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  1. 31 Jul '13 13:20 / 1 edit
    For years I’ve been saying chess games are being made up and some
    competitions and players simply do not exist.

    It all started with a tongue in cheek letter to BCM in the late 70’s
    stating it was publishers trying to rip us off with openings books by filling
    their pages with games by non-existent players to make the opening look
    good or books on fake tournaments that never happened.

    I claimed due to political reason the Kaprov and Korchnoi 1978 match
    was not actually taking place, the games were figments of somone's.
    fertile imagination.

    Everynow and then I would resurrect this piece of nonsense for a laugh.

    Alas....

    It has come to light that a competition in Russian in 2010 has been rigged
    to allow players to get norms. 3 players got a GM norm, 3 got an IM norm.

    “Been going for years.” I’ve hear you say but this effort has plumbed new depths.
    They could not even be bothered to make up the games as they went along
    and lifted some games from the 2008 World Computer Chess Championship.

    It is that unbelievable you could not make it up.

    You can get the 2010 Azov games here:

    http://ratings.fide.com/tournament_details.phtml?event=49234

    and the 2008 Computers games from here.

    http://www.grappa.univ-lille3.fr/icga/tournament.php?id=178

    Six games from each event match up 100% move for move. Here are just two.

    D. Yamnov - V.Eryomenko, Don Cup, Azov, Russia 2010

    and…

    Mobile Chess - Sjeng, 16th World Computer Chess Championship Beijing, 2008

    The final position with White hanging on letting Black get two Queens to mate him
    is clear computer play. A human at that level would resign.
    They should have used a different game or tampered with the ending.





    V. Eryomenko - V. Malimonenko, Don Cup, Azov, Russia, 2010

    and….

    Junior - Cluster Toga, World Computer Chess Championship Beijing, 2008

  2. 31 Jul '13 14:30 / 1 edit
    Some of the players who "took part" in this tournament appear to be FIDE coaches / trainers and don't seem to play serious chess anymore. I assume they needed higher ratings or titles in order to get their jobs. I hope they are sacked from wherever they have found employment or are sued by pupils who have paid them for lessons.
  3. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    31 Jul '13 16:08
    In the introduction to "Dynamic Chess Strategy" by Mihai Suba he tells of a student tournament in 1967 where he was the only person to turn up, as they'd entered for CV points, or at least the equivalent under Romanian communism, but some exams were looming and they found they couldn't spare the time. Suba needed a norm to become a second category player. He goes on to explain that the arbiter gave him the names of some of the other entrants and told him to produce some plausible games. So he copied some games out of a book about Alekhine and came second, in a race where he was the only runner.

    In Suba's case it wasn't premeditated, he'd at least intended to play the games, it wasn't his fault no one else turned up, and he didn't try to fake a tournament win. I think that was semi-standard practice in the Warsaw pact back in the day - Tal talks about helping people to get IM norms (by giving them an easy draw) in his autobiography - the regime at least ensured the players were worth the titles they were getting. This lot seem to have conspired to fake an entire tournament; which is a bit stupid in the days of databases which are going to notice duplicate games - they don't deserve the titles on those grounds alone.
  4. 31 Jul '13 17:07 / 3 edits
    The idea of awarding titles by norms is open to abuse.
    It's been going on for years and years.
    Some are obvious but this is so blatant.

    Still reckon you should only get a GM title if you qualify for the World Candidates.
    Then you really are a good player and fixing it to get into that group needs
    too many players and different Chess federations involved.

    Here are all the real GM's who have qualified for the candidates since
    Alekhine died in 1946 and FIDE took over the running of the World Championship.

    There are 97 of them.

    Adams
    Adorján
    Akopian
    Anand
    Aronian
    Averbakh
    Bacrot
    Bareev
    Beliavsky
    Benko
    Boleslavsky
    Botvinnik
    Bronstein
    Byrne
    Carlsen
    Chernin
    Dolmatov
    Dominguez
    Dreev
    Euwe
    Filip
    Fine (never played but invited to the first one- that counts.)
    Fischer
    Flohr
    Gelfand
    Geller
    Gligoric
    Grischuk
    Gulko
    Gurevich
    Hjartarson
    Hort
    Hübner
    Ivanchuk
    Ivkov
    Kamsky
    Karpov
    Kasimdzhanov
    Kasparov
    Keres
    Khalifman
    Kharlov
    Korchnoi
    Kotov
    Kramnik
    Larsen
    Lautier
    Leko
    Lilienthal
    Lutz
    Malakhov
    Mecking
    Morozevich
    Movsesian
    Najdorf
    Nikolic
    Nisipeanu
    Nogueiras
    Olafsson
    Panno
    Petrosian
    Pilnik
    Polgar (Judit, only women)
    Polugaevsky
    Ponomariov
    Portisch
    Radjabov
    Reshevsky
    Ribli
    Romanishin
    Rublevsky
    Salov
    Sax
    Seirawan
    Shirov
    Short
    Smyslov
    Sokolov
    Spassky
    Speelman
    Spraggett
    Ståhlberg
    Stein
    Svidler
    Szabo
    Taimanov
    Tal
    Timman
    Tiviakov
    Tkachiev
    Topalov
    Torre
    Uhlmann
    Vaganian
    Van der Sterren
    Yudasin
    Yusupov

    The current number of GM's on the FIDE list is 1,300.
    Are you going to tell me all of them are in the same class as that list of 97.

