Scandal at the Women’s Chess Championship Tie-Breaker

Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih tied in the 2008 Women’s Chess Championship final, so the game was decided by a game that looks something like chess, but has very little relationship to it: an armageddon speed chess match. Anna won the game, which looked more like a brawl, in the last possible seconds (the first minute or so of the following video is all that you need to see).

Many people have since complained that ending a Chess championship (which has more to do with playbooks and deep strategic moves) with a game of speed chess (which has more to do with nimble fingers, and tactical, on-your-feet thinking) is ridiculous, looks ridiculous, and would be better served by a subsequent match of real Chess, played long-distance if necessary, or even a coin toss.

But the scandal doesn’t end there.

Since losing the tie-breaking game, Irina has been openly protesting that Anna was making her moves before she finished her own, thus taking advantage of the short clock cycle. As an outsider, it would seem to me that her knocking over and resetting a piece during the game would also be considered an irregularity, but what do I know? And knocking her king off the board and halfway across the room in frustration after she lost may have been understandable and even justified, but didn’t look very classy.

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One Response to “Scandal at the Women’s Chess Championship Tie-Breaker”

  1. Iain Says:

    “We’re sorry, this video is no longer available”.

    Youtube is rapidly going downhill…


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