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Kevin Bonham
31-03-2008, 12:46 AM
12.1

The players shall take no action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute.

Extremely nebulous and vague all-purpose-thwacking rule.

So, what exactly is "disrepute"?

How does the arbiter determine that an action "will bring" the game into disrepute? Should the arbiter take into account the chance of the action being publicised? What if the arbiter figures the chance of the game being brought into disrepute by the action to be precisely 57.3%?

Can players bring themselves into disrepute without their action bringing disrepute on the game in the process?

Can anyone cite examples other than short-draw cases currently being discussed on other threads where:

* a player was forfeited under the disrepute rule and the forfeit remained intact upon appeal, if any?

* an arbiter threatened to use the disrepute rule to forfeit a player?

(Might be a good idea to leave names out of any examples unless they have been widely reported.)

Interested to see how common use of this rule, in Australia especially, actually is.

(NB I am considering proposing that "will" be changed to "is likely to".)

Aaron Guthrie
31-03-2008, 02:57 AM
I thought that, what with it being a get out clause type rule, one wouldn't want to fix the meaning of the rule.

Aaron Guthrie
31-03-2008, 03:11 AM
So, what exactly is "disrepute"?

How does the arbiter determine that an action "will bring" the game into disrepute? Should the arbiter take into account the chance of the action being publicised? What if the arbiter figures the chance of the game being brought into disrepute by the action to be precisely 57.3%?It seems odd to tie in unhonourable* action with people noticing such. But disrepute seems to require this. It also seems to require that the people that notice then change their opinion about chess. So now you have to consider both publicity and who the publicity is to.

*Best I could come up with to avoid using "disreputable", which would confuse things.

(NB I am considering proposing that "will" be changed to "is likely to".)I like "ought".

Ian Rout
31-03-2008, 10:04 AM
I have some difficulty imaging something being so serious that it can sensibly be ruled to bring the game as a whole into disrepute but for which the penalty is merely a forfeit. Given that most of us lose about half our games anyway this is barely a penalty at all. More likely it would relate to activities bigger than individual games, such as game-fixing perhaps, though in context the rule seems to only refer to incidents in an actual game.

I think very few of us have the opportunity to bring chess into disrepute because we're not important enough. Maybe it could be applied at a local level, for instance in a small town where the chess club meets at the local RSL two opponents get aggro and start a fight which spills through the entire club. This might be said to bring chess into disrepute in that town.

I think it's useful to have the clause, so long as it isn't misused, because it avoids the loophole of extremely bad behaviour which is not specifically covered. I think many sports have something similar. I can't imagine it being used much in practice though.

I like the point about the distinction between players bringing themselves and bringing the game into disrepute.

Kevin Bonham
31-03-2008, 12:21 PM
I like the point about the distinction between players bringing themselves and bringing the game into disrepute.

I should mention (for those not following other threads) that the distinction isn't mine - Ian Rogers mentioned that this distinction was canvassed, and indeed a "key question", during hypothetical discussions about whether Akobian and Antic should be double-forfeited if they continued with their second repetition sequence.

I had never come across a case of this distinction being attempted before.

CameronD
31-03-2008, 12:49 PM
The best answer would be that a non-chess person watching what occured would have them leaving with a negative opinion of chess.

this may include fighting, shouting, short draws, tantrums, and many other things.

ps- All chess players represent the game of chess, therefore if a player bring disrepute on themselves, they also bring it on the game. Its the same thing.

Denis_Jessop
31-03-2008, 05:14 PM
Art. 12.1 may be the best example of how FIDE can draft a really bad Law if it sets its mind to it.

It is deceptively simple but contains some questionable elements.

"Disrepute"

In accordance with established rules of interpretation, this term must be taken to have its ordinary meaning unless a contrary intention appears. There is no contrary intention.

I limited my consultation of dictionaries to Chambers 21st Century Dictionary to find the ordinary meaning. It defines "disrepute" as follows:


the state of having a bad reputation bring football into disrepute

and "reputation" as:


1a generally held opinion about someone's abilities, moral character, etc. 2 fame or notoriety, especially as a result of a particular characteristic. 3 a a high opinion generally held about someone or something; b good name.

