Gibraltar Flash: Hou Yifan resigns in 5 moves!

by ChessBase
2/2/2017 – In a curious case at Gibraltar Masters, women's world champion Hou Yifan resigned in a mere 5 moves, breaking the record previously held by Viswanathan Anand for the quickest loss by a grandmaster. The 'scandal' occurred during the final round of the Masters tournament, known to be the best Open in the world.

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A controversial form of protest

In a bizarre series of events, Hou Yifan has lodged a unique form of protest at the Gibraltar Masters by choosing to make uncharacteristic moves in the opening and resign soon after.

Hou Yifan moments after resigning | Photo: John Saunders

The incident occurred in the final round of the Gibraltar Masters. Hou Yifan was playing with the white pieces on the 17th board against Indian GM Lalith Babu. She arrived 25 minutes after the games began and started to play quickly.

[Event "Tradewise Gibraltar Masters 2017"] [Site "Caleta"] [Date "2017.02.02"] [Round "10"] [White "Hou, Yifan"] [Black "Lalith Babu M R"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A00"] [WhiteElo "2651"] [BlackElo "2587"] [Annotator "ChessBase"] [PlyCount "10"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. g4 {1515} d5 {288} 2. f3 {22} e5 {119} 3. d3 {21} Qh4+ {221} 4. Kd2 {67} h5 {103} 5. h3 {95} hxg4 {119} 0-1

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GM Lalith Babu M.R. | Photo: Sophie Triay

Speaking to ChessBase India soon after the game, Lalith said, "I was scared when she played 1.g4 and I suspected preparation! But when I saw 2.f3, I figured out that something was wrong."

The game naturally attracted interest from onlookers  | Photo: John Saunders

To make matters even more curious, spectators are reporting that Yifan sported a smile during the game. Fans in social media are speculating that she may have done this in protest against the pairings-system that has been employed in the tournament where in 10 games, she has played 7 female players.

Rd. Bo. SNo Title Name Rtg FED Pts. Res. w-we
1 22 143 WGM Pourkashiyan Atousa 2303 IRI 4.5 s 1 0.11
2 19 85 GM Zhukova Natalia 2447 UKR 5.5 w 1 0.24
3 11 47 GM Muzychuk Anna 2558 UKR 5.5 s ½ -0.13
4 16 51 GM Muzychuk Mariya 2546 UKR 6.0 w 1 0.36
5 4 5 GM Adams Michael 2751 ENG 7.0 s 0 -0.36
6 19 81 GM Cramling Pia 2454 SWE 5.0 w ½ -0.25
7 20 78 IM Ider Borya 2463 FRA 5.5 s 1 0.26
8 15 38 GM Ju Wenjun 2583 CHN 7.0 w 0 -0.59
9 23 66 IM Batsiashvili Nino 2492 GEO 5.0 s 1 0.29
10 17 37 GM Lalith Babu M R 2587 IND 6.0 w

Hou Yifan resigns

Yifan resigns on the live webcast

Speculations are also coming in from Gibraltar saying that some players suspect the pairings have been done manually while the arbiters denied such a scenario. While some are commenting that 'giving away the game' is unacceptable.

Official Update from Gibraltar Masters Officials:

Women’s World Champion Hou Yifan from China has apologized for giving away her game this morning against Lalith Babu M R from India in the last round of the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival within five moves.

Hou Yifan and Tournament Organiser Brian Callaghan speak about the incident

In an exclusive interview with the Festival press team Hou Yifan tells Tania Sachdev she apologized to chess players, to her fans and those following the Gibraltar Masters. Hou Yifan said she had been dissatisfied and had been upset with the pairings throughout the tournament as she had drawn seven women players out of 10 rounds. Tournament organizer, Brian Callaghan, interviewed directly after the Women’s World Champion was disappointed at what had happened and felt she had let herself down. Being a World Champion he said brought with it a great responsibility. Although sympathetic about her reason for giving her game away, Mr. Callaghan was quite clear that he did not believe the pairings had been wrong or that the move by Hou Yifan had damaged the tournament. But he did refer to the world champion having had a “bad day at the office”. Mr. Callaghan insisted the festival had welcomed her several times to the Rock and the festival had always been a keen promoter of the women’s game in chess and that this would continue into the future.

