Home > Jacob Aagaard's training tips > Playing with shorter time controls

Playing with shorter time controls

 

Before we get to the article, please have a look at these few positions and try to find the best move.

[fen size=”small”]2r1nrk1/p1q2p1p/1pppb1p1/4b3/P1P1P2Q/BPNR2NP/2P3P1/R5K1 b – – 0 19[/fen]

Black to play

[fen size=”small”]5q1k/p4rnp/2Np4/4b1B1/5p2/3Q3P/6P1/1R5K w – – 0 41[/fen]

White to play

[fen size=”small”]8/Q6p/3p1qk1/8/8/7P/8/7K b – – 0 51[/fen]

Black to play – How many moves to win?

I remember years ago having a conversation with Sabino where I told him how I hated increments. The young man, I think still a teenager at the time, was confused more than anything else. It took only moments to understand why: he had never played a tournament without increment. I am not even sure he had ever seen an analogue clock used at a rated event!

 

Just over a week ago I played a game with IM Douglas Bryson in the Glasgow League. I am not sure how often I have played Dougie by now. If you include two games a season in the league, rapid events, a few Scottish Championships, Rotherham 1997 (where both John Shaw and I made IM-norms) and this and that, I think we have played more than 20 games with each other. I have played far more games against him than any other player; probably with Danish amateur Richard Lilja coming in second with 11-12 games.

 

The interesting part of the story is that I have never lost to Bryson. I was VERY close the first time we played, but in time trouble, he got confused and simply did not move a rook that was hanging, but instead promoted his pawn, leaving us in a typical c7-pawn holds the draw against queen ending.

 

This time around I thought I played quite well, after having gotten out of the opening poorly. Then the game descended into madness when we both ran entirely out of time.

 

The time control for the Glasgow League is 1 hour for the first 30 moves, then 15 minutes till the end. At move 29 I ran out entirely and after move 30 my position was no longer easy to play, leading the further loss of time and of quality. The end is ridiculous…

 

Douglas Bryson – Jacob Aagaard

Stepps – Bearsden, Glasgow League 13.02.2014

 

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d3 Na5 5.Qf3 d6 6.Nge2 Be7 7.h3 Nxc4 8.dxc4 0–0 9.0–0 c6 10.Ng3 Be6 11.b3 Rc8 12.Rd1 Qc7

I did not like my position around here, but after a few moves I am probably fully okay.

13.a4 g6 14.Ba3 Ne8 15.Qe3 b6 16.f4!? exf4

I did see 16…d5!?, but I was running out of time and did not trust it. Even the engines seem to be confused!

17.Qxf4 Bf6

[fen size=”small”]2r1nrk1/p1q2p1p/1pppbbp1/8/P1P1PQ2/BPN3NP/2P3P1/R2R2K1 w – – 0 18[/fen]

18.Rd3?

I was a bit surprised here. I had spent time finding 18.Bxd6! Nxd6 19.Qxf6 Nxc4, when White should play: 20.Nf5! Bxf5 21.exf5 Ne3 22.fxg6 hxg6 23.Rd2=

18…Be5 19.Qh4

Position 1.

19…b5!! 20.axb5

20.c5 is best met with 20…Qb8!, which I did not see during the game.

20…cxb5 21.Kh1 bxc4 22.bxc4 Qxc4 23.Nge2 f5 24.Rf1 Qa6 25.Bc1

[fen size=”small”]2r1nrk1/p6p/q2pb1p1/4bp2/4P2Q/2NR3P/2P1N1P1/2B2R1K b – – 0 25[/fen]

25…Bc4!

Maybe the moment where I played best during this game? During the game I managed to notice that 25…Bxc3 26.Nxc3 Rxc3 27.Qe7!! was by no means easy for Black. The computer says I am better after some ridiculous moves, but it is all irrelevant.

26.Bh6 Bxd3

26…Ng7! was apparently very good.

27.cxd3 Rf7 28.Nd5 Qxd3 29.Re1

Cunning! I got completely thrown off track. I had planned 29.Ne7+ Kh8 30.Nxc8 Qxe2, winning, on account of 31.Re1 fxe4!.

[fen size=”small”]2r1n1k1/p4r1p/3p2pB/3Nbp2/4P2Q/3q3P/4N1P1/4R2K b – – 0 29[/fen]

29…Kh8?

Not good. Best was 29…Nf6!, but sufficient was also 29…fxe4, which I almost played. I had seen the Kh8 idea earlier and had only a few seconds to make up my mind.

30.Nef4 Qc4? 31.exf5 gxf5

31…Rxf5!?

32.Qh5

White could have forced a draw: 32.Ne7! Rc7 33.Rxe5 dxe5 34.Nfg6+ hxg6 35.Bf4+ Kg7 36.Bh6+=

32…Rcc7?

I am still okay, but apparently I should have played 32…Rb7 33.Qxf5 Ng7 and be better. But as everything just fell apart, I will ignore the details.

33.Nxc7 Qxc7 34.Bg5 Kg8 35.Qf3 Qb7 36.Nd5 Kh8 37.Qd3 Ng7 38.Rb1 Qc8 39.Ne7 Qf8 40.Nc6 f4

[fen size=”small”]5q1k/p4rnp/2Np4/4b1B1/5p2/3Q3P/6P1/1R5K w – – 0 41[/fen] Position 2.

41.Qd5

Not surprisingly White had a forced win. The third move is the only you could not make randomly in a blitz game. I really dodged a bullet here! 41.Rb8 Ne8 42.Nxe5 dxe5 43.Qb5+-

41…f3 42.gxf3 Rxf3 43.Nxe5 Rf1+ 44.Rxf1 Qxf1+ 45.Kh2 Qe2+ 46.Kh1 Qxe5 47.Qa8+ Ne8 48.Bf6+ Qxf6 49.Qxe8+ Kg7 50.Qd7+ Kg6 51.Qxa7

Position 3.

51…Qf1+

I put this position in FinalGen. Apparently Black is winning in 90 moves!

52.Kh2

[fen size=”small”]8/Q6p/3p2k1/8/8/7P/7K/5q2 b – – 0 52[/fen]

52…Qf2+ 53.Kh1

Desperately looking for a square for my queen, I did not fully realise what had happened, but moved diagonally backwards by instinct mainly! No, it was not a conscious 50 percenter.

53…Qxa7

0–1

 

I believed that we had already lost the match (judging from various positions), but it turned out that we won 4.5-3.5. Not a nice experience for my opponent!

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  1. Johnny
    February 25th, 2014 at 08:52 | #1

    Why do they play with such short time control?

    Jacob, don’t you feel a bit ashamed to win with such a sequence of moves? 🙂

  2. brabo
    February 25th, 2014 at 12:22 | #2

    Some magazines today already analyse rapid and even blitzgames. There is no point to focus on the amount and magnitude of the errors as we all know that the chosen time control plays an important role.

    Shorter timecontrols have always existed. Even from Botvinnik it is known that he has played blitz. So the real debate is not about shorter timecontrols but is it a pity that there are less and less tournaments with longer timecontrols?

    In the end the tournament rules are specified by the organizers and we as players just agree or disagree to participate. Not satisfied about the options then try to organize your own tournament.

  3. Stuart White
    February 25th, 2014 at 12:25 | #3

    @Johnny Local league chess on mid week evenings: the venues need to close and the players have homes to go to. Jacob, who was very apologetic after, and his opponent both looked quite shocked, as where the spectators!

  4. Mel Burt
    February 25th, 2014 at 12:50 | #4

    @Johnny
    The local League matches in Scotland are played in the evening, usually in venues such as community halls, Clubs or Church halls which prefer people to finish by 10:30 or even 10pm.
    Combining that with a start time around 7:30 which allows people to (usually) get home from work and get out to a match perhaps 10 miles away means that we have only 2 1/2 hours playing time plus a little set-up /clear-up or analysis time.

