Possession of (or by) Mobile Phones

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Roger de Coverly
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Possession of (or by) Mobile Phones

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:32 pm

The approved final draft of the Laws of Chess from 1st July 2014 are at

http://rules.fide.com/images/stories/do ... 7.2014.pdf

You've seen the draft before, but it's now official.
11.3 b.
During play, a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone and/or other electronic means of communication in the playing venue. If it is evident that a player brought such a device into the playing venue, he shall lose the game. The opponent shall win.
The rules of a competition may specify a different, less severe, penalty.
So, if we assume that amateur players leaving their phones at home just isn't going to happen, how will the ECF, CAA, tournament organisers, league controllers, match captains etc. choose to interpret this?

Is it stretching the wording, to announce "no penalty or no penalty if it remains switched off" as a different, less severe penalty?

Alternatively they just say that contrary to 11.3b, possession of such a device is allowed provided it remains off for the entire duration of the game.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Geoff Chandler » Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:57 pm

Good...About time.

I know some people think their drab little lives are so important that
they must able to be reached within seconds but 99.99% of the time
these infernal devices are used to transmit utter tosh.

If hearing what you mate had for tea or how long they have waiting
for a bus is more important to you than playing a fair game of chess. Don't play.

John Upham
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by John Upham » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:14 pm

An arbiter (young Mr. Grace) is aghast upon discovering an unauthorised telling bone:

catweazle_mobile.jpg
Arbiter discovers unauthorised telling bone
catweazle_mobile.jpg (9.25 KiB) Viewed 3325 times
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Gordon Cadden
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Gordon Cadden » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:41 pm

Rather like having a tooth extracted. There now, it wasn't too painful. Just leave your smart phones at home. It is possible to survive without them. Simples.

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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by John Upham » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:49 pm

I have two stupid phones and I use them to make and receive telephone calls.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:05 pm

Gordon Cadden wrote: Just leave your smart phones at home. It is possible to survive without them. Simples.
I'd doubt if it is that simple, particularly for those going straight to a match after work, or having their luggage with them at a weekend Congress. A netbook or laptop computer or tablet is also an electronic means of communication.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Alex McFarlane » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:27 pm

The (recommended) penalties for offences are listed.

I would have thought that a warning was sufficient for league matches. My concern would be that for a congress the same person could get 5 or 6 warnings with no further action taken but a player refusing to record would be given a warning and then more serious penalties. The warning is therefore devalued.

The Laws now allow fines to be applied. Can I suggest anyone bringing a phone to a congress is fined say 50p or £1. The fines going to an appropriate charity?

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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by John Upham » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:35 pm

As an ETTA County Umpire I have yellow and red cards to be shown to players who are naughty.

There is no attempt to do this discreetly. The issuing of a card is designed to be a deterrent.

A yellow is followed by a yellow + red and finally by a red.

A red card can only be issued following consultation with the event referee.

Any formal warning is recorded on the match card and submitted to the ETTA and added to the player's record.

Sufficient reds and / or very poor behaviour will lead to a limited period ban.
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:49 pm

This doesn't come into effect until after 1 July 2014. I'll wait and see how this is handled at the British Championships in 2014, and then see how workable this is. I suspect it won't be workable at all. For those thinking that it will be possible to leave smart phones at home/outside the playing venue, and take less capable phones to make phones calls with, those are banned as well.

EDIT: Agree completely with what Greg says below.
Last edited by Christopher Kreuzer on Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Greg Breed
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Greg Breed » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:51 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:The approved final draft of the Laws of Chess from 1st July 2014 are at

http://rules.fide.com/images/stories/do ... 7.2014.pdf

You've seen the draft before, but it's now official.
11.3 b.
During play, a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone and/or other electronic means of communication in the playing venue. If it is evident that a player brought such a device into the playing venue, he shall lose the game. The opponent shall win.
The rules of a competition may specify a different, less severe, penalty.
So, if we assume that amateur players leaving their phones at home just isn't going to happen, how will the ECF, CAA, tournament organisers, league controllers, match captains etc. choose to interpret this?

