Possession of (or by) Mobile Phones

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John Upham
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by John Upham » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:21 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: The problem is with arbiters with a sense of importance
Is this limited to arbiters Roger?

Do you know of any League Controllers who share this alleged sense of importance?
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PeterTurland
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by PeterTurland » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:25 pm

In 2007 I was legally declared disabled (COPD and a mild stroke), this meant I qualified for a motability car.

So I decided to get my first modern mobile phone, based on the logic, to be driving around without a mobile phone is, for so many reasons illogical, one might wonder why it is not illegal! All my years as a trucker, taught me to be prepared for anything and towards the end of my trucking career, my gaffer actually bought me one, but it was nothing like the phones we have today, no way would you have got that in your pocket, it was about the size and weight of a house brick!

The thing is, if I was laying at the side of the road, dieing from a heart attack and one of you players were driving past on your way to a match, without your trusty mobile and stopped to help, I would probably be dead before the ambulance arrived.

The last time I played for a team, I just switched my mobile phone off.
Last edited by PeterTurland on Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:30 pm

Richard Bates wrote: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.
Provided that "no penalty" is part of the said discretion, then yes, otherwise they will just formally or informally ignore the FIDE rule. Heavy handed application of rules where discretion or a warning could have been a better approach is however an ECF characteristic for its own events.

Nick Burrows
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Nick Burrows » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:29 pm

My phone is too big to comfortably fit in my pocket. Playing in Paignton, I had it turned off, placed to the side of the board for all to see. How could I possibly cheat? This is getting ridiculous.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:37 pm

Nick Burrows wrote: Playing in Paignton, I had it turned off, placed to the side of the board for all to see. How could I possibly cheat? This is getting ridiculous.
Unless the rule is set aside for purposes of the competition, or they deem that a non penalty is a penalty, arbiters will feel obliged by the latest Laws of Chess taking effect from 1st July 2014, to do something.

So far we've had Geoff and Gordon in effect closing down evening league play for those going straight from work or needing a phone for possible emergencies and Alec asking for a £1 a game.

Robert Stokes
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Robert Stokes » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:03 pm

This is getting ridiculous.

If someone turns up at a competition with a phone in their pocket switched off, are the arbiters required to search them? Would it be legal?

Surely one possible answer is for everyone to put their name on the back of their phone and hand it to the arbiter who keeps them all in a locked box until the end of the round or event.

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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 9:12 pm

Robert Stokes wrote: If someone turns up at a competition with a phone in their pocket switched off, are the arbiters required to search them? Would it be legal?
They aren't required, but they have the power under the Laws of Chess to do so if needed. I'll leave it to the lawyers to argue on the legality, but sports give investigators powers to demand blood or urine samples on pain of suspension if you refuse to comply.

What we are looking for are arbiters, organisers and chess federations to say whether they are going to attempt to enforce these rules.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Ian Thompson » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:26 pm

I'm surprised no one has commented on one of the positive aspects of the new mobile phone rules - the phrase "If any such device produces a sound, the player shall lose." has gone, so no more automatic losses following a barely audible beep of the phone.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Sean Hewitt » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:53 pm

Robert Stokes wrote:If someone turns up at a competition with a phone in their pocket switched off, are the arbiters required to search them? Would it be legal?
I don't know about the legality per se, but I can draw an analogy. In football, the laws of the game were changed to say that
A referee (or where applicable, an assistant referee or fourth official) is not held liable for:
any kind of injury suffered by a player, official or spectator
any damage to property of any kind
any other loss suffered by any individual, club, company, association or other body, which is due or which may be due to any decision that he may take under the terms of the Laws of the Game or in respect of the normal
procedures required to hold, play and control a match
This has held up in court, based on the argument that participation in a game of football is voluntary and that if you choose to participate, you are choosing to be bound by the laws of the game. Perhaps the same logic applies? Not that I am planning full scale body searches at e2e4 events!

David Williams
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by David Williams » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:08 pm

This law outlaws devices that can communicate. Is there some other law that outlaws devices that can analyse chess games? I would have thought that was more of an issue.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:45 am

David Williams wrote:This law outlaws devices that can communicate. Is there some other law that outlaws devices that can analyse chess games? I would have thought that was more of an issue.
It's always been forbidden to consult external resources in over the board chess, if not in correspondence. But you are right, a law originally introduced so as to handle the disturbance factor arising from phone calls taking place during games has been sent in the direction of an anti-cheating measure without properly giving thought to the nature of the devices concerned.

So a traditional phone without computing capability is no threat from a cheating viewpoint even if it is from a noise view, whilst a laptop ,netbook or tablet can easily be silenced but represents a potential cheating threat.

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Rob Thompson
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Rob Thompson » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:53 am

An arbiter can always define their desk as being outside of the playing area.
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James Coleman
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by James Coleman » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:53 am

Nick Burrows wrote:My phone is too big to comfortably fit in my pocket. Playing in Paignton, I had it turned off, placed to the side of the board for all to see. How could I possibly cheat? This is getting ridiculous.
I did the same thing at a tournament (abroad) a year or two ago, with the phone on the table and the battery blatantly removed. The arbiters, obviously concerned at the sight of a phone nearby the game, told me to put it back in my pocket!

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:09 am

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.

The operative word is MAY. Some people have asked for their bags and even clothing to be inspected as there had been allegations of their cheating. I doubt I will ever require this.

Richard Bates is absolutely correct. The 2014 Laws are LESS onerous than the current ones. I was pleasantly surprised when this went through with no comments. Currently the London League Rules have to state: 'contrary to the Laws of Chess mobile phones making a noise lead only to a warning'. I imagine many other leagues have similar caveats. Forfeit is impossible with no arbiter present. I always have the objective of reducing or removing the need for contrary to the Laws of Chess. I have the objective of everybody playing according to the Laws. I voted against the forfeit rule when it first came up, but was heavily outvoted.

The problems with mobile phones are twofold.
Cheating which has received a great deal of attention recently.
The noise disturbing not just one's opponent, but other players as well. Switching the phone off does NOT necessarily solve this. Many mobile phones give out a low battery warning sound. Also if an alarm is programmed to go off, it will do so even if the phone is switched off. The only solution is to remove the battery. I presume that provides other problems with some equipment.

shaunpress
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by shaunpress » Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:53 am

Part of the problem with any rule is how such a rule is to be enforced. As with every law there is going to be common sense application and extreme application. The actual rule cannot stop that.
In the case of the overly officious/evil arbiter there is a chance that a rule is going to be abused, but that is the case of a whole lot of other rules in chess (ie If an arbiter decides to forfeit a player I'm sure he can find a reason). Of course such bad behavior should have consequences for the arbiter/organiser concerned.
As some people have pointed out, this rule is an improvement on the previous rule. By specifying a lesser penalty the arbiter can let the rule fit the circumstances (Olympiad v club game) which wasn't allowed before.
Part of the issue with this rule is that different people have different priorities. There is the "I play chess for fun" group, who want chess to fit in with their life, and there is the "I play chess to make a living" group, who want life to fit in with their chess. The former chafe against the restriction on mobile, the later are horrified by the prospect of cheating. Both have a say in the matter, and the new rule tries to assist both.
Of course if you try hard enough you can invent a scenario or situation where the law is deficient, but be warned, most of the bad/complicated/unclear rules I have seen introduced by FIDE in recent years are as a result of people making these very arguments at FIDE congresses.

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