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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Discretion with respect to mobile phone rule?

    I am wondering how much discretion an arbiter has in respect of the mobile phone rule? If it is clear that a phone has rung and it is also clear whose phone it is, are they obligated to declare the game lost for that player?

    Reason I ask is that my job requires me to carry a technical support phone. I cannot turn it off. If I declare ahead of time to the arbiter (and the other players) the reason why my phone is on and if it happens to ring during the game ... can they choose NOT to declare my game lost.

    I have basically given up playing competitive chess because of this rule. I am trying to find a way around it so that I can take it up again.
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  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    Is it possible to leave your phone with the arbiter ?

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Part of it depends on why this rule is in place. If it's to prevent disruption, then leaving it on vibrate would be reasonable, esp. if handed to arbiter. If it's to prevent outside advice, then there is a problem, but if the call is taken in the presence of the arbiter outside the playing area, this could be overcome too.
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 14-10-2009 at 09:15 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    I am wondering how much discretion an arbiter has in respect of the mobile phone rule?
    None
    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    If it is clear that a phone has rung and it is also clear whose phone it is, are they obligated to declare the game lost for that player?
    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    Reason I ask is that my job requires me to carry a technical support phone. I cannot turn it off. If I declare ahead of time to the arbiter (and the other players) the reason why my phone is on and if it happens to ring during the game ... can they choose NOT to declare my game lost.
    If you can turn the ring volume off and give it to arbiter before the game, then you will not forfeit. However, I am afraid you are allowed to talk on the phone without resigning or forfeiting the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    I have basically given up playing competitive chess because of this rule. I am trying to find a way around it so that I can take it up again.
    That's a real disappointment. It also means you can't go to movie, theatre, etc. Hopefully you'll be able to arrange some time off the phone.
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  5. #5
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    I am wondering how much discretion an arbiter has in respect of the mobile phone rule? If it is clear that a phone has rung and it is also clear whose phone it is, are they obligated to declare the game lost for that player?
    The arbiter can authorise a player to have a non switched off mobile phone in the playing venue in accordance with Article 12.3b.
    Without the permission of the arbiter a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone or other electronic means of communication in the playing venue, unless they are completely switched off.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    Reason I ask is that my job requires me to carry a technical support phone. I cannot turn it off. If I declare ahead of time to the arbiter (and the other players) the reason why my phone is on and if it happens to ring during the game ... can they choose NOT to declare my game lost.
    If you have the permission of the arbiter to have it in the venue and switched on you are fine. However it would be a good idea to have it set to silent/vibrate. It would also be wise to get the arbiters permission to be allowed to answer the phone under your circumstances although obviously not at the board and preferably close to the arbiter.
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  6. #6
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    None
    This is incorrect.
    The arbiter can permit mobile phones in the playing venue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Yes
    Only if they do not have the explicit permission from the arbiter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    If you can turn the ring volume off and give it to arbiter before the game, then you will not forfeit. However, I am afraid you are allowed to talk on the phone without resigning or forfeiting the game.
    Not true. It would again depend on what arrangement the player had made with the arbiter.
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  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    That's a real disappointment. It also means you can't go to movie, theatre, etc. Hopefully you'll be able to arrange some time off the phone.


    In seriousness though, there are some people whose circumstances require them to be contactable 24/7 - which movies and meetings do permit.
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  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner Duggan


    In seriousness though, there are some people whose circumstances require them to be contactable 24/7 - which movies and meetings do permit.
    And as the rule allows, if they need to be contactable, they can ask the permission of the arbiter to have the phone on.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator
    And as the rule allows, if they need to be contactable, they can ask the permission of the arbiter to have the phone on.
    Excellent. That means we don't have to lose Steve.
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  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Recent situation.

    Player is found to be talking on mobile phone outside of the player area whilst game is in progress. I, being the arbiter, questioned the player about this as I had seen the occurrence and asked why they were on the phone and why their phone was not switched off.

    They responded that they thought they could have the phone on silent/vibrate mode and that they were not using the phone in the playing area. I said that this was incorrect and the phone had to be turned off.

    I had made announcements at the start of the round that phones and other electronic devices must be switched off and that if they make a sound, the player loses. After looking at the rule before making a 'final' decision, I decided to not declare the player lost. As the players phone had not made a sound (it certainly was not heard by myself or anyone else) that the rule may have allowed this.

    After looking over the rule a few times, especially in respect to this query from TSK, I think I got this decision wrong, but am not sure exactly where.

    The rule is:

    Without the permission of the arbiter, a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone or other electronic means of communication in the playing venue, unless they are completely switched off. If any such device produces a sound, the player shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. However, if the opponent cannot win the game by any series of legal moves, his score shall be a draw.
    Did the player get the permission of the arbiter to have the phone on? No

    I had made it clear to all players that phones in the player area must be turned off. So there is no general permission granted.

