Tuesday 16 April 2024

Of shoes and ships and sealing wax ...

 I was asked by one of my readers about whether I was going to comment on the latest happenings in the Candidates Tournament. My initial inclination was to say no*, but with todays extra spice I've changed my mind.

Yesterdays fun started when Chief Arbiter Aris Marghetis asked Alireza Firouzja to stop making so much noise with his shoes when walking around. Apparently this had disturbed at least one other player, who had complained to Aris. Firouzja was not happy about the request, and after the round complained on social media. 

As an Arbiter, I've also had to deal with this issue from time to time. It usually occurs when the venue has hard wood floors, and more formal shoes (ie not sandshoes) are being worn. Normally such requests are handled in good spirits, although not always.

Having dealt with yesterdays issues, another Firouzja related incident occurred in todays round. Normally no spectators/seconds/family members are allowed on the playing floor after the round starts. However this as relaxed for later rounds, with access for the first 15 minutes for family etc being allowed. However, when Firouzja father was asked to leave he made a bit of a scene, and outside said he was going to call the police on the organisers. Again this looks like a case of a reasonably normal request being treated with outright hostility. Again in my experience as an arbiter, players/parents/spectators who insist on everyone else being potential lawbreakers are the ones that react the worst when regulations to protect the integrity of the event are applied to them!

*By way of explanation. At one point in the lead up to the Candidates I was asked if I was available to be one of the Deputy Arbiters. I did say yes, but it then turned out they rolled the job of Deputy Arbiter and Fairplay officer into one position and I was the odd one out. I've also worked with Aris Marghetis in the past and he is an excellent arbiter, especially in the area of  'crowd control'. So anything I write on this topic is going to support the decisions he made.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why don't you pinpoint where the blame really lies - FIDE, for approving a wooden floor while banning running shoes.