Etiquette of resigning

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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Alan Burke

Etiquette of resigning

Post by Alan Burke » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:28 am

In the last round of a recent congress, black was in a commanding postion with over 20 minutes on the clock, whereas white had about 7 minutes remaining. It was white's move, but instead of doing so the player just stood up and without offering to shake hands just said ''It is too early to resign but I am leaving, so just let the clock run down.'' The player never went to inform the arbiter of this but just left the room and the opponent was then left to wait until the time had run out.

However, a few minutes later, and before white's clock had actually reached 00.00, the white player did return to the room for a few moments and then left again without actually coming back to the board, with the opponent again having to wait until black's time had expired.

The questions I ask are 'when does a game actually end ?' and 'could the white player have been trying to use some ''sharp practice'' to try and win the game?'

By not shaking hands; not resigning; not stopping the clock and not informing the arbiter; is white still technically playing the game even though the player has informed his opponent he does not wish to continue ? If so, would the opponent still have to sit there for the remaining time if white had, for example, an hour left on his clock or even decided at the start of the game to make one move and then walk away ?

It seemed very perculiar that white then returned to the room just before his time expired - could that have been in the hope that black had maybe reset the board and white would claim a win by ''illegal move'' ? (On this occasion, black had the sense not to touch anything until time ran out - and then offered a handshake across the board to his 'invisible' opponent !!! :wink: )

I post this not only to hear comments and rulings on the incident but to warn others that not everyone observes the etiquette of the game.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:39 am

White has committed an offence of leaving the board whilst it is his move. Black should inform the arbiter.

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Paolo Casaschi
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Paolo Casaschi » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:26 pm

Alan Burke wrote:In the last round of a recent congress, black was in a commanding postion with over 20 minutes on the clock, whereas white had about 7 minutes remaining. It was white's move, but instead of doing so the player just stood up and without offering to shake hands just said ''It is too early to resign but I am leaving, so just let the clock run down.'' The player never went to inform the arbiter of this but just left the room and the opponent was then left to wait until the time had run out.

However, a few minutes later, and before white's clock had actually reached 00.00, the white player did return to the room for a few moments and then left again without actually coming back to the board, with the opponent again having to wait until black's time had expired.

The questions I ask are 'when does a game actually end ?' and 'could the white player have been trying to use some ''sharp practice'' to try and win the game?'

By not shaking hands; not resigning; not stopping the clock and not informing the arbiter; is white still technically playing the game even though the player has informed his opponent he does not wish to continue ? If so, would the opponent still have to sit there for the remaining time if white had, for example, an hour left on his clock or even decided at the start of the game to make one move and then walk away ?

It seemed very perculiar that white then returned to the room just before his time expired - could that have been in the hope that black had maybe reset the board and white would claim a win by ''illegal move'' ? (On this occasion, black had the sense not to touch anything until time ran out - and then offered a handshake across the board to his 'invisible' opponent !!! :wink: )

I post this not only to hear comments and rulings on the incident but to warn others that not everyone observes the etiquette of the game.
My experience is that a few players might occasionally behave oddly when losing a game.

Funniest real life example is an opponent of comparable rating, one piece down in an hopeless position, complaining with the referee/organizers of the even that he had been disturbed by the noise of a near by church bell. He urged the referee/organizer to make them stop the "unbearable" distraction. When the referee/organizer tried to explain that they could do nothing about it he immediately withdraw from the tournament!

My personal advise is to avoid confrontation, tolerate odd behaviour and aim to cash your win. Call the referee only if your opponent starts arguing with you, otherwise just close the game with your win, agree with your opponent on any comment about the game (usually explaining why he should have won) and go away as quickly as you can.

In your example, Black could probably have called the referee about White leaving the playing area during the game and make a big fuzz about it... but what for? Would not be easier to ignore the odd behaviour of your opponent and just wait 7 minutes for the win on time? If he decides to return to the table after few minutes, he would have less time, still in a lost position.

Chess would be more enjoyable if everyone behaves nicely, but I dont want to let my day be ruined if someone does not.

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Gareth Harley-Yeo
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Gareth Harley-Yeo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:18 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:White has committed an offence of leaving the board whilst it is his move. Black should inform the arbiter.
I didn't know this was an offence! :oops:

If I'm sat at the board for a while and no clear plans/moves come to mind, I've been known to occasionally get up, have a bit of a walk around to clear my head and sit back down with a fresh pair of eyes.

I guess I'm going to have to revise my habits!

Sean Hewitt

Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:33 pm

Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:White has committed an offence of leaving the board whilst it is his move. Black should inform the arbiter.
I didn't know this was an offence! :oops:

If I'm sat at the board for a while and no clear plans/moves come to mind, I've been known to occasionally get up, have a bit of a walk around to clear my head and sit back down with a fresh pair of eyes.

