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Kevin Bonham
05-01-2008, 04:21 PM
In another time-related issue, Andrew Furst, who had less than 60 seconds left against Victoria's Richard Voon (who had 25 minutes), suddenly got up from the board to request that the arbiter temporarily stop the clocks. His reason? He was absolutely dying to go to the toilet. Charles agreed to this request. Mr Voon, on the other hand, seemed unhappy but not too concerned except to query Charles' decision. The arbiter calmly explained that he was exercising his discretion to stop the clock and allow Mr Furst to relieve himself. We agree with Charles.

I have never come across this situation before except in very low-level junior chess.

I suppose that with time limits of the X/+Y incremental form becoming more and more common, rather than those with a time control at a specific move and then a huge amount of time, it is natural that this situation would arise. After all, some players can now spend hours of the game with very little time on their clock.

I think if the arbiter does allow the clocks to be stopped in this manner, they should award the opponent the amount of time for which the clocks are stopped. The opponent is entitled to be compensated for the disturbance and for the fact that a player who is short of time may have had extra time to think about the game while going to the toilet.

Rincewind
05-01-2008, 04:25 PM
I think if the arbiter does allow the clocks to be stopped in this manner, they should award the opponent the amount of time for which the clocks are stopped. The opponent is entitled to be compensated for the disturbance and for the fact that a player who is short of time may have had extra time to think about the game while going to the toilet.

I agree but it would be something small like 2-5 minutes added to the opponent's clock. In the context of the game in question it may not have made a huge difference.

I guess while the clock was stopped the opponent effectively got this time to think about the position and had the advantage that they could actually see the board as well. :)

Kevin Bonham
05-01-2008, 04:37 PM
I agree but it would be something small like 2-5 minutes added to the opponent's clock. In the context of the game in question it may not have made a huge difference.

I guess while the clock was stopped the opponent effectively got this time to think about the position and had the advantage that they could actually see the board as well. :)

There is that too, but who gains the most from the extra time may depend on whose move it is (and how good the players are at analysing in their head). Yes, I'm well aware that in cases where one player is not short of time and the other is, the extra time would probably not make a critical difference anyway.

CameronD
05-01-2008, 06:23 PM
Personally, I dont need a board in front of me to analysis, its all in my head.

I'm against the practice as the scope for abuse is to great, if it must be done, then I think proper adjournment rules should be followed with the sealing of a move and a maximum waiting period. I think chess would be better off without these loopholes.

Kevin Bonham
05-01-2008, 06:35 PM
I can't see anyone being allowed to take time out for this purpose in a very top-level tournament.

Axiom
05-01-2008, 07:39 PM
I can't see anyone being allowed to take time out for this purpose in a very top-level tournament.
Except perhaps Mr.Topalov :uhoh:

Garvinator
05-01-2008, 08:27 PM
I can't see anyone being allowed to take time out for this purpose in a very top-level tournament.
What about for a player going to the toilet 50 times every game ;) :whistle:

Ian Rout
06-01-2008, 12:39 PM
As an isolated incident the decision is probably reasonable, given that it is presumably genuine and in any case the "innocent" party won the game in question, and within the arbiter's discretion. However the possibilities for abuse are obvious.

To say that the other player gets the benefit of being able to look at the board during the stoppage is not really the whole story. First, the extra time to consider the position, even without sight of the board, is likely to be more beneficial to the player short of time; with a susbstantial time bank the extra five minutes is irrelevant. Second, the absenting player has had the benefit of not previously utilising the time to relieve himself earlier; his position might have already been lost had he done so. Third, the other player has had his concentration disturbed by the unexpected turn of events.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, the other player may have embarked on a sequence of moves based on his opponent's time position which, with the assistance of the extension, the absenting player has refuted.

I think there should be some reasonably hefty compensation to the non-absenting player, not so much as a penalty againt the absenting player or as a disincentive but to ensure that no advantage, however inadvertent, is gained by the absence. I doubt it will occur frequently though. Incidentally it was not Mr Topalov who required fifty toilet stops but his opponent, though he says fifty is an over-statement.

