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NICKELL Narrowly Wins 62-Board Semi Final

In a 62, yes, not 64-board final, NICKELL beat GORDON in a low-scoring, tight semi-final match, 81-73. A board was pulled in the second and the 4th quarter.

So why did the final board get pulled? Here's what went down. The teams began the 4th quarter with the clock stating less than the appropriate amount of time. Apparently it started when the mini-Spingold match commenced. Part way into the 4th quarter the director stated he would pull two boards, since they were behind. A bit later the director indicated he would just pull the last board. So they finished board 63, and the director confirmed they weren't playing the last board. The players went out in the hallway, and one of them looked at the computer to find out the score.

Several minutes later, the director now told them to go back in and play the last board! Except since one of the players knew the score, and accordingly told the director, they couldn't play it.

Quite a situation.  I can't remember directors removing a board from a match this late in a major event. Also this match was played significantly faster than many previous semi-final matches. Does this set a new precedent?

I think all 64 boards should be played no matter what. If a team is slow then perhaps seeding point penalties are appropriate, but the match should be decided at the table over a constant number of boards. What are your thoughts?

(Note: This article was changed from its originally published form to reflect that it was a 62 board match not a 63 board match as originally published. A board was also pulled from the second quarter.)

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