Friday, 2 September 2016

Captains Revolt

Captains meetings at the Chess Olympiad are often a long drawn out affair, held after the opening ceremony and finishing well after the players have returned to their hotels. The first part is taken up by registering teams and board orders, followed by announcements about the rules, and any questions concerning the tournament.
There is normally one rule or regulation that arises at each Olympiad which causes a degree of consternation and this year it was the "miss, miss, may I use the toilet" rule. Players are now required to ask the arbiters permission to use the restroom. It was immediately challenged and a justification was requested. The initial argument  was that it was justified under the anti-cheating regulations, although the reasoning was somewhat lacking in rigour.
The next attempt to explain it involved claiming that it was simply enforcing the rule about players leaving the playing area, although the Laws of Chess only require this if the player is on the move (or wishes to exit the playing venue, which the toilets are considered part of). Having failed to quiet the dissension on the room, there was a claim that this had been requested by some players, although when challenged, Geoffrey Borg (who was representing FIDE at this point), declined to name any such players. He then claimed it was a request of 'some federations', and again was asked to name any federations, which he declined to do. At this point Margaret Murphy, team captain of the US Virgin Islands (and former chair of the FIDE Electoral Commission), took one for the team, stating  that the US Virgin Islands team was in favour of such a rule.
While this did not satisfy any of the other captains at the meeting, it was enough for FIDE to declare victory and move on to other matters.


Anonymous said...

Seems like a fun time is being had by all but again the fun revolves around adults kicking someone out of the sandpit. It'd be a sorry state of affairs it it were any other way. Suggest the problem be solved by doing away with chairs at the board and providing commodes instead.

Anonymous said...

Timing your toilet breaks appropriately could be a way of passing info to teammates, just like yoghurt flavours in Baguio. FIDE should insist that all toilet trips are pre-catalogued before the game starts.

ThanklessTemerity said...

It's another case where the explanation is worse than initial effect.

It would have just been easier for FIDE to claim that (12.2b/c) that this was in the best interest of the competition, rather than drag unnamed players/federations (culminating with the curious flunky Margaret Murphy), not to mention the non-existent anti-cheating "regulations" (again, they could have just said this was an anti-cheating *measure* w/o need to reference AC guidelines (6.4?) or whatever).

I guess you prick the shield, and they lamely turn to bluster.

Anonymous said...

You do realize this was no surprise, and was announced in advance?

"The players of every Match MUST inform their Match Arbiter accordingly, when they leave the playing area in order to go to the toilet, to the bar or to the smoking area. " (capital in original)

Why all the whining now?

Exetron said...

Point of order: why was Borg involved in the justification, instead of Chief Arbiter Faik Hasanov? Or maybe Gelfer as head of ACC?

Anonymous said...

As usual, the media eagerly warps the story to be that players *have to ask permission*, when all they need to do is notify the arbiter.

Again, facts are an inconvenience for those with an agenda.

Anonymous said...

ECU is coming out against it (Theo Tsorbatzoglou)

The anti-cheating rule about players' toilet is not a good move. We must respect the integrity of players.

This give grounds to people who based their career in toilet issues, insulting the integrity of top players.

A-different World said...

Lee Sedol (loser to AlphaGo)
"I was also amused that Lee Sedol mentioned twice the fact that Aja Huang never got up to use the restroom. That was indeed some impressive bladder control."