Wednesday 30 October 2019

The big sit

What happens if your opponent refuses to move, and decides that they would rather lose on time than either resign or be checkmated? Pretty much nothing. The time on their clock is to do with as they please, and if that involves sitting at the board for an hour, then that is their right.
As a tournament arbiter, this has happened on occasion, and I've been asked whether I can do anything. I certainly can't make the player move or resign, but I can make sure they follow the rules while the game is still in progress. The one rule that I do insist upon in this situation is that they must remain at the board during their move. I also forbid them from talking to anyone, or acting in a distracting manner. Interestingly, when I have done this, resignation usually occurs quite quickly.
Of course it is poor sportsmanship to behave in this manner, but for some players, their chess reputation doesn't seem to matter. For younger players this is understandable, but for players old enough to know better, it is a bit of a mystery to me. Maybe they've seen the story of Curt von Bardeleben (who famously walked out on Steinitz rather than resign) and decided that infamy is just as good as fame.

1 comment:

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