Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Cuernavaca Tiebreak Confusion

| Permalink | 25 comments

Maybe I'm not the only one who is confused here, but now the arbiter is saying that Vallejo Pons won the title on tiebreaks ahead of Ponomariov. The official site says they are using Koya for the first tiebreak. This means best score against those with 50% or better. The arbiter's results page (thanks to Seppe) even lists Vallejo Pons with Koya 5 to Ponomariov's 4. But a quick glance at the crosstable shows Ponomariov scored 3.5/5 against those with 50% or more (three draws and wins against Bruzon and Volokitin) and Vallejo Pons scored 2.5 (five draws). Those should be their Koya scores.

I don't really care much about system tiebreaks, but what's up? None of the Koya or Koya Extended instructions I can find provide any way it would be possible to alter this, or to produce scores of 5 and 4, unless I just can't read the instructions. (Wouldn't be the first time. My IKEA bookshelf first turned into a scale replica of the Eiffel Tower.) Koya goes from the 50%+ group on down, seems simple enough. Can someone please confirm that I've lost my mind or that the wrong guy took the trophy home? Maybe the Spaniard got a 5 from the French judge.

[Update: Organizer GM Sisniega has spoken to arbiter Zaragoza, who recognizes that he got the numbers wrong. "Ponomariov was definitely first and Vallejo second. Fortunately, the prize money was split evenly and there was no trophy involved. Zaragoza will be issuing an apology shortly." I guess it's still possible I've lost my mind, but not about this. At least no harm was done. I was just curious because I announced Pono as the tiebreak winner the other day.]


That's the level of FIDE Arbiters?
¡Qué miedo, nene! :-P

Mig. You lost your mind long ago...

(Sorry, someone had to say it! :) )

Globular, You beat a lot of us to the punch. It's not everyday that Mig so easily plays the straight man.

I don't know much about tiebreaks so I will be keeping an eye on this one. I hope it's not a case of partisan policy gone awry.

Tiebreaks heardly seem fair. I say have the co-winners duke it out with some fast games. then at least the winner is determined by chess between the players.

Thanks guys. Always good to feel the love on Valentine's Day! And whaddya mean, "play a straight man"? What is this, Brokeback Mountain? Oh, play THE straight man...

I dunno about partisan. Now, if they'd announced Leon Hoyos had won the tournament on tiebreaks I'd be a little suspicious. Anyway, I wrote to organizer Sisniega too, so we should see.

I don't much like tiebreaks of any sort in this sort of event. In most cases I think shared first is fine. Few people remember or care about tiebreaks and I wouldn't want to see that change. In a serious title situation (e.g. national championship) or in a qualification event they are obviously required. But when you score the same points against the same field, that's enough. Tiebreaks weren't often used in the past. Karpov always counted shared firsts among his record-setting number of tournament wins, not that he needed to to have the record. Seems fair to me.

Yah--don't see much of a point in tiebreaks. The championshp should go to whoever produced best results in the tournament and I could argue about whether beating the players you should be able to beat is worse than not losing to players who are on the same level.

Was there really a trophy? I never saw any mention of prizes of any kind. I figured they were playing for bragging rights.

I didn't mean literally a trophy. I have no idea if there was one. It's really just trivia; I just wanted to see if I misunderstood the Koya system since I announced the other day that Ponomariov finished ahead on tiebreak.

"unless I just can't read the instructions. (Wouldn't be the first time. My IKEA bookshelf first turned into a scale replica of the Eiffel Tower.)"

"or that the wrong guy took the trophy home?"

VERY funny. More of this please! :-)

"unless I just can't read the instructions. (Wouldn't be the first time. My IKEA bookshelf first turned into a scale replica of the Eiffel Tower.)"

"or that the wrong guy took the trophy home?"

VERY funny. More of this please! :-)

It's weird that the official site lists the tiebreak method to be used--but not the actual tiebreak results. And I've never seen an "arbiter's results page before."

For what it's worth:

The arbiter's page apparently does this:
Scores vs. those who scored > 50% (NOT >=)
That means 5 or better. Nak, Dom, Bruz, VP and RP. Pairing Numbers 2, 5, 6, 8, 9
2 5 6 8 9
VP : d d d - d 2.0 * 2 = 4
RP : - W d d d 2.5 * 2 = 5

This seems to explain the scoring.
I sympathize with this principle for a 1st place tie-breaker, since I'm less impressed by players who clean up the bottom of the table, where the pickings are easier.


Oh. Yes. The scores seem to be reversed on the arbiter's page. Inconsistent with the crosstable.

Well, this is the Iljumzhinov era.

All's fair in love and chess.


and furthermore...
Of their 4 wins, two were vs. the same players.
The other 2 might differentiate:

Tournament score Rating
RP beat
Volokitin 4.5 2665
Bruzon 5.0 2650

VP beat
Cheparinov 4.0 2625
Karjakin 3.5 2660

Either way, Ponomariov's wins are more impressive by a hair, and tie-breaks are about splitting hairs.


Mercy for the weak is generally seen in a favorable light in other facets of life---so why not chess?

