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Alexander Morozevich vs Gawain Jones
Dresden Olympiad (2008), Dresden GER, rd 6, Nov-19
King's Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Rare Defenses (E90)  ·  1/2-1/2

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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-19-08  luzhin: One can understand Jones going into the game feeling very much the underdog, but it's still lamentable that he agreed a draw in the final position after Morozovich had simply blundered away his KP. After 24...Qh8! Black is simply much, much better eg 25.Rc1 a4 26.g4 Bd7 27.b4 Nb3 28.Rd1 Nd4 . Nigel Short or Tony Miles, even when they were relatively inexperienced, would never have thought: I'm a pawn up with a better position, but he's a top Russian so I'd better give him a draw. Pathetic.
Nov-19-08  hedgeh0g: Against an opponent rated 250 points above me, I'd take the draw and shut the hell up :P
Nov-20-08  luzhin: That's a very good way of learning as little as possible. The best way of developing one's understanding of chess is to play as much you can against stronger players. Even if -- which would have been extremely unlikely--Jones had eventually lost (why do you think Moro agreed to a draw?) he would have gained hugely in his chess knowledge by fighting for a full session against Morozevich. And if he had won, he would have got many more tournament invitations.
Nov-20-08  FHBradley: Perhaps Mr. Jones is playing in Dresden not so much to gather experience as to collect points for his country or, more precisely, for a part of his country.
Nov-20-08  acirce: <FHBradley> Thanks for the wise words. Seems like a lot of people forget that this is actually a team event. Maybe his choice was still irrational, even when this is considered - that is not the point, point is that had he lost it would not just have been HIS loss, playing for a team you have a certain responsibility.
Nov-20-08  KingG: <luzhin> I agree with you. Taking a draw here is pretty pathetic. Even in the context of a team event it makes no sense, as two of his team-mates lost their games.
Nov-20-08  acirce: <two of his team-mates lost their games.> He did not know that at the time, obviously.
Nov-20-08  luzhin: I repeat, why would Morozevich agree a draw against Jones, unless he believed that he had not the faintest chance of winning and a very good chance of losing? By repeating moves Jones did not so much salvage half a point as throw away the chance of a full point. I would add that it's also in his country's interest to have its young chessplayers fight rather than quail.
Nov-20-08  Veryrusty: In a team event, one usually asks one's captain for direction. That may have happened here.
Nov-20-08  acirce: <I repeat, why would Morozevich agree a draw against Jones, unless he believed that he had not the faintest chance of winning and a very good chance of losing?>

Because he believed that he had a SMALLER chance of winning than of losing - not necessarily much smaller? Or because he was afraid his teammates would think it totally irresponsible to try to win from a position where he is simply much worse? Or because he was just lazy/tired/sick or whatever? (He offered a draw against Gustafsson after 18 moves.) There are quite a few explanations.

Nov-20-08  acirce: <In a team event, one usually asks one's captain for direction. That may have happened here.> Exactly, that too. You are usually specifically instructed to ask the captain whether to accept (or offer) a draw. He can basically reply "yes", "no", or "you decide".
Nov-20-08  dTal: maybe the English team had a preagreed plan that certain boards should aim for draws etc, but Short looked to be busted early. In fact, I would have put some money on Short losing to Kramnik with Black before a pawn had been moved in anger.. I think it would be very strange if Jones hadn't followed team instructions here. Having said that, I once lost a crcuical game by throwing a certain draw away to hunt for a win in the mistaken belief that I had to win the game for my team to win the tournament. Our team communications were notably lax that day... Whoever was responsible for Jone's decision, it was absolutely the wrong decision.
Nov-20-08  hedgeh0g: The people on this board who whine about Jones drawing because he "could have gained experience" don't have a clue what they're talking about, to put it bluntly. In a competitive team event where you're representing your country, you don't play for experience, you play for points.

In less significant tournaments, playing on would make more sense, but just playing on for the sake of "experience" sounds like something you'd see if Disney made a film about a rags-to-riches chess player who becomes World Champion by refusing to draw because it was his dying friend's last wish, etc.

Sorry, but it does sound a little clich├ęd and naive.

Nov-20-08  KingG: <He did not know that at the time, obviously.> Obviously, but it would at least make sense to keep playing for a while just in case a full point might be needed. After all Short was playing the Black side of a Chigorin against Kramnik, and Stuart Conquest was playing someone rated 200 points higher than him.

<The people on this board who whine about Jones drawing because he "could have gained experience" don't have a clue what they're talking about, to put it bluntly. In a competitive team event where you're representing your country, you don't play for experience, you play for points.> Yes, you play for points. Now, considering the only thing that really matters is the match score, wouldn't it make sense to play for a win in a position where you are clearly better? After all, it's not like his team-mates appeared to be doing that great.

Nov-20-08  JonathanJ: <acirce> even if his chance of winning had been smaller than his chance losing, he should have fought on, because it is pretty predictable that the uk is going to lose against russia if no one is willing to take any risks.

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