    I’m the secretary of the local club (Bearsden) where Jacob plays and watched the final moves of that game. He was appropriately apologetic to his opponent, but there is no shame in winning in a time-scramble. After all he had at least two minutes left to his opponent’s one and it was a mate in 90 (!) :0)

  5. Jacob Aagaard
    February 25th, 2014 at 20:57 | #5
  6. Jacob Aagaard
    February 25th, 2014 at 20:59 | #6

    @Mel Burt
    I really believed I had less than 30 seconds Mel, but this is besides the point. I was desperately looking for a square for the queen and only then realised I could take on a7.

  7. GM Rob
    February 25th, 2014 at 21:14 | #7

    Yes all local leagues sadly have restrictions with time I personally hate such fast time controls but that’s the modern world we live in. I play in 3 local leagues they all start at 7:30pm, 2 of which use a time control of 30 moves in 1hr 15 plus 15min quick-play. The 3rd uses 36 in 1hr 15 plus 15mins.
    A time control of only 1 hour does seem unnecessary short. Maybe people in Scotland have to wake up extra early or more likely it just closes down a bit early than anyone else!?

    It’s good to see such a strong player having the same trials and tribulations the rest of us suffer in local league chess. Jacob do you believe such harsh time controls can be bad for your progress as a chess player? I find I always have one eye on the clock which can not be good but how to stop this bad habit

  8. Stuart White
    February 26th, 2014 at 02:02 | #8

    @Jacob Aagaard “I really believed I had less than 30 seconds Mel” That’s interesting. As a (not entirely) disinterested spectator I could see that you had a significant time advantage. Of course this isn’t so obvious from the view point of the player.

  9. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2014 at 10:28 | #9

    @Stuart White
    So, I was panicking it seems :-). At least I did not in any way have a delusion about being in balance!

  10. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2014 at 10:30 | #10

    @GM Rob
    I still think it is better to play such a game than not to do it. But of course everybody reacts differently to just about everything (except maybe for tax increases!). I love playing these games when I have the energy, and especially this on-going marathon with Bryson is fascinating. I have been so close to losing so often; when will it actually happen? How long can I keep the wolf from the door? Kasparov never lost to Gelfand, for example, despite being lost many many times.

  11. Mark Moorman
    February 26th, 2014 at 17:52 | #11

    A patzer/ hack offers 40. . . . Bh6 followed by 41. . . . Rb8 on position 2.

  12. Johnny
    February 26th, 2014 at 20:04 | #12

    Regarding the end position, I would think that there is an option of playing Qf1+ instead of taking the queen, especially against a strong player who has done a lot of training and preparation and certainly doesn’t like to lose in that manner. Maybe by saying something notable (forget the last moves) so that the others see that one has chosen the move deliberately.

  13. Jacob Aagaard
    February 26th, 2014 at 21:52 | #13

    @Johnny
    What?? I am supposed to not take my opponent’s queen? I think you and I are from different schools of thought :-).

  14. brabo
    February 26th, 2014 at 22:05 | #14

    I wrote last year an article about sportsmanship with examples even from topgrandmasters in which the player chose not to take the queen (or something similar) in such occasion. Think about David Navarra, Vassily Ivanchuk, Leinier Dominguez, …
    http://schaken-brabo.blogspot.be/2013/08/sportiviteit.html (still Dutch so not translated yet)

    I am not stating that we have to follow those examples (at contrary) but I do understand the remark of Johnny.

  15. GM Rob
    February 26th, 2014 at 23:10 | #15

    @brabo
    I don’t understand Johnny’s remmark.
    Chess is a battle of ideas and exploiting your opponents mistakes.

    It is not as if Jacob did anything dishonest or unsavoury he just exploited he’s opponents mistake: end of story.

  16. brabo
    February 26th, 2014 at 23:30 | #16

    @GM Rob
    I translate a small piece of my article to explain but in fact you give already yourself a piece of the answer:

    “Quite some chess players consider chess as a noble game in which there should be a pure test of strengths based on ideas and skills. The result of the game must be in direct connection with whom was the strongest player (so showing the best ideas and skills). Rules are necessary to put it in a certain frame but should never play a dominant role.”

    Applied to the example above: the huge blunders at the end of the game have nothing to do with whom showed the best ideas or the best technical skills so these blunders should in a pure contest not influence the result. Following this logic then one should not try to score points based on first hanging their own queen.

    Again personally i would also just take the queen like in the example but i know from experience that you are not making yourself popular with it.

    You can’t be mister (too) nice guy and at the same time become/ be a strong player? Well it certainly is tougher to be both than just being one or the other. However there are some exceptions as mentioned in my article.

  17. February 26th, 2014 at 23:41 | #17

    “Applied to the example above: the huge blunders at the end of the game have nothing to do with whom showed the best ideas or the best technical skills so these blunders should in a pure contest not influence the result.”

    The blunders certainly had to do with spending a lot of time early in the game.

    Managing your time, and playing well under time pressure if you put yourself in that situation, are part of chess.

  18. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 27th, 2014 at 00:01 | #18

    Well the blog is in Dutch, so..

    Hoewel beide een speler en zijn tegenstander weten dat hij een mat in minder dan 50 zetten heeft, hoe weten een van hen dan dat het mogelijk geen fout te maken kan zijn?

  19. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 00:17 | #19

    The article starts talking about increments but later I’ve the feeling that the game wasn’t played with increments (confusing).

    Anyway I don’t believe that these kind of blunders are normal for such players even if only seconds are left on the clock. Now the result really looks like it was pure luck. A gentleman playing a noble game, doesn’t use luck. However a quote which i also used in my article from Lasker tells us: “Chess is, above all, a fight”

    Differently said: Lasker considers the opponent as an enemy and anything legally permitted is ok to beat the enemy.

    Different opinions, different approaches, …

  20. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 00:22 | #20

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Can you write it in English as your Dutch is not understandable? Maybe react directly on my blog so I can respond there as I’ve the feeling your question has little to do anymore with the article here.

  21. GM Rob
    February 27th, 2014 at 01:03 | #21

    @brabo
    I was not really considering if the game should be considered noble or not that really is not my point.
    My philosophy is far simpler I play with sportsmanship but I don’t expect or give any favours to my opponent. If we never exploited our opponent errors how ever big or small they might be then surely every game would end in a draw?

  22. February 27th, 2014 at 01:06 | #22

    It was always White’s option to offer a draw if he thought that was a fair result in a time scramble (I’ve done it myself). Of course Jacob might not have accepted…

  23. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 07:15 | #23

    There are different sorts of errors. Errors related purely to skills, strength but also errors due to circumstances: rules, luck,…
    A gentleman tries only to win the game with the first type of errors and doesn’t use the second type. A fighter will use anything legally allowed to claim the point. Jacob is clearly the second type of player (as I am) but I know many people preferring to be the gentleman so in specific cases offering a draw in a won position as a win wouldn’t be really deserved, looking to the flow of the game.
    In fact last year I wrote a second article closely related to this subject (this time already translated to English): http://chess-brabo.blogspot.be/2013/12/the-sadistic-exam.html

  24. Ray
    February 27th, 2014 at 08:17 | #24

    @brabo
    “A gentleman tries only to win the game with the first type of errors”. I guess you’re still living in the 19th century – the age of shivalry has long gone 🙂

  25. Ray
    February 27th, 2014 at 08:23 | #25

    By the way, offering a draw in a won position doesn’t strike me as particularly gentleman-like / ‘noble’ either. A real gentleman would respect his opponent’s error and be a ‘good winner’. After all, everyone has the right to blunder. I know someone who once declined a draw offer of his opponent, who had just won a queen. He was arguing that someone who offers a draw with a queen more doesn’t deserve a draw. Subsequently this person (with the queen less) won! Probably it’s not noble etc., but chess is just a competitive game like any sport – nothing noble about it.

