Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Very Unfortunate Sleepy Boy – Part 2

Nils Nijs (left)Receiving the fairplay trophy from t Ali Nihat - the organiser of Turkey World Youth Chess Championship 2007

Llyod Mai (right) received the $1,000 bursary from Brad Thomson (left) on behalf of the executive of the Chess'n Math Association (CMA) that decided to award 14 year old Lloyd Mai of Ottawa with a $1,000 bursary for having achieved the title of Canadian Master.

In my former article here, I wrote about an unfortunate incident between between young player from Belgium -Nils Nijs and Canadian Llyod Mai in their game at the World Youth Championship held at Turkey recently. My main source of the story is from other popular chess blog like chessvibes, The Week in Chess and others.

Llyod Mai ranks first in Canada among players born after 1993, and is rated among the top 100 chess players in the country, regardless of age. He earned the Canadian National Master title at 14, after being the grade champion of Canada from Grade 2 to Grade 7.

Today I read a statement by the person who witness the “tragedy” itself - Loc Mai ( as his username in chesstalk) the team captain of the Canadian delegation. Loc Mai slam all party who comment on the incident without refering to people who really experience the incident. Below are excerpts of his comment

WYCC 2007 - The truth - from Canadian Captain
Posted by loc on December 9, 2007, 19:18:27User logged in as:
Loc Mai

When drawing a sword, one should precisely cut through the target. There is a lot of nonsense written on the net (, chesstalk and even twic) about an appeal we won at the WYCC. Dear Hal/Patrick, There is a lot of nonsense written on the net (, chesstalk and even twic) about an appeal we won at the WYCC. Most of those writing have no idea about what really happened yet somehow find it fit to critisize Lloyd ang go as far as call him not sportsmanlike so I feel it is important to clarify the story. This is the real account of what happened:

1) To start with, let me say that I am absolutely behind Lloyd in this case and I think he behaved very properly and respectfully and I have a lot of respect for the way he fought for his right and against injustice even when confronted by high officials and called a liar. I think he did the exact right thing and should be proud of it. Also, I am sorry for the size of this email but there is no other way to explain it.

2) In round 10 Lloyd was white against a player from Belgium named Nils Nijs. Lloyd had an advantantage for most of the game but drifted a bit in the middlegame and at some point approaching time trouble allowed a three-fold repetition still in a much better, probably close to winning position. According to the rules of chess Lloyd's opponent could write his move down then call the arbiter and claim the draw by three-fold repetition. His opponent had a lot of time, much more than Lloyd. Instead, the player from Belgium makes his move on the board, thus already invalidating any possible draw claims. Moreover, after this move Lloyd made another (good) move away from the repetition and pressed the clock.

3) At this moment Lloyd's opponent stops the clock, calls the abiter and demands the draw retroactively as if he did not make his last move and Lloyd did not make his reply - clearly an invalid claim. The arbiter from Spain comes, appears not to speak any English or French, calls another arbiter and clearly wrongly declares the game a draw. Lloyd protests but noone listens to him, He does the exact right thing- refuses to sign the scoresheet and demands to see his captain (me). During the last two games noone was allowed into the playing hall after two hours.

4)Lloyd finds me in the lobby, I confirm he is right and we go back together. We have to fight the security who do not want to let us back in and when 5 minutes later we come to the playing hall, the game had been cleared, the clock disappeared, Lloyd's opponent had left and the arbiters do not want to talk to us. Eventually with the help of Ellen Nadeau and Gerry Walsh from England, whom I know from my team in England, we find the chief arbiter who speaks English but seems not very interested in listening to us. We explain our story and ask him to question the arbiter. He calls the game arbiter (who declared the draw) and the floor arbiter and tries to understand what happened. The game arbiter does not speak any English or French(makes total sense in a World Youth competition!, only Spanish) so the interpreter - an arbiter from Venezuela comes. The chief arbiter asks the interpreter (important: he is an arbiter as well) to ask the game arbiter whether the Belgian player's and Lloyd's next move were played or not. Important Note: Both Lloyd and his opponent have the extra two moves written down on the scoresheet - a clear proof that the moves were made on the board. According to FIDE rules the move has to be written down only after it had been played on the board. The Spanish arbiter replies in Spanish that the two moves had indeed been played and then the interpreter arbiter says, also in Spanish "No, no, do not say it, this means you made a mistake" ..............

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