Canberra Times, October 21
Whoever proposed the idea of allowing eight places in the FIDE World Championship to be decided by holding an internet qualifying tournament must be wishing they had kept their mouth shut.
The qualifying tournament, which concluded this week, has been a fiasco, with the ban on computer or human assistance honoured mostly in the breach.
Top French GM Christian Bauer withdrew from the final in disgust, after opponents who had obviously used computer assistance were given no more than a slap on the wrist.
"I tried all I could do to qualify without cheating [but to continue] makes no sense," he wrote.
The problems first became apparent in the preliminary stages when amateurs such as Philippe Chopin began producing games such as the following.
P.Chopin - M.Denis
A great finish, made slightly less impressive when it emerged that the
computer program Junior was able to find the combination started by
17.Nexf7! in under a minute.
After five of Chopin's games were found to be computer assisted he received
a warning which was enough to cause Chopin to withdraw from the
preliminaries, citing work pressures - a remarkable decision for someone
who was leading the tournament at the time.
Yet, while warnings were frequent and the arbiters were pleading for action
to be taken against players continually breaching the rule banning outside
assistance, the FIDE organisers seemed too embarrassed or too scared to
forfeit or expel repeat offenders.
Only when the tournament was almost over did FIDE take action.
Chess Assistant was called in to do an independent analysis of the games
and they confirmed the arbiters' claims that a large number of players,
including Australia's Jose Escribano, were using computer help.
Expulsions followed, although hardly in the numbers justified by the
However since points were not then returned to victims of the
offenders, some of the eight who earned the right to play in the World
Championship tournament in Moscow owed their position as much to good luck
as good play and a few qualifiers might even be thanking their silicon
The Hetherington Memorial tournament, open to all, commences at the
Tuggeranong/Woden Chess Club on the evening October 29 at Tuggeranong RU
Club in Erindale on Monday nights. Details: Michael Whitely 62929937.
The ACT Rapid Championship will begin at 7.30pm on October 31 at the
Canberra Chess Club, Griffin Centre, Civic. All players are welcome to
enter with the time limit for rapid chess ensuring that all games will be
completed within an hour. Details: Ian Rout 62766379.