related their stories against L, how he lied and cheated against them. I have seen many instances of adults bullying young chess players, arbiters should be alert to this. Unfortunately in some cases, even the arbiters do it as this story shows. If you are not fit to be an arbiter please do not do any arbitering.

I have to say Malaysia has some of the worst arbiters (even senior ones are guilty). It does not help that it is so easy to get an arbiter title here. Almost anyone can organize a chess arbiter seminar and anyone can join after paying the fees.