    So my ruling at that time was that the first part of the rule does not state penalty, so I gave a warning and as I thought the second part was satisfied as the phone had not made a sound, I did not declare the game lost.

    As I said, I have a feeling my decision was incorrect, but would like to know exactly where and for what reason.

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner Duggan
    Excellent. That means we don't have to lose Steve.
    But of course you need a decent arbiter who at least has some idea of the rule

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    I guess I am still a bit concerned about how "makes a sound" will be interpreted. If the phone is on silent and is set to vibrate, then the sound of it vibrating on a hard surface could be interpreted as "makes a sound", even though it is not a ringtone.

    If the arbiter is also a player in the tournament, then I cannot allow the phone to remain switched on and with the arbiter, as if s/he pulled out the phone if it rang (even if on silent) then s/he would presumably have to disqualify themselves.

    The only way around it that I can see would be if it were announced to all players prior to the commencement of the tournament that Steve has a 24/7 phone for his work and the phone will be placed in the office. If it rings, someone will accompany Steve and overhear his side of the conversation, so as to ensure that there is no cheating going on.

    But what if someone objects and says that we are therefore not following the laws of chess? The section quoted by the Garvinator is interesting:

    Without the permission of the arbiter, a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone or other electronic means of communication in the playing venue, unless they are completely switched off. If any such device produces a sound, the player shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. However, if the opponent cannot win the game by any series of legal moves, his score shall be a draw.
    "If any such device" could presumably mean:

    (1) on a narrow interpretation: "a mobile phone or other electronic means of communication"; or
    (2) on a more generous interpretation: "a mobile phone or other electronic means of communication" which is "in the playing venue" "without permission of the arbiter"

    (2) ... the more generous reading, takes sentences #1 and #2 of the law together, rather than separately. If that were the view, then indeed the arbiter could authorise me to have the phone in the venue, switched on, and even if it rings he would not have to forfeit me.

    Under those circumstances I could play after all.
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  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    It would be a pretty one-sided conversation if the phone was not emitting a sound !! ha ha

    The rule doesn't say that at the time the phone made the sound it was in the venue, just that it was the phone which was switched on inside the venue.

    Cheers
    Garrett.

  14. #14
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvinator
    So my ruling at that time was that the first part of the rule does not state penalty, so I gave a warning and as I thought the second part was satisfied as the phone had not made a sound, I did not declare the game lost.

    As I said, I have a feeling my decision was incorrect, but would like to know exactly where and for what reason.
    Actually I agree with your decision, but if there was any reasonable suspicion that the player was cheating by this method it would have been reasonable to declare the game lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    I guess I am still a bit concerned about how "makes a sound" will be interpreted. If the phone is on silent and is set to vibrate, then the sound of it vibrating on a hard surface could be interpreted as "makes a sound", even though it is not a ringtone.
    Then don't put it on a hard surface; lock it and put it in your pocket.
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  15. #15
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    I guess I am still a bit concerned about how "makes a sound" will be interpreted. If the phone is on silent and is set to vibrate, then the sound of it vibrating on a hard surface could be interpreted as "makes a sound", even though it is not a ringtone.
    Not a problem if you have the arbiters p[ermission.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    If the arbiter is also a player in the tournament, then I cannot allow the phone to remain switched on and with the arbiter, as if s/he pulled out the phone if it rang (even if on silent) then s/he would presumably have to disqualify themselves.
    If it isnt the arbiters phone then he could use the phone in his capacity as the arbiter.
    Even if it was his own phone he could still authorise it as he may need to have it on in case any players were running late and wished to inform him.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    The only way around it that I can see would be if it were announced to all players prior to the commencement of the tournament that Steve has a 24/7 phone for his work and the phone will be placed in the office. If it rings, someone will accompany Steve and overhear his side of the conversation, so as to ensure that there is no cheating going on.
    That is possible.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    But what if someone objects and says that we are therefore not following the laws of chess?
    Then they would be wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    The section quoted by the Garvinator is interesting:

    "If any such device" could presumably mean:

    (1) on a narrow interpretation: "a mobile phone or other electronic means of communication"; or
    (2) on a more generous interpretation: "a mobile phone or other electronic means of communication" which is "in the playing venue" "without permission of the arbiter"

    (2) ... the more generous reading, takes sentences #1 and #2 of the law together, rather than separately. If that were the view, then indeed the arbiter could authorise me to have the phone in the venue, switched on, and even if it rings he would not have to forfeit me.

    Under those circumstances I could play after all.
    Sentences #1 & #2 need to be taken together not individually.
    As long as you have the permission of the arbiter to have a non switched off phone in the venue and his understanding that it could make a noiee then you would not lose on forfeit. However as I said before, in order to mitigate any noise have it on silent/vibrate.
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