Is it stretching the wording, to announce "no penalty or no penalty if it remains switched off" as a different, less severe penalty?

Alternatively they just say that contrary to 11.3b, possession of such a device is allowed provided it remains off for the entire duration of the game.
This is clearly a tournament rule. It is simply not going to happen at evening league chess. I am a captain for two teams and I use my mobile phone (yes it also happens to be a smartphone) to maintain contact with my players until everyone has arrived. It is also my diary, my music player, my work communications device and a generally helpful tool.
Once everyone has arrived I turn it off. I am perfectly happy to leave it in full view for my opponent and I ask the opposing captain first if I need it kept on until the latecomers arrive, but once everyone is there and the match has been started I ask that all phones are switched off - including mine.

I'll reiterate. This law cannot be applied to UK evening league chess. Am I supposed to leave my phone at work and collect it the next day only to find the cleaners have nabbed it??!! Or not take it to work at all and leave it at home because I have a match that night? Maybe I should not bother going to work then? Maybe I should quit work and just play chess and scrounge off the state because FIDE have decided I can't do both!

/End of Rant!
Hatch End A Captain (Hillingdon League)
Harrow Captain (Middlesex League)

Brendan O'Gorman
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:52 pm

I'm not sure whether this is still the case, but until 1994 it was illegal for a taxi to ply for hire without a supply of hay. This was a hangover from still extant ancient legislation concerned with the welfare of horses. Naturally, no one tried to enforce it. Can I suggest we adopt the same approach to this latest nonsense from FIDE?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:06 pm

Brendan O'Gorman wrote: Can I suggest we adopt the same approach to this latest nonsense from FIDE?
"we" as in match captains and league controllers can and probably will. The problem is with arbiters with a sense of importance who will insist on it for weekend tournaments and perhaps county matches.
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:This doesn't come into effect until after 1 July 2014. I'll wait and see how this is handled at the British Championships in 2014, and then see how workable this is. I suspect it won't be workable at all.
Whether the ECF or CAA will risk coming up with any guidance remains to be seen. It will be an issue for AGMs next year as a rule to adopt or set aside for the 2014-15 season.

The second half, which I didn't quote earlier, gives powers to arbiters to search players and their belongings for contraband devices.
The arbiter may require the player to allow his clothes, bags or other items to be inspected, in private. The arbiter or a person authorised by the arbiter shall inspect the player and shall be of the same gender as the player. If a player refuses to cooperate with these obligations, the arbiter shall take measures in accordance with Article 12.9.

Richard Bates
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Richard Bates » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:18 pm

I don't see why it is an issue for evening league chess etc at all. Both evening leagues i play in, and the SCCU Counties competition already ignore the existing rule on mobile phone defaults, and if anything this new version arguably brings them back into the official fold since the penalties are now at the discretion of the tournament organiser.

Richard Bates
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Richard Bates » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:20 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
The arbiter may require the player to allow his clothes, bags or other items to be inspected, in private. The arbiter or a person authorised by the arbiter shall inspect the player and shall be of the same gender as the player. If a player refuses to cooperate with these obligations, the arbiter shall take measures in accordance with Article 12.9.
This is quite amusing though. It does rather open up the possibility at many UK tournaments of the only available person to be authorised to inspect a female player being... the female player themself!

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:21 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:The second half, which I didn't quote earlier, gives powers to arbiters to search players and their belongings for contraband devices.
The arbiter may require the player to allow his clothes, bags or other items to be inspected, in private. The arbiter or a person authorised by the arbiter shall inspect the player and shall be of the same gender as the player. If a player refuses to cooperate with these obligations, the arbiter shall take measures in accordance with Article 12.9.
That is, inevitably, going to lead to legal actions and court cases. Is it even legal to have such requirements? Several countries would not allow such to happen, though I'm aware that chess tournaments are run as private events and as such nearly everything is subject to the whim of the organiser, but I'm hoping someone more aware of the legal aspects of conducting searches will be able to comment.

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