Moscow Grand Prix R01: Yifan sole winner

by Alejandro Ramirez
5/12/2017 – Round one of the Moscow Grand Prix left spectators with mixed feelings. While Jon Hammer and Harikrishna fought for 92 moves, Salem and Grischuk played an 11-move ‘miniature’. The day’s saving grace was Hou Yifan who scored the only win of the day over Ian Nepomniachtchi. All games with analysis...

The time control in the GP tournaments is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

The Grand Prix returns to the Telegraph Building in central Moscow, which previously hosted the 2016 Candidates Tournament won by Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

The tournament, a nine round Swiss contest, is the second of four Grand Prix in 2017 and follow’s the Sharjah Grand Prix in February which was won by Alexander Grischuk, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a three way tie.

The Moscow Grand Prix is sponsored by Kaspersky Lab, PhosAgro and EG Capital Partners.

Each round starts at 2PM (GMT +3).

Round 1 on 2017/05/12 at 14:00

Bo. Name FED Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Name FED Rtg
1 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2795 0
½ - ½
0 Adams Michael ENG 2747
2 Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2727 0
½ - ½
0 Nakamura Hikaru USA 2786
3 Giri Anish NED 2785 0
½ - ½
0 Gelfand Boris ISR 2724
4 Radjabov Teimour AZE 2710 0
½ - ½
0 Ding Liren CHN 2773
5 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2772 0
½ - ½
0 Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2710
6 Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2696 0
½ - ½
0 Svidler Peter RUS 2755
7 Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2751 0
0 - 1
0 Hou Yifan CHN 2652
8 Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2633 0
½ - ½
0 Grischuk Alexander RUS 2750
9 Harikrishna P. IND 2750 0
½ - ½
0 Hammer Jon Ludvig NOR 2621

All photos by Max Avdeev

The first move on the top board by a, for now, inexperienced player

The Moscow Grand Prix starts with a serious cloud over its head, which, for the good of chess, it needs to get rid off somehow. The Sharjah Grand Prix, the first leg on the four-tournament tour, was without a doubt one of the least interesting super-tournaments in recent memory (or perhaps the history of chess). The incredible amount of draws, especially quick and uninteresting ones, was a serious issue.

The start in Moscow is, to be frank, not the most promising. The high number of draws continues, though granted, some where more interesting than others. As ACP President Emil Sutovsky commented:

As mentioned, some of today's games were indeed quite interesting, but Sutovsky presumably is talking about the game between Salem and Grischuk:

Not the most tiring day for Alexander Grischuk

[Event "Moscow Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2017.05.12"] [Round "1.8"] [White "Salem, A.R. Saleh"] [Black "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2633"] [BlackElo "2750"] [PlyCount "21"] [EventDate "2017.05.12"] [EventType "tourn"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 d5 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Nf3 Bg7 7. Ne5 Ne4 8. Nd2 Nf6 9. Nb1 Ne4 10. Nd2 Nf6 11. Nb1 1/2-1/2

Even a 30-move rule, which is not in effect in Moscow, would not have prevented this from happenings.

Onto the more interesting games. The top seed of the event is again Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who today faced England's Mickey Adams. The Frenchman introduced the novelty 15.Be3 in a complicated Marshall Gambit of the Spanish, but it did not rattle his opponent. White's only chance of pushing for a win was the risky but complex 18.Qxc6, which was not played, after which Adams obtained an easy draw.

Nakamura seemed confident in his opening idea and obtained a razor-sharp draw

The Inarkiev-Nakamura game had a cool finish:

[Event "Moscow Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2017.05.12"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Inarkiev, Ernesto"] [Black "Nakamura, Hikaru"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D37"] [WhiteElo "2727"] [BlackElo "2786"] [PlyCount "51"] [EventDate "2017.05.12"] [EventType "tourn"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. a3 Nc6 11. Bd3 Bb6 12. O-O Bg4 13. h3 Bh5 14. b4 a6 15. Rb1 d4 16. b5 axb5 17. Rxb5 Bxf3 {This had actually all been played before by two 2300s, but it is unclear if the player's knew about it.} 18. Qb1 $5 { How often do you see someone completely ignore a piece capturing on f3?} (18. Qxf3 dxe3 19. Bxe3 $11 {Matic-Perez 2005}) 18... Bc7 $1 19. Bxh7+ Kh8 20. gxf3 Bxf4 21. exf4 Ne7 $1 22. Rh5 Ra5 $1 {The only mvoe to survive, but sufficient.} 23. Bf5+ Kg8 24. Bh7+ Kh8 25. Bf5+ Kg8 {White simply has no good discovery check, and continuing the game runs the risk of being much worse for him.} 26. Bh7+ 1/2-1/2

