Rich As A King

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

New rule. Good or bad? You decide.


FIDE has implemented the new rule about players arriving to tournament late.

It used to be that players are forfeited after being late for one hour. Now, players are forfeited immediately, even if they are late for only seconds. GM Hou Yifan arrived 5 seconds late to her board during one of the rounds at the 2009 Chinese Championship and she was forfeited.

Similar situations happened at the 2008 Dresden Olympiad when this was implemented.

How do you feel about the new rule? Is it a good idea to forfeit players for being late, even for just seconds, or is it too strict?
Posted by Picasa

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

dismissing for being late by seconds is ridiculous. How about taking the time away from the playing time of the player instead of calling it off?

for e.g. if a player is late by 10 minutes for a 25 minute game, he start with only 15 minutes whereas the opponent will have 25 min. Makes sense?

Anonymous said...

Great idea. Now players don't have to lose rating points for sandbagging a game :-)

Anonymous said...

The new rule is too strict!

Anonymous said...

Of course do the players have to show up 'in time'.
But forfeiting a player for arriving 5 seconds too late is ridiculous because NOBODY HAS A WATCH THAT IS THIS ACCURATE!

So, the solution IMO is SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE between 0 seconds and 1 full hour (which is definitely too long to let your opponent and fans wait for the start).

My proposal is: 10 minutes.

That is, when the chess clock (started by the arbiter) shows 10:00 minutes counted down from start time without the first move being made, then the game is forfeited.

This should give chessplayers the necessary back up time to get on stage while pleasing FIDE about chessgames starting 'in time'.

BRUZ

Al said...

this is too strict -- deduct time from game

Anonymous said...

It is pretty stupid for DQ someone who is already in the playing hall. Who came up with these stupid rules?

KWRegan said...

To summarize my two main points in comments to Susan's earlier item:

(a) If chess is going to follow other professional sports in having strict start times, then it should also follow many of them in moving those start times 5-or-10 minutes off the hour. This is for spectators as well as players.
It's not just a matter of building a buffer for the natural human tendency to focus on the :00 and :30 points of the hour. One can make time for visiting dignitaries, photos etc. between (say) 7:00 and 7:05, plus give time for media to do intros---if you anticipate having those things, it doesn't make sense to list 7:00 as the start-clocks time. Making pre-game attendance mandatory is a separate (contractual) issue.

(b) To my surprise, the ATP pro tennis rulebook has an official grace period up to 15 minutes with fines, though only for players who are "on site". Although my point (a) wasn't meant to be a "grace period" as one replier thought, I do feel that chess should not be leapfrogging its traditions over peer professional organizations' rules to become more strict than them.

Both of these points are directly relevant to the Chinese championship cases: (b) Hou Yifan was clearly "on site", and (a) from the source blog's story it seems Ding Liren's opponent was defaulted right after the 14:01:47 time shown in one photo, and well before 14:05.

Jason said...

Why not give the person a minute or two and start the match. If they have the first move then their clock is ticking. If the opponent has first move then they can make their move and then the late person's clock starts ticking. Maybe give them 30 minutes then forfeit but no way should you forfeit immediately especially for seconds.

Anonymous said...

it is not our opinion that matters, but yours.

Anonymous said...

Tthe rule is not strict. Just arrive 10 minutes before game and all is well. It is only that the change is very big, and chess people don't like big changes. Especially if made by the FIDE they all hate, even though they obide by most of its laws.

Anonymous said...

FIDE made stupid rule because they want to be GODS. They must have written for players must arrive 10 minutes before game, but will not be penalized for losing within thise next 10 minutes. FIDE, like all sports organizations is run bu people who are no chess masters and cannot understand. But, they do very, very good things for chess anyways.

Anonymous said...

What if both players are a few seconds late, does the arbiter want to call for a double forfeit?

Anonymous said...

Coming late is just a bad habit. The strict rules are ok. Always come few minutes earlier, not in the last second and you'll be fine.

That goes for life in general, not just chess.

jMac said...

Bad, bad, bad. Way too strict. I see nothing wrong with letting their clock run and forfeit after 1 hour (or perhaps after 30 minutes).