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zookid zookid 2/9/2017 04:25
Interesting question and study perhaps: A female and male player rated the same, are they equal in strength? Maybe the scale is skewed a little in woman's favor? It is quite ironic that Hou Yifan finished in 48th place after being rated 22nd. All of the women finishing the tournament above her placed approximately at a position half of their ranking(big improvement). And this is with most of them playing only 1 or 2 other women, while Hou played 7.

Regardless of whether her placement against females was manipulated or random is secondary. To finish in 48th place and behind so many other women is what brings about the frustration, especially after having 7 female opponents.
chesspurr chesspurr 2/8/2017 10:21
A good friend of mine says chess needs more female players, and i agree, but surely the love of the game and its easy accessibility to all of us, should be incentive enough.
Hou Yifan for example was ranked no 22 on rating at the start of the tournament, so was clearly expected to be in the hunt for the main prizes.
A star performance by a junior boy, at the Gibraltar congress gets £2000.00 -£3000.00 unless he is in the main prize list, and a girl who could finish outside the prizes gets up to £15000.00
Something seems rather unfair here, the rewards for female players seem to be, far too generous. Give junior, over 60, and female prizes, but surely a little bit more equality should be on offer.
Something is wrong when the female world champion, who is a superb player in her own right, feels like a victim with the unusual number of female opponents drawn against her, and yet numbers of equally fine male players watched the awards to female players at the prize giving.
As a chess lover, i even went to the trouble of asking a few women that i personally know, and they agreed that this type financial bias, does women no favours, and rewards should be earned on genuine merit.
I wonder if Hou might like to think about fairness in general in our chess world?
flachspieler flachspieler 2/7/2017 08:25
I just found a fitting joke on Bobby Fischer.

Bobby: I had a date last night.
Reporter: How did you do?
Bobby: Great. I beat her in 4 moves!
Balthus Balthus 2/7/2017 01:31
fartpants: nick of the week LOL
fartpants fartpants 2/7/2017 01:54
@stourleyk Brian Callaghan is the owner of the Caleta Hotel and a chess lover who has put millions of his own money into making this tournament the success it is today. He has always encouraged woman players and this tournament has one of the highest female participation rates of any major open. Apart from a minor slip-up about being paired against "girls" he was respectful throughout.
stourleyk stourleyk 2/6/2017 06:56
Brian Callaghan's patronization of women chess players is shocking.
TheJackpot TheJackpot 2/6/2017 06:39

Well, that's the way more chess sites work. Bring it when it is hot and you can get the story, don't waste time on verification, and move on to other stories that get you the clicks.

It's just like real news sites!
Balthus Balthus 2/6/2017 04:29
So the case is now considered settled and closed by ChessBase? No comment (apart from the forum) over the weekend and well into the new week? Hoping everyone should forget this and get back to business and usual?
flachspieler flachspieler 2/6/2017 01:49
>... Most postings here discuss the issues ... rather than
> personal attack.

I am a mathematician myself; you know that "we" have a
code of honour: you have to be able to prove your claims.
You claimed to have a Ph.D. in Math from the MIT. I asked
you (admittedly in harsh words) to prove that.

> I will not respond to your future posting, as those will
> be out of focus of this topic.

You may do so. But if you do, please do not mention
your "anonymous PhD degree" again.

> Just keep in mind that liability of proof goes with the
> accuser, not the accused.

Think about our situation again. YOU started with the
PhD claim, so you should validate this with arguments.
My proposal: Tell one of the main theorems of your PhD thesis
including two or three lines sketching the proof. If you are
clever you will be able to do that without revealing your
(My mathematical horizon is broad. So I will likely be
able to understand your arguments.)

portici portici 2/6/2017 03:56
@flachspieler: Grow up. Most postings here (including those I disagree) discuss the issues related to Hou, rather than personal attack. I will not respond to your future posting, as those will be out of focus of this topic. Just keep in mind that liability of proof goes with the accuser, not the accused. (the same applies to the accusation that the pairings are rigged)

@BillyG, @strategos78: Agree with you.
fons fons 2/6/2017 03:02
@ tafit, TommyCB

Good. So we now have TWO people who have gone on the record to say they have redone the pairings with the program and found them to be correct. (Colin McGourty and Bator Sambuev)

And one person who has checked them manually up until Round 6: Thomas W. Ewers.

Information like this should have been in the very first official report on this matter.
fons fons 2/6/2017 02:59
@ TheJackpot

>> "I prefer weighing arguments over weighing reputations."