Kevin Bonham
06-01-2008, 12:53 PM
I wonder if 30 second increments are also a hassle for smokers. At Mt Buller during the seven and a half hour, 143 move, Kengis vs Arlandi marathon, Kengis was pressing for a win with KQ vs KRP. With the increment at one minute per move, every now and then he would make a few quick moves to build his time up to seven or eight minutes, then disappear outside for a quick smoke. Not sure how adversely it affected his ability to play the position (which was, at some stages, theoretically won, but ended up drawn.)

Garvinator
06-01-2008, 01:02 PM
I wonder if 30 second increments are also a hassle for smokers. At Mt Buller during the seven and a half hour, 143 move, Kengis vs Arlandi marathon, Kengis was pressing for a win with KQ vs KRP. With the increment at one minute per move, every now and then he would make a few quick moves to build his time up to seven or eight minutes, then disappear outside for a quick smoke. Not sure how adversely it affected his ability to play the position (which was, at some stages, theoretically won, but ended up drawn.)
It might be a hassle, but no arbiter should give a 'time out' for players who smoke.

Kevin Bonham
06-01-2008, 01:28 PM
It might be a hassle, but no arbiter should give a 'time out' for players who smoke.

I agree, of course.

Disclaimer: I am a non-smoker.

Miguel
06-01-2008, 02:02 PM
I agree but it would be something small like 2-5 minutes added to the opponent's clock.
Perhaps not entirely relevant but, >2 minutes would seem to make requesting a toilet break a more serious infraction than making an illegal move:

7.4(b) After the action taken under Article 7.4(a), for the first two illegal moves by a player the arbiter shall give two minutes extra time to his opponent in each instance; for a third illegal move by the same player, the arbiter shall declare the game lost by this player.

Ian Rout
06-01-2008, 03:23 PM
Perhaps not entirely relevant but, >2 minutes would seem to make requesting a toilet break a more serious infraction than making an illegal move:
I think this analogy breaks down on a number of points. The adjustment for a toilet break would not be a penalty, just preventing the opponent incurring any disadvantage. Moreover illegal moves do occasionally happen, on the other hand there should not be time-outs at all for toilet breaks, smoking breaks, getting a cup of coffee breaks, making phone call breaks etc, players should manage this within their allocation.

Also the penalty listed is for an accidental illegal move. If an arbiter is satisfied that a player is deliberately making an illegal move to gain time then a greater penalty could be imposed. In any case it's difficult to gain a great benefit from an illegal move, an experienced arbiter will make the adjustment quickly and you are then stuck with touch-move, whereas a toilet break can create a longer delay with no detriment. Hence given the possibility of abuse of toilet breaks the treatment should be such as to ensure they are only sought in genuine circumstances.

Capablanca-Fan
06-01-2008, 07:34 PM
I agree, of course.

Disclaimer: I am a non-smoker.
A number of Kiwi smoking chessplayers kicked the habit after losing too much time on their clocks after the disgustipating practice of smoking was banned from tournaments. The great IM Ortvin Sarapu (http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessplayer?pid=23652) was one; he wrote in his autobiography Mr Chess (1993) about the 1983 North Island champs where he finished a point behind me to my surprise:


I got stuck on draws, five of them, and only three wins. For the first time no smoking was enforced and I was still a smoker. I used to smoke 20 cigarettes during four hours play and later my throat was bitter with nicotine. I did not know then that smoking was also bad for chess players. I managed to give up smoking the next year when I was sixty years old. I just stopped and 'suffered' for a week. I found it was more a habit than an addiction. Needless to say, I felt much better.

Russian doctors have examined chess players and found that during a five to six hour game the human brain loses oxygen. They recommend a walk before the game to help charge up the body with oxygen. Naturally, smoking does not help. There are very few smoking chess players left now and every year the number is less.

Spiny Norman
07-01-2008, 06:39 AM
I can't see anyone being allowed to take time out for this purpose in a very top-level tournament.
I recommend the arbiter install catheters and colostomy bags ... it would avoid all this unpleasantness and allegations of cheating (but it would make the arbiter's job somewhat less attractive). :whistle:

I'm often find myself getting up from the board during games, to go for a wander around, or a toilet stop, get a glass of water, that sort of thing ... but always on my own time ... I would never involve an arbiter.

Miguel
07-01-2008, 10:56 AM
The adjustment for a toilet break would not be a penalty, just preventing the opponent incurring any disadvantage.
I can see your point but, even though the intent might be different, the result is the same.