    -------

    "Dynamic Chess Strategy" some good stuff in there, recall something
    about Capa's opponents just rolling over.
  5. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    31 Jul '13 17:55
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    The idea of awarding titles by norms is open to abuse.
    It's been going on for years and years.
    Some are obvious but this is so blatant.

    Still reckon you should only get a GM title if you qualify for the World Candidates.
    Then you really are a good player and fixing it to get into that group needs
    too many players and different Chess federations in ...[text shortened]... egy" some good stuff in there, recall something
    about Capa's opponents just rolling over.
    John Nunn's not in your list, and he's probably worth his GM title. Although having found an exception I'm going to agree with your basic point. I get the impression that FIDE tends to turn a blind eye to this stuff. Possibly because they charge a fee for making someone a GM/IM/FM, FIDE should stop charging for titles directly and make up the cash with normal subscriptions. I think this was the basic reason for the introduction of the FM title - it doesn't make sense, a Fide Master is someone who is internationally recognised not to be as good as an International Master. That way the incentive is for them to tighten the requirements, so as not to annoy their members who are never going to get a master title. The whole thing is a bit mad anyway, one day the Russian Czar decided to award the title of Grandmaster to 28 International Masters, and the title was born...
  6. 31 Jul '13 18:24 / 2 edits
    Hi Deepthought.

    No Nunn, Miles or Rowson... and a host of other players who one thinks
    should be there. But if Candidates only was the criteria then maybe
    players would not sit back and say "I've done it, I'm a GM." and stop improving.
    (resting on their laurels.)

    The Candiates only rule would have given them a target to aim for, the GM titlle
    would carry a lot more weight and the term 'Weak Grandmaster' would
    never have been invented.

    I thought the Tsar awarded just five GM titles in 1914 to:
    Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker, Marshall and Tarrasch.
  7. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    31 Jul '13 19:38
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    The idea of awarding titles by norms is open to abuse.
    It's been going on for years and years.
    Some are obvious but this is so blatant.

    Still reckon you should only get a GM title if you qualify for the World Candidates.
    Then you really are a good player and fixing it to get into that group needs
    too many players and different Chess federations in ...[text shortened]... egy" some good stuff in there, recall something
    about Capa's opponents just rolling over.
    I really like this. All the rest could simply be IMs, which would add some cachet to that title, while the GM title would return to the significance it had when the Czar awarded it.
  8. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    31 Jul '13 21:55
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi Deepthought.

    No Nunn, Miles or Rowson... and a host of other players who one thinks
    should be there. But if Candidates only was the criteria then maybe
    players would not sit back and say "I've done it, I'm a GM." and stop improving.
    (resting on their laurels.)

    The Candiates only rule would have given them a target to aim for, the GM titlle
    w ...[text shortened]... ded just five GM titles in 1914 to:
    Alekhine, Capablanca, Lasker, Marshall and Tarrasch.
    You'd need to upgrade the I.M. title as well. The problem is existing GM's wouldn't want to relinquish their titles, and could probably take legal action to block it, as an alternative there's the informal title supergrandmaster, so FIDE could formalize it.

    I checked on Wikipedia, you're right about the number of GMs, whenever I don't check something I find I should have...
  9. 31 Jul '13 22:23
    I agree with Greenpawn. There are far too many Grandmasters nowadays.

    When running through that list I could think of a few players not on the list who were / are much stronger than some of the others included in the list (*), but overall I'd rather have those 97 players considered Grandmasters than the crazy situation we have now where there are well over a thousand living players with the Grandmaster title.

    (*) I can't resist mentioning Speelman. A very strong player indeed, but Tony Miles was light years ahead of him!
  10. 31 Jul '13 23:57 / 1 edit
    Hi Fat Lady

    Both great players.
    Actually Speelman holds the plus with 5 wins, 3 losses and 8 draws.
    Pity Tony never took one more game from him. Four wins each would be about right.

    Miles beats Nunn with 6 wins, 3 losses and 12 draws.
    But he shows up bad v Nigel Short - 2 wins, 6 losses and 4 draws.

    Norm rigging has gone on for years and years.
    Usually a federation brings in some not to scrupulous GM's and and
    they lose to a couple of the home players and out pops two new GM's.

    FIDE then gets paid by the federation to register the GM's.
    It's all one wicked circle but this not even bothering to play the games
    is a new one.
  11. 01 Aug '13 09:50 / 2 edits
    Thanks for the stats, Greenpawn. I'm very surprised to learn that Speelman has a plus score against Miles, but perhaps that's just because players of my generation consider Miles to be much stronger than he actually was.

