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Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:20 pm
by Ian Thompson
... according to Geurt Gijssen in this month's Chess Cafe Arbiter's Notebook column - scroll down to the question from Jim Hawksley.

If the circumstances were as described, the arbiter's decision appears both strange, and pointless. I see no reason why the player couldn't have immediately made a new claim, informing the arbiter without saying anything to his opponent.

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:08 pm
by Roger de Coverly
Ian Thompson wrote: If the circumstances were as described, the arbiter's decision appears both strange, and pointless. I see no reason why the player couldn't have immediately made a new claim, informing the arbiter without saying anything to his opponent.
If it was this year, it would have been in the Open. It's almost as strange that a player can be of a standard to participate in an Open without being aware that the repetition rule relates to position rather than sequence of moves. Common practice would be to claim the repetition from the opponent without summoning the arbiter because the facts of the repetition are rarely disputed.

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:46 pm
by Jon D'Souza-Eva
2011 Blackpool Open. Jim Hawksley did indeed play in the Open this year (drawing three out of his five games). The controller for that section was David Welch, the ECF Chief Arbiter! (but is the controller of the section necessarily the arbiter?)

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:56 pm
by Gavin Strachan
Jon D'Souza-Eva wrote:2011 Blackpool Open. Jim Hawksley did indeed play in the Open this year (drawing three out of his five games). The controller for that section was David Welch, the ECF Chief Arbiter! (but is the controller of the section necessarily the arbiter?)
That is right. The controller manages the draws, the arbiter manages the games. Though this can be one of the same but unlikely in big events.

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:13 pm
by E Michael White
FWIW for once I do not agree with Geurt Gijssen that the literal interpretation of the rule supports the arbiter, although Mr Gijssen's conclusions and view on actions seem to me to be spot on.

The part of the rule - if he first writes his move on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move - is a conditional clause which produces an implied then elsewhere in the sentence. It is only because the style of writing ( unwise in rules) has been adopted to put the condition last in the sentence that the implied then arises.

All that this rule says is that to make a claim the player must write down the move before speaking to the arbiter it does not preclude any other activity from taking place, such as speaking to the opponent or walking over to get the arbiter. It is rare that the arbiter will be on hand. I believe this rule has warped with time as the necessary part is to write the move down and not make it.

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:08 pm
by Sean Hewitt
There are always two sides to every story. I'd be gobsmacked if this version is what actually happened though (he hastens to add) I wasn't there.

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:46 pm
by Christopher Kreuzer
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Ian Thompson wrote: If the circumstances were as described, the arbiter's decision appears both strange, and pointless. I see no reason why the player couldn't have immediately made a new claim, informing the arbiter without saying anything to his opponent.
If it was this year, it would have been in the Open. It's almost as strange that a player can be of a standard to participate in an Open without being aware that the repetition rule relates to position rather than sequence of moves. Common practice would be to claim the repetition from the opponent without summoning the arbiter because the facts of the repetition are rarely disputed.
The opponent would have been one of Philip Wheldon, Keith Allen, and Graham Lilley (who happens to be a blind chess player). Regardless of who it was (and we may never know), I've seen players not realise before that repetition is of the position not the moves. Can't remember who the strongest player was that I know of who made that mistake, but it wouldn't surprise me if that included some very strong players.

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:15 pm
by George Szaszvari
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Ian Thompson wrote: If the circumstances were as described, the arbiter's decision appears both strange, and pointless. I see no reason why the player couldn't have immediately made a new claim, informing the arbiter without saying anything to his opponent.
If it was this year, it would have been in the Open. It's almost as strange that a player can be of a standard to participate in an Open without being aware that the repetition rule relates to position rather than sequence of moves. Common practice would be to claim the repetition from the opponent without summoning the arbiter because the facts of the repetition are rarely disputed.
The opponent would have been one of Philip Wheldon, Keith Allen, and Graham Lilley (who happens to be a blind chess player). Regardless of who it was (and we may never know), I've seen players not realise before that repetition is of the position not the moves. Can't remember who the strongest player was that I know of who made that mistake, but it wouldn't surprise me if that included some very strong players.
I'm trying to recall a Karpov game where some confusion over the repetition rule happened. Was it against Miles? Help me
out here. IIRC Karpov confidently claimed a repetition, when short of time, only to have it pointed out that one of the earlier
repeated positions, even if they were identical in layout, contained an opportunity to castle which no longer existed, thus
making the positions different! Karpov was, of course, somewhat flustered by this revelation.... but what happened in that game?