Giri's preparation against Gelfand's accelerated Dragon gave him a slight edge, but when it was time to push with a slight edge the Dutch player was unable to put any real pressure. Gelfand equalized in a rook endgame and secured the draw.

Fresh off a win at the Reykjavik Open, Anish Giri was unable to convert a slight edge against Boris Gelfand in a Dragon endgame

Radjabov's game against Ding Liren can be summarized by many trades leading into an almost insignificant advantage for White against an isolated queen's pawn. The game was drawn in a major piece endgame that had no life left in it.

Even though Radjabov was close to 2800 at some point, there is now an
80 point rating gap between the two Azerbaijanis (Mamedyarov on the left)

Vallejo Pons' essay of 3...a6!? in the Queen's Gambit Declined led to a fun and interesting opening, but almost all of the sudden all the pieces got traded and a drawn rook endgame emerged. The GP Virus?!

Tomashevsky-Svidler was another one of those games that was a draw but could have been more interesting. The position reached maximum craziness here:

Tomashevsky walks around the playing hall while Giri attempts to remember his preparation

[Event "Moscow Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2017.05.12"] [Round "1.6"] [White "Tomashevsky, Evgeny"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D90"] [WhiteElo "2696"] [BlackElo "2755"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r4rk1/pp1b1p2/1np3pp/3p4/5PPP/2NBq3/PPQ5/1K1R2R1 w - - 0 19"] [PlyCount "13"] [EventDate "2017.05.12"] [EventType "tourn"] {[#]} {White has sacrificed a pawn, but he has serious threats on the kingside. The Black king is not thrilled about this bishop sacrificing on g6.} 19. Bxg6 Qxf4 (19... fxg6 20. Qxg6+ Kh8 21. Qxh6+ Kg8 22. Rge1 $1 Qxf4 23. Qg6+ Kh8 24. Re7 {is very dangerous for Black. He must go for an uncomfortable endgame.} Qf5+ 25. gxf5 Bxf5+ 26. Qxf5 Rxf5 27. Rxb7 $14) 20. g5 $6 (20. Rdf1 {is the computer choice, but computers aren't playing in this tournament.}) 20... fxg6 {Svidler takes the sensible decision to force the draw.} (20... Nc4 $3 { is some kind of computer move that seems so unreal (what is the point even? Is Ne3 really that big of a threat? How can you just ignore White's kingside threats?) that it surely came to Svidler's mind, but it's almost impossible to play.}) 21. Qxg6+ Kh8 22. Qxh6+ Kg8 23. Qg6+ Kh8 24. Qh6+ Kg8 25. Qg6+ 1/2-1/2

The only decisive game came at the hands of Hou Yifan, who soundly defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi:

