Monday, September 5, 2011

Chess Nepotism

While reading the comments left on The Chess Mind blog post, 'The Moiseenko-Navara Draw: Honorable, Or Not?', by Dennis Monokroussos(, I found this coment: While on the subject of (dis)honorable draws, anyone notice the itty bitty little draw Ben Finegold offered to his son Spencer in the recent Missouri Championship?

Their whole game was: 1. e4, c6 1/2-1/2
To me, that stinks to the heavens.
[DM: I have no problem with this sort of draw at all - I wouldn't play a real game against a family member either. The Kosintseva sisters do this all the time (though they usually "drag" it out to 10 moves or so), and I'm sure other relations have a similar non-aggression policy. Who is hurt by this? What is problematic is players who are getting an honorarium - getting paid to play - who make a habit of short, bloodless draws. I don't see the problem in "civilian" events.]
September 4, 2011 | RuralRob

That prompted me to leave a comment of my own: I agree with you on this, Dennis. I would also like to comment on the comment by 'RuralRob', and what you have to say about it. I noticed the one move draw given by the GM to his much lower rated son and wrote about it on the BaconLOG ( I suggest you read it, and the feedback it engendered. Dennis, you ask, "Who is hurt by this?" The other players competing for second place WERE hurt by it! GM Finegold gave his son a half point that he, most probably, would not have had going into the last round. I have participated in many tournaments where the top player was much higher rated than his opponents. Sometimes the higher rated player would win his first four rounds and then offer a draw to clinch first place IN THE LAST ROUND! A draw was as good as a win in that case. In this case, the GM had to play for a win in the last round because the two players half a point behind him, ONE OF THEM BEING HIS SON, could possibly tie for first, if Ben only drew his last game, and either of them won.
As for the Kosintseva sisters, they have no honor whatsoever. Contrast this with the Williams sisters in tennis. Granted, they have no way of 'splitting the point', fortunately. The McEnroe brothers also had to battle it out on the court. IN A SPORTING COMPETITON NEPOTISM SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED! If one does not wish to play a relative, then one of them should not compete in the event.

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