I agree that arguments should speak for themselves. But this is not really an issue that can be settled with an argument. Example: let's say you have a glass of water and you want to know if it's cold or hot. You cannot make arguments to decide that matter. All you can do is put a thermometer inside and check the temperature. This is easy to do, but sometimes the experiment is not so easy to do and it requires expertise.

Furthermore in the real world we rely on reputations all the time.

When you go to the doctor and he tell's you what's wrong with you and and this is the medication you should take you have to trust that he knows what he's talking about. When the hospital sends a blood sample to the laboratory you have to trust that they are doing a good job, you can't do the examinations yourself.

When you read reports in a newspaper you should be able to trust that they are telling the truth. That is why if you go to a tabloid you know to take their information with a large grain of salt because they have a bad reputation.

That is why journalists have a responsibility to make sure that what they are saying is correct and to check the facts. If they say things on hearsay and without checking it becomes a big rumor mill where everybody repeats everybody else and it's just a big echo chamber.

If the journalists have sources -arbiters or tournament organizers for example- they should reveal who they are. This is not a politically sensitive subject. We are not talking about a whistle-blower who has to fear for his life when he exposes wrongdoings from an oppressive regime. This is a rather trivial rules and regulations matter.
koko48 koko48 2/6/2017 12:03
@strategos78 Not sure how you came to that conclusion, I love chess and care very much about the integrity of the game, which needs a lot of work. Some forms of rigging in chess, such as short unplayed draws, are so institutional and commonplace they are considered 'normal'

I also think there are other systemic problems in the chess world, and this is one of them

And I've been in Hou's shoes, on the wrong side of consistently questionable pairings...Whether this type of thing happens through malice and 'conspiracy', or incompetence, the point is they shouldn't happen at all

And I don't believe in 'conspiracy theories' btw...I believe in conspiracies

Conspiracies happen everywhere in the world, millions of times a day....Anytime two people decided to do something in unison (or one person unilaterally acts, or thinks about acting, to affect another person) a 'conspiracy' is made
Burgershirt Burgershirt 2/5/2017 11:22
More of the top female players need to compete against men in top events. This alone will go a long way toward shrinking the ratings gap between men and women. And unless they will claim and can prove that they manually altered NONE of the pairings in the event, then in order to remove the appearance of chicanery Hou Yifan should have been paired against more men. This is like kneeling during a national anthem: right or wrong, start the conversation that will eventually make things right.
strategos78 strategos78 2/5/2017 08:14
And a big congratulations to Hikaru Nakamura for his performance! :) A chess player who plays ! And plays well !!! :)
strategos78 strategos78 2/5/2017 08:08
@ Koko48, you do not really like chess to write what you write ...
strategos78 strategos78 2/5/2017 08:01
She is only damaging women chess with her teenage action.
strategos78 strategos78 2/5/2017 07:56
@BillyG, 100% agree with you
BillyG BillyG 2/5/2017 05:01
She is only damaging women chess with her action.
How can it matter if there is woman or a man on the other side? Chess is chess! Play chess and then play against you are paired or don't participate if you don't agree with this and stay home.
Such an action does not help anyone. It only makes things and feelings worse.
Her success seems to be going to her head.
koko48 koko48 2/5/2017 01:45
"just stop the discussion here with all these rumours hanging over the Gibraltar organization which will give them a bad name for (perhaps) no valid reason"

You misunderstood my posts. I did not claim the pairing were rigged or manipulated, I said they APPEARED that way. I did not say any games were fixed, I said certain pairings ENCOURAGED fixing

In this case the appearance or possibility of the thing, is as bad as the actual occurrence. I don't know if the pairings were manipulated, and personally I hope they weren't....But the point - again- is that even if the pairings occurred 'naturally by computer' (funny little oxymoron, there) they should not have been allowed to stand!

Don't believe this nonsense that the computer pairings are some Holy Grail, and can't be changed...Pairings are tweaked and changed all the time, and there's nothing uncommon, illegal or unethical about the practice...As long as the pairings are changed with fairness and objectivity in mind

And in a Swiss this size, there is usually at least one alternative. I'm not a probability expert (mathematicians and statisticians, feel free to chime in here) but I'm pretty sure it's rare, if not impossible, that every single one of the pairings in a field this size is 'forced'.