Pretty clearly, Art 12.1 refers to "reputation" in the sense of example 3. Also, it would seem fairly clear that what is referred to is the general reputation of the game of chess, not just its reputation among chess practitioners.

So far, so good.

"The players"

These opening words create problems.

1. "Players" in the context of the Laws are people actually playing a game. For example "players" who have finished their games shall be considered to be spectators" (Art 12.4).

2. Why does Art 12.1 say "the players" rather than a "player"? True enough, it is usual to provide that the singular includes the plural and vice versa though the Laws of Chess do not so provide. Even if one takes that view, the better way of drafting a provision like 12.1 is to say "a player" unless the intention is that both players in a game are referred to, that is the players acting individually or in concert.

3. It is possible that the provision means players generally but it is very poorly drafted if that is its intention. The rest of Art 12 clearly refers to much narrower circumstances.

"Will"

For Art 12.1 to be satisfied, it must be shown that undoubtedly the actions to which it refers are to result in disrepute for chess. The possibility that they "may" as distinct from "will" is not good enough. I would think that the standard of proof is "the balance of probabilities", not "beyond reasonable doubt" but that is only some consolation.

What does Art 12.1 really catch?

Clearly it applies to things other than the actual playing of the game.

An undoubted example would be assaulting or, probably, orally abusing, an arbiter or official during the game.

But also probably persistently refusing to comply with the Laws of Chess, isn't as it is caught by Art 12.8 and 12.9. Nor are the several other matters specifically dealt with in Arts 12.2, 3, 5, or 6. It is a curiosity that refusal to comply with the Laws leads only to loss of the game while the other Art12 infringements can lead to expulsion from the tournament.

This may mean that there is some argument that a person charged with an Art 12. 2, 3, 5, 6 or 8 offence may also be charged with a breach of Art 12.1. But he couldn't be found guilty of, and punished for, both as that would mean being punished twice for the same offence which is usually contrary to law.

DJ

Oepty
31-03-2008, 08:01 PM
After some thought I came to conclusion that actions that make an observer or observers less likely to be involved in chess. Physical or verbal abuse and cheating come to mind. Perhaps personal cleanliness and inappropriate dress at the extreme would fall under this as well.
Scott

Jesper Norgaard
22-08-2009, 05:36 PM
Can you give me some examples of cases where you think I go too far in considering it [the disrepute rule - JN] applicable? (Incidentally I would not apply the disrepute rule in the case of Qxf7#.)

I have tried to extract from your posts some comments on where you would use the disrepute rule, not to point fingers, but perhaps to invite to a healthy debate on when to use it and when to avoid it.



There was a case where I actually used it (among other rules) against a couple of players who were dragging an in-club dispute into a game and having arguments during their games and distracting other players, although the only penalty I applied in that case was a warning.
This is exactly when I would like to see it applied, when players are escalating an argument to distract everyone and bringing the tournament into disrepute - of course with some sensibility towards if the offender(s) are unaware in the heat of the moment how much they are distracting other players.



Not if they are deliberately wasting lots of the opponent's time for no good reason in a way that brings the game into disrepute. As I mentioned above, IA Gijssen who is one of the world's leading arbiters has supported the use of this rule in the case of a player playing on for a win at top GM level with KNN vs K. He has also supported it recently for players who persistently repeat moves dozens of times without either claiming a draw, eg to stall while waiting for other results to be known.

I think playing on and thereby "wasting the opponents time" (he could go home instead if the game was over) should usually be allowed, and I don't see it as bringing the game into disrepute. However, if playing on means shuffling pieces around to actually do nothing (or win increment on the clock) it should not be allowed. Ra3-b3-c3-d3 is fairly easy to condemn, but how about Nf3-e5-d7-c5-d3-e1-f3 etc.? In KNN vs. K I think it should be explicitly claimable for a draw in the laws as it was earlier. Likewise minor piece vs. minor piece. For KR vs. KR or KQ vs. KQ I think that playing on is not bringing chess into disrepute, but should be claimable for a draw.