One possible sanction is to double the time they are late. Say they are 10 minutes late, take an additional 10 minutes off their time. Just a possibility.

Jochen said...

"f they have the first move then their clock is ticking. If the opponent has first move then they can make their move and then the late person's clock starts ticking."
Here (I do not if these are our rules from our "Turnierordnung or if these are taken from the fide rules) it was a bit different. If you are black and late in the playing hall, white's player does a move, you are able to get the move (with help of spectators or so) and 'analyse' the position, which is especially senseful if your opponent is playing an unsuspected opening (this can be after the first move already, think of him playing 1. b4 or 1. g4).
So the rule was that white had to write down the move, not moving the piece than press the clock and make the move as soon as black appears on the board.
But what happens if black appears and white is not on the board to play his move? (And while waiting for his opponent you can't force white to sit down but he must be allowed to walk around.) Black's time ticking on?
Maybe a referee making white's move as soon as black appears? Do we have enough referees if several games start late?

I think this well shows that if only one player does not arrive at the board it is not easy to find a really fair solution of how to administer the situation.

This maybe (too) strict way is at least a thing that - given the fact that all players now the rule - gives fair chances.
I am not a big fan of that rule but I do see some advantages behind it. And if this rule is given it has to be pulled through that's for sure and if it says "be on the board at... after that watch" you have to be there than (and 5 seconds are 5 seconds - if you said "okay make an exception, just 5 seconds" what about 10 seconds? 20 seconds? where is the limit?).

Not an easy topic to discuss....

Anonymous said...

This new rule is stupid...great...another reason to not play otb chess...and I've almost never been late for a game!

Anonymous said...

A policeman friend said the police don't give you tickets for speeding over 5 mph because they know speedometers are not that accurate. The same principle should be applied here. Forfeiting a game because a player is late by seconds is unreasonable. However, I feel that simply starting the game clocks is too lax. I suggest 15 minutes late and you lose.

Anonymous said...

Dumb F#@king Rule

What do you expect from Commies

Anonymous said...

I like the new rule. There's nothing wrong with expecting all players to be punctual for their matches. I also think tournaments should do away with time increments. Live and die by the clock.

Saldy Lopez said...

Simply ridiculous. The rule must be backed up by PREVIOUS COMPLAINTS OF PLAYERS WHOSE PLAY WERE JEOPARDIZED BY THE LATE ARRIVAL OF THEIR OPPONENTS.

Anonymous said...

Another point for everyone, Imagine how many norm chances will be destroyed in 9 round tournaments because the opponent had a needle on his chair. The rule says that except for the last round, if a player faces a bye, then even if he beat about 7 2700 players, he doesnt get a norm (9 round tournaments of course, but enough of them are there)... shame...

Anonymous said...

The new rule is good. If a game is sufficiently important to both players then both players will arrive and be ready to play PRIOR to the start of the round.

Eclipse chasers travel half way around the world to see total solar eclipses. If they're late by just a few minutes they miss the whole show. They know this. Viewing the eclipse is important to them, so they're set up and ready ahead of time. There are no reasonable excuses for late chessplayers.

It's unethical to force a player to sit at a board for one hour, one minute, or even one second waiting for a rude or careless late opponent.

The old rule punished the player who was on time! The on-time player should be free to leave without penalty the instant their opponent is late.

The new rule is good, reasonable and logical. It should be adopted for ALL chess tournaments and matches.

Anonymous said...

The rule is good if you have the culture of a pre-game ceremony where both players are present, shake hands, etc.

In soccer, basketball, and all other sports - both teams are present on the field prior to the start of the match. It makes sense that way. If one team is "seconds" late when they were supposed to be on the field already for the kickoff...

Chess doesn't have that culture, and thus right now we see this rule as ridiculous. Nevertheless, it doesn't mean that such a move is wrong - it just needs the right kind of implementation. Without the culture and history, forfeiting players like Yifan right now is very crude.

asher said...

The rule is stupid.
I think a good idea would be that if a player comes late, his opponent would have added to his clock the same amount of time lost by the player who was late. This would be a strong incentive to be punctual. And the few late arrivals, probably caused by reasonable reasons, would be exceptions.The penalty would be reasonable and not draconian like the present one.

