Dear Mr Crabby Old Chessplayer 4

Doesn’t anybody notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! ” – Mugatu

I’m late to the party as usual, but over at the Boylston Chess Club blog they’re having a merry time discussing tournament re-entry. That’s where you lose a game and pay a re-entry fee to have that loss wiped from your record.

Kudos to the Boyles (is that what you call the members?) for holding such a civil discussion. Nobody has called anybody an idiot yet. Let me go first.

Re-entry is an INCREDIBLY MORONIC BASTARDIZATION of sporting rules.

Say the Yankees have chemistry problems early and go 0-and-10. They toss the league a few Benjamins and get their record changed to 5 and 5. At the end of the season they knock the Rays out of the playoffs by 1.5 games. You understand this fully – they PLAYED THE GAMES AND LOST, but they pay to change their record. Jeff Gordon blows a tire on lap six of the Pocono 500, falling to last place; he wires the commish 5k and at the first pit stop, they re-insert him in 12th place. Federer gets knocked out of Wimbledon by a qualifier in round one, but wait wait, he’s back in. Tiger Woods buys a mulligan. Mitt Romney gets a recount in Iowa.

Let’s say I ever manage to show up at my club again, and an IM also enters. The IM has a minor car accident before round one, blunders on adrenaline and gets back-ranked plays well but falls victim to an extraordinary twelve-move sacrificial combo by Howard G. Meanwhile I have the tournament of my life and go to 3-0. The IM re-enters, wins two games, beats me in round 4 and wins first place by virtue of the half-point he bought back.

This is legitimate in any way? This makes sense? This is fair? Did he not play and lose a game in this tournament? I don’t get to pay a little extra now and wipe out my loss to be declared co-champion?

I don’t care that your club can make a little extra money with this nonsense. It’s utterly stupid and unjustifiable horse pucky.

8 thoughts on “Dear Mr Crabby Old Chessplayer 4

  1. Why not put the actual results up for sale directly?
    $100 for the first full point, $250 for two, etc.
    Or auction rankings off, starting with first place and
    going on from there? Lots of possibilities.

  2. A win is a win; but since this is hypothetical, why couldn’t I finish him off with a brilliant 4-move combo?

    Anyway, an excellent argument by Fred. I’ve always been against re-entry.

    Let’s pick a different Class-A player at the club — say, a promising junior. I’m not picking myself, because this hypothetical requires the class player to care about his rating, and I try not to care about my rating. Mr. junior-X (let’s say he’s 20 points short of making the National U.S. Junior Team) could pay off the IM (or any first-round opponent) the cost of re-entry to, as they say in boxing, take a dive. For the temporary loss of a mere 20 rating points (something the IM could get back in a flash), the junior gets on the team… The possibility of re-entry makes this scenarios more likely.

  3. Ah no fair!!!

    I was reading your blog, went to the Boylston blog, then see that you changed the “Goldowsky Incident” from a back-ranker (which I laughed my you know what off), to a complex 12-move sacraficial combo… all in the space of five minutes….

    Talk about a rapid improvement program…:-)

  4. On Harvey’s behalf… the “Goldowski Incident” sounds a lot like re-entry” of a different type. Since it is all hypothetical, why not a 4 move combo.

    Now, a confession.
    In 2007 at the BIG $$$ world open, I was having a moment of insanity and fell for the trap of re-entry. Lured by the same mantra as all the other schleps throwing good money after bad, a common theme was felt while I waited in line. We all felt the same and the following phrase “..But this year is MY year to win my section… I can feel it”. The expensive experiment in a total lapse of judgement made me realize that the only winners were CCA.

    Yeah, I fell for it… I wasn’t thinking right and it hurt more. I’m masochistic that way. Eventually, I learn.

  5. I too think the idea of being able to re-enter a tournament is just not right. I have been victimized by it on a smaller scale then Derek’s example, but I don’t like it. Player X is 0-2 after 2 rounds and I’m 1-1. He re-enters and gets 2 easy pairings for rounds 3 & 4 and ends out with 2.5. I lose in round 3 because I got paired up. I win round 4. We have the same number of wins, but he wins the class prize outright because he bought an extra 1/2 point.

    I love it when I see somebody has re-entered on a new schedule, and is 0-fer the new schedule. Ha, ha!!!

  6. I reentered once, and hated it. I didn’t do that much better, either, and it just felt wrong.

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