  26. pabstars
    February 27th, 2014 at 09:15 | #26

    All players make blunders once in while. What is wrong in accepting such gifts from your opponent? I suspect that most blunders are made due to time trouble or fatigue. IMO, it is absolutely OK to try to take advantage of an opponent’s poor time administration. Fatigue is one of the more “religious” topics in this blog as being fit may be a big help to avoid stupid blunders after 4 hours of play. Again, I see nothing wrong in accepting gifts from tired opponents…

  27. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 10:40 | #27

    @Ray
    We are living in a very individualistic society so I do understand your comment. Still I am not laughing with people respecting old fashioned values like honour, nobility,…

    Can we only enjoy a game of chess if we really use all available options to score the point? Can you understand that some players lose interest in the game if scoring points must be at any price?

    I mentioned it in many of my articles already. Chess can be played for many reasons. Your view of chess being just a competitive game is one of them (which I also respect).

  28. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 10:45 | #28

    @pabstars
    Nobody said something about wrong. Johnny just states that he wouldn’t feel comfortable by winning in such fashion which is a very important nuance.

  29. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 10:58 | #29

    @Ray
    Originally chess was played exclusively for the higher class of the society. Only in the last 50 years chess became available for the mass. Standards changed and the always shorter time controls have slowly but steadily transformed chess in just any other competitive game (to use your words). It is likely one of the reasons why we see in Western Europe the federations decrease in number of members.

    In fact I recently heard somebody asking to make chess as a cultural world heritage with UNESCO to preserve our rich history and keep the uniqueness of the game. Not a bad idea I believe but today we are just further destroying centuries of history by lowering the standards, shorter time controls, …

  30. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 11:10 | #30

    Chess is about winning. Position and time are two of the factors of the game, it’s unfair to say one is more important than the other. Winning graciously can be important for somebody but can’t be considered an essential element of the game. If you want to play graciously please do it but don’t expect me to do the same. On the chessboard you want to kill me and I want to kill you. It’s not a matter of honor, I honor my opponent by giving my best to win the game.

  31. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 11:38 | #31

    @garryk
    Remember originally time was not a factor of the game as clocks didn’t exist. A clock was originally introduced to avoid people winning games by abusing the lack of any time-limit.
    Later the opposite started to happen, people using the lack of time to win games.

    Now why do you think, increments were introduced? Exactly to avoid or at least decrease the influence of the factor time. Don’t mix increments with shorter time controls as there is no direct connection between. A common mistake many players make.

  32. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2014 at 11:44 | #32

    @brabo
    I am not going to your blog to read your stuff. Please tell me where in FIDE’s rules it says that what I did was unsportsmanlike? What mistakes am I allowed to exploit? What if he had taken my queen, would that have been unsportsmanlike? Sorry, it is all nonsense.

  33. Ray
    February 27th, 2014 at 11:52 | #33

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I fully agree – not that it will matter much 🙂

  34. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 12:09 | #34

    @Jacob Aagaard
    You are not going to read my blog. It is all nonsense. What is the point then to answer your questions? It is clear that you feel offended and not ready to discuss this interesting and fascinating topic.

  35. Stuart White
    February 27th, 2014 at 12:17 | #35

    With the match score of 3.5 all, I was certainly pleased when Jacob took the queen and won.

  36. Alex
    February 27th, 2014 at 12:52 | #36

    Well, it happened to me 3 times in tournament play and I always finds that it spoils the game especially when it was nicely played until that point :

    – 1st time I offered a draw because I thought it was not honorable
    – 2nd time I offered a draw because I was disgusted by my play as well and still not honorable

    After this my “coach” reminded me firmly that in tournament the objective is to win, so ..

    – 3rd time, I took the queen while apologizing for this merciless act 🙂 …

    Maybe the fourth time, I will simply declare “You got to pay attention” and snatch the queen at the speed of light !

  37. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2014 at 13:31 | #37

    @brabo
    Obviously there was a full stop between the two sentences: maybe a blank line would be better.

    I am personally a bit fed up with these constant links to your blog. But I respect that others might be interested. But no, I am not going to your blog to read something in Dutch, or otherwise.

    And I do not remember asking you to evaluate whether or not I was sportsmanlike. Where did you get that idea from? I greatly appreciate your general contribution to this blog; but on this point, where you on top of general nonsense, indirectly question my character because I took a piece that was hanging, I think you manoeuvred yourself outside the area where you deserve my respect.

    What I did not say was that you blog is all nonsense. And I hope no one else thought I had that idea.

    Relating to the Navarra issue: He was not sure if he had acted WITHIN THE RULES earlier in the game, and thus offered a draw. There is no doubt that I acted within the rules in my game. I did not even see that there was a connection between f2 and a7 until I was wondering where to put my queen! So the two cases have nothing in common.

  38. Mario
    February 27th, 2014 at 13:33 | #38

    fide can modify the takeback rule for this case and the player may or not agree, what do you do ? who judges the blunder ?

  39. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2014 at 13:40 | #39

    I am still trying to warp my brain around the argument. I play a bad move and my opponent plays a bad move. Now I am forced to play badly again in order to be a gentleman?

    Or is it that I expose that my opponent at times, with little time, can play moves that are well below their usual quality? Is that what is ungentleman like?

    But a real question is: he was dead lost at move 28-29. He clearly tried to confuse me because of my time trouble. This is ok, because the level of my mistake is slightly higher than his at the end? Or are we both commoners because we try to make the opponent make mistakes and/or exploit them?

    And why is it ugly? I don’t get this. It is sport, it is intense, it is close and certainly dramatic. It is thoroughly human. We do the best we can, and when the chips are down, the pressure is up and the cliches run out, our level is different from when we have a lot of time on our hands… But ugly???

  40. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 14:00 | #40

    I’d like to tell something that happened to me some weeks ago. I was an exchange ahead with a couple of minutes each…my opponent forgot the queen en prise…I took it at the speed of light…but my opponent continued for some other moves because my king was very exposed. When he finally resigned he told he deliberately left the queen en prise because he thought he could mate me. Of course this was false because it was clear there was no mate and certainly you don’t sacrifice your queen for such a speculative possibility. This just to say that if the one who does leave the queen en prise isn’t honest to say he made a mistake, why should I feel less honorable to take it and win?

  41. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 14:01 | #41

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I agree on the links, I’m fed up too

  42. boki
    February 27th, 2014 at 14:02 | #42

    This is just a (tragic-) comedy of errors, I also cannot get the point .
    Jacob played a check, his opponent could have taken the queen (and win a game undeservedly), did not see it and Jacob took the queen. I think similiar things happen .
    Maybe Jabob should give perpetual check, hoping his opponent does not take his queen ?

    Ugly would be , if someone in time trouble delibaretly puts his queen en prise with check in order to confuse the opponent and then take the queen (as some blitz specialists do), but this is just usual stuff.
    If I would be a team member in this match, I would have no understanding if my team mate offers a draw a queen up.

  43. Mario
    February 27th, 2014 at 14:04 | #43

    my comment is a joke, certainly not a real statement 🙂 but i think that the real point is in individual or team play, as individual you are free and allowed to do what you think is right,( but not the takeback 🙂 ) and also nobody can judge what kind of sportman are someone (maybe and sportsmanship ELO? ) better is thinking that I doing my best and contingencies can happen if I do a blunder i dont like to have a draw in retribution, I touch the piece and move there is also a clear rule about it, next time i will do my best 🙂

  44. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 14:05 | #44

    @brabo
    It’s not a matter of lack of time, it’s a matter of time management. You can invest an hour to play the best moves and win a pawn but I might prefer to play fast, lose a pawn but have plenty of time when in my opinion it matters more. It’s strategy, not “lack of time”.

    Clock were introduced centuries ago so I think they are part of the game not more and not less than other rules.

