Possession of (or by) Mobile Phones

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Gordon Cadden
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Gordon Cadden » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:33 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
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.
One does wonder how on earth the London Chess League survived it's first 80 plus years, without a mobile phone having been invented.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:08 am

Gordon Cadden wrote:One does wonder how on earth the London Chess League survived it's first 80 plus years, without a mobile phone having been invented.
True, the London Chess League survived it's first 80 plus years before mobile phones, tablets and laptops were invented, but we have to accept the fact that many people working in central London use those devices on a daily basis and carry them around all the time.

Every time I suggest otherwise I'm constantly reminded that games from events like the London Chess League CAN NOT be FIDE rated. Why not taking advantage of this now and just rule that the London Chess League does not follow the FIDE rules and allows people to come to the playing venue with mobile phones and laptops provided they are switched off? Problem solved.

Otherwise, would anyone also suggest the London Chess League to adopt the zero tolerance rule just because the FIDE rules recommend so?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:26 am

shaunpress wrote: 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.
The key point for amateur play, in particular where no arbiter is present, is whether the expression "lesser penalty" includes the concept of no penalty. In other words that it remains legal to have a mobile phone or other device like a computer in your possession, but totally switched off. If that becomes the default position, events wishing to be more onerous will have to say so as part of their conditions of entry.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:21 pm

I suspect (but cannot be bothered to check) that most leagues have a rule saying something like "contrary to FIDE Laws, you can have a phone with you but ...". If they just keep their existing rule, there is no problem. This also deals with the new law not mentioning the thing going off.

Just ignoring the FIDE Law means you might not be able to deal with the phones making a sound, which would be a retrograde step. I did see a possible solution on Youtube, where an irate motorist who had just been driven into by someone using a phone, snatched the phone and hurled it on to the road, whereupon bits flew off...

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:27 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Richard Bates is absolutely correct. The 2014 Laws are LESS onerous than the current ones.
This is not what one of Stewart's fellow senior arbiters believes.

In his review of the new laws, he writes

http://www.chesscafe.com/geurt/geurt184.htm
It is clear that the rules in this Article are becoming stricter. It started a few years ago that a ringing mobile resulted in a loss for the player who was the owner of such device. The situation from 1 July 2014 is that it is even forbidden to bring it to the playing venue and not only mobiles are forbidden, but all electronic means of communication.
and also
In club chess it is very difficult for players to leave their mobiles at home. Many go straight from their jobs to the chess club or have to be accessible for a variety of reasons; for instance, doctors. A possibility for these players is to give their mobiles to the arbiter or leave them at some designated area.

I was told that in the Belgian club competition the team captains collect the switched-off mobiles. The Dutch federation board has in mind to act accordingly. But it is important that it is foreseen in the Laws of Chess that a less severe penalty will be imposed. I know an organiser of an amateur tournament who imposes a fine of ten Euros for a ringing mobile.

John Cox
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by John Cox » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:40 pm

It seems to me that the teacup has yet to be invented which would be small enough to contain this particular storm. All that is necessary is for any organiser of leagues or congresses to state that this rule shall not apply, if that’s what they want. Or whatever it is that they do want.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:53 pm

John Cox wrote:IAll that is necessary is for any organiser of leagues or congresses to state that this rule shall not apply, if that’s what they want.
The current general presumption is that games are played according to the Laws of Chess, it being stated as such in the conditions of ECF grading. It appears to be to the distress of some senior arbiters that there's an increasing list of set aside disclosures that organisers have to make in order for events to take place at all. Congresses and Leagues would seem to need to include on their entry conditions or rules.

"Players may have mobile phones and computers in their possession provided they are switched off and remain silent for the entire duration of play." This would live alongside the disclosure of non-zero default time for late arrival.

John Cox
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by John Cox » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:58 pm

Well, zero tolerance default is another issue and obviously a good example of the fact that FIDE absolutely hate chess players and will do anything at all to reduce their influence.

This particular provision though I don't have too much problem with. In fact actually I thought the rules already prohibited mobile phones in the playing area, at least in theory. Obviously it won't work in local league chess.

Ray Sayers

Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Ray Sayers » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:31 pm

My 2c:

The problem: cheating. Either by someone using a chess engine or communicating with someone who does.

Facilitated by: technology. Once it was just asking a mate for his opinion on a game. Now it is using a 2500+ rated chess engine on a phone in a toilet, for example.

Unfortunately: banning phones won't stop this; it is just a stop-gap. Technology is improving too fast. There are google glasses. There are smart wristwatches. At some point the devices will become so small and easy to hide that searching for them becomes practically impossible.

Solution: Since you can't practically stop people cheating, the penalty for being caught should be stringent. You can't stop people from drinking and driving, but you can ban them from driving when they are caught. So make the penalty for being caught cheating a 2 year ban from competition. People can of course appeal but that should be the penalty.

Chasing the technology is just going to be a waste of time very soon.

John Cox
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by John Cox » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:40 pm

2 years??? You mean life, of course.

Ray Sayers

Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Ray Sayers » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:52 pm

Haha, yes, tempting! But even drugs cheats in athletics get a second chance :D

Nick Burrows
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by Nick Burrows » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:09 pm

Ray Sayers wrote:Haha, yes, tempting! But even drugs cheats in athletics get a second chance :D
Drug cheating is not as bad, because it only gives you an edge. Systematic 'engine' cheating guarantees victory.

John Cox
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by John Cox » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:18 pm

Anyway, who cares what they do in athletics? I'd certainly not play against anyone who'd been previously banned for computer cheating, and I'd not expect most people to do so either.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:30 pm

Depends what you're talking about surely?

If it was the sort of random, opportunistic, toilet based engine on mobile phone cheating that seems to have happened from time to time - and which you definitely couldn't do for every move! - then its rather easy to clamp down on and no particular reason to ban for life. No particular worries playing them either really.

A very similar sort of impact on the game to asking people for help, so I suppose a similar sort of punishment would be in order.
(I have no idea what that normally is.).

Anyone caught doing something rather more sophisticated, involving forethought, concealed stuff etc is quite another matter. If nothing else you'd never know that they weren't trying it on in some slightly different fashion.

John Cox
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Re: Possession of Mobile Phones

Post by John Cox » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:39 pm

I'm not sure it's so easy to clamp down on. But anyway, I'd still go with a total ban and I'd definitely not play them again. People who behave like that once will do it again, and anyway there's plenty of people to play who aren't cheating scum.

In fact I rather applaud that fellow in Ireland; the arbiter's immediate sanction should be to drag them out of the cubicle and headbutt them. Though I don't know that most arbiters would really have the necessary skills. It's all in the follow-through.

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