Early leader in Moscow: Hou Yifan was the only full point of the day

[Event "Moscow Grand Prix 2017"] [Site "Moscow RUS"] [Date "2017.05.12"] [Round "1.7"] [White "Nepomniachtchi, Ian"] [Black "Hou, Yifan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D35"] [WhiteElo "2751"] [BlackElo "2652"] [Annotator "Ramirez Alvarez,Alejandro"] [PlyCount "120"] [EventDate "2017.05.12"] [EventType "tourn"] 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Nf6 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 c5 7. Rb1 { Not only does this develop the rook, but it prevents, after cxd4 cxd4, a check on b4.} (7. Nf3 {is definitely the main line, which transposes to many Kramnik games. The Russian has employed this very successfully in the recent past.}) 7... Be7 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Bxd7+ Nxd7 $5 (9... Qxd7 {had been seen earlier this year} 10. d5 exd5 11. exd5 O-O {was one of the many draws in the Sharjah Grand Prix, Aronian-Vallejo Pons.}) 10. Rxb7 {It's the only way to 'punish' black's set-up, but of course it has a drawback} cxd4 (10... Nb6 11. Nf3 Qc8 12. Rxe7+ Kxe7 13. Ba3 {simply does not work for Black, as the two pawns provided more than enough compensation for the exchange.}) 11. cxd4 Nb6 {Black's threat is simple: Qc8 traps the rook. White doesnt really have much in the way of doing something with the extra tempo to thwart Black's threat.} 12. Qd2 (12. Qc2 Bb4+ 13. Kf1 Rc8 {leads to another problem: Black is better developed and White's center is close to falling apart.} 14. Qb2 O-O {And Black's compensation for the pawn is enough for a winning advantage.}) (12. Bd2 {100% computer move} Qc8 13. Rxe7+ Kxe7 14. Bb4+ Ke8 15. Ne2 Qc4 $1 {but even here the silicon brains give the edge to Black.}) 12... Qc8 (12... Bf6 $1 {but Black's move in the game is also good.}) 13. Rxe7+ Kxe7 14. Nf3 (14. Ba3+ Ke8 {has the unfortunate side effect of running into Nc4 next move, so White doesn't have time to develop.}) (14. Qg5+ Kf8 {leads nowhere for White.}) 14... f6 15. O-O Kf7 16. e5 f5 {The question here is if White has enough time to organize an attack against Black's king. Without the initiative, Black's extra exchange (even though it is for a pawn) would easily steamroll over the opponent's pieces.} 17. g4 {only move, White must attack.} Rd8 (17... fxg4 $2 18. Ng5+ Kg8 19. Qf4 {gives White a sizeable initiative}) 18. Qg5 {it is natural to put the queen on the kingside, but it's hard to come up with concrete threats.} (18. gxf5 exf5 19. e6+ Kxe6 (19... Kg8 20. Re1 {and White's passed pawn might give chances, but Black is still much better after} Re8 $1 21. d5 (21. e7 Nd5 22. Ba3 Qd7 $17) 21... Qc4 {is an important double attack.}) 20. Ng5+ Kf6 $13 { might be too much for Black, the king is easily attacked.}) 18... Kg8 19. Qh5 Rf8 20. Ba3 Qc6 $1 {A beautiful idea!} (20... Rf7 21. Ng5 g6 22. Qh6 Rg7 $17 { is awkward but also a good way to continue for Yifan.}) 21. Ng5 (21. Bxf8 Rxf8 $1 {This is more or less Black's point. White doesn't have a good way of defending the knight on f3.} 22. Ng5 (22. g5 g6 23. Qh3 Qc3 {is horrible for White.}) (22. Nh4 f4 $1 {and again the knight looks ridiculous on h4.}) 22... h6 {an the knight is already trapped:} 23. Nh3 Qf3 $19) 21... h6 22. Rc1 Qd7 23. Bxf8 Rxf8 24. Nh3 Qxd4 {Material is even, but now White's king, a-pawn, e-pawn and knight are all in bad shape. The position is already a technical win and the Chinese super star converts without problems.} 25. gxf5 Qxe5 26. Qg6 Rf6 27. Qg4 Rxf5 28. Qg3 Qd4 29. Re1 Rf6 30. Qg2 Nd5 31. Kh1 Qd3 32. Rg1 Qf3 33. Rb1 Qf5 34. Rg1 Rf7 35. Re1 Rf6 36. Rg1 Qf3 37. Rb1 Qh5 38. Rg1 Rf7 39. Re1 Qf5 40. Qg3 Rc7 {With time control reached Black stops shuffling around.} 41. Ng1 Nf4 42. Rd1 Kh7 43. Qf3 Rc2 44. a3 e5 45. Re1 Qg6 46. h3 Nd3 47. Rf1 Rc3 48. Qg4 Qxg4 49. hxg4 Rxa3 50. Nf3 Ra4 51. g5 h5 52. Kg2 Rg4+ 53. Kh2 a5 54. Ra1 a4 55. Ra2 e4 56. Nd4 Rxg5 57. Rxa4 Nxf2 58. Ra7 Ng4+ 59. Kh3 Re5 60. Nc6 Rd5 0-1

Last, but certainly not least, was the game between Pentala Harikrishna and Jon Ludvig Hammer. The Norwegian player came in a fighting mood, after a timely sacrifice of his queen for a rook, bishop and two pawns, he was definitely playing for a win in a two-result game. Unfortunately for him, it was never quite enough, and the Indian player held on.