    Time matters even in correspondence games…in one of my game my opponent has 3 days of thinking time against my 100+ days…should I feel ashamed to play a move that complicates the game in order to take advantage of his time shortage?

  45. John Cox
    February 27th, 2014 at 14:18 | #45

    Goodness me – unless I mistake, all brabo said was while he personally did not feel that way, some people in similar situations would be embarrassed and would prefer to offer a draw rather than to win in this kind of way, and that their opinion should be respected. So far as I can see, this is both true and uncontroversial. As far as I can tell, not a single one of the replies is to what brabo actually said.

  46. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 14:26 | #46

    @John Cox
    What brabo says it’s difficult to understand as he continuously recall links to his blog. But at one point he said

    “Now the result really looks like it was pure luck. A gentleman playing a noble game, doesn’t use luck. ”

    I don’t understand why a blunder is luck (it’s not a dice roll, you choose to play that move!) and why exploiting an opponent mistake it’s not gentlemanship

  47. John Cox
    February 27th, 2014 at 14:42 | #47

    >I don’t understand why a blunder is luck (it’s not a dice roll, you choose to play that move!)

    Well, it’s an old story, isn’t it – in chess there is no bad luck, only good luck

    >and why exploiting an opponent mistake it’s not gentlemanship

    Well, it doesn’t strike me as difficult to understand why some people might feel that way, but I’m not interested enough to explain it to you.

    Still, at least this discussion has produced the coinage ‘gentlemanship’, which is a worth addition to our language and I propose to adopt immediately.

  48. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 14:56 | #48

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I mentioned the 2 sentences not to insinuate that you consider my blog nonsense but that i find it useless to answer somebodies questions if they don’t put effort in reading my blog and find the whole topic nonsense.

    One of the reasons why i started my blog, is to get a forum so I can explain/ talk about topics which I find interesting in a more serious way. I had too many times the feeling that those simple one-liners on forums are getting us nowhere. By using links I don’t spoil here the space with my answer but just refer to another place which gives the answer I like to show. Today I am translating most of my articles to English too so Dutch should become less and less an obstacle.

    The whole discussion started with you making the statement: ” I think you and I are from different schools of thought :-)” to the poster Johnny. You are laughing with his remark while I believe this is unnecessary and even inappropriate. Johnny is simply given his view of how he plays chess. If you would’ve said that you are a fighter and you consider accepting gifts normal then everybody would’ve accepted your response.

    You mention Navarre but are you aware that there are 3 different special cases with Navarra playing an important role? Most only know the one with Moiseenko !

  49. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2014 at 14:57 | #49

    @John Cox
    I sort of agree John; Brabo did start out with a “some people would” kind of argument. But it kind of lost its neutrality when he started adding values to it. I called it nonsense and then he asked why I had asked the question. I had not asked a question about what people thought of my character (gentleman or not!?) and at the moment we have sort of had enough of such evaluations, as I am sure you can easily understand :-).

    But maybe I went with the speed typing a bit!?

  50. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:00 | #50

    @John Cox
    There is neither bad luck nor good luck. There is high variability due to time shortage. You can avoid it by making a better time management.

    I don’t know if gentlemanship is widely used (I’m not a native english speaker) but searching on google I found tens of thousands of results…

  51. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:02 | #51

    @brabo
    And I add…I don’t need your explanation why some people might feel that way…I can understand myself…just I think it’s only their problem if they feel that way. I feel sorry to bluff somebody so I don’t play poker…but I don’t tell poker players that bluffing is not a proper behavior for a gentleman!

  52. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:04 | #52

    @garryk
    I believe it is pretty clear that white in the example of this article never had any purpose with leaving his queen hanging. Your example is nothing similar of what here happened.

  53. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:14 | #53

    @Mario “as individual you are free and allowed to do what you think is right”
    Are you sure about that? I can’t remember immediately the exact anecdote but I do remember the circumstances. In a big toptournament one of the weakest players (around 1920)was on the point of a sensational victory after the much stronger player made an ugly blunder. However he respected the champion enormously and felt the win would be inappropriate so proposed a draw. Immediately afterwards the other contenders for the first prize heavily protested and the weak player was never invited anymore to a toptournament. So no you are not free to do what you think is right. Likely somebody can fill in names as the story is very known.

  54. Ray
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:19 | #54

    @garryk
    I was fed up already months ago with this pushing of one’s own blog.

  55. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:22 | #55

    @garryk
    This comment was directed toward John Cox, not brabo, my mistake, sorry

  56. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:22 | #56

    @brabo
    I do not want this to escalate into a full fledged argument. You clearly found one behaviour better than the alternative (mine) and if you want to think of your opinion as superior to mine, then I have the right to think of mine as superior to yours. Especially in my own house!

    I am at work; I do not have time to read your blog. I am sure that everyone in here could write four pages about every topic and it would take a week to read up on it.

    I did not laugh at Johnny. I am smiling to him. [***restraining myself from making innocent jokes that I fear would unintendedly be taken personally***] There is a big difference.

    Navarra is very generous. I consider my actions at the board very correct. I don’t eat at the board, I do not bring foul smelling hot drinks to the board (I know I am in a small minority, but I have the stench of coffee). I would never intentionally disturb the opponent. I am already ahead, I think. I do play the move that is in my interests; and I have learned that this is indeed the correct way to play chess.

  57. Thomas
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:24 | #57

    Good advice here.
    Next time when I’m totally busted I’ll hang my queen – maybe my opponent will offer a draw.

  58. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:24 | #58

    @brabo
    My example was to say that even who leaves the queen en prise is not always so gentleman to admit he made a mistake…so why should I avoid to take his queen if he himself doesn’t consider it a mistake? Don’t suppose your opponent has the same opinion about sportsmanship…

  59. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:24 | #59

    @Thomas
    AHAHAH! Greatest comment of the thread! 🙂

  60. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:25 | #60

    @garryk
    We don’t have centuries = 2 or more 100 years of clocks. Also only recently (maximum 2 maybe 3 decades) we see a drastic acceleration of the time-controls. Time management has become a very important aspect in chess today which was much less before. I am not claiming this is good or bad but I do understand why many people are not yet adapted to this new frame of playing chess (and maybe will never be/ agree).

  61. February 27th, 2014 at 15:26 | #61

    @John Cox
    I think the trouble started when brabo said “There are different sorts of errors. Errors related purely to skills, strength but also errors due to circumstances: rules, luck,… A gentleman tries only to win the game with the first type of errors and doesn’t use the second type.” Since the example in this post was of Jacob winning the game due the second type of error, the logical implication was that Jacob is not a gentleman, which I can understand people, especially Jacob, taking exception to.

  62. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:30 | #62

    @brabo
    2 or 3 decades?? Fischer was playing without clocks? No zeitnot in the fifties and sixties? No time trouble for Alekhine or Capablanca? Maybe time limits were slower…but time is never enough if you don’t use it properly…

    We have less time today but much more opening knowledge…today I see even candidate masters playing 20 moves by memory…so less time but also less decisions to make during the game…

  63. February 27th, 2014 at 15:32 | #63

    @garryk
    He said “acceleration of time controls”, not “time controls” period. But of course it is true that there was plenty of time trouble last century as well. The development of opening theory probably offsets the faster time control at move 40, but there certainly seems to be less time to play the endgame than before.

  64. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:37 | #64

    @dfan
    Better put that I managed to do. Indeed this is what I felt. Over the top? – probably.

  65. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:38 | #65

    @garryk
    He did talk about the reduction of time being in the last few decades…

  66. Andre
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:42 | #66

    @Jacob,

    are the puzzles in the GM Prep series meant to be be solved without moving the pieces or do you suggest moving the pieces around?

  67. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:55 | #67

    @Jacob Aagaard
    ” You clearly found one behaviour better than the alternative (mine) ”

    Not true, contrary. If you would actually take the time to read properly then you would know as John Cox already did that I am telling a very different story.