Moreover illegal moves do occasionally happen, on the other hand there should not be time-outs at all for toilet breaks, smoking breaks, getting a cup of coffee breaks, making phone call breaks etc, players should manage this within their allocation.
For the most part I agree, except that going to the toilet is a necessity, whereas the others are not (smokers might disagree :P). I also agree that players should try to manage their time more efficiently, but with 30 second increments it is quite possible that a player can be stuck at the board for a very long time, regardless of time management. (Last year I had a 108-move game go for about 5 hours, and I was stuck at the board for about the last 75 moves.)

Kevin Bonham
07-01-2008, 10:59 AM
There was a comment on chessexpress (http://chessexpress.blogspot.com/) that allowing toilet breaks of this kind is standard in the World Youth.

Denis_Jessop
10-01-2008, 04:21 PM
There has so far been considerable learned technical argument about the merits of the request to the arbiter. Assuming the request to have been genuine, nobody so far seems to have considered the practical consequences for the player making the request and for other players nearby of refusing the request. :hmm:

DJ

PS Lest you think I'm being flippant, I'm not.

Kevin Bonham
10-01-2008, 07:29 PM
Assuming the request to have been genuine, nobody so far seems to have considered the practical consequences for the player making the request and for other players nearby of refusing the request.

I certainly considered it, but decided I would let someone else introduce that side of the topic. :lol:

Kevin Bonham
23-03-2008, 05:45 PM
AR in his (excellent) Doeberl live blogging provides the sequel:


1:49
A hilarious thing just happened!!
1:50
Absolutely busting to go the toilet, V Feldman asked Charles Z if the clocks could be stopped because he wants to go to the loo.
1:51
Now recall that Charles had agreed to a similar request during the Aussie Champs in Jan and for which he was criticised. But now, Dr Z has learned his lesson and denied Feldman's request.
1:53
Desperate, Feldman offers his opponent (IM Bitansky) a draw. The opponent agreed and to which Feldman just bolted straight out of his seat and ran to the toilet.

Desmond
23-03-2008, 09:59 PM
A player is always within his rights to stop the clocks and call for the arbiter, correct? What if en route to the arbiter, the player goes to the toilet?

Eg. Stop the clock. Go to the dunny. Ask the arbiter if it's ok. Arbiter says no, awards opponent 2 mins compensation.

Probably worth it. ;)

eclectic
23-03-2008, 11:55 PM
A player is always within his rights to stop the clocks and call for the arbiter, correct?

I would have thought only to ask a question about the game itself


What if en route to the arbiter, the player goes to the toilet?

The player's opponent ought to wait until the player is in the toilet then go the arbitor first saying that the player stopped the clock and so has resigned or that having seen that the player has not sought permission there are reasonable grounds to suspect unauthorised assistance is being garnered.


Eg. Stop the clock. Go to the dunny. Ask the arbiter if it's ok. Arbiter says no, awards opponent 2 mins compensation.

Why not try shoplifting? i.e first try to smuggle the goods through ... get caught ... then ask if it is ok ...?


Probably worth it. ;)

Maybe players who need to visit urgently should be made to seal a move before stopping the clock :hmm:

Kevin Bonham
24-03-2008, 01:32 AM
Will be interesting to see the final position. Apparently Feldman's opponent only agreed the draw because his position was no good (as reported by AR).

Desmond
24-03-2008, 08:45 AM
The player's opponent ought to wait until the player is in the toilet then go the arbitor first saying that the player stopped the clock and so has resignedStopping the clock alome is obviously not a resignation.


or that having seen that the player has not sought permission there are reasonable grounds to suspect unauthorised assistance is being garnered.How is this any more suspicious of cheating that any other visit to the loo?


Why not try shoplifting? i.e first try to smuggle the goods through ... get caught ... then ask if it is ok ...?Unlike shoplifting, it explicitly says in the laws of chess that a player may stop the clocks at any time to summon the arbiter.


Maybe players who need to visit urgently should be made to seal a move before stopping the clock :hmm:Possibly not a bad idea.

Basil
24-03-2008, 12:04 PM
There's always accidentally on purpose knocking a fullish glass of water over the board and then doing the bolt in the melee! (on the way to get a cloth of course).