    Also Speelman seemed to get a "second wind" when he was well into his chess career and went from being a bog-standard Grandmaster to something a bit more for a little while. Speelman holds the distinction of being the only Grandmaster to have piddled on my shoes.

    I had no idea that norm fixing had such a long and distinguished history, no wonder there are so many titled players around! I think there should be a fixed number of Grandmasters and it should be a title that can be lost. Perhaps it should be like Sumo wrestling where the wrestlers with the highest rank have to retire rather than dropping back to the rank below once it is clear that they are no longer able to perform at the elite level.
  12. 01 Aug '13 12:44
    1300 GMs world wide is hardly a lot..
  13. 01 Aug '13 14:42 / 3 edits
    Hi Fat Lady

    "I had no idea that norm fixing had such a long and distinguished history. "

    You must have led a sheltered life.

    I know of 4 undocumented cases where 'deals' have been done.
    What annoys me (well it does not really, I don't give a toss.)
    is that it is acceptted that this happens and people look at me like
    I'm daft for questioning the ethics.

    There was a recent case on the ECF forum where both teams agreed to let a
    player play at a lower board in the 4NCL so he could get his IM norm.
    Him getting his norm seemed more important than the rules about playing
    in grading order.
    So they put him down to a lower board so he could play a weaker opponent
    and he lost.

    "Speelman holds the distinction of being the only Grandmaster to have piddled on my shoes. "

    He stayed a while at the Edinburgh Club.
    Best advice I could squeeze out him was to have a good night's sleep
    before an important game.

    Hi Plopzilla.

    Too many I'm thinking. The GM title is for the games elite. (like the 97 listed.)

    The GM's in the past were the games elite till they changed the rules.
    Soon you will be able to get a GM title on E-Bay.

    I'm still thinking you have get into the Candidates (which used to be the rule)
    before you are a GM.
    It's harder and more honest than collecting norms in rigged games.

    And speaking of E-Bay. I put this on for £6.00 (£1.00 p&p)

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tarrasch-Best-Games-of-Chess-Chess-Book-/221260711427?pt=UK_Toys_Games_Games&hash=item33842a8603#ht_715wt_958

    Here is the blurb:

    English Descriptive Notation. (1.PK4)

    So you are stuck in a chess playing rut and are scanning the chess books
    on E-Bay looking for THAT BOOK!

    The Book that will fill all the gaps that is missing from your game.

    WELL HERE IS THAT BOOK!

    Forget all the guff you have read about Tarrasch.
    He was one of the greatest chess players that ever lived and he played to teach.

    As he was playing he was writing the notes in his mind that he was going to
    publish along with game. He often sought the most instructive way to play
    because he was thinking of his readers. This is a Chess teacher.

    Take these instructive games and add in Fred Reinfeld, who actually earned his living
    teaching - he was a qualified teacher.

    Reinfeld’s writing and instructive chess books formed the foundation of many
    of the great and good chess players we know today.
    (it’s a pity most of them did not pick up skills as a writer as well.)
    This book is widely regarded as his best.

    You have (or you could have) in your hands the most important book in your
    chess development.

    So buy it, read it and thoroughly enjoy the games.
    Your own game will improve as will your perspective on this great chess player.

    The book is in a very good condition, it’s been read, or looked at but it’s OK.
    A bargain at £6.00 (plus the £1.00 postage which I am taking a loss on).
    I believe in this book.

    Don’t let the Notation put you off , Descriptive is easy to learn and opens up a
    whole new world as Descriptive Notation books these days sell so cheaply.

    At £6.00 this is a steal and I’m doing £1.00 postage (UK only) which will be a loss to me because
    I am a fellow chess player and I know how often us guys get ripped off.

    The Husband of Jo Jo 34
    (a chess player who owes this book a lot.)
  14. Standard member SwissGambit
    Caninus Interruptus
    01 Aug '13 15:03
    One problem is that the rating qualification for making GM remains fixed (2500). I think it should be based on being in the top X percentile of ratings. That way it adjusts with inflation.
  15. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    01 Aug '13 16:44
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    One problem is that the rating qualification for making GM remains fixed (2500). I think it should be based on being in the top X percentile of ratings. That way it adjusts with inflation.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Bloodgood

    Both Bloodgood (who may not have done it deliberately) and this guy: User 285560 demonstrated that it is quite easy to manipulate ratings systems. Restricting the GM title to candidates irrespective of rating cuts out most realistic ways of fixing the system. Also a "weak grandmaster" would stick out like a sore thumb.

    This is unlikely to change because you'd have to strip 1,300 people of their GM titles. FIDE has a financial interest in lots of grandmasters. Since FIDE charge a fee for making someone into a GM they can probably challenge the legality of the policy change in court. So there's a lot of inertia to overcome.