    “I am smiling to him.” “I think you and I are from different schools of thought” Johnny makes a serious point and you give a ridiculous answer. It is not nice.

  68. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 15:59 | #68

    @garryk
    Well now we start to discuss the real topic. Of course it is not always clear if it is luck or not. My article about ‘the lucky one’ describes this aspect very well. No i am not going to give the link as there is a maximum of 1 link per comment and everybody knows now where to find my 2 blogs (yes one in Dutch and one in English).

  69. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:04 | #69

    @dfan
    No the trouble started earlier with the very first innocent comment of Johnny: “Jacob, don’t you feel a bit ashamed to win with such a sequence of moves?” which more or less implies that Jacob did something inappropriate. Jacob got irritated which you can clearly see in the replies.
    First a simple “no!” and then more sarcastic.

  70. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:09 | #70

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Ok, I understand, my questions were clearly rhetorical…I meant that time reduction is subjective…today it’s possible (even for middle class players) to play entire games by memory (for example in Najdorf Poisoned Pawn or Grunfeld) while Fischer (for example) had more time but much less theory to rely on…

  71. Mario
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:10 | #71

    brabo :
    @Mario “as individual you are free and allowed to do what you think is right”
    Are you sure about that? I can’t remember immediately the exact anecdote but I do remember the circumstances. In a big toptournament one of the weakest players (around 1920)was on the point of a sensational victory after the much stronger player made an ugly blunder. However he respected the champion enormously and felt the win would be inappropriate so proposed a draw. Immediately afterwards the other contenders for the first prize heavily protested and the weak player was never invited anymore to a toptournament. So no you are not free to do what you think is right. Likely somebody can fill in names as the story is very known.

    everybody did what they think was right ( the weak player and also the others contenders) the right things do not ensure happiness
    maybe the weak is glad or so the others who knows
    as Gligoric once say, I play against pieces
    handshake ,enough for me, I respect your point of view

  72. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:24 | #72

    @Andre
    I strongly suggest not to move the pieces.

  73. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:25 | #73

    @brabo
    I assume you also knew what I was thinking? Or the “not nice” (as well as your general tone) does not infer a hierarchy of evaluation.

    This time I am laughing.

  74. Jacob Aagaard
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:26 | #74

    @brabo
    To infer that I should feel ashamed of following the rules is weird; but I actually had the feeling that it was a joke to ask.

  75. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:37 | #75

    @garryk
    Shorter time-controls lead to more zeitnots. So yes there were many zeitnots before but now there are many more. With the 30 seconds increment we are very quickly in an eternal zeitnot as I consider anything less than 1 minute per move as zeitnot so leading to big errors.

    Anyway we are digressing from the subject which was sportsmanship. Some posters are very good to distract the attention from the original discussion.

  76. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:46 | #76

    @Jacob Aagaard
    No Johnny asked the question seriously as I do very well understand from where it is coming.
    In fact he likely encountered similar situations in which people were showing mercy for the opponent and believed this is the correct way to handle. He now sees a very strong player behaving completely the opposite so asks himself and you what is correct. How will my friends react if i behave like you did? Maybe on your level it is accepted but on my level it is not and afterwards I can’t drink a beer anymore with my friends. What is worth more, my friends or that extra half point? I feel the doubts in the question of Johnny but you prefer to answer sarcastic maybe not realizing the differences in culture.

    E.g. in Belgium we have the habit to offer always at least 1 drink to the opponent in a game. If you don’t do then you are rude. People from other countries are often surprised by this cultural behavior.

  77. John Cox
    February 27th, 2014 at 17:08 | #77

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Leaving aside this particular case, I don’t think it’s weird to suggest that people should be ashamed for winning for following the rules. For instance, say you had been several pawns down in this ending, and had tried the ICC trick of putting the queen to f2 in the hope the opponent will not notice that the queens attack each other, and your opponent had fallen for it (something I strongly suspect you wouldn’t do). There’s nothing in the rules against that, but a lot of people would think it was pretty poor, including me. The extreme chess-is-a-fight guys, presumably, think it’s fine.

  78. John Cox
    February 27th, 2014 at 17:11 | #78

    garryk :@John Cox There is neither bad luck nor good luck. You can avoid it by making a better time management

    Of course there is good luck. Jacob was lucky. Another player who hangs his queen like Jacob did might find that he’s not so lucky. His opponent, conversely, got what he deserved.

    I don’t know if gentlemanship is widely used (I’m not a native english speaker) but searching on google I found tens of thousands of results…

    True. Strange. It’s not a word in modern UK English. Webster’s is an US dictionary. Maybe they use it.

  79. John Cox
    February 27th, 2014 at 17:13 | #79

    garryk :@brabo And I add…I don’t need your explanation why some people might feel that way…I can understand myself…just I think it’s only their problem if they feel that way.P>

    Right, well, if you think it’s their ‘problem’, then I don’t think you’re respecting their point of view. Brabo’s point was that such a position is worthy of respect, not that it is correct.

    Btw I have played Jacob and he is correct that he is a very pleasant opponent at the board. Which obviously I am not – I never knew anyone objected to the smell of coffee before.

  80. garryk
    February 27th, 2014 at 17:37 | #80

    @John Cox
    Is it fair to not warn your opponent he forgot to press his clock? Is it fair to look worried when you have just made a move that looks like a mistake but hides a trap? Is it fair to make a draw offer in hope to make the opponent over press to win? Is it fair to make your clock run till the last minutes when you are about to lose in order to make the opponent move fast?

    It’s difficult to say what it’s fair

  81. John Cox
    February 27th, 2014 at 18:04 | #81

    >Is it fair to look worried when you have just made a move that looks like a mistake but hides a trap?

    You are Victor Korchnoi and I claim my £5.

  82. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 18:49 | #82

    I remember the anecdote of Nakamura playing in every online blitz/bullet game g6 Bg7. Some weaker player got finally a chance to play against the topgrandmaster and played 1.e4 g6 2.Bh6 and yes Bg7. He got immediately the point and never got a chance again anymore to play against him (or other topplayers).

    Nothing illegally was done but it was perceived as not sportsmanship. Sometimes following the rules is not sufficient to be respected.

  83. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 18:50 | #83

    e4 must be d4 of course but i assume you got the point

  84. February 27th, 2014 at 19:35 | #84

    @brabo
    I remember basically the same story decades ago in one of Soltis’ Chess to Enjoy books, about a correspondence player who sent a conditional move of “1…g6 2.any Bg7”. Funny how bullet and correspondence can share a trait.

  85. Antillian
    February 27th, 2014 at 20:32 | #85

    Surely, whether someone makes an outright blunder or not, time is always a pervasive element in the game. A chess player routinely makes suboptimal moves because of time considerations. There is ALWAYS a trade-off. So if exploiting a blunder is unsportsmanlike conduct, then isn’t exploiting a series of sup-optimal moves as well?

    Or to out it another way, what if I make reasonable trades offs to play suboptimal moves because I know I have limited time, but my opponent expends more time to find more optimal moves and ends up in with a better position, but in time pressure but a better positions and blunders?

  86. TC
    February 27th, 2014 at 20:49 | #86

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I find in soccer (yup, Yank here!) a parallel to this discussion of the intersection of rules and etiquette. I don’t remember exactly who acted first, the players or the referees, but the once standard protocol of a team in possession kicking the ball out when an opposing player is injured seems to have disappeared. The governing bodies apparently felt that this was in some way inappropriate (perhaps representing an arrogation of the referee’s authority to halt the game), or perhaps simply too exploitable by divers, and so now it would seem that the expectation is to play on with an opposing player down unless the referee stops the game. Has the gentlemanliness of soccer (not that it necessarily pretended to such) been therefore diminished? I think not, as there is a rule in place (ref may stop the game) to govern this situation, and thus by definition no special etiquette is required.