Sometimes the job just means to suffer for 92 moves and hold the draw

Corporate Sponsorship

AGON has signed in more corporate sponsorship for chess

Vimpelkom and PhosAgro to sponsor 2017 FIDE Moscow Grand Prix

World Chess and FIDE today announced that PhosAgro and Vimpelkom, two of Russia’s largest and best-known companies, have become official partners to the Moscow Grand Prix.

The commercial partnerships were announced at a press conference this morning at the Telegraph Building in Moscow, the venue for the Grand Prix.

Ilya Merenzon, Chief Executive of World Chess, said: “I am delighted to unveil Vimpelkom and PhosAgro as partners to the Grand Prix. Their involvement further underlines the fact that the commercial potential for chess as a sport continues to grow.”

PhosAgro sponsored the 2016 World Chess Championship Match in New York in November, while Vimpelkom has not sponsored chess before.  

Artashes Sivkov, executive VP for corporate business development, PJSC VimpelCom, said: "Sport plays an important role in solving problems of social and economic development, as it is a special socio-cultural sphere that positively influences the most important indicators of the well-being our country. Participation of the country in international competitions and sports achievements contribute to the development of international economic relations and useful cooperation, and chess is most closely connected with the long-term strategy that is so close to business". 
"PhosAgro has been the general partner of the Russian Chess Federation for seven straight years. The philosophy of chess and the development of PhosAgro are similar in key ways. Both are based on strategic thinking and the desire to calculate every move in advance in order remain one step ahead of the competition. These skills help us to maintain leading positions in the commodity markets of 100 countries worldwide, including our priority Russian market. We care about the future of the Russian school of chess. We have put great effort into making chess popular in the regions where we operate, we open chess classes in the schools and pre-schools that we support, and we fund the training of teachers in the field of chess. We already have established a tradition of supporting World Chess Championship matches that take place in Russia, for example, in Sochi in 2014. We also support matches with Russian grandmasters, as we did in New York in 2016, where Sergei Karjakin, who is here today, played a truly exciting game.
Therefore, we are pleased to be an official partner of the Grand Prix stage here in the heart of Russia, and we hope to see our grandmaster participate in the match for the title of World Champion next year!" said Andrey Guryev, Russian Chess Federation Board of Trustees Member, CEO PJSC PhosAgro. 

Round one games

Standings after one round

Rk. Name FED Rtg Pts.
1 Hou Yifan CHN 2652 1,0
2 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2795 0,5
  Nakamura Hikaru USA 2786 0,5
  Giri Anish NED 2785 0,5
  Ding Liren CHN 2773 0,5
  Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2772 0,5
  Svidler Peter RUS 2755 0,5
  Grischuk Alexander RUS 2750 0,5
  Harikrishna P. IND 2750 0,5
  Adams Michael ENG 2747 0,5
  Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2727 0,5
  Gelfand Boris ISR 2724 0,5
  Radjabov Teimour AZE 2710 0,5
  Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2710 0,5
  Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2696 0,5
  Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2633 0,5
  Hammer Jon Ludvig NOR 2621 0,5
18 Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2751 0,0

Round Two Pairings

Bo. Name FED Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Name FED Rtg
1 Hou Yifan CHN 2652 1   ½ Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2795
2 Nakamura Hikaru USA 2786 ½   ½ Radjabov Teimour AZE 2710
3 Adams Michael ENG 2747 ½   ½ Giri Anish NED 2785
4 Ding Liren CHN 2773 ½   ½ Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2727
5 Gelfand Boris ISR 2724 ½   ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2772
6 Svidler Peter RUS 2755 ½   ½ Salem A.R. Saleh UAE 2633
7 Grischuk Alexander RUS 2750 ½   ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2696
8 Vallejo Pons Francisco ESP 2710 ½   ½ Harikrishna P. IND 2750
9 Hammer Jon Ludvig NOR 2621 ½   0 Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2751

 

