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  1. #1
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    Heads covering the board

    When looking at the board players sometimes bend slightly over the board.

    In a small percentage of games players bend well over the board, sometimes almost touching the pieces wit their face.

    In a recent game my opponent frequently had his head covering half the board, reaching the centre and only a few inches above the board.

    Worse than obstructing vision was constantly being made aware of the opponent's head. I found it extremely annoying.

    At what point is this a breach of "distracting or worrying the opponent in any way whatsover." At what angle does the head need to be?

    Also if an arbiter gives a warning for "distracting or worrying the opponent in any way whatsover" how many warnings be given before a forfeit be given.
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  2. #2
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM_Bill View Post
    At what point is this a breach of "distracting or worrying the opponent in any way whatsover." At what angle does the head need to be?
    The rule is "It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever." It doesn't mean exactly what it says; for instance you can annoy the opponent by playing a line they forgot to prepare for, and that's allowed. However, if a player is bending their head over the board unnecessarily and the opponent complains that it is distracting then that is reason enough to tell the player not to do it.

    Also if an arbiter gives a warning for "distracting or worrying the opponent in any way whatsover" how many warnings be given before a forfeit be given.
    This is up to an arbiter, but certainly in this sort of case a warning only should be given for the first offence. I would be inclined to give a couple of warnings for something like this before considering an actual penalty like a time penalty, but eventually if the player kept doing it they could be defaulted under 11.7 "Persistent refusal by a player to comply with the Laws of Chess shall be penalised by loss of the game.". Generally unless a player's behaviour is really severely bad, they shouldn't be defaulted without having first received a time penalty together with a clear final warning of a default.

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    It makes me wonder if the offending player may need a pair of spectacles
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    It makes me wonder if the offending player may need a pair of spectacles
    He has them already.

    In the unlikely event a player needs to have the head close to the board, it would be better if the arbiter was informed and players were told at the start of the tournament.

    In this case he had a few other antics, which in themselves were minor, but having a cumulative effect, including
    jadoubing most of his pieces in one turn on the opponent's time, offering a draw some time into the opponent's move, etc which suggests the intent was psychological warfare.

    Next time I will speak up.
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  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM_Bill View Post
    He has them already.

    In the unlikely event a player needs to have the head close to the board, it would be better if the arbiter was informed and players were told at the start of the tournament.

    In this case he had a few other antics, which in themselves were minor, but having a cumulative effect, including
    jadoubing most of his pieces in one turn on the opponent's time, offering a draw some time into the opponent's move, etc which suggests the intent was psychological warfare.

    Next time I will speak up.
    By the way did you manage to win the game in spite of the distractions?
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    By the way did you manage to win the game in spite of the distractions?
    I got annoyed and lost an equal King and pawn ending, after throwing away a big advantage in the middlegame.

    His was some of the worst behaviour I've had from an opponent in decades.
    For coaching contact Bill Jordan at swneerava@gmail.com
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  7. #7
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    I think definitely informing the arbiter is the way to go!
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  8. #8
    CC Candidate Master TomekP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    However, if a player is bending their head over the board unnecessarily and the opponent complains that it is distracting then that is reason enough to tell the player not to do it.
    The player bends his head over the board to concentrate and make the best move. When I play I often get up and from a distance I calculate variants (I'm far-sighted). In both cases, it can interfere with the opponent.
    However, the unjustified complaint and intervention by the arbitrator is the most disturbing.
    Akiba Rubinstein, in order not to disturb the opponent, most often left the chessboard after moving.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomekP View Post
    The player bends his head over the board to concentrate and make the best move. When I play I often get up and from a distance I calculate variants (I'm far-sighted). In both cases, it can interfere with the opponent.
    However, the unjustified complaint and intervention by the arbitrator is the most disturbing.
    Akiba Rubinstein, in order not to disturb the opponent, most often left the chessboard after moving.
    I consider that Rubinstein was wasting valuable calculating time by leaving the board. One can go through the possible/likely moves by the opponent and consider replies thereby possibly eliminating much thinking time if he has included the opponents move in his calculations. In doing so one could even realise that they themselves have made a bad/weak move and the extra calculating time will give them better opportunity to repair the damage.
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

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