Sunday, 15 April 2007

Electronic Chess Wars - Stewart Reuben Comments

The following comments from Stewart Reuben were sent to me by email for posting here. His direct comments in italics:

"Mike Yeo expresses concern about cheating with players leaving the tournament venue and phoning a friend. Using a phone in the playing venue (which includes the toilets and refreshment area) is strictly forbidden, so that I think the Monroi device offers no new problems there. After all, you could send a message to Fritz or a friend and get a reply in the current setup.

"Mike correctly says that the cumulative add-on of 30 seconds is inadequate when using the devices. He is absolutely correct and I believe 30 seconds is inadequate anyway. When I wrote the FIDE Law that score had to be kept throughout when there was an add on of 30 seconds or more, I had no intention that it be solely 30 seconds. Events I run have an add on of one minute as in Gibraltar and Hastings. David Welch and I agree we would not use Monroi with only 30 seconds. Indeed, ordinary scoring is also too difficult for some older people with only 30 seconds. They may have to use two sets of glasses.

"Only events run by British and Australian arbiters use an increment of one minute. The world is out of step with us. Stewart Reuben."

In a separate email, Stewart says he thinks that they may not have used DGT in Dresden but may be building their own system for use at the 2008 Dresden Olympiad. I have no information about this - can anyone comment? Given the inconsistent output from the 2007 Euro Dresden website, it is hard to have confidence in such relatively untested technology with only a year to go. Stewart also makes the point that DGT boards have not been used for Olympiads to date. Russian boards are used. I have no information as to the brand.


  1. Steve Fairbairn15 April 2007 at 13:36

    I favour minute increments with the time controls structured in such away to ensure a comfortable seven hours for one round a day events. It would be understandable that weekend events be a tad faster. But I have never understood when you have potentially all day to play a game why organizers would want to go with these silly 90 minutes and 30 second increment game controls. Most people are at the standard nine round open swiss to play chess, so lets play chess intead of having the glorified rapid games.

  2. Steve - I agree with you entirely. The reason why these absurdly fast time controls are being introduced in FIDE's one-game-a-day tournaments is that they want us to get used to much quicker time controls in readiness for the next phase of their 'master plan' - two games in one day. Probably because of FIDE's abject failure to find decent sponsorship for chess, they are forced to resort to desperate measures to minimise costs (e.g. shortening the duration of tournaments). Fortunately organisers of private tournaments (e.g. the UK and Aussie organisers that Stewart Reuben refers to) are resisting FIDE's more ridiculous initiatives and work to keep their tournaments chessplayer-friendly.

  3. Presumably the point about cheating with Monroi made in the original post, is not because of this Monroi system per se, but because of the implied free wifi access at the venue. Having wifi access allows you to log into, eg. chessbase's central database on a PDA. This was possible at the first 4NCL earlier in the season.

  4. People misunderstand how the Monroi system works. There is a wireless router that all the handheld devices connect to but it is security enabled so that only authorised Monroi's can connect. In any event, that router is not connected to the internet so even if you jerry rigged a PDA to connect to the router, you could not call up a website.

    This is not a wi-fi hot spot such as the one found at the Sunningdale 4NCL venue!