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Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Simplifier20 Simplifier20 5/13/2017 04:05
Only 1 win on 1st Round and it's from Hou Yifan. Embarrassing games from these men.
benedictralph benedictralph 5/13/2017 04:20
Yifan often starts off well but can't keep the momentum.
Masquer Masquer 5/13/2017 04:38
Many of these draws would not happen if they scored a win as 3 points and a draw as 1 point. This would work especially well in a Swiss system tournament such as this one.
KyleReese KyleReese 5/13/2017 05:34
Hou Yihan doesn't have the mental fortitude to compete at the highest levels. Why do they insist on making her the next "Judith" when she is clearly weaker.
benedictralph benedictralph 5/13/2017 06:40
@Masquer:

Excellent idea. Personally, while I've never been in support of "forbidding" draws altogether, I am indeed in support of making them less attractive to players. 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw sounds good. Even just 1.25 for a win would help incentivize players to avoid drawing unless absolutely necessary.
NSRINATH NSRINATH 5/13/2017 10:01
I suspect Nc4 doesn't ignore White's threats on the kingside. Ne3 prevents Qg2 and ensures that White can't use the f-file. So, after gxh6, maybe something like Kh8,Rg8. It's also useful to have the threat of Bf5 with the king on b1.
mathematics1 mathematics1 5/13/2017 10:04
Fantastic !!!! Hou Yifan
lajosarpad lajosarpad 5/13/2017 11:02
@KyleReese I am surprised by your comment, since Hou Yifan has just beaten Nepomniachtchi, which would have made Polgár proud even in her best days.

@Masquer I find the 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw philosophically unsound. A player achieving a draw surely does not have a result as great as a player achieving a win, but a win in terms of performance more often than not is more than 33% of a win. While half a point is easy to understand as "sharing the point", 3 points for a win is difficult to explain. The only goal of such a change is to make the players fight and force them out of their comfort zone in a campaign for decided games, ignoring the fact that this will lead to a higher ratio of mistakes and a drop of the level. Panem et circenses - said the Roman - and it is true to this day, unfortunately.
KevinC KevinC 5/13/2017 01:45
@lajosarpad Judit Polgar had a peak rating of 2735, and was in the top 10. Yifan barely broke the top 100 for a short period, and is not there now even. One win does not make Yifan on the same level as Judit Polgar. She is certainly very good, and the best active woman, but the comparisons stop there.
Boon-Swee Yen Boon-Swee Yen 5/13/2017 02:30
Hou Yifan had a top rating of 2687.5 in May 2015 which puts her at 58 in today's live ratings table. She had been in the top 100 for over a year. She devoted her time to her study for the last few years and she only played chess part-time. Now that she has finished her university study, I hope she can devote more time to chess and cross the 2700 rating.
Mark S Mark S 5/13/2017 03:16
3 point for a win is called the Bilbao scoring system IIRC and one weakness of that scoring system, as discussed here at chessbase many years ago, is that in case the format is a double round robin two players can agree to give each other a win, thereby giving a higher score for each compared to a hard fought 2 draws.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 5/13/2017 08:43
@ Alejandro Ramirez : Thank you for giving us the time control ; for me, this is an important information for a given tournament, but, most of the time, this information isn't given in ChessBase articles, and is sometime quite difficult to find (for example if the official tournament page doesn't exist in a more or less understandable language for the reader).
genem genem 5/13/2017 10:59
A.Ramirez wrote: {
"Even a 30-move rule, which is not in effect in Moscow, would not have prevented this from happening."
}

True, but everybody knows that a sister rule must also be added to the Sofia-ish minimum move-pairs rule...

SOFIA SISTER RULE: Any player loses immediately if his move creates a specific position for the third (or more) occurrence, unless the minimum number of move-pairs have been completed.

Without the addition of the Sofia sister rule, the Sofia rule alone is like the police trying to surround fleeing criminal by guarding only his front door --- only to have the criminal flee out the back door. Obviously.
fons fons 5/13/2017 11:13
>> lajosarpad - "I find the 3 points for a win and 1 point for a draw philosophically unsound."

Why? You can assign whatever number of points you like to the outcome of a game. We are just used to the current system.

Consider: the performance that is the hardest or requires the most effort should get the most points. Agree? Therefore a win gets more points than a loss. But also: a win with black is harder than a win with white, so it gets more points. A draw with black is harder than a draw with white, so it gets more points.

I don't see what's philosophically unsound about this. Better performance; more points.

