Arbitration question

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Arbitration question

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:54 am

soheil_hooshdaran wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:36 am
Sorry, what does
" It is important that the
arbiter does not mislead the player, nor advise him, nor advance any further" mean in the interpretation of 11.9?
That sounds like you've chopped off the end of the sentence. Where can I find the document you're quoting from?

Tim Harding
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Re: Arbitration question

Post by Tim Harding » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:56 am

soheil_hooshdaran wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:36 am
Sorry, what does
" It is important that the
arbiter does not mislead the player, nor advise him, nor advance any further" mean in the interpretation of 11.9?
Good question. This relates to page 28 of the 2019 Arbiters Manual which only came into force on 1 July.
Previously there was no interpretation paragraph for 11.9.

As there is no full stop after "further" it looks as if there may have been an error and some words may have been omitted.

Can anyone involved in the compilation of the manual, or a senior arbiter, please give an opinion on this?
Tim Harding
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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Arbitration question

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:12 am

My interpretation, assuming the missing text in that sentence is something like I think it is, is that if a player asks me, in my capacity as an arbiter, a question about the Laws of Chess, I:

(a) must answer it honestly
(b) must not thereby give the player anything that would constitute advice
(c) should not give information about Laws that have not been asked about, unless it is necessary to do so to explain the Law that has.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Arbitration question

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:41 pm

Soheil. I do not see that statement in either the Laws or the 2018 Arbiters' Manual. Nonetheless

A player asks whether he can castle queens. Perhaps his Ra1 is threatened, or the square b1 is covered by Black or both. The arbiter has not observed the whole game. The arbiter should respond something like, 'As far as I can tell from the current position, you may play 0-0-0.' if he simply said yes, and the player played 0-0-0; then Black might now say and it turns out correctly, 'That is illegal, you previously moved the rook and moved it back again.' Does White now have to move his king? The player has been misled by the arbiter.

Again castling. White can czastle on either win. He asks, 'Can I play 0-0-0?' The arbiter responds, totally incorrectly, 'Yes, or on the kingside.'

The same situation. But now White asks, 'Can I castle on either wing?' The arbiter must not respond, 'Yes, but 0-0 is better.'

Pete Morriss
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Re: Arbitration question

Post by Pete Morriss » Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:48 pm

This discussion has reminded me of an issue that arose recently when I was running a rapid event (not FIDE-rated, but FIDE rules applied). It concerned the interpretation of (the relatively new) rule A 4.4:
A.4.4 If the arbiter observes both kings are in check … he shall wait until the next move is completed. Then, if an illegal position is still on the board, he shall declare the game drawn.
In this case I observed that both kings were in check by it being drawn to my attention by the players, who informed me that the kings had both been in check for some time. What should I have done? If “observes” is to be interpreted as “has knowledge that”, then I should declare the game drawn. If it is to be interpreted literally, then I should presumably say “the player on move should make a move; if that move restores a legal position, the game will continue; if it does not, I shall declare the game drawn”.

In the event, I considered that the literal interpretation gave too much advantage to the player who happened to be on move (he could unilaterally claim a draw or play on, at his choice), so I declared the game drawn. On which both players (who were adults, and quite experienced players) said, in unison, “bugger that”, quickly took back their moves until a legal position was reached, and played on. I did not intervene, and the player who had been on move (who was lower rated) eventually lost. If the game had been more important, should I have forced them to accept the draw? Or is the literal interpretation the correct one?

It seems to me that the phrase “If the arbiter observes” is a strange one to include in the rules, as opposed to the arbiters’ manual.

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Re: Arbitration question

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:05 pm

Pete Morriss wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:48 pm
It seems to me that the phrase “If the arbiter observes” is a strange one to include in the rules, as opposed to the arbiters’ manual.
I have never liked seeing it anywhere. It seems wrong to me that the result of a game should depend upon whether an arbiter happens to be in the vicinity and paying attention.

What is an arbiter to do if a friend or teammate of one of the players comes to him and says "you need to take a look at board 22"?

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Arbitration question

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:16 pm

"In this case I observed that both kings were in check by it being drawn to my attention by the players, who informed me that the kings had both been in check for some time. What should I have done? If “observes” is to be interpreted as “has knowledge that”, then I should declare the game drawn. If it is to be interpreted literally, then I should presumably say “the player on move should make a move; if that move restores a legal position, the game will continue; if it does not, I shall declare the game drawn”.

In the event, I considered that the literal interpretation gave too much advantage to the player who happened to be on move (he could unilaterally claim a draw or play on, at his choice), so I declared the game drawn. On which both players (who were adults, and quite experienced players) said, in unison, “bugger that”, quickly took back their moves until a legal position was reached, and played on. I did not intervene, and the player who had been on move (who was lower rated) eventually lost. If the game had been more important, should I have forced them to accept the draw? Or is the literal interpretation the correct one?"