What gave this tournament a "bad name" was the APPEARANCE or POSSIBILITY of impropriety....My comments cannot possibly smear the tournament's reputation, as much (or any more) than the pairings did themselves
TommyCB TommyCB 2/5/2017 12:39
Right after hitting Submit I now realize why Ivanchuk was paired with Dragnev.
Dragnev was in the higher score group (with 4 points) and was paired down with Ivanchuk as the top player in the 3.5 group.

This does not change the previously shared analysis.

Thomas W. Ewers
TommyCB TommyCB 2/5/2017 12:31
Round 6

There are 36 players with 3.5 points. Initial pairings:

6 BWBWB - 54 BWBW-
11 WBW-B - 67 WBWBW
32 BWBWB - 80 BWB-W
33 WBW-B - 81 WBWBW
45 WBWBW - 100 BWBWB
46 BWBWB - 109 WBWBW
47 WBWBW - 116 BWBWB
48 BWBWB - 117 WBWBW
50 BWBWW - 126 WBWBW

15 need White to equalize.
17 need Black to equalize.
2 need White to alternate (only 4 games played).
2 need Black to alternate (only 4 games played).

Player 66 had White the previous round, but needs White this round to equalize.

Player 21 had Black the previous round, but needs Black this round to equalize.

The best color pairings would mean that the 2 that need White in order to alternate (11 and 33) should be given White. One of the players who needs Black in order to alternate (54 and 80) will instead be given White (thus having 3 Whites and 2 Blacks through 6 rounds), while the other player needing Black does indeed get Black.

If you really want to see how messy the pairings are, take that initial list above and circle the numbers and draw lines connecting the circles for the actual pairings. There is no way to break down this group into subgroups. With the exceptions of 2 pairings, this can be explained.

The goal is to get colors to work better. The left column is usually left intact and changes are made to the right column, but we try to keep the right column close to the original order.

The first natural pairing is 4 with 53, but the actual pairing was 4 with 67. In addition 6 was paired with 53. The colors for 53 and 67 are identical (WBWBW) so I don't know why 4 was paired "down". Pairing 4 with 53 and 6 with 67 is valid and would seem to be optimal.

For now, lets assume the first pairing 4 and 53 was made.

To pair 6, the next player in the right column that works is 54, but we want 54 to have White. Therefore 67 is chosen.

We continue down the left column and from the right side choose the highest player that works.

9 needs Black and is paired with 54 (White).

Note, 54 could use White or Black but for now is White. If there were problems later generating the best round 6 pairings, we would back up to this point and find a different player for player 9 and possibly have 54 as Black.

10 (needing White) is paired with 69 (Black)
11 - 73
17 - 62
18 - 80 since 54 was paired as White, 80 should be paired as Black
21 - 66
22 - 81 Hou Yifan - Pia Cramling
32 - 87
33 (needing White) is paired with 109 (Black)
37 - 68
41 - 72
45 - 94
46 - 117
47 - 100
48 - 126
50 - 116

To me these seem to be the optimal pairings, but the actual pairings seem to have switched players 53 and 67 giving:

4 Ivanchuk - 67 Dragnev
6 Svidler - 53 Spraggett

None of those players had played each other previous to this round.
Both 4 and 6 had BWBWB for colors.
Both 53 and 67 had WBWBW for colors.

This is the only pairing difference I've found that I do not have an explanation for, but then again I do not have all the information that the arbiters had. It could be anything including a problem with the pairing software.

So the natural pairing is yet again another female for Hou Yifan, making 5 females in the first 6 rounds.

The first 6 rounds were properly paired for Hou Yifan.

It's unfortunate that she did not contact a tournament arbiter who she trusted before throwing away the last game of the tournament in such an unwarranted fashion. A metaphor involving tilting at windmills comes to mind.

Thomas W. Ewers
TommyCB TommyCB 2/5/2017 12:15
Round 4

Let's look at round 4 players with 2.5 points.

After the top 7 players with 2.5 were properly paired, there are 22 players left. Here are the initial pairings before making adjustments for color:

10 BWB - 40 BWB
12 BWB - 41 WBW
13 WBW - 45 WBW
16 BWB - 47 WBW
18 BWB - 48 BWB
19 WBW - 49 WBW
20 BWB - 50 BWB
22 BWB - 51 WBW Hou Yifan - Muzychuk Mariya
24 BWB - 63 WBW
26 BWB - 66 BWB
27 WBW - 104 BWB

There are 9 players due Black and 13 due White; therefore 2 players will have 3 Blacks in the first 4 rounds.