Anonymous said...

This rule is only for FIDE events and for top chess ones that stipulate that way. So for professionals is a must to be on time as in any other professional sport.
All the other amateur players they will still have time to get late, even thouhg other amateur sports, still start on time!!

Anonymous said...

It's better to be 10 minutes earlier than 1 second later!!!

Anonymous said...

Forfeit as GM Yifan was left with 5 seconds is not acceptable. Set a time limit, such as 10 minutes which is good enough. Also, Chief Arbiters are definitely given powers to not use that rule.

alkanet said...

Stupid!

Anonymous said...

Susan, is this in effect for all FIDE events immediately ?

Jason Lohner said...

Seconds is dumb... but anything over 10 minutes should be forfeited.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is looking at this from the perspective of the person who is late, and therefore forfeited. What about the responsible chess player that showed up on time and is ready to play.

It seems silly to me to force a player to sit there for an hour(the old rule) looking at the same board simply to win a forfeit game.

It also should be pointed out that everyone has to live under the same rule. As far as the "NOBODY HAS A WATCH THAT IS THIS ACCURATE!" arguments go, get there 10 minutes ahead of time...not 5 seconds ahead of time.

Anonymous said...

If you are playing a match at a chessclub after work, you are subject to the boss letting you out on time, to the traffic, the public transport system, etc. Maybe even (as I have experienced) your opponent is delayed by his baby being sick on his shoulder so he has to change his t-shirt before leaving home after dinner. So you're late. Your opponent doesn't want to waste a whole evening - he/she wants a game, not a default point. Or maybe you're abroad at a tournament but for reasons of cost you have to stay a long way from the venue, at a campsite perhaps, and the public transport is unreliable. FIDE can use the zero-tolerance rule in GM all-play-all events, held in big hotels where all the players are close by, if it wants. It has NO place in the life of the club player or amateur.

jMac said...

From the perspective of the person who is on time with an opponent who is late, the late opponent is using up his thinking time.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous.

It's one thing to abide by such a rule if you're a professional chess player. It's something else when you're an amateur.

At our chess club we play according to official rules. People go to club from work etc. It's stupid to punish somebody because they got stuck in traffic in the city.

Again, if you're a professional and you live in a hotel with assistants then it's a different thing.

Anonymous said...

This rule is too strict and should be rescinded.

Anonymous said...

Too strict.

Richard Schwartz said...

Stupid rule. Games (or tournaments!) should not be won or lost due to innocent external factors like a player getting stuck in traffic for a few extra minutes, or stuck in a hotel elevator. The old one hour rule was perfectly reasonable. The late player loses time on the clock and gains no advantage, and the opponent having to stay at the board is no imposition since he would have had to stay at the board if the late player were just sitting there not making any move!

With this rule, we will see players drive their car like maniacs if they catch a couple of extra red lights and are just a few minutes behind schedule. With this rule, we will see players injure themselves running from the hotel restaurant to the playing hall if the busy waiter was a little too slow bringing the check. With this rule, it is almost certain that we will someday soon see one GM accuse another GM of paying someone to delay him by just a few minutes on his way to the venue.

TD said...

"What if both players are a few seconds late, does the arbiter want to call for a double forfeit?"
= 1/2

Micah Hughey said...

This rule is OPTIONAL in FIDE tournaments. The tournament director decides how long to wait before a forfeit.

Here is the only change: It used to be that if the TD didn't designate a time limit, that a player was forfeited after one hour.
Now, if the TD doesn't designate a time limit, then a player is forfeited immediately.

Anonymous said...

Most People have schedules and busy lives...they may be lucky to be able to play any game at all!...what...this is supposed to help?...just because players and directors have to feel 'respected' by a punctual opponent/player?...the old rule(s) of 1 hour late and/or overstepping time control is good enough!

Clowny said...

Don't do drugs kids!

Anonymous said...

I like the rule. You have to show up on time that way. I don't feel sorry for players who lose games for being later only a few seconds. In my mind you need to show up at least 10 minutes before the game starts, better 20.

Marco said...

