Colin McGourty

2 mo

Controversy after incorrect draw claim saved Norway

Magnus Carlsen and team Norway vs. Mongolia

A win for Magnus Carlsen was ultimately enough for Norway to scrape a draw against Mongolia, but a shock loss was even closer than it seemed | photo: Stev Bonhage

Norway scraped a 2:2 draw against Mongolia in yesterday's Round 4 only after Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa and Aryan Tari made a draw in a position where the Mongolian player was completely winning. It turns out Aryan made a draw claim that was incorrect, but allowed by an arbiter, with Mongolia then launching an appeal.

Anish Giri joked that the delay in Round 5 team pairings, that would usually be published soon after all games end, was down to India 2 complaining about losing their perfect board score.

It seems, however, that it was due to a dispute over the Norway-Mongolia match, which ended in a 2:2 draw.

It could easily have been a whole lot worse for Norway, since Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa's game with Aryan Tari ended in a draw in a position where White was winning.

It looked like a draw by repetition at a glance, and it seems Aryan told the arbiter he wanted to play 42...Ke7 and repeat the position 3 times.

However, after 38...Ke7 the white queen was on g7, so the position with the queen on h6 after 40...Ke7 and 42...Ke7 would only be a 2-fold repetition, and White could play on.

Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa

Bayarsaikhan Gundavaa missed a chance to beat Aryan Tari | photo: Madelene Belinki, FIDE

It's not clear when the mistake was realised, but Mongolia launched an appeal over the result. The result was left unchanged, however, and the game didn't resume, with the pairings for Round 5 eventually going ahead with Norway-Mongolia given as a draw.

During our Round 5 broadcast Peter Leko commented, "It’s an incredible mistake by the arbiters".

Peter Svidler felt that once the game had officially ended there was no real solution left. It would be impossible to resume after a long break for an appeal, even if the players were still available.

"By that point I really don’t know what the arbiters are supposed to do. If you resume the game then somebody will have told the Mongolian player how he’s winning."

Leko wondered why Gundavaa hadn't protested more, but Svidler pointed out "you just trust the arbiters".

"You just instinctively think there’s an arbiter there for a reason. It’s his job. He can check the scoresheet and if it’s a 3-fold it’s a 3-fold. If it’s not, it’s not, it will get found out. Maybe some part of the responsibility is on the Mongolian player as well, but I wouldn’t put a lot of it on him."

We'll bring you more details if we get them!



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