Sunday, December 16, 2007

Reminder: Chess Is Not High-Pressure.

So I was googling chess in Edmonton when I stumbled across:

Pastor busted for cheating chess team
Eric Koreen, National Post Published: Monday, December 03, 2007

While cheating in athletics is usually saved for the high-pressure world of collegiate or professional sports, it is apparently seeping its way down the educational system. All the way to the competitive world of South Carolina high-school chess. Bowman Academy had to return its second-place trophy that it won at last month's South Carolina Independent School Association State chess tournament after the team's sponsor used a home-schooled boy, his son, to fill in for another player on his team. The guilty party, Ryan Davis, is a church pastor. Davis resigned his position, while the school was fined and banned from chess tournaments for the next year. "We're dealing with young people here, and we have to send the message this is not tolerated," Larry Watt, the Association's executive director, told the Times and Democrat. In the tournament, 86 players from 15 different schools participated. At the end of the tournament, five different players finished with the same amount of points, so a computer-scoring system was used to pick the trophy winners. Bowman wound up with the second-place trophy. Davis said he did not go into the day planning to use his son. Rather, he had 13 players chosen, but one did not show up. As his son had tagged along with him, he substituted him in for the no-show. "I did not intend for it to happen this way. ... I did not intend to win a trophy. I had one kid missing and one extra kid standing by," Davis said. "We didn't take him as a ringer." Davis added that he did not know that his son was good enough to win the school a trophy. Watt said that he never imagined such a transgression taking place in a chess tournament. "It was like, 'A chess tournament?' " Watt said. "The stakes for a chess tournament and the stakes for an athletic tournament are not equitable. ... Chess is not high-pressure."
Of course it's always funny to see people getting caught for doing stupid things. But what's weird is that it isn't just the reporter who can't understand why the pastor would do this (if it was I would just chalk his reaction up to a non-chess player not understanding things), it's also the tournament organizer! And ok, he's a educrat, but still, he's running a chess tournament. You'd think he would have some idea that pressure is involved?!


Polly said...

Knowing what I do about the pairing software and the procedures, it seeems to me the pastor could have listed his son's school as Home School. This way his son's points would not have been counted towards the team score. Also as an individual there should have been no issue with him coming in second. Unless this tournament was only open to teams or players taht attend a regular school.

Liquid Egg Product said...

Heck, cooking food can be high-pressure. Like when you set off the smoke alarm and your neighbors are displeased you interrupted their favorite soap opera with that incessant beeping? That's high-pressure.