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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Player short of time wishing to go to the toilet

    Quote Originally Posted by arosar, on The Closet Grandmaster
    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.

  2. #2
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    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.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    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.

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    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.

  5. #5
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I can't see anyone being allowed to take time out for this purpose in a very top-level tournament.

  6. #6
    Account Permanently Banned Axiom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I can't see anyone being allowed to take time out for this purpose in a very top-level tournament.
    Except perhaps Mr.Topalov

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    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

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    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.)

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    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.

  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray
    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.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    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.
    荒らしにエサを与えないで下さい。

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguel
    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.

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    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 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.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
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  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    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).

    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.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

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