And there are other and more difficult contexts in which an arbiter sometimes has to assess a position. For instance when deciding whether a draw offer in that position is unreasonable and hence a distraction, or if deciding whether playing on rather than agreeing a draw in a position brings the game into disrepute.

My opinion: a single draw offer can not bring the game into disrepute, no matter the material distribution. Several draw offers close together are a nuisance and the player should be warned about disturbing the opponent, but the arbiter should refrain from using the disrepute rule here.



I was going to mention 10.2 as a neater way of resolving that at that time limit but in 1992 that rule did not exist. I am not sure whether the disrepute rule did either. These days if KR v KR is on the board and one player is refusing draw offers I will warn them that they are required to accept the draw or else they are behaving in an unsporting fashion. With very weak juniors I will simply step in and rule the game drawn.

I recognize your want to step in (when acting as arbiter) when KR vs. KR is on the board, but I would rather solve that in the Laws of Chess, and let the arbiter instead just wait for a draw claim from one of the players.



I find this whole topic of when the disrepute rule applies amusing. For instance suppose both players are up to no good but neither minds. Then a report of the incident might result in the action "bringing the game into disrepute" but if nothing becomes known there is no disrepute. I think 12.1 should be more broadly worded to cover potential (even hypothetical) disrepute and not just actual disrepute. No DOP could have known bobby would write about this incident on a BB at the time.}

Looking for even potential or hypothetical disrepute and not just actual disrepute is exactly my point - I think you are a bit too trigger-happy in this area :rolleyes:



Perhaps if, in addition to refusing the draw, Black was deliberately moving very slowly and wasting time, I would step in and use the disrepute rule to warn Black that playing on in this position in a time-wasting manner is vexatious. Aside from the disrepute rule I do not see what authority the referee has to impose a draw.

In such a case I don't see any good reason for giving the arbiter authority to declare a draw - that player is given x minutes at the start of the game, they are his minutes to waste. There might be exceptions, but I don't think I recall having seen many. You can always criticize a player after the game finished (both as arbiter or as spectator) that he did not agree to a draw sooner, but not in the duty as an arbiter.



He was still doing things other than blatant piece-shuffling. Whether he was trying to win by normal means in that sort of position was a bit unclear. The problem with rules of thumb is that every arbiter has their own thumbs and their own rules. For instance Reuben's book gives "Would a loss on time in this position bring the game into disrepute?" which I think is somewhat different to the above.

I think Reuben is barking up the wrong tree. How can losing on time bring the game into disrepute? It happens all the time in all kinds of different positions (won, drawn or lost). It quite simply shows that the player forfeiting on time was not using his chess resources (position, material, and time) in a sensible way. For instance, if he has a huge lead in material, he could use the last seconds to eliminate his opponents material, and if there is too little time for that, he had put too much effort on playing "the right move" and too little on managing time, then he deserves to lose. No disrepute there in my view.

However if he asks for a draw through 10.2 before his flag falsl, and could have held it with 2 second increments per move so to say "blindfolded", but arbiter rejects a draw and let him lose on time, then it would bring the game into disrepute (and perhaps also the arbiter). Let's bury the guillotines!

If he is down rook against rook and knight, I would say it is dubious to award 10.2 draw just because he has no time, but on the other hand a much better idea would be to just play it out with the 2 seconds increment, and see if the guy with the rook and knight can actually corner him in or not (it's usually a theoretical draw). So he might save himself with a small increment even if 10.2 would not save him. Also the 10.2 rule would only allow to draw when you have little time, while having an increment will allow you to win if the position is winning, which is another advantage of increment over 10.2.



I would take the strength of the players into account. For strong players it is certainly disrepute to play on with KR vs KR in my view, I would step in and call the game drawn if either player complained, irrespective of clock. As you've seen, players rated below say 1600 can and do lose these through natural mistakes like 63...Rf5+, especially when short of time and with poor king position. At weak junior level (sub-500) one player will often lose their rook, though 90% of the time the opponent won't be able to mate anyway.

I disagree with you here, but refrain from making an argument because I just think KR vs. KR should be claimable as a draw straight from the FIDE Laws of Chess.



