What would you do here

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:29 am

Andrew Farthing wrote:During the post mortem, I politely mentioned to my opponent that what he was doing was strictly against the rules, stressing that it hadn't bothered me but that he might come across other opponents who did object. He said that he had no idea it was wrong and I believed him.
The rules were changed in 2005, so it gives a practical measure of just how well the "establishment" communicates with the "grassroots". Mind you in 2004 (when the rule change was made by FIDE) it was something of a fait accompli since the wider chess community hardly knew it was on the table as a proposal before it was voted in.

At one time, writing the moves down before playing them and covering them with a pen or a watch was standard operating practice for some players. Kotov's book recommended the former and one of England's leading players practised the latter. Insisting that the arbiter be allowed to see the scoresheet was a mid-90s rule change.
Jonathan Bryant wrote:Similarly, when a few months ago I played somebody who recorded the moves in descriptive notation I didn't bother calling the arbiter on that one either.
Continued use of descriptive seems to be a grey area. One interpretation is that it's only illegal in official FIDE competitions. Another is that it's illegal in a FIDE rated event. In practice there are still a few players who use it even in rated events and this seems to have been sanctioned by the arbiting community.
Carl Hibbard wrote:What is the purpose of this rule anyway - as a youngster the suggestion that I write down a move before playing it was recommended (although I never followed it...) and I really don't see the harm in it now?
Some arbiters, particularly the most influential ones, consider it equivalent to taking notes. One valid point is that if a player writes a move down and is within eye contact of a spectator or coach who gestures :D :D :D or :cry: :cry: :cry: then it's a way of cheating. This is far more relevant than it used to be since any spectator potentially has Rybka or Fritz analysis at his disposal. A third reason was that FIDE wanted to endorse the Monroi gadget. This is a PDA style device which can act as an electronic scoresheet and move transmitter. Particularly if you are transmitting moves, you don't want to be publishing a player's thought process or even give him a board post move in which to visualise the position.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Carl Hibbard » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:38 am

Ben Purton wrote:The point is it counts as note taking. There will not be a player here who has not played a move which he had earlier calculated why he/she should not play it. Note taking could aid in avoiding this.
Fair enough but it's still a silly rule change
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Carl Hibbard

Alex McFarlane
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Alex McFarlane » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:54 am

Roger has covered most of the points I would have made.

A player is still allowed to hide his scoresheet from his opponent, but it must be easily visible to the arbiter. This allows a player to hide the number of moves played in a time scramble from his opponent if he is so inclined. This also gives another reason why it is not allowed to write the move first. When this happened it was difficult to know immediately if a player was blitzing his opponent in that the arbiter had to be sure that no move had been written down in advance. This made enforement difficlt when an arbiter was watching more than one game, an unsatisfactory situation but one which exists.

With regard to the use of descriptive notation, more senior players may be allowed to continue to use descriptive but are encouraged to do otherwise. Younger players would be expected to use algebraic. There is one player who comes into the latter category, who because of a medical condition, is allowed to use descriptive. Some forms of Aspergers would make it intolerable for a player who learned in descriptive to change to another system.

With regard to punishment for writing the move in advance but playing it almost immediately I would suggest that in normal circumstances a warning would be given at the end of the game. If the written move was subsequently changed then an immediate warning would be given. Continued non-compliance would result in a time penalty and eventually loss of the game. Where the player writes down the move and regularly waits before playing it an arbiter may step in and give a warning at that point.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:39 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:One valid point is that if a player writes a move down and is within eye contact of a spectator or coach who gestures :D :D :D or :cry: :cry: :cry: then it's a way of cheating.
We always used to do that (but not so extreme) in school matches, but after the move was played. I remember once leaving my rook en prise, and my team-mate on board 1 (who had finished his game at the time, and was stood about a foot behind my opponent looking at the game) just looked at me and shook his head despondently. (I still won the game though!) Is that against unsporting or against the rules?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:14 am

Alex Holowczak wrote: We always used to do that (but not so extreme) in school matches, but after the move was played. I remember once leaving my rook en prise, and my team-mate on board 1 (who had finished his game at the time, and was stood about a foot behind my opponent looking at the game) just looked at me and shook his head despondently. (I still won the game though!) Is that against unsporting or against the rules?
Somewhere on the spectrum between unethical and illegal then yes. To avoid all suspicion it's best not to be in eye contact with anyone particularly a member of your own team. Mind you there have been teams where (provided the team itself wins) individual members would not be despondent to see one of their own lose.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:29 pm

The other method we employed (which is probably cheating...), is that should we happen to have a check, we'd say it if the player was winning, not say it if they were losing. So if you heard your team-mates say check a lot, you knew the team was winning.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:02 pm

Alex McFarlane wrote:With regard to punishment for writing the move in advance but playing it almost immediately I would suggest that in normal circumstances a warning would be given at the end of the game.
You may well be right about that, however ...

isn't that equivalent to saying that it's not such a big deal that it's going to affect the game in progress? Or to put it another way, if you're not going to take action until after the game it's perhaps not worth legislating for in the first place?

Similarly, as I've said elsewhere, if you're going to allow official exceptions to the descriptive notation rule why bother doing it at all?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:15 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Similarly, as I've said elsewhere, if you're going to allow official exceptions to the descriptive notation rule why bother doing it at all?
I happened to look that one up. It appears that arbiters are encouraged to nag players who use non-algebraic notations but cannot actually forbid it. The sanction they do have is that a non-algebraic scoresheet cannot be used in evidence. I'd presume this means 50 move and 3 fold repetition but could it also mean claiming wins on time and "not trying" under 10.2?

