Rules questions: Permissible activities while playing tournament chess?

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  • Rules questions: Permissible activities while playing tournament chess?

    This is a new theme under the series of rules-related and behavior-related posts on this site, covering the topic of 'permissible activities while playing tournament chess'.
    I am posing these questions in good faith, since I don't know the answers. I have seen all of these (and more!) actually occur, or heard / read about them, during my 50+ years as a tournament player and organizer.

    1) Using the score-sheet for purposes other than recording game information: such as drawing artwork doodles on the margins; writing horizontal lines to mark significant move totals (10, 20, 30, etc); writing comments on the game, either with descriptive symbols such as !, !?, ?!, ?, ?!, !!, ?? etc., or with actual language ["Show me!"; "I will!", cf Denker vs Pincus, "The Bobby Fischer I Knew And Other Stories"] -- what is allowed, and what not;

    2) Reading non-chess materials at the board during a game (such as fiction, non-fiction, comic books, newspapers, magazines, scientific papers, etc);

    3) Making artistic drawings on separate paper;

    4) Stepping outside the tournament room during the playing session, to make calls on a cellphone, or to access devices for non-chess related activity.

    Any explanatory material would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Frank Dixon, NTD
    Kingston

  • #2
    Frank,


    Some of these questions are a bit surprising coming from you.

    What should go on the score sheet:
    - Header Fields filled (name, date, round, time control, event)
    - Algebraic Notation of moves (d4 Nf6 0-0 Bb5+)
    - (optional) current time left on the clock after a specific move (1:04.29)
    - Draw offers next to the player who made it (=)
    - Result (1-0, 1/2, 0-1)
    - Signatures of both players upon completion of the game

    Nothing else should really go on a score sheet. The rules state that no aids should be allowed. Use discretion to what's considered an aid, or may be considered an aid.
    For example... Player A has a couple of squibbles on his score sheet. Player B calls foul on Player A. This is absurd. I am not about to forfeit Player A for having tested if his pen works or not. If Player B persists I might forfeit him instead for disruption.

    Here's an article, forfeit by Wesley So, at the US Championships in 2015:
    https://www.uschesschamps.com/2015-u...s-championship

    During a game, a chess player should be playing his/her game. Pacing around and observing other on-going games in a non-intrusive, non-disrupting manner is acceptable behavior.
    Partaking in other activities can (subjectively or universally) be perceived as poor sportsmanship.

    4) *facepalm*


    Alex F.

    Comment


    • #3
      NA Alex Ferriera is right here and shows some good sense as well.

      See below Article 11 The Conduct of the Players and also Anti-Cheating Guidelines. In the opinion of FIDE, the latter are going to play a larger and larger part of the work of Arbiters and will require ongoing learning, specialized/continuous training, and so on. The anti-Cheating Guidelines are worth reading carefully. This is part of the future of chess whether we like it or not.

      The entire FIDE Arbiters Manual can be found online (and therefore accessed more easily) at the following website - Arbiters Manual.

      There is a pdf file accessible from the same website. Just go over to 2019 Arbiters Manual on the leff-hand side.

      Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Alex Ferreira View Post
        Nothing else should really go on a score sheet.
        ...
        Partaking in other activities can (subjectively or universally) be perceived as poor sportsmanship.
        Once I noticed a player drawing another player (not an opponent) on other side of a scoresheet. After several head scratching thoughts I decided not to interfere - chess players are artists anyway :)
        Once are player mentioned that his opponent was recording other games going around on other side of a scoresheet. This went as straight no-no.

        Comment


        • #5
          I try to ignore my opponent during a game, focusing on the board. But if something happens it breaks my deep concentration, throws me off, and then I often blunder: crunchy eating, drumming with fingers, banging chairs, picking up clock, sleeping head on edge of board, snot or blood dripping onto board from nose, lights go out. Getting the TD to issue a warning is too late, damage already done. Leaving the board to go play cards, watch soccer on TV, or have a drink at the bar doesn't bother my concentration, so no forfeit.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks to the posters for their replies. No real surprises for me. What I am most interested in are enforcement guidelines and mechanisms for these minor violations. I wanted to ask some of these questions when I enrolled in the FIDE Arbiters' course in 2010, taught by IA's Hal Bond and Stephen Boyd in Toronto, the opportunity never came up, as we were covering a lot of material in a compressed time frame. Also, in the Kingston Chess Club, we are currently working on a project involving some of this material, as a way of providing new arrivals (and long-standing members!) a concise guide to rules and procedures, to be printed on one page, and then distributed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Frank Dixon View Post
              Thanks to the posters for their replies. No real surprises for me. What I am most interested in are enforcement guidelines and mechanisms for these minor violations. I wanted to ask some of these questions when I enrolled in the FIDE Arbiters' course in 2010, taught by IA's Hal Bond and Stephen Boyd in Toronto, the opportunity never came up, as we were covering a lot of material in a compressed time frame. Also, in the Kingston Chess Club, we are currently working on a project involving some of this material, as a way of providing new arrivals (and long-standing members!) a concise guide to rules and procedures, to be printed on one page, and then distributed.
              If you could post a copy of what you come up with, that would be very helpful for other clubs ! :)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Frank Dixon View Post
                What I am most interested in are enforcement guidelines and mechanisms for these minor violations.
                Obviously, it depends on the situation, how many times the infraction has taken place, the context, yadda yadda. FIDE wants Arbiters to have the flexibility to make the right decision and not be bogged down in too detailed rules and so forth. Read both the Brief History of the Laws of Chess as well as the Preface to the FIDE Laws of Chess. It won't hurt a bit. lol.

