Michael Adams

Official Website of GM Michael Adams

Dress for Success

It seems a bit late to write much about the European team championship held in Greece, so instead I will make some comments on the ECU decision to introduce some new rules for the future bringing in a dress code of staggering complexity and dubious enforceability (will the arbiter’s exam in future contain sections on the appropriate cleanliness and odour of clothes?).
They have also banned draws by agreement in less than 40 moves. Draw restrictions certainly have their place and a complete ban as in the LCC is appropriate for some events. I think it would be better for other events to make a less onerous generalised rule that would apply to all tournaments: 30 moves for instance seemed to work well in the Dresden Olympiad. The Bundesliga functions well with a 20 move limit. So perhaps a general rule for all rated games of 25 moves would be worth trying. There are already too many different rule variations with timecontrols so some uniformity would be very welcome. The ECU have already made an exception for senior events so adding to the confusion.

Instead of fiddling with these trivial details the ECU might consider employing proper pairing systems for their events. The Euro Cup and European Team Championships were both dismal in this regard.The idea that where possible the difference in strength between team’s opposition should be minimised seems self evident but no consideration appears to be given to this obvious point.
Another question is whether remote off season holiday resorts are the best venues to promote the game. I doubt spectators numbered double figures at the Eurocup and Euro team championships combined. This year at the Euroteams the entire complex was shut down other than for the chessplayers.

Michael Adams • December 24

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