One way to pair this group is to swap 40 with 45, and swap 48 with 49. This leaves us with 2 players in this group having 3 Blacks and all the rest having even colors through round 4.

I'm not sure why, but the actual pairings are different. Player 48 and 49 were swapped as above, but 10 - 40 play with bad colors, and 45, 47, and 48 are swapped. This also leaves us with 2 players in this group having 3 Blacks.

I'm guessing the software did it this way as more optimal, since the rating gap between 40 and 45 (which is 15) is greater than the rating gap between 45 and 48 (which is 7).

Neither one of those possible pairings affects Hou Yifan's pairing.

In both cases the colors work properly for Hou Yifan - Muzychuk Mariya, and no further changes should be made.

Round 4 is properly paired.

Round 5

There were 14 players with 3.5 points, and Hou Yifan is the only female. Here are the initial pairings without taking into account colors:

2 BWBW - 20 BWBW
3 WBWB - 21 WBWW
5 WBWB - 22 BWBW Adams Michael - Hou Yifan
10 BWBW - 24 BWBW
15 WBWB - 26 BWBW
16 BWBW - 27 WBWB
18 BWBW - 34 BWBW

There are 4 due White, and 10 due Black. Therefore 3 players will have a double White: BWBWW. With the initial pairings there are 3 players with double White so no changes can improve this situation.

Round 5 was properly paired.

Thomas W. Ewers
TheJackpot TheJackpot 2/5/2017 11:41

Sorry for missing your command, I was away yesterday, so I read a lot just very fast.

The reason I offered you the TRF file, was to save you the trouble of installing SwissManager, and finding where to convert the data file (the TUNx you referred to) to a TRF file, since I had already done that.
TheJackpot TheJackpot 2/5/2017 11:39

Well, if we start about scientific proof... the claim is that the statement "these are valid pairings is false". To falsify that statement "well, I think so" or "sounds unlikely to me, what are the odds?" are not really valid reasons.

So perhaps it's about time to focus on concrete arguments where the pairings are wrong? With decent arguments to say why it should be wrong? I haven't seen any substantiated claims, and I see a lot of "well, I'm still not convinced that the pairings are correct".

So instead of just expecting people to go through the process of pairing 10 rounds by hand and documenting it for others (taking hours), perhaps the people who don't believe it should invest the time to come with substantiated claims?

Or otherwise: just stop the discussion here with all these rumours hanging over the Gibraltar organization which will give them a bad name for (perhaps) no valid reason
koko48 koko48 2/5/2017 09:04
@kyi: Now you're talking about a rigged election (and rigged Democratic primary), which is a whole other can of worms we shouldn't get into....not because it's unrelated (because in many ways, it is related), but because it is irrelevant to the narrower issue of fixing and rigging in chess

Btw I could tell from your first inane, sexist comment that you were a Trump Boy....your latest post just confirmed it, thank you very much for that

@tomohawk: "GM Bator Sambuev reproduced the pairings exactly"

Glad to hear it, if in fact it's true (and verifiable)

Even then we should have other people - independent auditors, if you will - confirm those findings. As we all know, no scientific proof is complete and verified until it has passed Peer Review

"I've shown that the first 3 rounds were paired perfectly according to the Swiss pairing rules."

Thank you Thomas W. Ewers, for that....But I'm sure you're aware that proving that the first 3 rounds were paired perfectly, does not prove that all 10 rounds were paired perfectly
fartpants fartpants 2/5/2017 09:02
Dumb move by Hou Yifan, it may have been annoying to get mostly female opponents but that's just how the pairings worked out. Up until now she's been such a good ambassador for the game, this is really out of character.
flachspieler flachspieler 2/5/2017 08:41
@TommyCB: Many thanks for your constructive and detailed explanations.
They help a lot to put things in perspective.

@portici: According to your comments, I do not believe that you have a degree from MIT (even not a Bachelor). Anonymously using such as a (likely fake) reference is a shame.
TommyCB TommyCB 2/5/2017 06:57
Thank you TheJackpot for your hard work.

I was skeptical during the tournament about the Hou Yifan pairings. Each round the game analysts pointed out this "problem" with Hou Yifan consistently playing female players.

Let's look at the pairings to see if we can find any problems.

