Toilet facilities

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J T Melsom
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Toilet facilities

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:57 pm

At the recent 4NCL weekend there were problems concerning the availability of toilets, and the distance from some of the playing area. My opponent in one round was in time trouble and crossed with me on my way back to the board. I had no real desire to gain time at his expense, so suggested to the arbiter that the clocks might be paused. He quite reasonably asked me not to do so, but it made me wonder at what point such a gesture might be appropriate.

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Chris Goodall » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:27 pm

I don't think it would. As soon as you have a rule for pausing the clocks while a player is in the bathroom, players will take strategically-timed bathroom breaks so that their game will finish after everyone else's. That could be an advantage to a player in a better position who wants to know whether a draw will be enough. To say nothing of the kerfuffle when someone suggests that the rule take the player's gender into account.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
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J T Melsom
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:33 pm

I had in mind that it might be discretionary not mandatory, but I wasn't suggesting for one moment it was a clear cut situation. I would just rather not have a long game spoiled by the toilet needs of my opponent.

Brendan O'Gorman
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:21 pm

I'd be inclined to make my move and pause the clock until my opponent returned to the board. In amateur sport, as long as one is not gaining an advantage, good manners shouldn't need to be cleared with an arbiter.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Paul McKeown » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:25 pm

If an opponent looked genuinely distressed or asked, then I would grant them the few minutes they needed.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:35 pm

Brendan O'Gorman wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:21 pm
I'd be inclined to make my move and pause the clock until my opponent returned to the board. In amateur sport, as long as one is not gaining an advantage, good manners shouldn't need to be cleared with an arbiter.

I've even been known to start my opponent's clock late because he was taking photographs of the other boards..

I did ask in return that there should be a photograph of me, but he didn't oblige :-(

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:36 pm

Brendan O'Gorman wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:21 pm
I'd be inclined to make my move and pause the clock until my opponent returned to the board.
Depending on your own time position, you could be even more generous and not move until the opponent returned. It's easy to pause a mechanical clock, but with a digital you have to know which button to press.

J T Melsom
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by J T Melsom » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:47 pm

Yes - I might have been more generous of my own volition. but nobody really wants to stop a clock without proper cause, hence my asking the arbiter. In response to Roger I'd suggest a digital is actually far easier to stop, and is more likely to stay stopped than the mechanical clock, which might well re-start with a modest degree of vibration, even if you managed to stop both buttons satisfactorily in the first place.

I understood that FIDE set all sorts of rules (or are they just guidelines?) for table size and lighting conditions. Are they silent on the issue of toilets? I note on another thread criticism of the facilities at the Candidates, so perhaps there is nothing set as a requirement, but 'just outside the playing hall' is materially different to 'down a flight of steps and round the corner'.

Nick Burrows
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Nick Burrows » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:52 pm

When my opponent wet himself, I may consider stopping the clock while he cleans up

Julie Denning
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Julie Denning » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:18 pm

Chris Wardle wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:27 pm
.... To say nothing of the kerfuffle when someone suggests that the rule take the player's gender into account.
I recently played in a congress which I won't name, but they will no doubt recognise themselves. The venue was a perfectly reasonable community hall. In the reception area there were ladies loos, gents loos and a single disabled loo - except that the ladies loos had been hijacked for the entire weekend and re-labelled as additional gents loos. Women were restricted to just the single disabled loo in this area. The organisers would no doubt point out that there was a notice stating there was another toilet that women could use. I eventually found it on the second day. It was rather hidden away behind the stage area, and accessed through another room. The loo itself was OK. There was a hand basin in the outer room with a bottle of liquid soap from which I just managed to force a drop from the dregs, but when I attempted to rinse my hands I found both taps on the basin seized solid, so I still had to return to the disabled loo in the reception area. Obviously, the next time nature called I went back to the disabled loo, only to find it occupied. When the door opened out strode as fine a specimen of able-bodied manhood as one might expect to find anywhere - and, of course, the first thing I had to do on entering was to put the seat back down!

It's commonly believed that one issue that might dissuade more women playing chess is problems with venues. This was a classic example. Despite my playing performance for the entire weekend having been appalling, for which I take full responsibility, I might happily have considered entering this congress again in a future year but for this one aspect. I've no wish to participate where I'm going to be treated as such a second class citizen.

PS: I have been known to stop an opponent's clock whilst they were away from the board. Not sure I'll be so inclined to in future!

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Chris Goodall » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:40 pm

Julie Denning wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:18 pm
It's commonly believed that one issue that might dissuade more women playing chess is problems with venues. This was a classic example. Despite my playing performance for the entire weekend having been appalling, for which I take full responsibility, I might happily have considered entering this congress again in a future year but for this one aspect. I've no wish to participate where I'm going to be treated as such a second class citizen.
I've encountered the same arrangement in the Scottish National League. The organiser in her pre-game announcements exhorted the men not to extract the Michael and to leave the disabled bathroom for the ladies. I don't know whether it worked.

I wouldn't let the men hijack the ladies' bathroom if I was running a congress. Even if it made logistical sense, the message would be all wrong. If there are 100 men and 1 woman, that means scaring all of the women away is 100 times easier, so we have to make 100 times the effort not to do it.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:00 pm

Julie Denning wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:18 pm
The venue was a perfectly reasonable community hall. In the reception area there were ladies loos, gents loos and a single disabled loo - except that the ladies loos had been hijacked for the entire weekend and re-labelled as additional gents loos.
For venues in community halls and schools, it's often a common practice. I think the Congress you mention has always done it that way. Hotels open to the public are unlikely to do so.

Julie Denning
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Julie Denning » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:58 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:00 pm
Julie Denning wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:18 pm
The venue was a perfectly reasonable community hall. In the reception area there were ladies loos, gents loos and a single disabled loo - except that the ladies loos had been hijacked for the entire weekend and re-labelled as additional gents loos.
For venues in community halls and schools, it's often a common practice. I think the Congress you mention has always done it that way. Hotels open to the public are unlikely to do so.
Is that meant to be a justification?

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Chris Goodall
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Chris Goodall » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:52 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:00 pm
For venues in community halls and schools, it's often a common practice. I think the Congress you mention has always done it that way. Hotels open to the public are unlikely to do so.
The longer something has been done that way, the more likely it is to be in need of a rethink.
Chris Goodall, formerly known as Chris Wardle. Northumbria League hand-cranker; ECF Grader for Bernicia and the NCCU.
Newcastle is not in Scotland!

Brendan O'Gorman
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Re: Toliet facilities

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:30 pm

Michael Farthing wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:35 pm
I've even been known to start my opponent's clock late because he was taking photographs of the other boards..

I did ask in return that there should be a photograph of me, but he didn't oblige :-(
Oops! Sorry. Here's one I took later: https://brendanogorman.smugmug.com/Ches ... -nMsNNM8/A

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