0 loss with white
1 loss with black
2 draw with white
3 draw with black
4 win with white
5 win with black

Imo this makes the most sense and reflects the game more accurately.

Not that this is ever going to happen. :D

(Btw: In case the format is a double round robin and two players agree to give each other a win they'll not benefit with this particular scheme: a win with black for each is 5 points for each. Two draws would also be 5 points. :D)

>> "The only goal of such a change is to make the players fight and force them out of their comfort zone"

I don't see what's wrong with this. Bread and games yes. That's why we are here. This is ultimately for our entertainment. Civilized entertainment. (MMA is just barbarism.)
fons fons 5/13/2017 11:28
PS: Somebody might say: but how can you give one point even if you lose (with black); that's not right!

You should not look at the reward (or points scored) in isolation. It's all about how you distribute the available points between the players (according to performance).

The current system distributes one point and creates three tiers to share that point between the players:
0 loss
½ draw
1 win.

My example is actually just the same, except split for color. Color is important in chess.
koko48 koko48 5/14/2017 01:17
"one weakness of that scoring system (3-1-0), as discussed here at chessbase many years ago, is that in case the format is a double round robin two players can agree to give each other a win, thereby giving a higher score for each compared to a hard fought 2 draws."

Is that really a weakness or a serious threat? I've never seen a situation involving football scoring in a double round robin, where two players agreed to mutually throw games. Or when such a thing was even suspected

And if two players are willing to go to such extremes to 'split the point(s)', so to speak, then it's not likely you would see a hard fought 2 draws from those same two players under traditional scoring. Much more likely they would go the common (all too common) route of 'playing' two non-game, prearranged draws
Masquer Masquer 5/14/2017 02:28
Hello, this tournament is a Swiss and NOT a double round robin, so 3 points for a win is unlikely to cause unwanted distortions.

Secondly, awarding 3 points for a win is one of the things that saved soccer from its own 'draw death' and lack of scoring over 20 years ago. The system has yielded positive results. It's even been tried in chess before, as the Bilbao scoring system, as mentioned above.
drcloak drcloak 5/14/2017 08:58
11 Move draw, what a joke. If there was an award for "Lack of Fighting Spirit" in this tournament, Salem & Grischuk would deserve it.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 5/14/2017 10:40
@KevinC

Nepomniachtchi is higher rated than Polgár at her peak, so Polgár would have been proud to beat him even at her best. Yes, Polgár's lifetime best is greater than Hou Yifan's lifetime best, but we are comparing a great player who finished her career to another who is not close to finishing it. Do not forget that Hou Yifan has beaten Polgár at Gibraltar. I am not saying that Hou Yifan has achieved the same results as Polgár, she is not even close to that, however, that is not impossible at all. We will see whether she is the next Polgár, but before that any pro or contra assumption is premature.

@fons

I gave you the reason: it is difficult to explain why is a win worth more than two draws in terms of performance. Your proposal to put equality between a draw with White and two losses with Black does not seem to be plausible at all. Infinitely many losses should worth less than a draw. You can lose a game by fool's mate. Two such losses should never be considered equal to a great draw. Also, you say that it is more difficult to play with Black than to play with White. This might be true or might be a collective psychosis. Was this hypothesis ever proved? I don't think so. So let's not state this as a fact, as it is not more than an opinion. Also, if someone is a patzer and loses with White without any good ideas, how is he performing worse than someone who is doing the same at the Black side of the board? If we take two patzers who will lose all their games in a tournament with odd number of games, is one of them better than the other just because he had more Black games? And if your assumption that playing Black is more difficult is true, is there any reason to use the point system you have suggested, is there any scientific founding of that, or is that a random system? Finally yes, one can give as many points for a performance as he wants, but this reasoning could be used to promote 1 point for a loss, half for a draw and 0 for a win, which does not make any sense, while a point system must be reasonable and justifiable and the arguments should enforce rationality into the point system. So far the only reason to change the point system is to promote fighting chess and the proposal has ignored the potential changes on the quality of the game.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 5/15/2017 12:52
@ lajosarpad : The 3 - 1 - 0 scoring system has already been discussed in great lengths under other ChessBase articles.