                Having noted that, Arbiters have a variety of options available to them concerning penalties. [Article 12.9]

                They range as follows: warning; increasing the remaining time of the opponent; reducing the remaining time of the offending player; increasing the points scored in the game by the opponent to the maximum available for that game; reducing the points scored in the game by the offending player; declaring the game to be lost [etc]; a fine announced in advance; exclusion from one or more rounds; expulsion from the tournament. The last noted may require agreement with the event organizer.

                Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think this is a fertile area for discussion and debate. As I wrote in an earlier post, 95 per cent, or perhaps more, of tournament chess players are well-behaved, considerate, and honest. Those among them who may not know or understand a rule, etiquette, or procedure, generally cooperate fully and politely, once informed by an organizer or fellow player. It is the other, small minority, who make it a habit of trying to bother their opponents, on a regular basis, by small annoyances, with the aim of distracting the opponents and making them play below their best; that is, annoy to try to win. IM Bill Hartston, of England, once good enough to play board one for his country at the Chess Olympiad, appealed to this group with his book "How to Cheat at Chess", published in the 1970s. I found much of his material to be in poor sportsmanship. Ruy Lopez, strong Spanish player and priest, in the 1570s, wrote with advice to place the chess board so that light shines in an opponent's eyes.

                  As a lifelong golfer as well as chessplayer, with high standards of play reached in both (scratch golfer, 2090 peak chess rating), I am struck by the differences in rules enforcement, and rules discerning / referencing, between the two sports. For example, in golf, it is standard procedure to carry a copy of the 'Rules of Golf'' booklet, in one's golf bag during tournaments, for reference whenever one wishes, with no penalty. Special rules for a given tournament and course conditions are distributed to all competitors at the start of play. Also, a tournament golfer can ask a rules official what a precise rule states, when in a tricky situation, when unsure how to proceed; one can also consult one's playing partners (opponents) without penalty. Watching tournament golf in TV, viewers see this frequently. Both of these are strictly forbidden in chess. One cannot consult a chess rule book during a tournament game, nor can one ask an official what a rule states. Only transgressions draw complaints, corrections, and possibly penalties. The interesting aspect between golf rules and chess rules is that both sports are 'passively refereed', unlike hockey, basketball, baseball, football, soccer, tennis,etc; all of these sports demand non-stop referee involvement, vigilance, and supervision.

                  In practical terms, especially in youth chess events, where many players are inexperienced, it is very difficult to run a problem-free event of many rounds over a short period of a few days. Wide ranges in experience levels and rules knowledge exist among the players, and this makes it difficult for the players, as well as the arbiters, who are usually short-staffed, and stressed, by all that is required of them. I have been an arbiter / TD for the Ontario HS Championships for many years now, and will do so again in 2020. I have discussed this issue with my fellow organizers for that event; also, for the post-secondary team championship -- that is, creating a concise rules and procedures guide -- one page -- for player reference, while remaining within the rules of chess.

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                  • #10
                    11.9 A player shall have the right to request from the arbiter an explanation of particular points in the Laws of Chess.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Again, thanks to the recent posters. So, here is my next question: would it be legal, then, for tournament organizers to create a short summary of key chess rules and procedures, say on one page, double-sided, and to distribute this to all players at the start of the event, for reference by the players during the games? It would seem the answer is 'yes', based on Aris's post, and the other posts on this thread. Clearly, the details of what this page would contain are important. It could contain items on, for example, perpetual check, claiming a draw by three-fold repetition, 50-move rule, offering draws, en passant captures, pawn promotion, rules for recording moves, and so forth. All of this would be familiar to most readers of this site, but not so much to many other Canadian chessplayers! Therein lies the benefit of the idea.

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                      • #12
                        .. A question I asked a few referees was ... can we have any object in my hands during a game of Chess and all the referees answered YES ... but I am very skeptical about this! ... there are so many possibilities! ... and my 2nd question ... a young chess player who keeps moving and who stands on his chair ... is it really allowed? ... It happened to me in a tournament and I must say that it was quite annoying! ... or a player who walks his hand over the chessboard?



                        Aux Échecs, ce qui me dérange le plus,c'est lorsque mon adversaire réfléchit!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pierre St-Onge View Post
                          .. A question I asked a few referees was ... can we have any object in my hands during a game of Chess and all the referees answered YES ... but I am very skeptical about this! ... there are so many possibilities! ... and my 2nd question ... a young chess player who keeps moving and who stands on his chair ... is it really allowed? ... It happened to me in a tournament and I must say that it was quite annoying! ... or a player who walks his hand over the chessboard?


                          Well, "any object" is rather non-specific so I think the proper answer is "it depends (on the object and what you are doing)".
                          Standing on the chair is clearly annoying.
                          Walking a hand over the chessboard is also annoying (in my opinion) so again, seems the answer is NO.

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