Round 1

Players are paired according to their ratings. Hou Yifan is pairing number 22 with rating 2651.

16 (2675)-(2314) 137
17 (2674)-(2313) 138
18 (2660)-(2312) 139
19 (2657)-(2309) 140
20 (2655)-(2306) 141
21 (2652)-(2304) 142
22 (2651)-(2303) 143 Pourkashiyan Atousa - Hou Yifan
23 (2651)-(2298) 144
24 (2650)-(2291) 145
25 (2645)-(2274) 146
26 (2637)-(2268) 147

Since there is no break in the sequence of pairing numbers, it's highly unlikely that any manual intervention took place.

A true conspiracy theorist might point out "A ha! There are 2 players with rating 2651! I'll bet they switched the order for the 2 players so Hou Yifan would play the female player!!!" And if you believe that really happened, then you can skip reading the rest of this analysis.

Round 2
Let's examine part of the pairings for the score group with 1 point. Initially the group is split in half with the bottom half playing the top half. The initial pairings (using the players pairing number, with Hou Yifan being 22) before adjusting for colors are:

13 - 79
14 - 80

15 - 81
17 - 82
18 - 83
20 - 84

21 - 85
22 - 88

Note, each player with an odd pairing number had White in the first round, and conversely those with even number had Black.

We see the first 2 pairings have bad colors, as 2 players who had White are initially paired against each other. We switch player 79 with 80 and now all 4 players will have BW or WB for colors played after 2 rounds.

In the next group of 4 players again we see 2 games with bad colors (15 and 81 both had White the first round, and 20 and 84 both had Black the first round. This is the final pairing with all colors perfect:

15 - 82
17 - 84
18 - 81
20 - 83

Note this pairing is optimal because it maintains the original order of the players in the right column who both played White, and who both played Black (82 is above 84, and 81 is above 83).

Which brings us to the next 2 games which also have bad colors. Switching player 85 with 88 produces the final pairing with good colors all around:

21 - 88
22 - 85 Hou Yifan - Zhukova Natalia

Round 3

Let's look at part of the pairing group with 2 points with the colors the players previously had. Players in the group above these were paired with perfect colors.

9 WB - 45 WB
11 WB - 46 BW
13 WB - 47 WB
15 WB - 48 BW
17 WB - 49 WB

20 BW - 50 BW
21 WB - 54 BW
22 BW - 58 BW
23 WB - 62 BW
24 BW - 64 BW

The colors here are badly distributed! In the first 5 initial pairings, 8 players are due to have White, and only 2 are due to have Black!

But also notice the next 5 initial pairings have the reverse: 8 are due Black and 2 are due White!

Therefore colors can be perfected in these 10 games. The final pairings are:

9 WB - 46 BW
11 WB - 48 BW
13 WB - 50 BW
15 WB - 54 BW
17 WB - 58 BW

20 BW - 45 WB
21 WB - 62 BW
22 BW - 47 WB Muzychuk Anna - Hou Yifan
23 WB - 64 BW
24 BW - 49 WB

Note that all of the BW pairing numbers are in order (46, 48, 50, 54, 58, 62, 64) and all the WB pairing numbers are in order (45, 47, 49). This is the optimal pairing for these 10 games.

This process can be repeated for the following rounds although it is a bit more difficult of course.

I've shown that the first 3 rounds were paired perfectly according to the Swiss pairing rules.

Thomas W. Ewers
tomohawk tomohawk 2/5/2017 03:03
GM Bator Sambuev reproduced the pairings exactly:
koko48 koko48 2/5/2017 01:37
Also lost in all this focus on Hou's pairings, are the other pairings in this tournament that either had the appearance of manipulation, or at the very least encouraged game fixing

Short vs Adams (a short unplayed draw, right after Short called the Ju Wenjun -Suotvsky game a "sin")....Cheparinov vs his Bulgarian friend and training partner Topalov....and perhaps the most egregious, the Zatonskih vs Fridman husband-wife pairing in the last round, where a win earns Zatonskih 10,000 pounds

Jovana Houska thought the latter pairing was ridiculous in the commentary, and I agree with her....This type of pairing practically encourages game fixing...And it puts Fridman in a very difficult position...If he plays with integrity and beats or draws his wife, he costs her (and their family) a sizable amount of money...and even if he loses the game legitimately, it could still smell like a thrown game...Especially if he plays badly or blunders