    I don’t think one needs to be of the “extreme all-in chess-as-Thunderdome” school of thought (although I am) to find no wrong in capturing a blundered queen. There are many other options for enjoying chess besides an OTB game with relatively fast time controls. To participate in such an event is to accept the risk of time trouble and its associated tragicomedy. While it may not be a perfect demonstration of the victor’s superiority, it is still a win, and this is the objective of the game, n’est-ce pas?

    A couple minor issues with other posts:
    1) Botvinnik played blitz once, on a train, in 1929. He said so himself.
    2) Coffee has the most wondrous smell this side of a freshly bathed supermodel, as I will definitely endeavor to demonstrate to GM Aagaard should I ever have the opportunity to meet him OTB… 😉

  87. February 27th, 2014 at 21:32 | #87

    Another anecdote: in one tournament game my opponent offered me a draw in a position where he was clearly better. Of course I immediately accepted. Afterwards I expressed my surprise that he had offered the draw, and he said it was in return for me being so nice earlier in the game when he blundered a piece and I played a different continuation instead of winning the piece. Of course I hadn’t noticed his earlier blunder at all.

  88. Johnny
    February 27th, 2014 at 21:37 | #88

    @Antillian

    I don’t think that exploiting a blunder is unsportsmanlike conduct.
    Nevertheless, in some cases it might be classy to not exploit it. I remember a rapid game quite a long time ago, when I exploited such a blunder in a basic rook endgame against a master. Thereafter I felt remorse about it, since the critical move was made in time trouble when it was not clear on which square the rook really was…

  89. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 27th, 2014 at 22:25 | #89

    Many years ago, my coach told me that the best thing to do for my opponent when he makes a mistake is to punish it with the most effective way. Probably your opponent will feel badly, but he’ll have been taught a good lesson.

    Indeed, i still cannot forget the nights i couldn’t sleep after the most incredible game i have ever played in my life when i forced my FM opponent to sacrifice a whole piece for a pawn without compensation at all, just because i was threatening to put him into zugswang while he was having only 1 min on his clock against my 15 when like a stupid idiot i played the only move which allowed him to threaten a checkmate in one which i didn’t see because (surprize!) i played instantly and lost! Yes, i couldn’t sleep, i felt useless but i never did the same mistake again and later won more critical games which i could have lost if i didn’t remember that bitter experience.

    After the game, my opponent tried to make me feel better by buying me a drink and from that moment we became good friends and this is what i think that is a sportsman-like behavior.

  90. brabo
    February 27th, 2014 at 23:21 | #90

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    In the example of above article, taking the queen or not taking the queen will not learn you or your opponent anything. You can’t believe that the white player an IM doesn’t know that he shouldn’t let pieces hang or doesn’t know that zeitnot should be avoided. So your example shows that you don’t understand yet what i tried to explain. Did you read my articles about it already?

  91. Antillian
    February 27th, 2014 at 23:31 | #91

    @ Johnny

    My point remains that time is an element throughout he game. And if my opponent chooses to invest more time to fine better moves earlier in the game and as a result has a superior position, but far less time, then he has made a trade off. Blundering is the risk of such trade off. That person sacrifice time for quality of moves. He is no more worthy of win thAn he persons who chose to do the opposite and sacrifice quality of moves for time. In a game of chess one makes trade offs all the time: material for initiative, pawn structure for bishop pair etc. Sometimes one is rewarded for such trade offs, other times one loses. Time vs quality of moves is just another such trade off.

  92. Nikos Ntirlis
    February 27th, 2014 at 23:47 | #92

    Indeed, my example doesn’t respond directly to what you tried to explain, but this doesn’t mean that i wrote it with that intention in mind. Also, despite me not being an IM i knew quite well at that time that i should not move instantly before at least have a quick glance at my opponent’s last move. Despite people “knowing” very well something, it is only after “experiencing” it that they really understand it.

    I can understand why some people believe that winning (or losing) by taking advantage (or blundering) of the blunders of their opponents might not be the correct behaviour, but i also believe that this is a wrong attitude (and i think that we are very close in having the same opinion, right?). I have myself offered a draw in a winning position at a friend of mine who returned to playing chess after many years and outplayed me only to blunder later an exchange, but it is not something i recommend my students to do, not because i want them to win as many games as possible (and make me look like a good coach) but because i want them to learn that they shouldn’t expect this kind of behaviour from their opponents.

  93. TC
    February 27th, 2014 at 23:52 | #93

    @brabo
    I am new to this blog but I can see why you have gotten some negative feedback here. You attempt to dispose of potentially valid counterarguments with *ex cathedra* declarations and insistently refer people to read something else you wrote.

    “Taking the queen or not taking the queen will not learn you or your opponent anything.” This is offered with no support. Even without recourse to the individuality of the learning experience, I think one may suggest that there is something to be learned in the situation to be described. It is frequently asserted that long, “backward diagonal” moves are among those most often overlooked. Reinforcement of one’s awareness of such moves could certainly have pedagogical benefit. Additionally, even if one is already theoretically/intellectually aware of the importance of such awareness, chess is not purely a game of theory, and experiences such as these certainly help one’s learning of praxis (in the old sense, not the Nimzowitschian although possibly that, too).

    “You can’t believe that the white player an IM doesn’t know that he shouldn’t let pieces hang or doesn’t know that zeitnot should be avoided.” Again, to know what one *should* do and to actually do it are not identical. The pain of losing a game by leaving one’s queen en prise, if it can be endured and processed in a mature way, can only help translate “should-knowledge” into actual execution. A GM and an IM hung their queen on subsequent moves. Clearly their knowledge of what they should do was not guiding their hands in this situation. Again, this is not without educational benefit.

    As with many arguments regarding etiquette, this one (I suspect) masks deeper ethical disagreements. It is my personal belief that sportsmanship obligates any competitor to exert maximal effort toward victory at all times. To do less would be, in my opinion, disrespectful to the opponent and the game. Even a strict interpretation of the chivalric code from which the term “gentleman” derives does not require otherwise. A defeated knight must be offered quarter, with the expectation that his estate will pay ransom. If the ransom is unpaid, his life is just as forfeit as it would have originally been on the field of battle. In chess, we have a similar tradition: one may resign, and the ransom is a (half) point.

    If an opponent drops his sword, a gentleman may show mercy and stay his hand, but that is very different from picking up the opponent’s sword and handing it back to him.

  94. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 07:15 | #94

    @Nikos Ntirlis “(and i think that we are very close in having the same opinion, right?)” Still didn’t read my articles? I do the effort to translate my (recent) articles to English as you requested.

  95. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 09:55 | #95

    @John Cox
    I think there is a huge difference between feeling ashamed and not feeling proud. Yeah, I did not feel proud to win that way, but certainly not ashamed.

    The “don’t you feel ashamed” point of view indirectly says: I am better than you are, because winning like that is beneath me. And at the same time, Brabo and others, say: you have to respect someone who comes with such a statement. You are not allowed to have a smiley face. They deserve reverence!

    The arrogance and doublethink involved is hilarious.

  96. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 09:57 | #96

    @dfan
    This is an entirely different kettle of fish. Both things are played in a different atmosphere. But it does raise the question in general if opening traps are shameful too? I personally would not do something like this; it ruins the purpose of the game. But would I try a 50 percenter at the end of a bullet game? Would I want to win by any means then? Yes.

  97. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 10:01 | #97

    @brabo
    You could easily say that Douglas has been taught not to drift into time trouble, if you want to make this kind of argument.

  98. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 10:05 | #98

    I have by the way in no way said that it was not correct not to punish bad blunders, made by opponent’s in good positions. It is your prerogative, should you want to act this way. Just don’t judge others who do not want to act like this.

