Chief arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz: “Young generation has no “tricky experience”

-          What can you tell about the organization level of the championship? Is arbiter’s work comfortable for you here?

-          It’s my third visit to Khanty-Mansiysk, and I had never been disappointed by the organizers. I hope, next two days the atmosphere will be great as it was all the time! Everything is good so far, women play stable. There were no any serious incidents which could make me “give a zero” to players.

-          Last year you were an arbiter for World rapid and blitz championships. Can you compare these two events?

-          This is my 10th blitz championship out of 32 world championships in total in my career as an arbiter. It’s easy for me to work here as I have a lot of experience at the previous championships. Comparing with men’s – this one is a bit easier because of fewer participant. One year ago there were about 60 men players against 34 ladies here. We played blitz with a classical time control with 5 minutes per game in the past, so now I look at the young players with great impression – they can make a move with only 2 seconds! I am fully impressed by Alexander Grischuk who was able to make whole sequence of the best moves at the endgame just with two seconds per move.

-          You’ve been an arbiter on so many world championships before. Can you recall some memorable cases for you?

-          Not in a blitz tournaments, unfortunately. But I remember one case with the shortage of time at the Intel Cup in Paris, when Anatoly Weiser was playing against Alexander Milov. It was fine for him to make a draw. Milov had 7 seconds advantage against and wining position against 1 second of Weiser and he made a move and lost 4 seconds. Then Weiser answered immediately so that one second still left. Of course, Milov didn’t expect this, his time finished and Anatoly won this game. After that all of 800 spectators of this game stood up to congratulate the winner.

-          Now most of spectators are watching the games online. The new technologies are also made it possible to fix the 50-moves-rule and three-folds-repetition, claiming a draw. Are players using this opportunity to fix a draw during this tournament?

-          There were already 2 three-fold-repetitions at this championship and we agreed to fix a draw. It was six times last year during men’s tournament, now it’s easy to check with the computer. I remember my first arbiters experience 20 years ago in 1994 for the Kremlin Stars Cup, I was first time an arbiter for such important event! So I was stressed and actually remembered each move of all the 37 games! Thanks God, there were game by game only four or six per day, so it was easy to remember them all.

-          Now the technologies allow not remembering 16 games a day. How important the role of the arbiter in the era of computers?

-          First of all, I’m really happy with the work of arbiters at this tournament. In the past players mostly were aged 35 or 40 years old, it took many time to reach some tricky experience to play well. Sometimes they accumulated tricks for a long time and used them. Now the players are much younger and not prepared in this field. There was interesting story in 1965 during the championship of Poland. There was a game between two players. The time control was 2,5 hours for 40 moves and normally after 30th move the time somehow disappears so the players were in time trouble stage. The opponent was writing down each the move when the Polish champion Tarnowsky was not. At the moment Tarnowsky asked the opponent if they reached 40 moves or not but didn’t get the exact answer. And only after his time was over the opponent said the truth that there was one move left for him!