The funniest game I had under the old rules with a one hour delay was against a russian player who would not show up. So I asked myself if I should already get a drink to celebrate my victory. After 55 minutes I decided to do so, but after 58 minutes he showed up. He would have had a clear advantage but unfortunately it he failed to execute his first move before the one hour delay, being busy in writing down my name.

So, it always can be ridiculous. I think the new rule is way better for team matches in minor leagues, where sometimes a guy is missing and the teams puts a dummy on the first board, pretending he will show up and thus moving everyone one board down to make up for the missing guy. Now it would be possible to move up the whole team at the official start of the match.

Anonymous said...

ok, lets say i arrive on time(says my watch),but on reaching the playing hall i'm forfeited because i was 2 seconds "late".Ok, and my opponents time says i'm not late. Ok, but my opponent arrives 40 seconds "late". Ok, but my opponent is still not late says his watch.Ok, and a dozen other watches in the playing hall agree with me...is my opponent forfeited also?
And what if at the same time at another area of the playing hall two other players have a similar situation but their watches say they're "late"...what happens?

Anonymous said...

watches must be calibrated every day.spinte

Anonymous said...

Ilyumzhinov you are a disgrace. I hope those aliens come back and take you away for good this time.

baincardin said...

Discipline is very important. Being late??? such a 'not-really-good' attitude for me. :) Have a nice day ya! ;)

albertfrank said...

Year ago, chess was "serious".

Now, some regulations are made by idiots (sorry: No other word is possible).

What to do? It's totally disgusting.

Albert Frank, International Arbiter

Anonymous said...

If I were an elite GM and I was forfeited for being 5 seconds late , I would withdraw immediately. Without top players, they'd lose sponsorship.

Anonymous said...

New rule is bad, just as almost anything that comes out from the FIDE workshop nowdays.

Anonymous said...

0 seconds really make no sense. Since the FIDE default rules will be used in a lot of tournaments it should be more resonable. One hour is maybe to long for a default, maybe 30 mins is ok. People are people and one should nor by default punish a minor incident too heavily. We want chess matches to be decided by play....

The Historian said...

We, the chess community, always critize why our sport (because chess is a sport and if it is not then we must stop trying to have it incorporated into the International Olympic Committee) is not taken seriously.


Football, I always see football teams on the field way before the game starts and they are multi-million salaried players.


Baseball, the players are on the diamond way before the games starts.


Soccer, the players even meet on the field before the whistle blows to discuss strategy.


Ok, ok, maybe that is because they are team sports, how about the individual sports?


Golf, I see Tiger Woods always ready to go collect his weekly "allowance" of $180,000 a week at every tournament he participates. I have never seen him arrive late.

How about, Tennis? Marathon runners? etc

Oh, but we chessplayers are severly inconvenienced to be on the board when its our time to compete. A $40, 000 a year grandmaster wants to be allowed to arrive at least 10 minutes late to his game, when $500,000 dollar a month Tiger Woods is expected to be minutes prior to his game ready.

Maybe their is a reason why chess is not taken seriously by other sport organizations.

If my own daughter were to lose because she arrived late, even a minute or five seconds late, I am sure it would never happen to her again. If you cannot respect the game then maybe its time to chose another game to play...wait tennis, golf, soccer, baseball and every other sport would force me to play on time.

I guess we better stick to chess then.

I said my peace.

www.claudiachess.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I believe that the new rule of being late by a player and award the point to his/her opponent is TOO HARSH A SANCTION! Every Organization in the world knew this..in employement .in school..everywhere..at least they should give some time or grace period of even 10 to 15 mins..this wont cause anything or hamper the tournament in any way right?if the FIDE Org think theyre doing the right thing..they should all resign!!!!

Anonymous said...

It should have some flexibility at least. FIDE sucks

Anonymous said...

Absurd

Lionel Davis said...

Uugh im always late ! i hate it, i function on BPT hehe!!

Goran_Tomic said...

The rule is OK

Tucker said...

The intention behind the rule is excellent. The execution of the rule may be flawed. Current practices, culture, and the kind of tournament should be considered. If players tend to arrive late, and that is truly an inconvenience, then a 10 minute rule might be a good idea to start changing the culture. If so, then a more strict rule might be applied in the future. Or have the strict rule in place but allow a grace period of 10 minutes until the culture changes and the new expectations are well established, say after two years - then remove the grace period. Also, players must be able to contest a time ruling as well because there is always the possibility of extenuating circumstances.

