Controversy at Canadian Zonal playoff
I suppose one can find numerous book-titles, Hollywood films and detective stories that play on theatrical parallels to what happened in the decisive game at the Canadian Championship over the weekend.
For those of my Canadian readers who don’t already know the details, a reasonably accurate summary can be found HERE. Essentially, the final game featured multiple passed pawns on both sides. As one can expect, there were going to be multiple promotions.
The problem is that the arbiter(s) failed in their duty:
Fide Rule 12.2.1
‘The arbiter shall ensure fair play.’
Whether Sambuev deliberately or accidentally placed Noritsyn’s Queen in his hidden hand is mere speculation. What is clear, however, is because the arbiter(s) did not act immediately, Noritsyn was put at a definite disadvantage later when he wanted to promote one of his pawns to a Queen.
Noritsyn was not aware that the Queen had disappeared from the table, and with only 5-seconds left on the clock, he hesitated and lost valuable time looking for it.
Noritsyn then used an upside down Rook as a replacement for the hidden Queen, but was then immediately penalized by the arbiter(s), costing him the game, the championship and the right to participate in the World Cup. YouTube video of the final game clearly shows that the arbiter(s) had no clue what was going on. Flustered, Noritsyn agreed to play on when he should have immediately protested the arbiter(s)’ actions.