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:28 pm
by Roger de Coverly
George Szaszvari wrote: I'm trying to recall a Karpov game where some confusion over the repetition rule happened. Was it against Miles? Help me
out here. IIRC Karpov confidently claimed a repetition, when short of time, only to have it pointed out that one of the earlier
repeated positions, even if they were identical in layout, contained an opportunity to castle which no longer existed, thus
making the positions different! Karpov was, of course, somewhat flustered by this revelation.... but what happened in that game?
This one almost certainly. I don't think Tony had any decent move other than Ra4 in the final position, so the draw was agreed anyway.


Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:27 pm
by Ian Thompson
Warren Kingston wrote:I had the chance of one of my games going down this road ( same position three times) couldnt for the life of me work out if it would have occured?? Would have spent more time working that out than I would have spent at the board? :)
Is there any easy way to check?
Yes, make the claim and leave it to the arbiter to work it out (unless you think that the 3 minutes extra that your opponent would get for an incorrect claim would be a significant benefit for him, e.g. he's in time trouble).

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:52 am
by Jonathan Bryant
Roger de Coverly wrote:It's almost as strange that a player can be of a standard to participate in an Open without being aware that the repetition rule relates to position rather than sequence of moves.
I suspect that happened to me at an Open I played in a few months ago. My opponent repeated the position via a different move order and seemed surprised when I claimed a draw by threefold repetition - although he accepted the claim instantly.

As for not being aware of the rules, I recently played somebody who didn't seem to know that a draw offer didn't expire after a certain amount of time elapsed. Again 'dispute' resolved very swiftly without rancour.

I guess a lot of players - even experienced players - don't know the rules. As I imagine Alex would be able to tell you at great length should he so choose.

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:18 am
by David Sedgwick
Sean Hewitt wrote:There are always two sides to every story. I'd be gobsmacked if this version is what actually happened though (he hastens to add) I wasn't there.
My reaction exactly.

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:40 am
by Tristan Clayton
I think I'm about to expose my own ignorance here, but given that the correct procedure is to write the move and notify the arbiter of the threefold-repetition claim, what effect (if any) does the clock situation have?

Given that notifying the arbiter, especially in a large tournament, is not an instantaneous process, should the clocks be stopped? If you're close to running out of time, would it matter if your time expired whilst notifying the arbiter (assuming your claim was correct)?

I must admit I too believed the correct process was to write the intended move, inform your opponent, and only then if there was a disagreement to stop the clocks and inform the arbiter. Indeed, twice I've done this in the past year and the draw was proved on both occasions without any problems.

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:39 am
by Roger de Coverly
Warren Kingston wrote:Thanks for that Ian, but I actually was winning and didnt WANT it to go to the same position, so I played a move that I was sure wouldnt make that happen.
If you don't want a draw, it's up to your opponent to claim. If neither player wants a draw the game continues regardless of the repetition.
Tristan Clayton wrote:Given that notifying the arbiter, especially in a large tournament, is not an instantaneous process, should the clocks be stopped?
You are always able to do this.
Tristan Clayton wrote:I must admit I too believed the correct process was to write the intended move, inform your opponent, and only then if there was a disagreement to stop the clocks and inform the arbiter.
Almost every regular tournament player would expect this. If the incident took place as reported and the CAA (Chess Arbiters Association) believe the procedure should be as demanded, perhaps they should inform players of this if it's going to be enforced in events with British arbiters.

Re: Childish ECF Arbiter

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:21 pm
by Kevin Thurlow
If you stop the clock, it is a good idea to tell your opponent why, so it seems entirely reasonable, to explain you're claiming a draw. If the opponent agrees, you can sign the scoresheets and that's the end of it. The arbiter might be doing something useful, writing up cards or results, eating lunch, sorting out a dispute, so it seems a bit pointless dragging him to the board if the opponent instantly agrees the draw.