Thursday, June 19, 2008

Controversy at the US Women's Championship Tournament

Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush had to decide the 2008 Women's Chess Championship in a blitz match (which was mutually agreed to by both players) after the both had played to a tie in the overall tournament. The blitz game was won by Anna in the very last possible second, and all heck broke loose near the end of the match with pieces flying around on the board and one was even thrown across the room by Irina Krush!

Krush has since drafted a letter claiming that her opponent should not be given the win due to the fact that she believes Anna was touching the pieces before Krush had hit her clock.

In part of her letter she exclaims, "And that's the crux of the matter. My opponent, seeing herself on the verge of losing on time, began playing moves before I had completed mine. She made her moves before I hit my clock, and as soon as I pressed the clock, it was punched back at me. That is how my lead in time was chipped away at..." The full letter can be found here on the USCF site.

Here is the normal speed video posted to YouTube which shows the entire game including the chaotic final moments:



The United States Chess Federation issued a full reply to the letter here and determined that nothing illegal happened during the match except for a knocked over piece not being placed back in the upright position during the game. According to the USCF response both players can be seen moving their pieces before the opponent hit the clock.

Definitely an interesting story!

1 comment:

Christian said...

I always wondered how professionals and Grandmaster handle clock issues, particularly in Blitz games (accidentally knocking pieces over, pressing that button, etc.) and I find the whole "running out of time"= "loss even in winning positions" slightly unfair. Why don't they use Fischer time controls?