If one player offers a draw and the other refuses, just step in and use the disrepute rule, which is applicable to blitz. (If both players are happy playing on to see whose flag falls first let them.) Certainly the DOP doesn't have to let someone play for a flag in KR vs KR unless there's a forced win or a risk of one developing on the board.

My argument is the same as in the previous case.

Kevin Bonham
22-08-2009, 06:17 PM
I'll probably move the above post and my reply to it to the disrepute-rule thread and leave a link to them here once you've seen this.


In KNN vs. K I think it should be explicitly claimable for a draw in the laws as it was earlier. Likewise minor piece vs. minor piece. For KR vs. KR or KQ vs. KQ I think that playing on is not bringing chess into disrepute, but should be claimable for a draw.

I would have no problem with these being explictly claimable but under current Laws they are not.


My opinion: a single draw offer can not bring the game into disrepute, no matter the material distribution. Several draw offers close together are a nuisance and the player should be warned about disturbing the opponent, but the arbiter should refrain from using the disrepute rule here.

My comment about disrepute in that sentence wasn't about draw offers. I was referring, in the same sentence, to two different cases:

1. An arbiter needs to decide whether a draw offer is an unreasonable distraction.
2. An arbiter needs to decide whether endlessly playing on in a drawn position brings the game into disrepute.

(2.) is of course already discussed in the other comments of mine you've quoted.


Looking for even potential or hypothetical disrepute and not just actual disrepute is exactly my point - I think you are a bit too trigger-happy in this area :rolleyes:

Except that I am not saying potential/hypothetical disrepute is a fair basis for using the disrepute rule as it currently stands. I am saying that one of the problems with the current wording is you cannot really know during a game what actions will create disrepute and what will not, because disrepute is something that happens afterwards if word of the incident spreads. Therefore any use of the rule as it stands is a bit awkward, but it is obviously there for a reason.

Therefore I think the rule needs rewording so that it can actually be used as written. Broadening it to cover actions that the arbiter considers likely to bring the game into disrepute would be fine by me.

More comments later maybe.

Jesper Norgaard
23-08-2009, 05:02 AM
I'll probably move the above post and my reply to it to the disrepute-rule thread and leave a link to them here once you've seen this.

That's fine



I would have no problem with these being explictly claimable but under current Laws they are not.

You are right



My comment about disrepute in that sentence wasn't about draw offers. I was referring, in the same sentence, to two different cases:

1. An arbiter needs to decide whether a draw offer is an unreasonable distraction.
2. An arbiter needs to decide whether endlessly playing on in a drawn position brings the game into disrepute.

(2.) is of course already discussed in the other comments of mine you've quoted.

In 1. my point is that any player should be allowed one draw offer per game, which by material, time, effectiveness of opponents play etc. can be deemed unreasonable (you are innocent until proven guilty) but not several. I see no reason to apply the disrepute rule here, although I am not sure if you suggested that, since the text was taken out from a different thread.
In 2. my point is that I disagree with Geurt and Reuben and you about if the disrepute rule could or should be used for this purpose, unless it would be more clearly specified in the rule (as per your suggestion).



Except that I am not saying potential/hypothetical disrepute is a fair basis for using the disrepute rule as it currently stands. I am saying that one of the problems with the current wording is you cannot really know during a game what actions will create disrepute and what will not, because disrepute is something that happens afterwards if word of the incident spreads.

I am relieved that your comment about the potential/hypothetical disrepute was in the vain of wanting to make the rule more explicit - I agree with that.



Therefore any use of the rule as it stands is a bit awkward, but it is obviously there for a reason.

Therefore I think the rule needs rewording so that it can actually be used as written. Broadening it to cover actions that the arbiter considers likely to bring the game into disrepute would be fine by me.

If Reuben and Geurt thinks that this rule should be used for ruling play in drawish positions, I think they need to come up with a different wording. Of course you are invited to try to invent a different wording too!

aransandraseg
23-08-2009, 04:34 PM
NAUMOV.
JKS.
He brought a psp in:wall: what a stoner.
I hope he doesn't read this.
P.S
CameronD, chess is a mental sport.