    I also notice that everyone on the other side have conveniently avoided the argument that Bryson did the same sort of thing when he tried to confuse me at move 29 after being outplayed. It does not really fit the black&white scenario…

  99. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 10:31 | #99

    @Jacob Aagaard
    “The “don’t you feel ashamed” point of view indirectly says: I am better than you are, because winning like that is beneath me. And at the same time, Brabo and others, say: you have to respect someone who comes with such a statement”

    You still need to read properly my statements. I repeat my very first comment: “I am not stating that we have to follow those examples (at contrary) but I do understand the remark of Johnny.” Look at the word: understand which has a different nuance than respect. Anyway if you would’ve read my blog which you will not do then you would know what i mean.

  100. Alex
    February 28th, 2014 at 10:31 | #100

    Let’s take the debate to another level and involve John Locke and the Scottish Common Sense Realism school of Philosophy which is appropriate for a game in the Scottish league.

    I guess that “to take or not to take” is the paradygm of realism and pure reason tells us that we have to take the Queen.

    I invite you to look at my blog in English, French and German (3 languages, yes, yes one more than Brabo) where I details my views.

    At the moment the blog is not available but I will copy-paste a link as soon as it is :).

  101. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 10:50 | #101

    @Jacob Aagaard
    “You could easily say that Douglas has been taught not to drift into time trouble, if you want to make this kind of argument.”
    I don’t want to make this argument and neither do I agree that Douglas learned this from above example.

    In fact again if you would read properly my comments then you would have noticed my quote below: “Anyway I don’t believe that these kind of blunders are normal for such players even if only seconds are left on the clock.”
    Look at the words : even if only seconds are left on the clock, meaning that I don’t consider the final blunder normal for a fighting game in zeitnot. At that level you don’t expect somebody hanging a queen after which he will be able to take your own queen. Surely not done on purpose but it is the same move as the dirty trick on ICC. David Navara would’ve certainly given the draw as he can’t stand to earn points if there is the slightest hint of incorrect behavior.

    Again before getting wrong thoughts, no i don’t think you did anything wrong but i do understand why people can think you did something inappropriate and why they believe a draw would be a more fair/ correct result.

  102. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 10:50 | #102

    @brabo
    “No Johnny asked the question seriously as I do very well understand from where it is coming.”

    So, expressing superiority by indicating that my actions were shameful is a “serious” question.

    I feel like talking to an answerphone repeat: “please read my blog, please read my blog.”

    I am not on your blog constantly linking to this blog. When I will read it at some point; which I feel more and more likely to do (the pressure is wearing me down it seems), I promise I will still not do it.

  103. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 10:53 | #103

    @brabo
    It is incredible how arrogant you are. I am referring to Nikos’ point, not to yours. And who made you spokesman for Navarra? And again perfectly legal-within-the-rules moves are “incorrect”. And strong players do not blunder pieces in time trouble? This has happened before in my games, both to my advantage and disadvantage.

  104. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:00 | #104

    @Jacob Aagaard
    “I also notice that everyone on the other side have conveniently avoided the argument that Bryson did the same sort of thing when he tried to confuse me at move 29 after being outplayed. It does not really fit the black&white scenario…”
    Covering an attacked piece with Re1 instead of the maybe more logical but losing Ne7+ is not the same as the dirty ICC trick with hanging a queen first to take the other queen.

    That is what the whole discussion is about. What is ok and not ok? I know that it is often very unclear but I do know there is a huge difference with playing 29.Re1 evoking an error and 52…Qf2+ evoking an error.

  105. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:03 | #105

    @brabo
    Sorry, I do not see the difference. He knew his position was dead lost. Surely the gentleman thing to do was to resign, rather than hoping for time-dependent errors?

  106. Ray
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:05 | #106

    @Alex
    🙂 hillarious :-). I am trying to stop reacting to Brabo’s posts (which I guess would be the most sensible thing to do) because I find it very tyring to discuss with him, but regularly I find myself somehow tricked into responding. Maybe we can start a discussion on discussing in a gentlemanly way. E.g. is it gentlemanly to write that ‘some people’ are very good at changing the subject of the discussion, without naming them? :-). The funny thing is that with other sports like football (soccer for our American readers) nobody would question if it is sportmanlike to win with 1-0 by an underserved penalty in the last second of the match while the opponent has had 99% ball possession and lots of chances to score but had tough luck because the supporters were chearing too loudly and the star of the team had a bad hair day.

  107. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:08 | #107

    @TC
    Some people do indeed find the stench of coffee wonderful and I never complain about people drinking it at the board. But you could argue that as it will annoy some people, it should not be allowed at the board. I find this argument much stronger than anything about “correct” behaviour given by Brabo and others. That is not to say that I actually have ever put it forward; it is just a comparison.

  108. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:13 | #108

    @Jacob Aagaard
    “So, expressing superiority by indicating that my actions were shameful is a “serious” question.”
    He is not expressing superiority. He asked your opinion if you find the actions shameful but he doesn’t condemn them. However you interpret this question as Johnny made already up his mind about you which he didn’t. Probably the question could’ve been asked more politely but personally i don’t have much troubles with such direct questions.

    Did you read this comment:
    “No Johnny asked the question seriously as I do very well understand from where it is coming.
    In fact he likely encountered similar situations in which people were showing mercy for the opponent and believed this is the correct way to handle. He now sees a very strong player behaving completely the opposite so asks himself and you what is correct. How will my friends react if i behave like you did? Maybe on your level it is accepted but on my level it is not and afterwards I can’t drink a beer anymore with my friends. What is worth more, my friends or that extra half point? I feel the doubts in the question of Johnny but you prefer to answer sarcastic maybe not realizing the differences in culture.
    E.g. in Belgium we have the habit to offer always at least 1 drink to the opponent in a game. If you don’t do then you are rude. People from other countries are often surprised by this cultural behavior.”

    This pretty much clarifies that nothing of superiority or publicly offending is meant.

  109. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:20 | #109

    @brabo
    Brabo, are you not ashamed of the way you are constantly mentioning your blog?

  110. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:25 | #110

    @TC
    The counterargument used are discussed very extensively in my blogarticles. Should I copy paste everything to here? Yes and then next people start to complain that I am writing too much so again not ok. It is for me simple. Or you want to discuss the topic properly and you do the effort to read my views or you keep yourself away from the debate. There is no way in between.

    I am FM so certainly IMs and GMs know more. I don’t learn anything of the type of 2 blunders made at the end of this game and it is logical to state IMs and GMs won’t learn either anything. That an average amateur can learn something from it that I won’t deny.

    “If an opponent drops his sword, a gentleman may show mercy and stay his hand, but that is very different from picking up the opponent’s sword and handing it back to him.” You can offer a draw in the final position.

  111. garryk
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:28 | #111

    @Jacob Aagaard

    I suppose no…and I expect him shortly to advertise how to “Enlarge your Elo”…

  112. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:30 | #112

    @Jacob Aagaard
    My last reply answers your question. No.
    Still I want to add something. I put a huge effort in maintaining the blog. It is read by hundreds maybe thousands of players and the reactions were 100% positive. Yes I am proud of the work but is that not normal? Are you not proud of your books? Is it shameful to show what you are proud of?

  113. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:34 | #113

    @brabo
    You did not get it, did you. You take offense of me asking if something you do is not shameful, but I should act with great respect and not include smileys when I am asked if I am not ashamed of doing something I consider perfectly fine.

  114. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:38 | #114

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Dead lost at move 29? Very few people would resign such position in such circumstances if anybody at all. I have another definition of dead lost. I can show you at least 2 examples on my blog but then you will surely complain that I again show links, right?

  115. John Cox
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:41 | #115

    Ray :@Alex hillarious :-). The funny thing is that with other sports like football (soccer for our American readers) nobody would question if it is sportmanlike to win with 1-0 by an underserved penalty in the last second of the match while the opponent has had 99% ball possession and lots of chances to score

    By itself, no, of course not. But if the penalty is won by diving, of course they would. See eg Spurs-Dnipro for a topical example generating thousands of website comments.