Capablanca-Fan
24-03-2008, 02:59 PM
Unlike shoplifting, it explicitly says in the laws of chess that a player may stop the clocks at any time to summon the arbiter.


6.13 b A player may stop the clocks only in order to seek the arbiter`s assistance, for instance when promotion has taken place and the piece required is not available.

A player presumably doesn't need the arbiter's assistance for a loo break, so this would be an invalid stopping.

Desmond
24-03-2008, 03:05 PM
6.13 b A player may stop the clocks only in order to seek the arbiter`s assistance, for instance when promotion has taken place and the piece required is not available.

A player presumably doesn't need the arbiter's assistance for a loo break, so this would be an invalid stopping.
The arbiter may well rule that the stopping of the clocks was spurious, but that does not stop the player from doing so if he is willing to suffer the potential penalty. Would any arbiter award a loss for it, or would they just award the opponent more time? The latter is more likely IMO.

Bill Gletsos
24-03-2008, 03:05 PM
One assumes the player wants the clock stopped for his loo break because he does not have sufficient time on his clock to take a loo break without flagging.

That is tough luck. He should have taken a loo break when he had more time ;)

Capablanca-Fan
24-03-2008, 03:14 PM
The arbiter may well rule that the stopping of the clocks was spurious, but that does not stop the player from doing so if he is willing to suffer the potential penalty. Would any arbiter award a loss for it, or would they just award the opponent more time? The latter is more likely IMO.


6:13 d: If a player stops the clocks in order to seek the arbiter's assistance, the arbiter shall determine if the player had any valid reason for doing so. If it is obvious that the player has no valid reason for stopping the clocks, the player shall be penalised according to article 13.4.

Probably start the clocks and award a time penalty while the player was going to the loo. Then a warning that the time penalty will be greater next time, and the time after that, loss of game.

Desmond
24-03-2008, 03:18 PM
6:13 d: If a player stops the clocks in order to seek the arbiter's assistance, the arbiter shall determine if the player had any valid reason for doing so. If it is obvious that the player has no valid reason for stopping the clocks, the player shall be penalised according to article 13.4.

Probably start the clocks and award a time penalty while the player was going to the loo. Then a warning that the time penalty will be greater next time, and the time after that, loss of game.
Would be difficult for the arbiter to dismiss the claim and apply a penalty before he has even heard the claim!

Metro
24-03-2008, 03:29 PM
Try to keep it simple and clear!
Make a move then go to the toilet.
What's the rest of the hogwash?

Bill Gletsos
24-03-2008, 03:35 PM
Try to keep it simple and clear!
Make a move then go to the toilet.
What's the rest of the hogwash?The 'hogwash' is that some players are attempting to get the arbiter to stop the clocks whilst they go to the loo.

Garrett
24-03-2008, 05:51 PM
I thought this thread was funny until this morning when I was hanging for a leak at the end of a 3 1/4 hour slug-it-out.

It's funny with a 30 sec increment I was at a couple of minutes on the clock for the last half hour of the game.

Cheers
Garrett.

Capablanca-Fan
24-03-2008, 06:15 PM
Would be difficult for the arbiter to dismiss the claim and apply a penalty before he has even heard the claim!
But if he had heard the claim, he could penalize and warn in the manner stated.

Alexrules01
24-03-2008, 06:42 PM
Well if the arbiter doesnt want urine on the seats and on the floor, i think he'd let you stop the clock.

The only other option is make a rule at the start of the tournament, wether you can stop it or not.

Because I think if there was a rule that let you stop the clock to go to the toilet, people would take advantage of this by saying they have to go.

But i like the idea of moving, hitting then stopping the clock.

Now also i got another thing to ask

What time must be on your clock to be able to stop the clock to go to the toilet. 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 20 minutes?
Just a thought...

Bill Gletsos
24-03-2008, 06:46 PM
Well if the arbiter doesnt want urine on the seats and on the floor, i think he'd let you stop the clock.

The only other option is make a rule at the start of the tournament, wether you can stop it or not.

Because I think if there was a rule that let you stop the clock to go to the toilet, people would take advantage of this by saying they have to go.

But i like the idea of moving, hitting then stopping the clock.

