IM Jack Rudd wrote: ↑
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:16 pm
Leaving the venue without the arbiter's permission does not have a defined penalty associated with it, so it's up to the arbiter which of the penalties they apply.
I think I'd need to know why the player left the venue before I came to a conclusion as to whether the penalty was OK or too lenient.
I agree with Jack here but would like to raise a point and then ask a question for more senior arbiters to consider. I am writing this on the assumption that we are dealing with a FIDE-rated tournament not a local league match or casual junior event.
To check what Jack wrote, I searched in my PDF of the September 2016 Arbiters Manual for every reference to "playing venue" and there seems to be unfortunate wording in the Anti-Cheating Guidelines on page 261.
4 . How to deal with suspicious behavior:
- In case of a suspicious behavior, the Arbiter must always follow the player on his or her
way out of the PLAYING VENUE (to the bar, toilets, smoking area etc), in order to avoid any
contact of the player
Emphasis added by me. I think this should be playing area
not playing venue
. In the Laws, Article 11.2.1, the playing venue as defined already includes the toilets and smoking area, and arguably "refreshment area" includes the bar.
The Arbiter should NOT follow the player out of the venue, surely, as he is needed in the playing venue (and as much as possible the playing area).
So in such cases he should note the time the player left and establish the player's identity. If he is unsure of the identity he will find it out when the player returns to his board.
Page 260 also says:
The arbiter also has the right to check a player who has left the playing venue during
a game, or upon request of a player who filed an In-Tournament Complaint, but only once
during the round
So that provides for the opponent to complain if no arbiter saw the first player leave.
Now for my question, which is whether my proposed course of action in this case is correct?
1. While the player is absent, I would draw the attention of the Chief Arbiter to the situation, chiefly to check whether he/she or any other arbiter had given the player permission to leave the venue. If no arbiter had given permission and the Chief Arbiter did not give me a different specific instruction, I might want to take the following course of action:
2. Immediately on the return of said player to his board, I would stop the clock if the opponent's clock is running; if the clock of the player who left is running, I would leave it running.
3. I would then take both players aside to where the conversation cannot distract other players and ask Player A why he left the playing venue. Either before or immediately after doing that, I would remind both players of the definition of playing venue and that article 188.8.131.52. forbids leaving the playing venue without an arbiter's permission. Therefore player A's behaviour is suspicious (even if the opponent has not complained) and the onus is on him/her to prove they were not cheating or receiving advice.
The penalty for this is unspecified as Jack says, but version 2 of the Arbiters Manual has considerably toughened up the stance against cheating or suspicions thereof.
The anti-cheating guidelines on page 261 provide for searches of players, Let's assume in this case that the Chief Arbiter is reluctant to search players except in cases of fairly blatant cheating, perhaps because the organisers have not made provision for it. (If there is to be a search, I think both clocks might be stopped at that point?)
If there is no search, my proposed course of action would be to tell the players:
a) I declare the game lost by Player A under 1.9.6 subject to his right to appeal to the Chief Arbiter and ultimately to the Playing Committee (if one has been established).
b) Under 11.10 I inform the Players that Player A must appeal by whatever deadline is specified in the rules of the particular competition (and which may involve lodging an appeal fee which will be returned in the event of a successful appeal.)
c) I tell the players that the game may now continue to establish the result in the event that Player A makes a successful appeal.
c1) Player A therefore has the option to concede the game without any admission of cheating, or
c2) to complete the game and appeal against the decision in the event he achieves a draw or win at the board.
d) Also warn Player A that if he repeats the offence the Chief Arbiter may expel him from the tournament altogether.
In a non-FIDE rated event, perhaps the above procedure is too harsh and too elaborate. In Soheil's case the arbiter chose penalty 12.9.2 (increase the opponent's time) by 2 minutes. He doesn't say whether this was a classical or rapid game; 2 minutes might be too lenient if this happened early in the session of a classical game?
Under 11.10 the opponent in that case could have appealed to the Chief Arbiter that the penalty was too lenient. I would imagine most players are unaware of that clause.
Any comments, please, from IAs/ FAs?