Denis_Jessop
26-08-2009, 12:19 AM
NAUMOV.
JKS.
He brought a psp in:wall: what a stoner.
I hope he doesn't read this.
P.S
CameronD, chess is a mental sport.

He would have been dealt with under Art 12.2 - using a source of information.

But an instance of the application of Art. 12.1 would have been the infamous Beaumont - Gaft Doeberl Cup punch-up widely reported on this forum. Both were players in the event though Gaft at the time was technically a spectator. Also any incident involving assault or threatened assault on the Arbiter - there has been at least one - would fall under this head.

DJ

Kevin Bonham
26-08-2009, 01:32 AM
In 1. my point is that any player should be allowed one draw offer per game, which by material, time, effectiveness of opponents play etc. can be deemed unreasonable (you are innocent until proven guilty) but not several. I see no reason to apply the disrepute rule here, although I am not sure if you suggested that, since the text was taken out from a different thread.

No; I wasn't suggesting applying it to draw offers. There is no need as there is already a rule dealing with unacceptable offers of a draw.

From the earlier post:


I think Reuben is barking up the wrong tree. How can losing on time bring the game into disrepute? It happens all the time in all kinds of different positions (won, drawn or lost). It quite simply shows that the player forfeiting on time was not using his chess resources (position, material, and time) in a sensible way. For instance, if he has a huge lead in material, he could use the last seconds to eliminate his opponents material, and if there is too little time for that, he had put too much effort on playing "the right move" and too little on managing time, then he deserves to lose. No disrepute there in my view.

Reuben's use of "disrepute" is not necessarily the same thing in my view as the use of the term "disrepute" in the Laws of Chess. The reason is that Reuben made that comment in 1997 and at that stage the Laws did not use the term "disrepute". Rather, it said "12.1 High standards of etiquette are expected of the players."

But does a player deserve to lose a guillotine finish game if, while short of time, they reach an extremely drawn OCB ending and the other player is able to bash out hundreds of meaningless moves (throwing in the odd pawn move to reset the 50 move counter) to try to make their time run out? The defender may not even be able to keep sufficient records to prove that a 50-move draw claim should be accepted. If 10.2 did not exist, how other than 12.1 could an arbiter prevent a player from winning such a game on time under guillotine?

I am not sure exactly how to interpret Reuben's "disrepute" comment though. Sometimes it seems to me that it only makes sense as a rule of thumb if reworded recursively, eg "Given that there is a rule designed to prevent players from losing on time in positions they would not lose otherwise, would a loss on time bring the game into disrepute?" I agree with you that if a player fails to eliminate mating material when they have ample opportunity to do so, and their flag falls, then such a loss doesn't bring the game into disrepute outright, but rather serves them right for pushing their chances. Maybe at the time he made his comment Reuben was not aware that people might use 10.2 to claim draws in completely won positions (none of his examples in the first edition are of that kind).

Oh, and I agree with getting rid of guillotines wherever equipment permits. Any tournament with games that last for any remotely serious amount of time can reasonably replace guillotines with something like a 2-second increment starting on move 60; that sort of thing is very unlikely to create any scheduling problems.

Spiny Norman
26-08-2009, 05:18 AM
There was an example in AFL many years ago where a player took off his boot and threw it at the football as an opposition player was kicking for goal. I cannot remember now whether he was reported or whether just a penalty/free kick was paid (I think the latter) ... but the reason given at the time was an all-purpose "bringing the game into disrepute" violation. So it happens in other codes, and as KB says, its an all-purpose thwacking rule to accommodate stuff that nobody in their right mind would be able to anticipate happening, but when you see it, you know its "wrong" and needs to be punished somehow. I have never seen this law enforced at local club level though.