I think you did the right thing, and so did the players! It did leave me thinking that the player on move really has an advantage, as if he can capture the piece checking him, he possibly wins a piece, as the opponent is forced to get out of check.

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Re: Arbitration question

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:20 pm

Pete Morriss wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:48 pm
It seems to me that the phrase “If the arbiter observes” is a strange one to include in the rules, as opposed to the arbiters’ manual.
It was needed for flag fall, since mechanical clocks didn't incorporate a device for indicating which flag fell first. Some arbiters liked to attempt to disable the facility of digital clocks to indicate this. 75 move draws and fivefold repetitions also need arbiter observation.

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Re: Arbitration question

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:23 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:05 pm
What is an arbiter to do if a friend or teammate of one of the players comes to him and says "you need to take a look at board 22"?
You go and look at Board 22. Your informant has acted in accordance with the first sentence of Law 12.7:

"If someone observes an irregularity, he may inform only the arbiter."

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Re: Arbitration question

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:31 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:05 pm
Pete Morriss wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:48 pm
It seems to me that the phrase “If the arbiter observes” is a strange one to include in the rules, as opposed to the arbiters’ manual.
I have never liked seeing it anywhere. It seems wrong to me that the result of a game should depend upon whether an arbiter happens to be in the vicinity and paying attention.

What is an arbiter to do if a friend or teammate of one of the players comes to him and says "you need to take a look at board 22"?
The alternatives are:
- The arbiter never does anything unless prompted to do so by players
- You have enough arbiters to ensure that they can "see" everything; then you'll need an Olympiad-type number of people watching

What we've got is a halfway house between those two extremes. What it does do is avoid a farce where two players (e.g. children) are playing a game quite merrily, and pieces are flying everywhere, kings are in check, illegal moves are being made, moves are being made out of sequence, and the arbiter sits resolutely at the end of the room not intervening because even though the arbiter is observing this chaos, the arbiter is powerless to act.

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Re: Arbitration question

Post by Pete Morriss » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:38 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:20 pm
75 move draws and fivefold repetitions also need arbiter observation.
But there is no need to include "if the arbiter observes" in the rule, and it isn't included.

Pete Morriss
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Re: Arbitration question

Post by Pete Morriss » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:52 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:31 pm
The alternatives are:
- The arbiter never does anything unless prompted to do so by players
- You have enough arbiters to ensure that they can "see" everything; then you'll need an Olympiad-type number of people watching
There is a third alternative, which is what often happens in practice and what rule A4.4 seems to be envisaging. That is that the arbiters wander around [edit: "patrol the playing area" is better; thanks Stewart] keeping an eye on the games, and if they observe something untoward they can intervene. My problem was that A4.4 seems to assume that process, but not the players alerting the arbiter.
Last edited by Pete Morriss on Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Arbitration question

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:54 pm

The idea is that an arbiter is doing his job, patrolling the playing area. The players are sitting there thinking with White's clock clock going and both kings are in check. The arbiter has no prior knowledge of the game. So he waits. The reason is that the player may not yet have noticed that his opponent made an illegal move.
e.g. Black Re8 Ke7. White Rd1 Ke1. Black plays Kd8 illegal.
White has the right to claim before touching a piece with the intent of moving.

I don't think the situation is at all the same where both players have brought to the arbiter's attention that both kings are in check. Now he knows what is going on, provided they agree! The game is drawn. I don't think that can be described as 'observing'.
However, both players can agree to continue by correcting the error(s), without the intervention of the arbiter, according to A.4.2. So, Pete, you acted correctly, in accordance with the Laws.
The Arbiters' Manual is not part of the Laws of Chess. It expresses the opinions, particularly of Takis - who is no longer chairman of the Arbiters' Commission. Just as my book, the Chess Organiser's Handbook expressed my opinions, or, even earlier, The Chess Competitors Handbook expressed those of Bozidar Kazic.

Nick, you don't like the fact that things can change, if the arbiter, happens to observe what is going on. But, with a big event and few arbiters, it is inevitable that this is possible. The alternative is that the arbiters sit at their desk with their eyes closed.

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Re: Arbitration question

Post by NickFaulks » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:27 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:23 pm
NickFaulks wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:05 pm
What is an arbiter to do if a friend or teammate of one of the players comes to him and says "you need to take a look at board 22"?
You go and look at Board 22.
Then it is clearly wise for a player to ensure that a supporter is by their board in case an arbiter's intervention would at some point be helpful.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Arbitration question

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:46 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:23 pm
. Your informant has acted in accordance with the first sentence of Law 12.7:

"If someone observes an irregularity, he may inform only the arbiter."
I suppose that is a justification for Charlie Storey's action in the British, of informing "the arbiter" when his opponent committed the irregularity of leaving the board with a bag containing a mobile phone.

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