New rules at the Olympiad

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
For the next Olympiad in Dresden, FIDE is planning some major changes as far as the rules are concerned. For example, players are not allowed to arrive late at the board anymore.

Here's what FIDE published this week on the new Olympiad rules:

Ignatius Leong, Chief Arbiter of the Chess Olympiad and General Secretary of the world chess association FIDE, surprised journalists at a press conference Tuesday, 03 June 2008.?¢‚Ǩ?We will have considerable renewals regarding the regulations in the 2008 Olympiad in Dresden,?¢‚Ǩ? the man from Singapore declares. For the first time, federations have to nominate their candidates until the fixed date of 12 September 2008.

So far, changes in team compositions had been possible until a few hours prior to the beginning of the tournament. Moreover, FIDE also brings up the vexatious topic of early draws. Once before, there existed the rule that no draw is allowed before a certain number of moves had been made. This paragraph was violated by former world champion Bobby Fischer ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú without penalty. Now, the new rule states that no draws will be allowed before the 30th move. But the most important change is, however, that all players have to be at their table exactly at the beginning of play to shake hands, just like in any other sports, or else they will lose the match. Chess players have yet allowed themselves the luxury of being late up to one hour.

Even before these changes Dresden took on the title of being a ?¢‚ǨÀúReform Olympiad'. For instance, the number of rounds to be played was reduced from 14 to 11, match points are privileged over game points for team valuation, women teams were extended to 4 players and the number of reserve players diminished to one.

Leong gave mark ?¢‚ǨÀúexcellent' to the organizers for their perfect preparations. Dresden is far ahead of time with the planning of the event and proves ideal playing conditions. ?¢‚ǨÀúFurther steps promise fantastic conditions for the chess autumn in Dresden,' also states the experienced tournament organizer.

Especially the rule about arriving late is remarkable and vehement. It remains to be seen to what extend the arbiters will live up to it, but the idea isn't that crazy.

Imagine the Dutch soccer team had arrived for their match against Italy without Van der Sar and Van Nistelrooij, who were "still preparing" for the match. The Italians would have been forced to leave their goalkeeper and forward waiting outside the court as well, until the Dutch team would be complete, to start with a full team. Until that moment, the game would be played nine against nine.

OK, the comparison is hard to keep up, but if you want to get more people interested in chess, you have to ban certain incomprehensible aspects, don't you? As my girlfriend once said: "Why are they walking around? The games have already started, haven't they?" (OK, the possibility to leave the board is not something we should ban, but we have to realize that our sport is full of funny little things.)

The Chess Olympiad will take place in Dresden, Germany from 12 to 25 November 2008.
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