From an Arbiters perspective, this years O2C Doeberl Cup was one of the better events I have run. This no doubt comes from working with a good team of Arbiters (IA Charles Zworestine, FA Lee Forace, FA Alana Chibnall, Phillip Drew and Miona Ikeda) plus the support of the O2C organising team (Charles & Lara Bishop, Steve Rohan-Jones, Nyssa Zelman and rest of the O2C team). We have been working together for the last 9 years (well most of us) and in that time we have learned how to deal with the most common tournament problems when they arise.
In terms of actual arbiting there were very few issues this year. Surprisingly there were no repetition claims, when in some years we have had 2 or 3 a round. Forfeits were at a minimum with a few registered players unable to arrive for Round 1 due to external circumstances, and only 3 'just did not turn up' cases, although one was due to a confusion about time zones.
Probably the major issue this year was players chatting between moves, either with other players or parents. While there were no evidence that assistance was being offered, it can be off putting to the opponent to see a player continually talking with other players before returning to the board. On the other hand forbidding all conversation goes to far the other way, so the arbiting team tried to keep a balance in this area.
While mobile phones were not an issue with the players this year (although one player did lose when their phone went off), spectators were a little more problematic. For non chess playing spectators, reaching for a phone to while away the time is an automatic process (even for non chess events) and we had to chase away a number of parents in the Under 1200 section who would pull out their phone to play candy crush. Slightly more annoying were spectators who were watching the games through the window of the Major/Minor room while texting/messaging on their phones. One parent in particular had to be warned on a number of occasions not to do it, and eventually the arbiters had to close the curtains to deal with this situation.
There was one high profile withdrawal from the Premier (mentioned in an earlier post), but one thing that has improved over the years is players pulling out. It is almost down to zero these days, when in past years there were a number of withdrawals (especially unannounced ones on the final day). Probably connected to this change was the fact that very few players requested byes during the event (half point byes are offered for up until the final 3 rounds). It seems that everyone wants to get there moneys worth out of the tournament, and play as much chess as possible.
I was especially pleased with how the Blitz went this year, with a field of 116 players filling the playing hall. I did give everyone a stern talking to at the start about how it was going to run and it ran as smoothly as a 100+ Blitz could be expected to run. IM Bobby Cheng was the winner, but for most people it was just about playing in an 'all-in' event.
So I hope everyone who took part found it an enjoyable event (even if I was a bit gruff at times), and on the flip-side, I 'd like to thank the players who did play for making it an enjoyable event for me.