Jesper Norgaard
26-08-2009, 12:35 PM
Oh, and I agree with getting rid of guillotines wherever equipment permits. Any tournament with games that last for any remotely serious amount of time can reasonably replace guillotines with something like a 2-second increment starting on move 60; that sort of thing is very unlikely to create any scheduling problems.
Perhaps it would be possible to put that as one option for the arbiter on the 10.2 rule - it seems logical to me. If he is not convinced that 10.2 draw should be awarded, he can modify the time to add a 2-second increment (for both players). If the claimant loses on time, perhaps it wasn't as easy to draw as he claimed! However that won't help the classical Blitz games (5-min no increment) where games are won/lost on the strategy of winning on time which I think is a horror, and although I have used it in some of my blitz games and rapid games myself, I despise the concept, it converts these chess games into a circus act.

So I suggest 3 min. 2-second increment games are a better Blitz games replacement, as is the official Blitz for FIDE WC according to the D.XI. paragraph of the FIDE Handbook "Regulations for World Blitz Championships" which can be viewed at http://www.fide.com/fide/handbook?id=130&view=article where it states:
8. Time Control
8.1. For all competitions each player will have 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move, starting from move one (G 3+2).
This development I welcome, and in 2007 the WC Blitz Championship played in Moscow, Russia was played with G/4 + 2 seconds increment. However, in 2008 in the Blitz WC in Almaty, Kazakhstan we were back at G/5 no increment and the champion Lenier Dominguez, was completely lost in several games when he managed to scramble out of problems because of the time, and in fact did not lose a game.


There was an example in AFL many years ago where a player took off his boot and threw it at the football as an opposition player was kicking for goal. I cannot remember now whether he was reported or whether just a penalty/free kick was paid (I think the latter) ... but the reason given at the time was an all-purpose "bringing the game into disrepute" violation. So it happens in other codes, and as KB says, its an all-purpose thwacking rule to accommodate stuff that nobody in their right mind would be able to anticipate happening, but when you see it, you know its "wrong" and needs to be punished somehow. I have never seen this law enforced at local club level though.
I certainly would think it was disrepute if somebody threw football boots into my game :lol:
More seriously I think the disrepute rule is there for a very good reason. But more mundane problems should be fixed in the laws so that there is no temptation to abuse the disrepute rule.

Kevin Bonham
08-09-2009, 11:16 PM
Some discussion of the disrepute rule in Nigel Short's comment reproduced at #21 of http://chesschat.org/showthread.php?p=254453

Denis_Jessop
09-09-2009, 02:33 PM
Looking back on this, I wonder what all the worry is about. There's a common concept - don't do X, you'll give us a bad name. That is what bringing something into disrepute means. It's a concept that cannot be spelled out in detail, nor should the attempt be made. It is an excellent example of the counsel contained in the Preface to the Laws of Chess.

DJ

Kevin Bonham
26-07-2013, 05:22 PM
Link (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/chess-group-calls-meeting-over-cheating-allegation-1.1370812) just posted by Hobbes on another thread concerns a player who was expelled from a tournament after he pulled his computer-cheating opponent out of a toilet cubicle. (The cheater was also expelled.)

According to the report, the arbiter cited the disrepute rule in an email to the player explaining the expulsion.

Redmond Barry
27-07-2013, 04:43 AM
Shouldnt a picture of fg7 suffice ? :cool:

Pepechuy
27-07-2013, 07:29 AM
Link (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/chess-group-calls-meeting-over-cheating-allegation-1.1370812) just posted by Hobbes on another thread concerns a player who was expelled from a tournament after he pulled his computer-cheating opponent out of a toilet cubicle. (The cheater was also expelled.)

According to the report, the arbiter cited the disrepute rule in an email to the player explaining the expulsion.

My guess is that Mr. Mirza got angry about being cheated, and overreacted.
His "citizen's arrest" explanation is quite lame.
I am not sure if he deserved to be expelled, tough.

Kevin Bonham
27-07-2013, 12:28 PM
My guess is that Mr. Mirza got angry about being cheated, and overreacted.
His "citizen's arrest" explanation is quite lame.

Yes, and not valid under Irish law, or probably law anywhere else, as I just pointed out on another thread.

Rincewind
27-07-2013, 12:55 PM
Yes, and not valid under Irish law, or probably law anywhere else, as I just pointed out on another thread.

It would probably be ok in Florida provided his opponent was of African heritage.