Captain David Lewis reports:
Hendon F4 beat Hammersmith F4 by 4 games to zero: a fine victory for our team comprising Faye, Morris, George and me. Congratulations and thanks to the team from the club committee and me for playing in this match and contributing to the 4-0 whitewash.
A couple of points of interest arose during the match which I want to share with you. They both relate to recording the moves on the scoresheet. It’s a dry topic, but I’ll try (and probably fail) to make it interesting. I’ve put the boring bits in italics so you can skip them to get to the main point, but they show my reasoning and it’s useful for match players to understand some of the rules in competitive chess.
While following Morris’s game, during its second and final period, I noticed that his opponent had stopped recording the moves at about move 25, while Morris was assiduously writing them down up until the end. There was a time scramble during the second period, in which Morris was seriously disadvantaged, and from which his opponent considerably benefited, owing to the fact that he was recording the moves and she wasn’t; I’ll say more about that in a moment. Fortunately his opponent’s flag fell first and Morris won the game: a fair result, given that he was about to queen a pawn leading to a speedy checkmate. But Morris’s flag could easily have fallen first.
Each player is required to record his own moves and those of his opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, in algebraic notation, on the prescribed scoresheet: FIDE Laws of Chess (FLC), article 8.1.1.
If a player has less than five minutes left on his clock at some stage in a period (and does not have increments of 30 seconds or more per move), then for the remainder of the period he is not obliged to meet these move-recording requirements (though he must endeavour to ascertain and record the remaining moves after the end of the period and in his own time (if applicable). You are highly unlikely to encounter long increments of 30 or more seconds per move in a match, so we can safely discount that exception at present.
There were no increments under the time control used, which was 30 moves in 75 minutes (the first period), then all moves to be completed in 15 minutes (the second period – a quickplay finish). Morris’s opponent almost certainly stopped recording her moves during the first period, and even if she’d stopped when she was in the last five minutes of that period she should have updated her scoresheet (from Morris’s record) in her own time at the start of the second period and before making her first move in that period (article 8.5.2).
By not doing so, Morris’s opponent was in breach of article 8.1.1. An arbiter (or the two captains acting jointly as an arbiter) could (at their discretion) have increased Morris’s remaining time, reduced his opponent’s remaining time, warned her, awarded Morris 1 game point, reduced his opponent’s game point, and/or declared the game to be lost by the opponent.
Morris himself could have stopped recording his moves when his clock time reached 5 minutes in the second and final period. If I had been present when this happened (which I may have been) I could have grabbed his scoresheet and attempted to record the moves myself, though (being relatively inexperienced) I hadn’t realised this at the time.
I consulted captains with a lot more experience that I have (but don’t worry – I’m a quick learner), and I now realise that an ECF-registered adjudicator (there was at least one present, though I didn’t know this at the time) or the two captains – acting jointly as arbiters (Middlesex League Rules (MLR), rule 4) – could have directed Morris’s opponent to make up the scoresheet in her own time. That is not exactly what the Laws say, but the Preface to the Laws does, sensibly, provide: “The Laws of Chess cannot cover all possible situations that may arise during a game, nor can they regulate all administrative questions. Where cases are not precisely regulated by an Article of the Laws, it should be possible to reach a correct decision by studying analogous situations which are regulated in the Laws.” The arbiter(s) could even have warned Morris’s opponent that if she didn’t make up the scoresheet in her own time they would declare the game lost by her.
So next time you play in a match, and the time on your clock gets to below 5 minutes, then for the sake of the team if not for your own sake you need to stop recording the moves. (If I am available and I see that neither player is recording moves I may even grab your scoresheet and start recording them myself.) Between you and me I’ve forgotten the 5-minute rule on more than one occasion, and I’ve had to have it drummed into me quite rightly by one of the main league captains!
Second point: if your opponent stops recording the moves –
The only game I can show you from the match is my own (35 moves).
I got control of the d-file, topped by a pawn-supported knight outpost (Nimzowitch would have been proud of me), but I wasn’t sure what to do with it; and my other knight seemed permanently stuck on the h-file despite my best efforts to move it away. Nor could I find a way to get my queen into the game. But then an opportunity presented itself …
If you think your game in this match is worth circulating to the squad, send me the score or a link, together with any comments of your own.
Our next game is on Wednesday February 12, away to Athenaeum F4 in central London, and starting at their relatively early time of 6:45pm. Please put this match in your diary and try to keep the time free. I will start emailing squad members three or four weeks before the match, i.e. mid-January, and I am keen to give match experience to those of you with the least such experience because it will help you to develop into stronger players and maybe get your grading up to 125 or more.
Once again, congratulations to the winning team and thank you for playing.
|Hammersmith F4||Hendon F4|
|1||Corbett, Daniel||31||0 - 1||Lewis, David||116|
|2||Rutherford, Nicholas||105||0 - 1||Ainscow, Faye||113|
|3||Chandrasekaran, Rahulan||104||0 - 1||Meligonis, George||31|
|4||Royce, Anastasija||99||0 - 1||Jones, Morris||31|
|0 - 4|