Sunday, January 20, 2008

Punishment fit the crime

"January 20 2008 - Corus Chess Press

"At the start of round 8 of the Corus Chess Tournament, Ivan Cheparinov, top seed in Grandmaster Group B, lost his game against Nigel Short for refusing to shake the Brit’s hand. According to an article on the FIDE website:

"'Any player who does not shake hands with the opponent (or greets the opponent in a normal social manner in accordance with the conventional rules of their society) before the game starts in a FIDE tournament or during a FIDE match (and does not do it after being asked to do so by the arbiter) or deliberately insults his/her opponent or the officials of the event, will immediately and finally lose the relevant game.'

"Chief Arbiter Thomas van Beekum was a witness when Cheparinov refused Short’s offer to shake hands twice and the Bulgarian’s game was declared a loss as a result.

"The Tournament Organization has received an official protest by Mr. Ivan Cheparinov regarding his loss against Mr. Nigel Short. The matter will be put forward to the Appeals Committee."

The appeals committee (Kramnik, Polgar and Krasenkow) ordered the game replayed after an apology by Cheparinov. One correspondent expressed sympathy for Short, who came to the board expecting to play, was insulted by his opponent, and now must replay the game on what was supposed to be his free day. That's fair enough, but I'd like to know exactly what happened during the original incident. If the arbiter intervened on his own and forfeited a player for a triviality like this, he was abusing his authority. If Short asked him to intervene -- the arbiter was still out of line, but so was Short. And did Short object to the forfeit? (Of course, there is that famous Denker-Reshesky game for a precedent, but Reshevsky is not the best role model.)

I think the decision of the appeals committee was correct. Cheparinov will be subjected to widespread derision for his boorish behavior, and the game will be played.

Later: I watched the video of the start of the game, (, and it certainly looks like Short complained to the arbiter about the handshake. And, according to Ian Rogers at Chess Life On Line, Short actually asked for the forfeit because his "concentration had been disturbed." This doesn't make Cheparinov any less of a boor, but it pretty much eliminates any sympathy I might have had for Short having to lose his rest day.

Later still: After some posturing and threats to withdraw on the part of Short, the game was played on Monday. Short won convincingly. Probably a just result. But do we really want this sort of behavior back? We saw enough of it in Baguio.

Short,N (2645) - Cheparinov,I (2713) [B92]
Corus B Wijk aan Zee NED (8), 21.01.2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Be3 Be6 10.Nd5 Nbd7 11.Qd3 Bxd5 12.exd5 Rc8 13.c4 a5 14.Kh1 Re8 15.Rad1 Bf8 16.Nd2 g6 17.b3 Bg7 18.a3 h5 19.f3 b6 20.b4 axb4 21.axb4 e4 22.fxe4 Ne5 23.Qb3 Neg4 24.Bg5 Qd7 25.Qb1 Ra8 26.h3 Nh7 27.Bf4 Ne5 28.c5 bxc5 29.bxc5 Reb8 30.Qc2 dxc5 31.Qxc5 Rc8 32.Qe3 Nf8 33.Qg3 Qe8 34.Bb5 Qe7 35.Nf3 Nxf3 36.Qxf3 Rc3 37.Rd3 Raa3 38.e5 Rxd3 39.Bxd3 Nd7 40.e6 fxe6 41.Qe2 Nf8 42.Bc4 Rc3 43.dxe6 Rxc4 44.Qxc4 Qxe6 45.Qxe6+ Nxe6 46.Be3 Nd4 47.Kg1 Nf5 48.Bc5 Be5 49.Re1 Bc3 50.Re4 Kf7 51.Kf2 Bf6 52.Ra4 Ke6 53.Ke2 Kf7 54.Bf2 Ke6 55.Kd3 Kf7 56.Ra7+ Ke6 57.Ra6+ Kf7 58.Ke4 Bb2 59.Rc6 Bg7 60.Be1 Bf6 61.Bc3 Bh4 62.Be5 Bg5 63.Ra6 Bh4 64.Bf4 Bf6 65.g4 hxg4 66.hxg4 Ng7 67.Be5 Be7 68.Kd5 Ne8 69.Ra7 Nf6+ 70.Bxf6 Kxf6 71.g5+ Kf7 72.Rxe7 1-0

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