I shall start by admitting that we all make typos, all of the time, but there are times when you simply have to check, double-check and make sure you get it right. It's Sunday morning and, as the vicar of St. BCM's, my sermon today is on the subject of getting it right when it matters...
Exhibit A: the pairings page at the official website for the world championship. I had a look at this to check when various people were due to play each other and was appalled to find that the pairings for the second half of the tournament were all over the place. In most cases they replicate the pairings of the first half, so that players are shown playing the same opponents with the same colours. For example, round eight looks OK but in round nine the same guys play each other again with the colours reversed. The first free day is listed as Sept 11 when it should be September 17. In short, muchos problemas. Anyway, I tried to be helpful and email the webmaster. I found the contacts page, which had a contact email address for the webmaster, so I penned him a quick line, in English and rusty Spanish, indicating the errors. But - as you've probably already guessed - the email bounced back to me, recipient unknown. Mas problemas... I wonder, could it happen... could one of the world championship contenders rely on what he found on the website, prepare for the game and then turn up to find himself facing someone entirely different. It couldn't - could it? Anyway, I have just extracted 'Speckled Jim' from my pigeon loft, attached a message to his claw and sent him on his way to Mexico City.
Exhibit B: the ACP proposal for the standardization of time controls. Now, for once, I shall not go banging on about how idiotic I think modern time controls are, how I loathe it when they are described as 'classical', etc, etc: I will merely draw your attention to section 1 of this document where the writer (Polish GM Macieja) lists the so-called 'long classical' option. He first lists it in time limit gobbledegook as (100'/40+50'/20+G-15')+30" ("the longer") and then attempts to decode as
[90 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for remaining moves, with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move 1]. Unfortunately it has become garbled in translation since the first talks about 100 minutes and the second 90 minutes: a typo which might be forgivable in many contexts, but here it goes to the heart of the matter. As lawyers like to say, time is of the essence. It seems to me that this failure to get it right completely undermines any confidence we can have in this entire proposal and the thought that has gone into it. Together with the vague generalisations about who wants new/fast and who wants old/slow time controls, it looks like a botched job.
P.S. Sorry to be so cynical on this bright and sunny Sunday morning but it is hard not to presume that the ACP has agreed to roll over and have its tummy tickled in this way in return for some FIDE bribe or other.