Rules query - starting clock without moving

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LawrenceCooper
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by LawrenceCooper » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:17 pm

J T Melsom wrote:David - that's just wrong. The team lists should already have been exchanged, so you know who is turning up, unless there is provision for late replacement of players.
In the three local leagues that I play in, the team list of the opponents only becomes known when they arrive so if they are still in transit then the team lists wouldn't have been exchanged.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by LawrenceCooper » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:18 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
J T Melsom wrote:David - that's just wrong. The team lists should already have been exchanged, so you know who is turning up, unless there is provision for late replacement of players.
In the three local leagues (but not, of course, the 4NCL) that I play in, the team list of the opponents only becomes known when they arrive so if they are still in transit then the team lists wouldn't have been exchanged.

J T Melsom
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by J T Melsom » Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:28 pm

Lawrence, that's indeed true in most instances if the team captains are not present. However, in the original post the match had already commenced.

I do find it interesting that whilst one poster somewhat dismissively suggested I should go and look up the laws of chess, subsequent posts have revealed so much local variation. As a chess administrator, but not a qualified arbiter, it does make me wonder how many local team captains are themselves familiar with the laws, and up to date, rather than playing by custom and practice. That said at the outset of last season I deliberately circulated a note reminding clubs of key rules and areas which were often the subject of dispute, and clarifying the situation with mobile phones, and still the same issues arise.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:06 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
J T Melsom wrote:David - that's just wrong. The team lists should already have been exchanged, so you know who is turning up, unless there is provision for late replacement of players.
In the three local leagues that I play in, the team list of the opponents only becomes known when they arrive so if they are still in transit then the team lists wouldn't have been exchanged.
If the rules of a league require a player to start a game and make their first move not knowing who their opponent is they are very poor rules. The rules ought to say something to the effect that the match doesn't start until team lists have been exchanged and any delay in starting the match is deducted from the initial time on the clocks of the team responsible for the delay.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by Paul McKeown » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:18 pm

I have vague memories of Botvinnik demanding the right to seal his first move when his opponent was not present at the start of the game. I may be misremembering, though.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:54 pm

Ian Thompson wrote: The rules ought to say something to the effect that the match doesn't start until team lists have been exchanged and any delay in starting the match is deducted from the initial time on the clocks of the team responsible for the delay.
It's not uncommon for the away match captain also to be one of the taxi drivers and thus liable to be late. In those circumstances, best practice would be for other members of the team to know who else was playing and the board order with instructions to exchange teams, toss for colours if not pre-defined and start the match.

It's not really something the ECF or the BCF has ever really had to courage to try and write. Namely a standard set of rules for the conduct of evening league chess matches.

David Williams
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by David Williams » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:59 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:It's not really something the ECF or the BCF has ever really had to courage to try and write. Namely a standard set of rules for the conduct of evening league chess matches.
I think I prefer muddling through, which works pretty well in practice!

I do think it would be a small improvement to the Rules if they permitted white to press his clock but not make his first move until black was present. How about making the sequence for the start of a game
1. White's clock is started
2. White presses
3. Black presses
4. White makes his first move and presses.

Richard Thursby
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by Richard Thursby » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:56 pm

J T Melsom wrote:When the rule was introduced in Bucks , matches nominally scheduled to start at 19:30 could in one extreme example not start until 19:50, and there were other clubs which were not terribly prompt starters often because the room was used by somebody else first. What has actually happened is that there is now no real attempt made to start at 19:30 and the 19:40 latest starting time has become the default.
In my experience most matches in the Thames Valley League, nominally scheduled to start at 19:30, normally don't start until at least 19:40, usually because many players (on both sides) don't arrive by 19:30, for whatever reason. It's one of the reasons why most matches are played for two and a half hours, rather than three. Having said that, when I was playing in the Buckinghamshire League 15-20 years ago, matches started at 19:45 and played out for three hours, with every unfinished game being adjourned. I'm sure I once left Bourne End around 23:20 after all the adjournment bureaucracy had been finished.

J T Melsom
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by J T Melsom » Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:42 am

Richard - I probably played you at some point, but Bucks have never to the best of my knowledge had 19:45 as a start time.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Apr 04, 2015 2:02 am

Paul McKeown >I have vague memories of Botvinnik demanding the right to seal his first move when his opponent was not present at the start of the game. I may be misremembering, though.<

That used to be the rule in the Olympiad. This was mainly to stop a non-playing captain leaving the venue and telling Black what White's first move was. Of course against the rules, but difficult to police. Now the games are on an electronic board, once made the move is broadcast to the whole world. With an increment of 30 seconds, if White's clock is started by the arbiter and then were he to be entitled to start Black's clock, who then pushed it when he arrived; then both players would get an extra 30 seconds. Also the clock would 'think' that a move had been made. Use of the push counter in the clock would be totally impractical.

The US Rule for non-FIDE Rated games:
16J. If the player with the black pieces is late, white may either make the first move and start black's clock, or may start black's clock without making a move.
This is from the Fourth edition 1993 of the USCF Official Rules of Chess. They may have been updated, but they still applied in 2012.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Apr 04, 2015 6:19 am

Enough evidence has been produced that starting the clock without moving, is and has been, the rule at some times in some parts of the world. There isn't support for this in the current versions of the FIDE Laws and indeed it would have been problematic to apply it once increments became common.

The Bucks league rules are worded on the basis that they follow ECF (FIDE rules) except where they don't. Starting Black's clock before making a White move isn't one of the exceptions. Some of the more sporting players would in any event wait for their opponent's arrival before starting either clock and you would almost certainly do that in a self arranged club or county championship game. For a sake of a handful of minutes, as match captain I wouldn't object. Beyond that you can run into problems with a last finish.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:31 am

"As a chess administrator, but not a qualified arbiter, it does make me wonder how many local team captains are themselves familiar with the laws, and up to date, rather than playing by custom and practice."

About 5 % probably.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Rules query - starting clock without moving

Post by Stewart Reuben » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:53 pm

Harry Golombek once said to me that he thought most players did not feel that it was ethically correct to have a close knowledge of the Laws and seek to apply them.
If you play in a bridge tournament, you will often hear the cry 'director!'. That is because a player has done something wrong. The appellant is not necessarily seeking to take advantage. The director is needed to regularise the situation. Of course, because bridge is a partnership game, there are many more possibilities for errors to occur.
Geurt Gijssen once said to me he wouldn't like to play chess in club matches in England because of the custom of having no arbiter present. Frankly it is rather absurd in 20 board County Matches. 40 people cannot afford the expense of one arbiter?

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