Ian Thompson wrote:I can't believe the ECF is going to be demanding to see copies of every events rules, but what would it do if it received a report from someone that an event wasn't compliant so its games weren't eligible for grading? It would lose all credibility if it did grade the games, so I think it would have to refuse to do so.
No, this is nonsense.
Let me give a concrete example.
I recently played in an ECF graded competition where the arbiter announced before each round that players with mobile phones should switch them off and place them on the table in front of them. This is in direct contravention of FIDE Laws.
The February edition of the FIDE Arbiters Magazine had this to say in its criticism of an arbiter's actions in a particular FIDE rated event. Note that there was no conclusion that this event should not be rated by FIDE:
FIDE Arbiters Magazine #2 wrote:2nd mistake: mobile on the table beside the player
Of course, it is forbidden to have a mobile phone, so how did this even happen?
At this event, and according to the Article 11.3.b (see Anti cheating Guidelines for Arbiters), as most players arrive directly from work, players are allowed to turn their phone off, and then leave it in a bag, such that it cannot be accessed.
However, one player did not bring any such bag for his phone, and was worried about leaving his phone in his jacket on a coat hanger without any supervision. So this player turned his phone off and put it into a pocket in his pants. This is forbidden, and when discovered, should result in loss of gameby this player.
To make matters worse, after a few moves into the game, this player found his phone uncomfortable, and so took it out and placed it on the table beside him. But the arbiter did not notice this (remember, he was also being a player!)
In addition, even by move 44, after the first time control at move 40 had been passed, the arbiter player had also not noticed that the opponent had not been writing his moves since after move 28. At this point, this opponent approached the player-arbiter to claim a win because of the phone on the table. This claim should have been accepted. However, the arbiter-player reviewed the game position, and determined the opponent was clearly losing. The arbiter-player also checked the phone was off, and decided that no cheating had occurred.
The arbiter-player rejected the claim by the opponent. This was incorrect.
According to article 11.3.b. of the Laws of Chess, the player who had his mobile on the table (even if it was switched off) should lose the game immediately and his opponent should win.
Full disclosure: I took my phone along to all 5 rounds, principally for its GPS capabilities required to get me there and back. In each round I complied with the arbiter's instructions and put my switched off phone on the table in front of me. Fortunately none of my opponents knew the rules and tried claiming the game which they would have been fully entitled to do.
Should I have reported this to ECF? I really don't think so.
Had I done so should the ECF have declined to grade the event? Don't be daft!
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.