The problem is, also, that this system - that, some years ago, was used in several tournaments - hasn't shown to be particularly efficient in term of number of draws (conflicting opinions on this subject can - for example - be find in the comments section of this page : http://en.chessbase.com/newsroom/post/gibraltar-rd05-peace-and-war?page=0).
fons fons 5/15/2017 02:00
@ lajosarpad

>> "I gave you the reason: it is difficult to explain why is a win worth more than two draws in terms of performance."

You shouldn't look at a single specific case or scenario to judge the scoring system as a whole.

A single win should be worth more than a single draw, that's what matters. How much more exactly is subjective and there's no reason why a single win should be worth exactly two draws. It might seem natural but it's just what we're used to. There's also nothing wrong with it, ultimately it's a subjective evaluation.

>> "Your proposal to put equality between a draw with White and two losses with Black does not seem to be plausible at all. Infinitely many losses should worth less than a draw. You can lose a game by fool's mate. Two such losses should never be considered equal to a great draw."

Again you shouldn't look at a single specific case or scenario to judge the scoring system as a whole. My proposal takes into account that it's a handicap to have the black pieces. You are free to dislike that but it makes sense.

One draw with white = 2 points. Two losses with white = 0 points.
One draw with black = 3 points. Two losses with black = 2 points.

>> "Also, you say that it is more difficult to play with Black than to play with White. This might be true or might be a collective psychosis. Was this hypothesis ever proved? I don't think so. So let's not state this as a fact, as it is not more than an opinion."

There's a common consensus that it's an advantage to have the white pieces.

>> "Also, if someone is a patzer and loses with White without any good ideas, how is he performing worse than someone who is doing the same at the Black side of the board? If we take two patzers who will lose all their games in a tournament with odd number of games, is one of them better than the other just because he had more Black games?"

Yes, because it's an advantage to have the white pieces. This enters into the realm of statistics. If you look at a big enough sample size the logic is valid.

>> "And if your assumption that playing Black is more difficult is true, is there any reason to use the point system you have suggested, is there any scientific founding of that, or is that a random system?"

It makes logical sense and therefore it's not random.
fons fons 5/15/2017 02:01
@ lajosarpad

>> "Finally yes, one can give as many points for a performance as he wants, but this reasoning could be used to promote 1 point for a loss, half for a draw and 0 for a win, which does not make any sense,"

Obviously the scoring system should make logical sense. (So for example there should be some progression from loss to draw to win.) As long as this is the case different scoring systems can all be valid.

>> "while a point system must be reasonable and justifiable and the arguments should enforce rationality into the point system. So far the only reason to change the point system is to promote fighting chess and the proposal has ignored the potential changes on the quality of the game."

My example does not really promote fighting chess. It's just an illustration that one can have many different scoring systems that are all philosophically sound. I would argue though that my example is better than the classical one because it takes into account the fact that it's an advantage to have the white pieces. Whether this consideration is important enough to start using it is another matter.

The Bilbao system presumably promotes fighting chess because it increases the value of a win vs a draw compared with the classical system. (In my example two draws are still equal to a win, this is not the case in the Bilbao system.)

Everything has pros and cons and it's a matter of opinion what weighs more heavily. A lot of boring (but sound) draws or a lot of fighting (but less sound) victories?

It's also unclear how much the Bilbao system actually influences the draw rate. Past experiments have not been conclusive. It seems that the 30-move rule has more of an effect, but again it's hard to judge these things, one would have to run two experiments in parallel universes -all else being equal- to compare.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 5/15/2017 08:36
@fons

"You shouldn't look at a single specific case or scenario to judge the scoring system as a whole."
I will decide what I will look to, thank you for understanding. Your proposal is bleeding from a thousand of wounds, but I am not writing chess books to show you all the logical flaws of your system and I do not consider it worthy for a deep analysis.

"there's no reason why a single win should be worth exactly two draws"
I have answered this in the other debate.

"Again you shouldn't look at a single specific case or scenario to judge the scoring system as a whole."
So you acknowledge that I have looked at least for two specific cases to judge your scoring system. While I have addressed your false argument above, to avoid repeating myself, here I will just point out that you are contradicting yourself in this sentence when you state that I am "again" looking into a "single specific case or scenario" and this scenario is different from the other. If I give you a hundred examples of problems with your scoring system, will you tell me one hundred times that I should not look at a single case or scenario?