I don't see any reason for tiebreaks in a round-robin event, even if it is a formality. It's one thing if you ran a big swiss open, and player A got his points by upsetting higher players in the early rounds, then losing/drawing to some tough opponents in the late rounds, while player B got his points by giving up a few losses/draws in the early rounds and creaming some weaker opposition later. In that case you can predict that maybe if they had played the same opponents A would have been +.5 or +1 over B, and you can reward A for his tougher competition.

In this case, any point or partial point one of them has that the other does not is made up for somewhere else in the crosstable. If you tie in a round-robin you are tied - with all significant variables controlled for, you were playing at almost the same strength. Maybe if you ran another tourney A would edge B by .5 a few times out of a hundred, but as it is they are tied. Any "impressiveness" of Ponomariov's wins over opponents whose higher ratings are probably not enough higher to be of reliable statistical or predictive significance is counterbalanced by his failure to score a full point against Cheparinov and Karjakin.

Ultimately, any debate of this sort is ridiculous in a round-robin tournament, particularly one with this kind of parity, where only one player is out of a narrow rating range and even he is not a push-over. You need tiebreaks for hundred+ player opens with ratings from 2600 down to 1000, optional and forced byes, different schedules, unbalanced pairings, GM draws, etc. The word tiebreak shouldn't even be mentioned in relation to a GM RR where every game is a tightly contested match between near-equals. If you earn the best score you earn your share of first.

"I guess it's still possible I've lost my mind"

Mig the reason I enjoyed reading you these past 4 or 5 years was because I thought you never had a mind. how else could you have written such outrageous commentary for so long.

I know you always thought the women liked you because you dont have any hair. but I have heard reports from women who claim it is really because there is nothing below that dome.

And careful of those Mexican bars. it is the water they add to the drinks that will kill you.

My first love was a Senorita. So I am prepared to give you fair warning Morelia can be dangerous for those with wandering eyes.

Thanks for intervening to set the record straight. Ultimately, though, the logic of the Koya system isn't compelling. If the winner is the one who did better against the top half of the field, he's also the one who did worse against the minus scores. Where's the glory in that?

"If the winner is the one who did better against the top half of the field, he's also the one who did worse against the minus scores. Where's the glory in that?"

Yes it is strange, but I think the logic is something along the following lines - it may look better, for instance, to beat Topalov and Anand, and draw with Bacrot and Kamsky, than this: draw with Topalov and Anand, and beat Bacrot and Kamsky.

Why couldn't they have made it number of Blacks? There was an odd number of rounds. and it makes more sense. (As it was, Vallejo had five, and Ponomariov four.)

I don't know why they used Koya tie-break. Sonneborn-berger looks pretty good to me. In any case, any tie-breaks seems unfair in some way.

best regards,

Now we know what became of the erstwhile Olympics judges who presided over the Roy Jones and Evander Holyfield fights.


I must add for the record that there are obviously times when one should make provision for tie-breaks where you work with large groups of players whether Swiss or Round-Robin.One of the main purposes of Tie-breakers is to safe time on a very fair basis when after a few days of play, teams/players have been scheduled to leaf for home you cannot now say on the last day we have 3 teams tieing for first place and there will be playoffs , whether blitz or not.It is imperative in terms of time alone to make provision for tiebreakers.

I work with large numbers of school teams and at National Tournaments where we have large numbers (over 1000)players where it is essential to have tie-breakers. Luckily for us when we run our National Individual Champs we use a computer programme which is programmed with the tiebreakers incorporated to generate a winner if need be. For our Team Competitions where a Round Robin tournament is run we have to make use of Tie-breakers. It is much with the individual but if there is a tie we use match points (the points each team wins). Remember a win is a win by a team and it is 1 point (Although in some countries a match point is 2 or more).If there is a tie then game points are used (The number of points each team member has added together to get the game points)
M.Kamedien ( National Secretary South African Schools Chess)

In whatever tournament where there is a trophy or medal for first place available there must of necessity be tie-breakers but a more or less equally compelling reason is also the fact that when you work with large numbers of teams or players you have cost and time-frames involves as to when people depart from their hotels etc., where delay can cost lots of money. It is in cases like these that it is essential to make provision for tie-breaks. I am involved in South Africa as National Secretary of South African Schools Chess where we have more that 1000 playes playing over 6 days ( including the arrival and booking in and registration days)where it is essential that time is not wasted where there must be tie-breakers provided.Luckily we use a Swiss System for our Individual Champs and the computer software incorporates a number of tie-breakers.
When we have our National Provincial Team Chess Competition we use a Round Robin system and here once again tie-breakers must be provided for.

One the last day of the tournament as scheduled you cannot now say that because there is a tie that another round between the teams in the tie will be played even if it is a blitz. This involves time and time cost money.Many of our Inter-Provincial tournaments in South Africa is also multicoded tournaments where more than one code is played and you cannot have the situation where the other codes from a province are waiting for the chess team to finish.

National Secretary : South African Schools Chess

I visited this page first time to get info on people search and found it Very Good Job of acknowledgment and a marvelous source of info.........Thanks Admin! http://www.reverse-phone-look-up.net

Twitter Updates

    Follow me on Twitter



    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 14, 2006 1:18 PM.

    Sunday Snow Blogging was the previous entry in this blog.

    Aeroflot, Aerofrance is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.