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Re: Do you consider this bad sportsmanship?

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:01 pm
by Tristan Clayton
Clive Blackburn wrote: ...but what should a player who needs an urgent toilet break do if he is very short of time?

Would he be entitled to ask the controller to stop the clocks for a few minutes?
This reminds me of a situation I found myself in at Hastings a couple of years ago. Six hours in to what turned out to be a game lasting more than seven, I found myself with a bladder fit to burst, but down to playing off my 30-second increments.

It was an ending I should have held, but tiredness, desperation to go to the loo, and no doubt lack of talent led me to lose a 105-move marathon.

With hindsight I should just have given in and taken the loss on time. But as far as I know there's no provision in the rules to stop a clock for any of the above reasons. For me it's the most significant drawback of Fischer timing, but I still prefer it to other timing methods. I guess I should just learn to play more quickly in the early part of the game!

But I wouldn't dream of asking an opponent to accommodate my toilet break on their time. I also don't see how arrangements to allow such breaks could be written in to the regulations without leaving them open to abuse.

Re: Do you consider this bad sportsmanship?

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:11 pm
by Stewart Reuben
Clive Blackburn >Would he be entitled to ask the controller to stop the clocks for a few minutes?<

If there were an arbiter present, then he would be entitled. The arbiter would be entitled to say yes - or no. It is unsportsmalike to put the opponent in an invidious position. Had Tristan asked the arbiter at Hastings for a toilet break, it would have been granted. He woyld have moved, left the playing area. The arbiter would have waitded until th opponent moved, then stopped the clocks and explained why.

The arbiter is not there to cause medical problems!

I asked Dr Jana Bellin about the medical advisability of shaking hands. She said the problem was negligible. If I remember correctly, it was not common practice in my youth to shake hands at the start of the game. That became normal later. Shaking hands at the end of the game is an even more recent development.

Re: Do you consider this bad sportsmanship?

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:27 pm
by E Michael White
Stewart Reuben wrote:Had Tristan asked the arbiter at Hastings for a toilet break, it would have been granted. He would have moved, left the playing area. The arbiter would have waited until the opponent moved, then stopped the clocks and explained why.

The arbiter is not there to cause medical problems!
That might seem the correct approach to you but what about the situation where the opponent is diabetic or similar and has planned his food intake around the game finishing at the scheduled time; then you extend that time.

Re: Do you consider this bad sportsmanship?

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:10 pm
by Richard Bates
E Michael White wrote:
Stewart Reuben wrote:Had Tristan asked the arbiter at Hastings for a toilet break, it would have been granted. He would have moved, left the playing area. The arbiter would have waited until the opponent moved, then stopped the clocks and explained why.

The arbiter is not there to cause medical problems!
That might seem the correct approach to you but what about the situation where the opponent is diabetic or similar and has planned his food intake around the game finishing at the scheduled time; then you extend that time.
I think you've finally(?) descended into self-parody...

Anyhoo, just out of curiousity, what is that crucial "scheduled" finishing time for a game played under an increment? Could we seek to roll back the enroachment of Fischer timing by citing a breach of the Disability Discrimination Act?

Re: Do you consider this bad sportsmanship?

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:21 pm
by Andrew Bak
Robert Stokes wrote:I was recently playing in the minor section of a weekend congress. In one game we reached the time control and so had to set the clocks back 15 minutes. My opponent had about 6 minutes left and I had about 15 so I asked him if he wanted to change the clocks (because as the one with shorter time it was more critical to him that it was set accurately) but he said "No, you do it, but can you wait until I've been to the toilet?" (It was his move.)

I thought that was effectively asking for the clocks to be stopped while he went to the toilet so I ignored his request, changed the clocks and set it running. (If we had been using electronic clocks then it would have been done automatically without a break, anyway). When he returned he looked annoyed but didn't say anything.

Near the end of the game I had pawns on h4 and f4 with the king on g5 ready to shepherd them to the back rank. He had a lone king on b7. Despite the fact that it was an easy win for me he played on hoping that I would run out of time. We were both short of time (although I had a little more) but mating with K,Q against K is easy to do in a few seconds for anyone.

His flag fell first after three moves (edit - actually it was more than this) so I won anyway. He then said "I only played on because you wouldn't wait while I went to the toilet" and he refused to shake hands or congratulate me. I consider this bad sportsmanship and only done because being slightly higher graded he was annoyed about losing to me. What do you think?

Robert
I personally think it's poor sportsmanship to ask for you to stop the clocks for him to go to the toilet in his time - he's putting you in an awkward situation which he shouldn't really do.

I think you should have probably said 'no' rather than ignore him, but at the same time you are under no obligation to stop the clocks, especially in a Congress where the outcome of other people's tournaments might be directly affected by you and your opponent's actions.

Personally I am not bothered if I opponent plays on in a hopelessly lost position, but not shaking hands is completely bad etiquette and sportsmanship on his part. It was his actions that were borderline dodgy in the first place!

Re: Do you consider this bad sportsmanship?

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:41 pm
by E Michael White
Richard Bates wrote:what is that crucial "scheduled" finishing time for a game played under an increment?
That depends on when the desired loo break would have taken place. I take it the game was Jelsen v Clayton Hastings 2011. In that game Black missed 88 ... Rh8 and was thereafter lost allowing a mate in 33. At that point there was a latest possible completion time even with increments. Think about it but not too hard. There is no doubt that granting a loo break will extend the completion time.

Re: Do you consider this bad sportsmanship?

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:32 pm
by Tristan Clayton
E Michael White wrote:That depends on when the desired loo break would have taken place. I take it the game was Jelsen v Clayton Hastings 2011. In that game Black missed 88 ... Rh8 and was thereafter lost allowing a mate in 33. At that point there was a latest possible completion time even with increments. Think about it but not too hard. There is no doubt that granting a loo break will extend the completion time.
That's the game. I knew my ability to see only 32 moves ahead would cost me at some point.

Maybe I should have asked the arbiter for a break. I'll certainly consider it next time, but it still doesn't feel like the right thing to do. It would have allowed me to focus on the endgame more clearly and I probably wouldn't have made some of the poor moves I did. But would that have been fair on my opponent, who had clearly managed her time better than me?

Re: Do you consider this bad sportsmanship?

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:39 am
by Stewart Reuben
If a person is diabetic and is playing in a game with an increment, he must come prepared with a snack to tide him over. If he didn't do so and there was no canteen, then he should explain the problem to the arbiter. I have sent out for food for a player when requested to do so.
If a player has to take medication at a certain time during the game, he is entitled to ask the arbiter for a break.
If a player was feeling ill, he could request an adjournment. I have allowed one twice without the player first asking. A player had an epileptic fit. The arbiter, Geurt Gijssen, stopped the clock and helped the player. He suggested adjourning, but the player refused.
Because some arbiters seem not to understand these matters, the Laws from 1 July are being expanded

13.2 The arbiter shall act in the best interest of the competition. He should ensure that a good playing environment is maintained and that the players are not disturbed. He shall supervise the progress of the competition. The arbiter shall take special measures in the interests of disabled players and those who need medical attention.