Emil Sutovsky: "Forfeiting the Player for Being a Few Seconds Late is Not In the Spirit of a Chess Tradition"

Время публикации: 28.02.2013 03:57 | Последнее обновление: 28.02.2013 03:57

Emil Sutovsky, the president of ACP commented on some of the decisions published by FIDE recently, in his interview given to Chesspro. 

"According to the Regulation the Sofia Rules will be cancelled in the qualification Swiss format tournaments starting from this year. I have spent a lot of time to explain and prove it had to cancelled. Of course it's not nice to see the empty tables, but it is also not really nice to force people, who are covering all the expenses by themselves, to play. In my view there's a simple, but convincing argument: Sofia rules in principle contradict to the very format of the qualification Swiss. And that's actually not my conclusion, it was made by the special ECU commission which regulated the introduction of Sofia rules in all tournaments.

I support the idea of having the Sofia rules in round-robin tournaments and I think we lacked them before, but again I’m against of draconian measures. […] Forfeit for the draw is a try to intimidate the players. Actually I’m very happy (I believe this was very important) we managed to uphold Baron and Safarli. They agreed on a draw in a well known position by threefold repetition. Both had 50% of points up to 9th round, they were playing in the second playing hall, the game wasn’t broadcasted and actually they played on a plastic set in the bathing place. So they were “waylaid” and both registered losses. I have immediately said that we wouldn’t leave that incident just like that. This was discussed at the qualification commission; then I voiced this situation at the meeting of WCOC, because the European championship is still just a qualification tournament, so I insisted that was irrational and illogical. You had a threefold repetition on the board and even if they didn’t call the coach forfeit wasn’t the correct decision. My arguments were heard, so both players will be given 5 ELO points back. … We showed that we can fight till the end and that we can be heard. Unfortunately, there's a great amount of people who change having even just a slight power. It is important to state that there won’t be any kind of permissiveness here.                      

Yet nothing can be done with forfeiting for being late. I have met Kirsan Nikolayevich personally, he listened to me carefully, but hasn’t changed his mind; he thinks this rule disciplines the players, for the chess player really needs to concentrate before the game. I believe any kind of fine or just return to the old rules is better than what we have today. I was asking Kirsan Nikolayevich to impose a moratorium on this rule, while I would talk to the players, or we could have this rule at top tournaments where the famous players compete, however, I didn’t succeed. I guess forfeiting the player for being a few seconds late is not in the spirit of chess tradition. That is an attempt to make chess only a sport, but I can’t even remember at once in which sport we do have such a rule.”


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