I guess I'm going to have to revise my habits!
Apologies - I should have said playing area rather than board. :oops:

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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Andrew Bak » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:43 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:White has committed an offence of leaving the board whilst it is his move. Black should inform the arbiter.
I didn't know this was an offence! :oops:

If I'm sat at the board for a while and no clear plans/moves come to mind, I've been known to occasionally get up, have a bit of a walk around to clear my head and sit back down with a fresh pair of eyes.

I guess I'm going to have to revise my habits!
Apologies - I should have said playing area rather than board. :oops:
How is "playing area" defined for this purpose? Does this mean the room that the game is in or does it extend to toilets, smoking areas etc?

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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by John Upham » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:00 pm

Andrew Bak wrote:
How is "playing area" defined for this purpose? Does this mean the room that the game is in or does it extend to toilets, smoking areas etc?
I believe that the "playing area" is a sub-space of the the "playing venue".

The "area" is where games of chess that are part of the event are being played (I'm anticipating attempts at being smart by asking about the analysis room(s), commentary room(s), bookstall, and other areas where casual chess might be being played.

You decide how the toilets should be categorised!

At 4NCL is it pretty clear and I suspect that technically a player could not stray from one playing area to another whilst their game is in progress?
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Gareth Harley-Yeo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:27 pm

John Upham wrote: At 4NCL is it pretty clear and I suspect that technically a player could not stray from one playing area to another whilst their game is in progress?
I thought the 4NCL rules were you can walk around playing rooms, analysis room, and toilets but not venture past the foyer to the bedrooms.

I'm not sure what smokers do regarding leaving the hotel. Is going outside on your opponents move ok but not on your own? hmmm :?

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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by John Upham » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:32 pm

Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote: you can walk around playing rooms, analysis room, and toilets but not venture past the foyer to the bedrooms.
I'm surprised players are permitted to visit analysis rooms : this seems rather iffy. Rather difficult to police of course.
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Ian Thompson » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:43 pm

Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote:
John Upham wrote: At 4NCL is it pretty clear and I suspect that technically a player could not stray from one playing area to another whilst their game is in progress?
I thought the 4NCL rules were you can walk around playing rooms, analysis room, and toilets but not venture past the foyer to the bedrooms.

I'm not sure what smokers do regarding leaving the hotel. Is going outside on your opponents move ok but not on your own? hmmm :?
The FIDE rules (12.2) say:

"The playing venue is defined as the playing area, rest rooms, refreshment area, area set aside for smoking and other places as designated by the arbiter.
The player having the move is not allowed to leave the playing area without permission of the arbiter."

This implies that the rest rooms, refreshment area and area set aside for smoking are not part of the playing area, so you cannot go to them when it is your move.

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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by IanDavis » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:48 pm

I remember offering one player a draw, whereupon he resigned in very poor form.
It rather put me off league chess.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:53 pm

IanDavis wrote:I remember offering one player a draw, whereupon he resigned in very poor form.
It rather put me off league chess.
I wish my opponents would resign when I offer draws. More commonly they decline and then beat me, which is definitely bad form :D

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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Gareth Harley-Yeo » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:49 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:The FIDE rules (12.2) say:

"The playing venue is defined as the playing area, rest rooms, refreshment area, area set aside for smoking and other places as designated by the arbiter.
The player having the move is not allowed to leave the playing area without permission of the arbiter."

This implies that the rest rooms, refreshment area and area set aside for smoking are not part of the playing area, so you cannot go to them when it is your move.
What would be the norm regarding penalties for such an infringement? A warning? If it were anything harsher would it not be possible for an unscrupulous player, let’s call him Player B to fool the arbiter in the following scenario:

Supposing Player A left the playing area when it was not their move. Player B moves and then seeks out an arbiter claiming Player A left during their move. I think this would be really hard to prove/disprove.

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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Andrew Bak » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:57 pm

Gareth Harley-Yeo wrote:
What would be the norm regarding penalties for such an infringement? A warning? If it were anything harsher would it not be possible for an unscrupulous player, let’s call him Player B to fool the arbiter in the following scenario:

Supposing Player A left the playing area when it was not their move. Player B moves and then seeks out an arbiter claiming Player A left during their move. I think this would be really hard to prove/disprove.
I was thinking exactly the same thing myself. My guess would be that it would be treated in a similar way to touch-move allegations. Unless there is clear evidence (i.e the arbiter has seen the infringement him/herself), then one would have to apply the principle of innocent until proven guilty and give Player A the benefit of the doubt.

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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:11 pm

Alan Burke wrote:It seemed very perculiar that white then returned to the room just before his time expired - could that have been in the hope that black had maybe reset the board and white would claim a win by ''illegal move'' ?
I believe I've seen mentioned that some exploit along these lines is possible with the USCF rules. Possibly this is connected to the American practice of players supplying the equipment.

An absent opponent cannot sign the scoresheet or results slip to indicate the result. That alone could have been cause for censure, let alone leaving the playing area whilst on the move.

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