Callaghan has no right to lecture Hou on her "responsibilities as world champion" when he did not meet his responsibilities as TD...Which is to ensure the pairings are fair to all players, and remove any possibility or appearance of cheating

We all know "improbable things happen" in nature...Improbable things also occur by human manipulation....The point I tried to make earlier is that even if these pairings (Hou vs. 7/9 women, Zatonskih vs. Fridman last round) occurred 'naturally' by computer, the pairings should have been redone to get a different result....If they were not manipulated beforehand, then they should have been manipulated after

That should have been done by Mr Callaghan to protect the appearance and integrity of the tournament, and to not encourage game fixing in the latter case...In this sense I would say that he let himself down - and he let down the tournament as a whole
A7fecd1676b88 A7fecd1676b88 2/5/2017 01:26

Your comment was already contained in abdekker’s second comment when he referenced the Feynman license plate, if you bother to read between the lines of his comment. In my reply to his comment, I added the clarification that probability must be calculated before the event (and made reference to an anecdote in which Einstein had already considered a related calculation).. As you did not understand this, we see a degree from MIT does not guarantee reading skills.

Anyway, I now give the rather enlightening Einstein anecdote, as told by Eugene Wigner, because it should:
1) help clarify the probability question and
2) illustrate these questions of probability are not silly

Thus, Wigner tells us:
“Einstein’s thoughts often turned philosophical. He told us once, ‘Life is finite. Time is infinite. The probability that I am alive today is zero. In spite of this, I am now alive. Now, how is that?’ None of his students had an answer. After a pause, Einstein said, “Well, after the fact, one should not ask for probabilities.”
(Note: This was in a seminar in 1921-22, and so at that time, there was no big bang theory, and indeed, physics still considered time to be infinite.)

I keep office hours MWF 9-5 if you need any more help.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 2/5/2017 12:23
@fons, there is no reason for him to give his name. And a plethora of reasons not to. Why don't you give your name, so we can check your credentials.

But I agree with you, it seems that there are just 2-3 persons who have checked the pairings.
TheJackpot TheJackpot 2/4/2017 11:57
@fons because the arguments stay exactly the same. I prefer weighing arguments over weighing reputations.
tafit tafit 2/4/2017 11:29
for all the geniuses among us:
koko48 koko48 2/4/2017 11:03
"I find this amazing. None of the journalists who have reported on this know somebody with experience doing Swiss pairings? "

I agree. It is amazing to me as well, that nobody has stepped up to replicate the pairings and give proof...perhaps post a video on we can see them enter the results in Swiss Manager, starting with the pairings and results of Round 1, and see if all of these pairings are repeated (it might be better if several people do it, just in case one of the demonstrators tweaked the program)

That would be far more convincing evidence than any argument about probabilities...Which is just that, an argument without resolution

IMO (as I mentioned before) the burden of proof is on the tournament director....And if this state of silence and lack of evidence continues, many people might take that as tacit confirmation that the pairings were manipulated
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 2/4/2017 10:41
I beg Chessbase: hire experts to resolve the issue and share the conclusion in an article - you cannot just report the easy thing (declarations) without making any enquiry.
fons fons 2/4/2017 09:49
@ tafit

>> "There where several people (incl. international arbiters) that have redone the pairings"

Nope. So far there has only been one confirmed person with arbiter or organizer credentials who has stepped forward to claim he has redone the pairings. And even that was hearsay. (Jack Rudd said that Alex Holowczak said that...)

I find this amazing. None of the journalists who have reported on this know somebody with experience doing Swiss pairings? There have to be plenty of people like that. If anything they could make a comment right here, or is that also too hard? All they have done is claim the pairings are correct without giving sources. I guess creating "fake news" is the new trend.

@ TheJackpot

I understand people like their anonymity on forums like this. But if you are an international arbiter with experience in tournament organization you are already known in the chess world as an official. Why are you afraid of giving your name?
JanneKejo JanneKejo 2/4/2017 09:09
Another comment on probabilities. Imagine a certain thing occurring has the probability of 0,1% when tried/tested once. How many times must the test be repeated until the occurrence of that thing during those tests becomes more probable than its absence? Roughly using the calculator it seems that 800 repeats should at least be sufficient (the probability of the 0,1% thing NOT occurring during those tests being roughly 43%).
strategos78 strategos78 2/4/2017 08:48
@ Koko48, similar to you :)

Good week and long live chess ! :)