Thursday, 8 October 2020

Rules are for birds

 When I am involved in drafting changes to the Laws of Chess, I have a strong preference for short, clear and less prescriptive regulations. I have often objected to detailed a rule, on the grounds that people will assume anything left out is not covered. One way I illustrate this is the using the fictitious example of a bird flying into the playing hall, upsetting the game, and then having to write a new rule on how to deal with this (do players get extra time? what to do if the bird accidently indicates the winning move etc).

So, as the gods would have it, a bird did manage to fly into the playing area of the 2020 ACT Junior Chess Championship yesterday. No doubt attracted by the food scraps left by the players over lunch, it wandered through the door, came into the main area, and then decided to fly around and around. While this did cause a minor distraction for the players, it seemed content not to interfere in the games, and instead watch from afar. 

Fortunately for the bird (and the school alarm system), I was able to coax it outside by the simple method of opening a second door and turning all the lights off. After a couple of attempts it worked out where the fresh air was coming from, and swooped through the door and off into the blue sky.

(PS A follow to yesterdays Pawn Wars / Transfer post. You can only drop pawns in your own half of the board)


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