  116. John Cox
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:46 | #116

    It strikes me again that most of this discussion is beside the point. Obviously blunders are part of the game and very few people (though certainly some) feel bad about by winning by a blunder or a time-trouble blunder per se. Rather more people would look down on a deliberate execution of the ICC trick which has been pulled off here accidentally.

  117. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:49 | #117

    @John Cox
    Looking for the dilemma. What if it is a bullet tournament on ICC. Is it incorrect then?

    I would not do it, but I am not sure I would feel myself morally above it.

  118. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:50 | #118

    @brabo
    But if I had more time, I would just win. And he clearly played 29.Re1 to confuse me. So why is this so different? Because you think so? Sorry, I need a clearer definition.

  119. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 11:55 | #119

    @Jacob Aagaard
    “You take offense of me asking if something you do is not shameful,”
    No the opposite. I am happy that you asked the question as now I get a chance to explain why somebody should read my blog. In fact you gave me the opportunity to make some advertising for it.

    “but I should act with great respect and not include smileys when I am asked if I am not ashamed of doing something I consider perfectly fine.”
    Even if comments are really disturbing and irritating, one should always try to keep his composure. Yes I know very difficult but I try always to follow this policy. One example, “The arrogance and doublethink involved is hilarious.” I would at all costs try to avoid writing such statements even if you are 100% convinced of it.

  120. John Cox
    February 28th, 2014 at 12:00 | #120

    Jacob Aagaard :@John Cox Looking for the dilemma. What if it is a bullet tournament on ICC. Is it incorrect then?
    I would not do it, but I am not sure I would feel myself morally above it.

    Well, if you’re going to play bullet tournaments then the clock (and pre-moving) are obviously the main part of the game, so I’d say it’s fine. But in the closing stages of a 4NCL game, no, I wouldn’t do it, and I’d not respect anyone who did (deliberately, that is).

  121. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 12:00 | #121

    @brabo
    And it is not self-aware, which is the most beautiful of all :-).

  122. John Cox
    February 28th, 2014 at 12:00 | #122

    Jacob Aagaard :@brabo But if I had more time, I would just win. And he clearly played 29.Re1 to confuse me. So why is this so different? Because you think so? Sorry, I need a clearer definition.

    C’mon, Jacob, these things aren’t mathematical.

  123. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 12:03 | #123

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Bullet is a different game from a normal game. In fact one of the reasons why i don’t play blitz anymore in serious (so online excluded) tournaments, is that I don’t consider the game as chess anymore but a big bag of dirty tricks. If i want to play such game then I can as well play something else.

  124. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 12:09 | #124

    @Jacob Aagaard
    If we play correspondence then the tiniest error will be sufficient to win. To understand what is a normal error and what not, you have to look to the circumstances. 2 hanging queens on a row is not an error which one can expect in a game played on that level and in those circumstances.

    Now yes we could discuss examples which are much less clear and then we start to have a real debate. That is the direction which I would like to go but today we are still stuck in being offended.

  125. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 12:13 | #125

    @John Cox
    “It strikes me again that most of this discussion is beside the point.”
    With 15 years experience on user groups and fora, I can safely tell you that this is absolutely normal.

  126. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 12:20 | #126

    @brabo
    I think we have a “royal we” here. I am not offended; I just don’t think I have to show great respect to people who do not show it to me. Nor do I consider smileys offending; or when people do not answer a question in the same way that I wanted them to.

    My point is quite simple: We have official rules of the game. There is nothing shameful about playing according to them. The football example is interesting: because there are some unwritten rules everyone follow. So there is in chess; but we all sort of agree on them. If the opponent does not press his clock, we all agree that we should tell him. If an opponent is short of time, we should not hide behind a pillar close to the board, waiting for him to stretch his legs only to jump out and quickly make a move (yes, I did see this happen once).

    But in this case, clearly there is no overall unity. Some people do not want to win like this; others are not ashamed of it. It is not comparable to the football analogy.

  127. John Cox
    February 28th, 2014 at 12:31 | #127

    >There is nothing shameful about playing according to them. The football example is interesting: because there are some unwritten rules everyone follow. So there is in chess; but we all sort of agree on them.

    But we don’t. Some people on this thread have already said that ICC unprotected-queen-attacks-unprotected-queen moves in serious games are fine for them. They’re not fine for me. Korchnoi obviously thinks clapping his hand to his head in pretended distress when he’s just set a trap is fine, because I’ve seen him do it. I don’t.

    Neither of those is illegal according to the written rules, which have nothing to do with this debate.

    >It is not comparable to the football analogy.

    It strikes me as very comparable. Some people have no problem with their teams diving or Rivaldoing. Others do.

  128. brabo
    February 28th, 2014 at 12:45 | #128

    @Jacob Aagaard “I just don’t think I have to show great respect to people who do not show it to me.”
    I believe sufficient respect was shown to you but you clearly have a different opinion. I would’ve certainly reacted differently as you did.

    “The football example is interesting: because there are some unwritten rules everyone follow.”
    I am pretty sure in lower divisions of the football that e.g. tackling and swearing happens very differently than in the higher divisions. So I don’t accept that everything is everywhere the same in football and much better. (disclaimer: I am no football fan.)

    My point is that in chess we need to understand that many unwritten rules are existing depending on the level of the players, circumstances and cultural background. If somebody asks something about an unwritten rule which you maybe didn’t hear before then you should not interpret this as having no respect.

  129. Indra Polak
    February 28th, 2014 at 12:51 | #129

    Hanging queens should be graciously accepted. A gentleman could add something like “How generous of you! Who knows one day I will return your nice gesture.” Not accepting such a royal gift is very offending behavior. It should be made clear that you do not think it was a blunder, but a real gift. In this way, you get the best of both worlds: A) you score the point; B) you make your oppenent feel good about it. So this is my recommendation :). And I suggest Brabo and Jacob play a one-minute match to settle their issues. Hanging queens may only be taken by Jacob in this match.

  130. Johnny
    February 28th, 2014 at 13:48 | #130

    @Jacob Aagaard

    I just want to say that when I did use the phrase: “feel ashamed” it is not meant as a sign of not respecting you….

    I’m not a native speaker, so I don’t really know how it appeales emotionally.

  131. Jacob Aagaard
    February 28th, 2014 at 14:16 | #131

    @Johnny
    I did not take it as disrespect, but as playful. Don’t worry. I assume it goes both ways.

  132. Alex
    February 28th, 2014 at 17:04 | #132

    @Ray,

    @Ray

    Thanks, at least someone relaxed a bit !!

    besides John Locke, a famous pop group has also considered the question of the “Hanging Queens”, courtesy of ABBA :

    “Hanging Queen”

    You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
    See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Hanging Queen

    Friday night and the lights are low
    Looking out for the place to go
    Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
    You come in to look for a king
    Anybody could be that guy
    Night is young and the music’s high
    With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
    You’re in the mood for a dance
    And when you get the chance…

    You are the Hanging Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
    Hanging Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
    You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
    See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Hanging Queen

    You’re a teaser, you turn ’em on
    Leave them burning and then you’re gone
    Looking out for another, anyone will do
    You’re in the mood for a dance
    And when you get the chance…

    You are the Hanging Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
    Hanging Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
    You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
    See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Hanging Queen

  133. Mel Burt
    February 28th, 2014 at 19:43 | #133

    This would certainly be a good point at which to lighten up this amazing stream of comments,
    …..and perhaps move on to another item ? :0)

  134. Ray
    February 28th, 2014 at 20:21 | #134

    @Alex
    🙂 🙂

  135. Ray
    February 28th, 2014 at 20:22 | #135

    @Mel Burt
    Or, as the Doors put it: “This is the end”.

  136. Gilchrist is a Legend
    February 28th, 2014 at 20:47 | #136

    @Ray
    The best selling song of The Doors was about lighting up non-tobacco cigarettes..

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