Thursday 22 August 2019

The playing arbiter

I do my best to avoid playing and arbiting the same tournament. The main reason is that being an arbiter distracts me from being a player, and my chess results suffer. The other problem is that if you have an issue on your own game, making a ruling can be difficult.
Such was the case in a game I played yesterday. I am running events at the Canberra Chess Club while their usual arbiter is taking a holiday. As there was an odd number of players I stepped in as the 'house player' After sorting everyone else out I sat down to my game. My opponent asked me to check the clock as he wasn't sure it had been set correctly, but it *looked* fine to me (The clocks at the club are usually left with the setting from the previous round). The game proceeded normally until we reached move 31. At this point I noticed my opponent had forgotten to press his clock and with 5 seconds left, I did not wish to win this way. So I pointed this out, and when he did not react, I pressed his side and played my final move. I then realised he had not received his extra 30s and deduced that this clock had been set incorrectly (ie 90m but no increment). So I stopped the clock, and explained to him what had happened. As it was my responsibility (as arbiter) to ensure the clock had the correct setting, I felt that one option was to offer him a draw. As the other choices included adding on the missing time, but leaving him in a lost position, he chose to take the half point.

Press,Shaun - Jones,Mitchell [B22]
Memorial Cup, 21.08.2019

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