Lichess crash serves up cup confusion

The pitfalls of internet chess were starkly demonstrated when a server crashed during crunch games played in Shropshire’s Cox Trophy and Minor knockout competitions. The server went down at about 8.33pm, which would have been just over an hour into the action. With the outage being for nine minutes, most players simply assumed their opponents were taking a long time thinking, and when the server came up again carried on as normal and several resignations and checkmates subsequently occurred.

However, it turns out that it was all for nought, as players were shocked to learn afterwards that there is a rule that if the internet goes down games that are not yet finished are declared null and void and the matches have to be rearranged.

One of the players, Chris Lewis – who was not affected as he had already secured a draw before the problem arose – said: “When it became apparent their matches may be declared null those players who had a winning position before the server crash and who subsequently won after the server reconnected inevitably felt cheated and so disputes were sent to the league controller Adrian Zdanowski about the correct application of the rule where players felt the games had been concluded on the night, or so the players thought. Adrian has now ruled that the rule should be globally applied and so three games in the Cox Trophy and two games in the Minor Trophy will now be replayed at a later date. Teams had the option of appealing against the league controller’s decision but have all decided to accept the ruling.”

With Covid restrictions now eased the annual meeting of Shropshire Chess Association will be at the Telepost Club in Shrewsbury on July 26 at 7.30pm.