Now also i got another thing to ask

What time must be on your clock to be able to stop the clock to go to the toilet. 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 20 minutes?
Just a thought...You cannot stop the clock to go to the loo.
You go to the loo with the clock running be it your clock or your opponents.
It is that simple.

Allan Menham
27-12-2008, 08:54 AM
I was at a tournament once where a player was a class one diabetic. When you have diabetes it is not uncommon to want to go to the toilet frequently. The person with the diabetes called over the arbiter before the game started and explained the problem to the Arbiter and his opponent. He asked his opponent if he would have any problem stopping the clock during the game so he could go to the toilet if necessary. The opponent was quite happy for this to happen and so was the arbiter. I think it showed the good sportsmanship of the players opponent in the matter.:clap:

CameronD
27-12-2008, 07:05 PM
I was at a tournament once where a player was a class one diabetic. When you have diabetes it is not uncommon to want to go to the toilet frequently. The person with the diabetes called over the arbiter before the game started and explained the problem to the Arbiter and his opponent. He asked his opponent if he would have any problem stopping the clock during the game so he could go to the toilet if necessary. The opponent was quite happy for this to happen and so was the arbiter. I think it showed the good sportsmanship of the players opponent in the matter.:clap:

I agree that its good sportsmanship, and I would have done the same if knowing the full situation, but it should be up to the opponent.

Denis_Jessop
27-12-2008, 07:41 PM
I agree that its good sportsmanship, and I would have done the same if knowing the full situation, but it should be up to the opponent.

That's not right. The arbiter must be involved in any such arrangement. It's not open to the players to make such private arrangements without the knowledge of the arbiter though it's sometimes done in club games. As a club arbiter I've even had two opponents who both smoked agree to stop the clock and go outside the playing area for a smoke and then return. But I knew about it and allowed club harmony to prevail. :rolleyes:

DJ

Kevin Bonham
27-12-2008, 08:25 PM
The opponent's sporting attitude is very commendable and where players can work this sort of thing out between themselves, come up with a good solution and let the arbiter know that's excellent. The arbiter still has to approve the solution (eg sometimes solutions to unusual situations that players come up with seem fair to the players but are impractical for the tournament) but in a case like this it's easy to do.

Should an opponent refuse to cut a player with a medical situation the appropriate slack the arbiter must intervene both as a matter of basic fairness and to meet the requirements of relevant anti-discrimination law.

Ivanchuk_Fan
27-12-2008, 08:33 PM
One solution to the problem is to ensure (in a tournament with 90+30 or longer time controls) that you always have at least five minutes on the clock, with the assistance of the increment. This ensures that if you urgently need to rush to the loo, you can do so without losing on time.

But if a player is down to <2 minutes on the clock and needs to go to the toilet, then with the 30 second increment they should be able to make a few instantaneous moves, then be able to run to the loo and back to the table without their flag falling.

This could lead to the player in question blundering, but this provides a better chance for them than if they are stuck with the choice between losing on time or...you know.

CameronD: In the first instance, the opponent's action is not a problem, as there is enough time to sprint to the toilet and back without losing on time. But in the second case, then the player in time-trouble is in some strife.

Therefore, as Bill stated earlier, the simplest solution to the problem is effective time management. Retaining 5+ minutes on the clock for the entire game is one way to avoid the dilemma.

CameronD
27-12-2008, 08:37 PM
One solution to the problem is to ensure (in a tournament with 90+30 or longer time controls) that you always have at least five minutes on the clock, with the assistance of the increment. This ensures that if you urgently need to rush to the loo, you can do so without losing on time.

But if a player is down to <2 minutes on the clock and needs to go to the toilet, then with the 30 second increment they should be able to make a few instantaneous moves, then be able to run to the loo and back to the table without their flag falling.

This could lead to the player in question blundering, but this provides a better chance for them than if they are stuck with the choice between losing on time or...you know.


What if the opponent sits there (eg 30 minutes) while your waiting to go to the loo, pours water etc, to make you leave the table

Miranda
27-12-2008, 09:47 PM
What if the opponent sits there (eg 30 minutes) while your waiting to go to the loo, pours water etc, to make you leave the table
How would they know you needed to go?

eclectic
27-12-2008, 09:51 PM
How would they know you needed to go?

them pouring water would make you want to go ;) :twisted: