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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:54 pm 
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This topic rears its head regularly on this forum and is currently under discussion in the Junior Chess section. The misinterpretation of this rule has been an irritation to me for some years and about a year ago I made an attempt to improve the situation by attempting a "fix" (apart from the obvious digital clock fix) and have finally got round to putting it down "on paper". I am particularly interested in comments by arbiters / potential arbiters / tournament organisers.

Rule 10.2 suggested ammendment

1. Too many decisions are being made in favour of the claimer (the person claiming a draw) and not enough in favour of the claimee (the opponent).
2. Arbiters are not either a) Trained well enough in the application of this rule b) Incapable of understanding the purpose and proper application of the rule c) Not a good enough chess player to apply the rule correctly in some cases.
3. The claimee is not being given the benefit of the doubt.
4. The game is being brought into disrepute.
5. Arbiters/claimers do not understand what “by normal means” means. (apologies for repetition of “means” made worse by this note).
6. No right of appeal is available.

Here is the 10.2 rule as it stands:

Quote:
10.2 If the player, having the move, has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall summon the arbiter and may stop the clocks. (See Article 6.12.b)

a) If the arbiter agrees the opponent is making no effort to win the game by normal means, or that it is not possible to win by normal means, then he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise he shall postpone his decision or reject the claim.
b) If the arbiter postpones his decision, the opponent may be awarded two extra minutes and the game shall continue, if possible in the presence of an arbiter. The arbiter shall declare the final result later in the game or as soon as possible after a flag has fallen. He shall declare the game drawn if he agrees that the final position cannot be won by normal means, or that the opponent was not making sufficient attempts to win by normal means.
c) If the arbiter has rejected the claim, the opponent shall be awarded two extra minutes time.
d) The decision of the arbiter shall be final relating to (a), (b) and (c).


I propose to try to strengthen the position of the claimee and reduce the pressure on the arbiter in the following way:

I. The arbiter should retain the power to declare the game drawn in 10.2a but should be advised to exercise this power with caution and always give the claimee the benefit of the doubt.
II. The arbiter should retain his powers in 10.2b. However if he declares the game drawn on flag-fall the claimee may accept the decision or should have the automatic and immediate right to invoke the following clause:

Immediate right to invoke the following clause

Both clocks should be put back 2 minutes and the game should continue. Both players must complete 15 moves with the time they have left. If a flag falls before 15 extra moves have been played the player whose flag has fallen will lose the game. If a flag falls after 15 extra moves have been played the arbiter will make a decision according to 10.2b. No further right to invoke the clause remains.

The benefits are obvious and various;
1. The arbiter will end up deciding the result of the game in far fewer cases.
2. The arbiter will be guaranteed to see at least 15 moves (if the clause is invoked) which will give him far more opportunity to make the correct decision.
3. The claimer will have the opportunity to prove that the draw is obvious and arbitrary as he will be given a generous 8 seconds per move.
4. The claimee will have far more opportunity to try to discover the best and possibly various winning attempts.
5. Both parties may lose the game on flag-fall if the clause is invoked The remaining time left to both (2 minutes to the claimer and 2 minutes+ to the claimee) becomes a factor in the result of the game and this is good since the claimer should be at a disadvantage here as they have used up more time than the claimee in the game. The clock is after all an integral part of the game and should remain so in these circumstances.
6. The whole appeal/clause should only take about 5 extra minutes.


Comments welcome.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Sounds good, but is it really true that there is no right of appeal under the current system?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:00 pm 
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Unbelievable isn't it!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:04 pm 
Decent try. But I can't get away from the importance of the arbiters own chess understanding in applying this rule.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:06 pm 
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Can't chess computers be used as arbiters?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:09 pm 
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Paul Cooksey wrote:
Decent try. But I can't get away from the importance of the arbiters own chess understanding in applying this rule.

Yes but this is partly designed to take power away from the arbiter and put it back in the hands of the players (especially the claimee) which I think could well be an improvement. Would you rather have the current system or mine if you were claimed against?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:10 pm 
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Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Sounds good, but is it really true that there is no right of appeal under the current system?


Arbiters don't like players arguing with them. Remember it's not just the British arbiters writing these rules. Another alternative is to substitute a digital clock with increment or delay when the decision is deferred. That still leaves the problem of when the position should be won but the player doesn't know how.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Sounds good, but is it really true that there is no right of appeal under the current system?


Arbiters don't like players arguing with them. Remember it's not just the British arbiters writing these rules. Another alternative is to substitute a digital clock with increment or delay when the decision is deferred. That still leaves the problem of when the position should be won but the player doesn't know how.

Digital clocks won't always be available and this may take more than 4 extra minutes playing time.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:16 pm 
Nick Thomas wrote:
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Decent try. But I can't get away from the importance of the arbiters own chess understanding in applying this rule.

Yes but this is partly designed to take power away from the arbiter and put it back in the hands of the players (especially the claimee) which I think could well be an improvement. Would you rather have the current system or mine if you were claimed against?


I agree you are reducing the chance of a bad decision either way, but I might lose concentration in the mechanics. In an ideal world, a strong arbiter who understands the rule and its intent and can make a quick decision, always the best in my opinion.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:18 pm 
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Paul Cooksey wrote:
Nick Thomas wrote:
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Decent try. But I can't get away from the importance of the arbiters own chess understanding in applying this rule.

Yes but this is partly designed to take power away from the arbiter and put it back in the hands of the players (especially the claimee) which I think could well be an improvement. Would you rather have the current system or mine if you were claimed against?


I agree you are reducing the chance of a bad decision either way, but I might lose concentration in the mechanics. In an ideal world, a strong arbiter who understands the rule and its intent and can make a quick decision, always the best in my opinion.

I agree completely. But my "fix" is possibly workable and yours unfortunately is not (not in my lifetime :( )


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:20 pm 
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I dont believe that arbiters' decisions will be improved, just delayed.
In Rapidplay the arbiter cant decide at flagfall, unless by that you mean when one player points out a flag has dropped.


Last edited by E Michael White on Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:23 pm 
Nick Thomas wrote:
I agree completely. But my "fix" is possibly workable and yours unfortunately is not (not in my lifetime :( )


Maybe not completely unworkable, maybe an assistant could advise on playing claims if the arbiter not qualified. I can think of several strong players who you can rely on to agree draws in the 4NCL before a time scramble is reached :)

Pity we lack the technology to clone the good arbiters :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:26 pm 
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E Michael White wrote:
I dont believe that arbiters decision will be improved, just delayed.
In Rapidplay the arbiter cant decide at flagfall, unless by that you mean when one player points out a flag has dropped.

The arbiters decisions must be improved since:
a) There will be less of them
b) They will always have seen at least 15 moves before finally awarding a draw if the clause is invoked. Some bad initial draw decisions will be reversed by the play on the board and by the arbiter changeing their decision after seeing a further 15 moves


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Paul Cooksey wrote:
Nick Thomas wrote:
I agree completely. But my "fix" is possibly workable and yours unfortunately is not (not in my lifetime :( )


Maybe not completely unworkable, maybe an assistant could advise on playing claims if the arbiter not qualified. I can think of several strong players who you can rely on to agree draws in the 4NCL before a time scramble is reached :)

Pity we lack the technology to clone the good arbiters :)

I think one of the problems is that the rule itself is too obscure to be interpreted the same by a room full of 2 people.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Nick Thomas wrote:
a) There will be less of them
There may be more of them. Players may believe they have more chance of winning with 15 extra moves than under the old rules; so elect to play on rather than agree a draw.


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