You have given me an example where your system makes sense, but your system should always make sense. Why should we accept your system even as an option if it does not make sense in all the cases?

"There's a common consensus that it's an advantage to have the white pieces."
Science is not a democratic thing. If you want me to believe your assumption, then you need to show me the proof.

"If you look at a big enough sample size the logic is valid. "
Nope, the large sample size is not a proof. It can be used to create an educated guess. It is unscientific to consider a pattern to be a proof. It is good-enough to form a hypothesis, but not more.

Another self-contradiction:
I. "It makes logical sense and therefore it's not random. "
II. "A single win should be worth more than a single draw, that's what matters. How much more exactly is subjective and there's no reason why a single win should be worth exactly two draws."
You state that it makes sense, yet you acknowledge that it is subjective, so you did not show the exact sense when I asked for it, because it is subjective, yet you deny it is random.

"Obviously the scoring system should make logical sense. (So for example there should be some progression from loss to draw to win.) As long as this is the case different scoring systems can all be valid. "
Yes, the scoring system should make logical sense. I have shown you that your exact arguments could be used to support senseless systems as well, which means that the arguments do not prove that your system makes sense and you need some other arguments.

"I would argue though that my example is better than the classical one because it takes into account the fact that it's an advantage to have the white pieces."
Your "fact" is an assumption, we do not know the perfect game, nor its result. If you do, then go ahead and become World Champion. Let me give you another example: if there are two players fighting for first place before the last round and one of them loses with White in a miniature, then the other with Black will not really be interested to achieve a draw from a worse position and while he/she may be able to achieve it, he/she might decide to avoid a suffering for hours. Not to mention the real danger when in a double round robin two players will pre-arrange their games so both of them will win with Black against each-other. In a simple round-robin three players can agree to pre-arrange their games, so each of them will win and lose with Black against the two other participants of the group and therefore gaining momentum against the other players. This would generate worse non-games than the short draws we see.

"A lot of boring (but sound) draws or a lot of fighting (but less sound) victories? "
You are right when you state that this choice is subjective.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 5/15/2017 08:58
@Petrarlsen

I agree in the essence with your well founded and high-level arguments there, however, I disagree in three points with you:

1. A large statistical sample is not a proof yet, but it is good-enough to form a hypothesis.

2. A proof of a statement shows its validness indeed, but in terms of chess systems I think we should consider even unproved, but strongly founded (laying on solid arguments) systems, as we may overlook good ideas because of our inability to prove them.

3. The very last sentence of the very last comment is unnecessary, you were clearly right without that as well. Your debating partner was insulting you, so I can perfectly understand you from a human point of view, however I found your arguments more respectable when they have just shown the truth as you see it and left the judgement to the readers. At Chessbase you are writing to a thinking audience which will more often than not understand your point.

When someone argues for the Bilbao system I need the following:

1. Preferably proof, but strong arguments as a minimum to show me why is this point system correlating to the performance needed to the specific result
2. Showing me how is this correlation better than the one we already have
3. A well founded estimation of playing level change and another well founded estimation of the sporting value change

I am interested to know whether you have the same expectations. If not, I am interested to know the differences and their reasons.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 5/15/2017 11:12
@ lajosarpad : For the moment, I haven't time enough to read - seriously - your post and to answer it... But, a little bit later, I will answer you (probably today) - and what you say is quite interesting !
fons fons 5/15/2017 09:02
@ lajosarpad

No offense but reading skills and rational thought do not seem to be your strong points.

Or are you deliberately misunderstanding everything as a way of trolling?
lajosarpad lajosarpad 5/16/2017 11:46
@fons

And you have reached the stage of insulting. I think it is better to finish our debate, I wish you all the best.
drcloak drcloak 5/16/2017 02:45
@lajosarpad

Strongly advise you to brush up on your reading comprehension.
Petrarlsen Petrarlsen 5/17/2017 07:16
@ lajosarpad :

I will put (in a few moments...) my answer to your last post to me on this page : http://en.chessbase.com/post/moscow-grand-prix-r05-six-crowd-the-podium. This because I rather think that the present page must now be more or less "dead" ; by transfering this discussion on a more recent page on this same tournament, this can allow other commentators to continue to participate to this discussion...
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