Taiwan Nationals 2013: part 5 -- tiebreaking
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The semifinals are now over, and I got myself a 2nd place with 8 points of 11 (1st place had 8.5). The guy in the lead drew quite early in the last round, so I fought hard to win the last game (since I was just .5 behind). Eventually we foundourself in a rook endgame with equal pawns and a shortage of time, so I had to accept a draw. Also I suspected that I migh be chanceless to win even if I tied in points since my tiebreak was a bit worse.
This slightly worse tiebreak is not just a coincidence. It is partially because I am a not Taiwanese.
The last three rounds the top foreigners are pitted against each other -- since there are a limit of three foreigners they want to see in the final group (of top 12). The idea is that the foreigners at least get to play about who gets to be in the final, rather than being judged on performance against the "locals". With the unintended(?) side effects that our opponents in the last three rounds does not necessarily have as many points as our "natural" opponents would have had. Which in turn results in slightly lower tiebreaks, and hence lowers the chance that the semifinal is won by a foreigner. It also limits the number of points that can be scored by non-Taiwanese, since we cannot all win our games against each other.
So I take this "special" treatment as both good and bad. Some might argue that playing some of the other foreigners would give us easier opponents, and hence easier points. Regardless, the two foreigners they pitted against me both made it in top 12 (and had quite decent score anyway).
On a principled basis I am against any interference in the normal swiss procedure (this could be topic in itself, since fixed pairings has happened, at least, in the past). Also, there is a local culture of lying. It is my experience that if anyone says something is done for my benefit, it is probably a lie, but has other reasons furthering the liers agenda.
And besides, what does it matter how many foreigners there are in top 12 (or in the national team for that matter)?