Anonymous said...

i see that none of u care abt the norm part...

Jochen said...

"After 55 minutes I decided to do so, but after 58 minutes he showed up. He would have had a clear advantage but unfortunately it he failed to execute his first move before the one hour delay, being busy in writing down my name."

Wasn't the old rule that you need not do a move in the first hour but you have to arrive on the board?
As I remember the chess rules (as they are used _here_, that may change from place to place as there are special tournament rules which may differ from FIDE rules in these points - I have not played after these rules for a long time so I may be wrong) as soon as you sit on the board you can take as much time as you want for your first move without losing by forfeit (so after all your time is up you lose as if you had played)!?

Anonymous said...

Good rule. Very good. It's totally unprofessional for players to just straggle in whenever they feel like it. In no real sport could you get away with that. Imagine a whole crowd at Yankee Stadium sitting around waiting for the right fielder to arrive. You need to be there, ready to go at game time. If you're not, you lose. Totally fair. Once people get used to it, they won't cut it so close and will learn they need to arrive a bit early to get "suit up" as it were.

Anonymous said...

Maybe give them 30 minutes then forfeit but no way should you forfeit immediately especially for seconds.

You've got to draw the line somewhere. If she arrived 5 seconds after her flag fell, she'd be "forfeited for seconds" just the same. I might agree that there should be some leeway for people who are in the tournament hall, but not seated at the board yet. But you do have to be ready to go at game time.

Anonymous said...

The rule is irrational. Unless you live in the playing hall, your arrival will be subject to random fluctuations, and to be on time will require an unduly excessive effort. For an example, assume your arrival time is a normal distribution with a variance of 10 minutes, and you aim to be on location 15 minutes before the game. The probability that you will be late at all is about 5.5%. The probability that you will be late more than 5 minutes is about 2.2%. The probability that you will be late more than 15 minutes is about .13%. The probability that the you will be more than an hour late is .00013%. Of course, this normal distribution model is not quite realistic, and no matter how much safety margin you give, a transportation accident can still make you late.

In any case, the model probably illustrates the point that under the zero seconds rule, the player must waste too much time to make sure (s)he is on time. With a more lenient rule, trying to be on site 15 minutes before the start would be perfectly satisfactory.

Attila

Anonymous said...

The rule is irrational.

What rule of logic does it violate?

Unless you live in the playing hall, your arrival will be subject to random fluctuations, and to be on time will require an unduly excessive effort.

Then how is it players in other sports seem to manage it? People don't sit in Yankee Stadium waiting for the right fielder to arrive, so that seems to prove that you're wrong about it being so hard to get there on time.

If you have an auto accident on the way to the game, you'd probably have forfeited even under the old rule. Assuming you were in shape to play at all. Bad example.

Your numbers make no sense, as they are all predicated on the assumption that the player is still trying to get there precisely at game time. If a person wants to make sure he doesn't forfeit, he might have to TRY to arrive 15 minutes early. These people are professionals, being paid for their services. It's not too much to ask.

I would agree though, that "in the playing hall" is good enough. A person shouldn't be forfeited for being absent if they're in the hall, but not physically seated at the board.

rog said...

nestoIf players had first-class transportation from their living quarters to the playing hall, had a private entrance, a lounge area, adequate bathroom facilities at the venue and all that, then you might have a case for enforcing such a rule. The Yankees don't enter the stadium with the general public, they have their own dressing rooms and parking lot, and a host of other amenities so comparisons with the chess world are moot.

My impression is that FIDE and the organizers who blindly follow their directives are trying to prove to the world what idiots they are.

Anonymous said...

Of course the rule is good and fair.

assume now that we change the rule to 5 minutes late or 10 minutes late etc. but the player arrives 5 min and 5 sec late or 10 minutes and 5 sec late. Once again he complains that he is ONLY 5 seconds late.

Stop complaining and get to the game on time. Get there early. I say good lesson learned. I bet Yifon is on time in the future.

Do you want to know the correct time.

http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Eastern/d/-5/java

is the world standard time to the split second. probably to the thousand of a second or better.