Here's the text from http://www.fide.com/fide/handbook?id=125&view=article
FIDE handbook wrote:C. Algebraic notation

FIDE recognizes for its own tournaments and matches only one system of notation, the Algebraic System, and recommends the use of this uniform chess notation also for chess literature and periodicals. Scoresheets using a notation system other than algebraic may not be used as evidence in cases where normally the scoresheet of a player is used for that purpose. An arbiter who observes that a player is using a notation system other than the algebraic should warn the player about of this requirement.
It isn't totally clear whether the algebraic "requirement" applies just to FIDE's own tournaments and matches or is a more general stipulation.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:46 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:I happened to look that one up. It appears that arbiters are encouraged to nag players who use non-algebraic notations but cannot actually forbid it. The sanction they do have is that a non-algebraic scoresheet cannot be used in evidence.
Thanks for that Roger.

That second bit makes perfect sense to me. If a "penalty" is indeed required for descriptive notation that seems entirely appropriate and very simple to apply but really, what on earth is the point of officially sanctioned nagging?

Simon Spivack
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Simon Spivack » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:00 pm

Alex McFarlane wrote:A player is still allowed to hide his scoresheet from his opponent, but it must be easily visible to the arbiter.
I can't resist quoting Stewart here:

Occasionally you will see an arbiter who believes this means the whole scoresheet must be visible at all times and keeps darting in and moving a pen that obscures some of the sheet. Even ignoring that the letter of the Law does not state this, the arbiter may well distract other players and this is an appalling thing to do.

Page 119 of The Chess Organiser's Handbook third edition.

Of course the above is not inconsistent with what Alex has written. There are some venues where the tables are so small that the scoresheets have to be slid under the board. When I have been acting in a supervisory capacity, I have been content just to see at some stage enough of the sheet to determine how many moves have been played and how many apparently remain (the subtlety is that a player may have got the time controls wrong).

Stewart Reuben
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:31 pm

Carl Hibberd >Fair enough but it's still a silly rule change<

No. What was silly was allowing writing down the move first. Fischer complained about the practice in 1970 at the USSR v Rest of the World match. It continued to be allowed because the practice was so widespread. Fischer was right.
There were many instances where there was cheating. Thus a player several times in a game would write his move in advance, then cross it out and play another. How can that be other than note taking? Players would write down very clearly a move in the hope their opponent would see it and then play another. I remember Nigel Short was particularly perturbed about this. David Norwood thought his opponent had cheated him because the opponent's scoresheet clearly showed another move had been made. David then lost on time.
I wanted there to be an intermediate stage for 4 years. Once a player had crossed one move out, then he could not do so again in a game. I lost that vote. Quite correctly with hindsight. It has caused very few problems.

I never understood why FIDE wanted to interfere with the notation people used. The requirement for algebraic came in long before my time on FIDE committees. The purpose must surely be to help bulletin editors?

The FIDE Laws of chess are required to be used for all FIDE Official events and FIDE Rated events. In England we often have a rule, the FIDE Laws of Chess will be used except as amended hereunder. The problem comes if there is an intended amendment, but it is not publicised. That is why I was so insistent that the default time be made clear in advance.

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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:24 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote: No. What was silly was allowing writing down the move first.
Interesting post Stewart - what do you think should be the penalty for infringements of the 'no writing down a move before playing it' rule?

Stewart Reuben
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:27 pm

Jonathan Bryant >what do you think should be the penalty for infringements of the 'no writing down a move before playing it' rule?

A warning when the player who infringed the rule was away from the game. That is a penalty. If a player writes down the move and then immediately plays it, then I might even say nothing until after its conclusion. The second time, still away from the Board, I would again warn, but this time that a repetition might well result in a forfeit. It never came to a second occasion in Rumania, despite the language difficulties. I was told the players had been warned that I was very strict.

The biggest problem I had was playing in Austria this year in the European Senior Team Championship. One player was writing the move down before playing it. You will understand that infringements of the Laws weigh more heavily on my mind than they would for a layman. I asked the arbiter to intervene. He came over and did so. The player continued to do so from time to time. I looked at him sharply and he would put down his pen before infringing the Laws. I think I won.

1 d4 d6 2 e4 e5 3 dxe5 dxe5 4 Qxd8ch. Who could resist as Black writing Kxd8 all in one motion? I would never speak to a player about such an action and have done so myself. I try not to when using Monroi, where it is essential the move is not recorded before playing it.

Stewart Reuben

John Hickman
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Re: What would you do here

Post by John Hickman » Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:44 am

Stewart Reuben wrote:
1 d4 d6 2 e4 e5 3 dxe5 dxe5 4 Qxd8ch. Who could resist as Black writing Kxd8 all in one motion? I would never speak to a player about such an action and have done so myself. I try not to when using Monroi, where it is essential the move is not recorded before playing it.

Stewart Reuben
If you play Kxd8 before writing down White's Qxd8, and then record Qxd8 and Kxd8 together in one motion, is that legal?

Also once, I had prepped for a player who always played 1. ...c5 against 1. e4. So, expecting him to reply quickly, I played 1. e4, wrote down 1. e4 c5, and then when I looked back at the board, had to do a little double take as his pawn wasn't on c5 :shock: and had to correct my scoresheet.
OK, so what I did was wrong, but was that illegal too?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: What would you do here

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:03 am

John Hickman wrote:If you play Kxd8 before writing down White's Qxd8, and then record Qxd8 and Kxd8 together in one motion, is that legal?
It's what players sometimes do when short of time, so yes. It has the advantage that you only have to look away from the board once rather than twice. The disadvantage is that you lose the "now why did he do that?" check that writing your opponent's move can give you.

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