Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

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Scott Freeman
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Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Scott Freeman » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:33 pm

I had a really odd disagreement on Monday before a game had even started. Two juniors in their early teens came up to my desk before they were due to start their CCF Cup Under 70 match and Player A complained that he wanted me to rule that Player B should not be allowed to use a giant pencil to record his move (which he had used the previous week). Player B's pencil was approximately 40cms long and 4-5cms wide. It was big! On the one hand, at what point does a legitimate writing impliment become unacceptable? On the other hand, such an impliment could be offputting to an opponent.

A compromise was reached in that Player B promised to just write his move down and put the pencil straight down, not fiddling with it (as he had done the previous week). But I'd be interested if anyone else has had any interesting issues with giant pencils or unusual writing implements and what they think I should have done. :)

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:45 pm

Related, but not, if you see what I mean:

At some point in the history of billiards (1900s), there was a game where one of the players wanted to play a cannon with the two object balls close to the cueball, and near the cushion next to him. With a long cue, this was difficult. So, he produced a cue the length of a pencil, and started playing cannons all evening. Despite complaints, the referee allowed him to use it, even though it was against the spirit, if not the law.

In the wake of this, the BA&CC banned cues shorter than a certain size.

Perhaps FIDE will follow suit, and produce regulation pen and pencil sizes in future?

Laurie Roberts
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Laurie Roberts » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:27 pm

Scott

It is posts like these that make me realise the arbiter's job is a difficult one!

Laurie

Alexander Hardwick
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Alexander Hardwick » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:33 pm

I was present at the tournament round in question. At the time, I found it faintly reminiscent of Cold War-era Soviet attempts to intimidate dissident/Western opposition, although no particular parallels spring to mind here. I doubt intimidation really was intended, but the opponent could certainly - as has been pointed out - claim this as a reason for the pencil to go.

More to the point, I can't think how the junior in question could have argued that the pencil improved his game. More than anything, the difficulties in manipulating such a large writing tool would probably have distracted him and thus weakened his game. So I can't see how he could have argued in favour of keeping it, unless of course he has a writing difficulty which prevents him from using a more usual implement.

Alternatively, the difficulties in writing might have made his scoresheet illegible, which I believe flouts FIDE Rule 8.1. ("As clearly and legibly as possible" are the key words here). I can't really see what the wielder of the pencil stood to gain from all this!!

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Tristan Clayton
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Tristan Clayton » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:48 pm

Next week I shall test the rules further by eating some yoghurt during the game.

Out of a bucket.

With a shovel.

:)

Ljubica Lazarevic
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Ljubica Lazarevic » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:58 pm

Or writing your moves down with your opponent's blood...

David Gilbert
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by David Gilbert » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:09 pm

And should juniors (or adults) be allowed to drink from water bottles that are more than half-their-height? And should men with hairy chests be allowed to play with their shirts unbuttoned down to their waist? And are people who are not grand masters allowed to make moves whilst standing up? And what’s wrong with having your pizza delivered to your board during a game? I think I’ll leave it there!

David Sedgwick
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by David Sedgwick » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:44 am

For some reason this incident reminds me of a famous dispute at Hastings about fifteen years ago, when a player insisted that he couldn't play without having a large mascot next to the board. His opponent objected that the mascot was extremely off-putting, a view upheld by the arbiter.

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Gareth Harley-Yeo
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Gareth Harley-Yeo » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:50 am

David Gilbert wrote: And what’s wrong with having your pizza delivered to your board during a game?!
I often do that in local league matches as I'm going to the venue straight from work. :oops:

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:51 am

Tristan Clayton wrote:Next week I shall test the rules further by eating some yoghurt during the game.

Out of a bucket.

With a shovel.

:)
But what colour will it be?

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:01 am

One organiser told me he encountered a player who said, "It is impossible for me to play unless I have my lucky axe by the board."
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

Ljubica Lazarevic
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Ljubica Lazarevic » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:39 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:One organiser told me he encountered a player who said, "It is impossible for me to play unless I have my lucky axe by the board."
Ah ha! That's where my game has been going wrong. Is there an optimised size for an axe that is allowable at the board?

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Gavin Strachan
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Gavin Strachan » Thu Jul 15, 2010 9:34 am

as long as the moves are recorded in a legible manner then it is ok.

IanDavis
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by IanDavis » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:06 pm

This is the best rules dispute I have seen in a good while.

For me the key points would be:
[1] is having a giant pencil distracting to the opponent.
[2] can the arbiter read what they write with the giant pencil in the case of a dispute

In the case of [2] we just ask for a sample of handwriting. [1] is the key point. there I agree with the decision taken. There would be no significant additional distraction by writing down a move with a giant pencil as opposed to using a normal pencil. Waving around a giant pencil would obviously be distracting though. So they can use it as long as they don't fiddle around with it.

Neil Graham
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Re: Writing down your move......with a giant pencil

Post by Neil Graham » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:07 pm

As an arbiter, I have banned what I deemed to be an offensive T-shirt that a player was wearing. He was told to go and put a jacket or pullover on top of it. At first glance, the T-shirt appeared to be of Mr.Men characters but closer inspection revealed a new selection of the Mr.Men that had previously escaped my notice, "Mr.Horny" for example. A week later I noted that a local market trader had his stock of the said T-shirts seized under what was then the Obscene Publications Act.

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