Anonymous said...

What happened at last years Women's US Championships?

Irina Krush was only 1 second late in making her last move.

Is 5 seconds at the beginning different than 1 second at the end?

Anonymous said...

I'm NOT a professional but I was expected to be on time at the olympiad in Dresden. The organisers saw fit to put my team in a hotel that was a 30-minute tram ride from the venue, plus walks at either end, plus security queue. Plus snow, as it happened. I don't mind if my opponent is late; she/he loses time on the clock, which compensates me. Spectators? Frankly I don't think spectators of my game, if there are any, are going to be demanding their money back, if any. Defaulting Hou Yifan was as stupid as the old Olympic practice of stripping medals from little gymnasts because they'd taken a flu remedy containing pseudoephedrine (this is now PERMITTED by the Olympic committee, so you can see what a stupid rule that was!).

The Mighty Boosh! said...

Aw Come on!

KWRegan said...

ChessBase has a new item about this---though right now their photos of Ding Liren's forfeit win are in the wrong order from the original source. It has a tidbit on Hou Yifan I hadn't seen before:

"Hou was in the hall, we are told, had filled out her scoresheet and was waiting for the game to start. But when it did, at 14:00:00h, she was not actually sitting on her chair in front of the board. 0-1."

The question that needs asking now is, how was the new rule explained to the players? I don't know Chinese semantics, but I can give an example in English: Suppose the players were told, clearly and strongly: You must be in your chair BY 14:00. In English, "by" means then or at some time pertinently before. Since signed scoresheets are the formal end of the game, it would be reasonable for a player to interpret that initializing the scoresheet is a formal beginning that complies with "BY". Tennis and other sports in similar contexts have an act of signing-in. If my conjecture in any way approximates the truth, then IMHO the fault in Hou Yifan's case is clearly with the arbiters.

KWRegan said...

Actually, it seems ChessBase has the photos in the *right* order---the source blog and its narrative are misleading. The clue is that the Kings are already in the center of the board (DGT signal for game-over), and the game in the background is farther along. Thus Ding Liren's opponent was forfeited before 14:01:47.

Anonymous said...

My view of this new rule is consistent with my view on professional chess. If we want chess to be viewed by the mainstream population as a professional sport, then we need to package it as such.

Professional sporting events start on time, with the competitors ready to go! Could you imagine if they were ready to tip off game 4 of the NBA finals, and the Lakers were not on the court and ready to go ??? "Hey, we had to go to the bathroom" "It's not our fault, they put us in a hotel that was far away" "Geez, we were in the building, what's the big deal if we got to the court a few minutes late"

If our standards of staging chess events continue to be lackadaisical, then we will continue to be viewed as a activity not worth paying attention to.

Anonymous said...

The Yankees don't enter the stadium with the general public, they have their own dressing rooms and parking lot, and a host of other amenities so comparisons with the chess world are moot.

True, but they also have to spend hours suiting up and preparing for play.

Sorry, you're bombing here, Ace. I just don't buy that it's all that impossible for professionals to show up for a game on time. I can see making some allowance in this particular case, if the rule wasn't explained adequately, and I don't think we have to be sticklers about whether someone is sitting physically in their chair at a given moment, but overall, yeah, the players should have to at least be in the hall ready to go at game time.

Anonymous said...

Some of these commentators must have never been to a major chess tournament. Typically, you have a couple hundred people in a hall, and all of them want to go to the bathroom at the same time, just before the game starts.

Or you can read of the horrors of previous Chess Olympiads, where bus drivers get lost, forget to make their pickups, and so on.

Make problems like that go away, and then you can start getting sticky about starting times.

Anonymous said...

I don't like this rule despite the fact that I always turn up on time for the game. In a lot of tournaments I play, even tournaments where norms are possible etc, there are often 2 rounds a day. Some players have really long games and would like to be able to take time off after the round for some rest and maybe even something to eat. It would be nice if you could do that and not have to worry about the possibility of being forfeited next round for turning up 1 minute late.
The other issue is for the other player. What happens if you have chances for a norm and your opponent turns up 1 minute late? You're supposed to get punished for your opponent's stupidity?