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Spiny Norman
14-10-2009, 05:15 AM
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.

Garrett
14-10-2009, 06:05 AM
Is it possible to leave your phone with the arbiter ?

Capablanca-Fan
14-10-2009, 08:32 AM
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.

Igor_Goldenberg
14-10-2009, 04:14 PM
I am wondering how much discretion an arbiter has in respect of the mobile phone rule?
None


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



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.


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.

Bill Gletsos
14-10-2009, 04:34 PM
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.
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.

Bill Gletsos
14-10-2009, 04:37 PM
NoneThis is incorrect.
The arbiter can permit mobile phones in the playing venue.

YesOnly if they do not have the explicit permission from the arbiter.

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.

Basil
14-10-2009, 04:44 PM
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.
:lol:

In seriousness though, there are some people whose circumstances require them to be contactable 24/7 - which movies and meetings do permit.

Garvinator
14-10-2009, 04:52 PM
:lol:

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.

Basil
14-10-2009, 04:56 PM
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.

Garvinator
14-10-2009, 05:04 PM
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.

Garvinator
14-10-2009, 05:05 PM
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 ;)

Spiny Norman
14-10-2009, 05:19 PM
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.

Garrett
14-10-2009, 05:22 PM
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.

Kevin Bonham
14-10-2009, 06:04 PM
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.


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.

Bill Gletsos
14-10-2009, 06:06 PM
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.

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.

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.

But what if someone objects and says that we are therefore not following the laws of chess?Then they would be wrong.

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.

Spiny Norman
14-10-2009, 06:18 PM
Thanks Bill ... thanks all ...

Garvinator
14-10-2009, 06:58 PM
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.I did not think that of the person at all. Of course if I had suspected cheating then my questions would have been different :uhoh:

Looking at the rules further, there is also:


13.7 b. Unless authorised by the arbiter, it is forbidden for anybody to use a mobile phone or any kind of communication device in the playing venue and any contiguous area designated by the arbiter.

13.7 b was certainly breached, but the rule does not lay down an automatic penalty.

I was trying to find similar situations in the laws where a strict penalty is stated and then in another rule there is no penalty is stated, but the situations are very similar, or at least reading the rules in their entirety and putting them together leads to a clear course of action for the arbiter.

So I think the correct decision for this situation is still up in the air a bit.

Capablanca-Fan
14-10-2009, 07:20 PM
If any such device produces a sound
But if a mobile phone rings, is there a sound if no one hears it?

Watto
14-10-2009, 08:14 PM
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.
As a ringing phone would be a disruption, I agree that it would be a good idea to have it on vibrate.

I also think that if the rule as outlined by Bill in this thread was clearly explained by the arbiter to all tournament participants and Steve's particular situation explained as well, we would all be very happy to have Steve back and playing chess. It would be great. So I hope this means you'll be playing in the Club Championship, Steve. :)

Igor_Goldenberg
14-10-2009, 09:05 PM
Turned out I was wrong, though can't say it upsets me.
Good to hear there are exception to mobile phone rule.

Garvinator
14-10-2009, 09:09 PM
Turned out I was wrong, though can't say it upsets me. Good to hear there are exception to mobile phone rule.
There are some exceptions, but players must inform the arbiter beforehand. Permission can not be given after the incident has occurred.

Ian CCC
14-10-2009, 09:44 PM
In my view that the laws on the use of communications devices are there to prevent disturbance to other players and to prevent cheating. The importance of this can depend on the nature of the event. A local club event, where players know each other well, may have more relaxed rules provided everyone is aware of which rules are relaxed. E.g. A player gains the agreement of the arbiter, and other players, that they may answer their vibrating phone for essential work purposes. The player has permission to leave the playing area to use the communications device. Note that, although this is not against the laws (the player having gained permission), it does leave the situation open to the possibility of cheating (device can access chess websites, chess engines, chess data)

The problem is that some players can be very pedantic about rules being followed. In such cases, the arbiter must be clear about under what circumstances they give permission for a communications device to be on and to be used.

The difficulty comes in deciding under what circumstances authorisation should be given– players who are doctors, players with ill relatives, players with children that might need picking up, or players whose job requires constant contact? Should an arbiter give permission in all these circumstances, or none? How do you decide in which circumstances is communication access essential?

Also, permission to use a communications device may be less acceptable in more prestigious events or events where players do not know each other or for some reason may not trust the player in question. Giving permission for a player to use a communications device may bring the reputation of the event into question. The idea that the arbiter, or some independent person, should observe the use of the device and listen in on the conversation to make sure there is no cheating seems essential to prevent this. But how practical is this if an arbiter is playing in the tournament or is busy with other matters?

Garvinator
14-10-2009, 10:41 PM
In my view that the laws on the use of communications devices are there to prevent disturbance to other players and to prevent cheating.Correct.


The importance of this can depend on the nature of the event.Correct.


A local club event, where players know each other well, may have more relaxed rules provided everyone is aware of which rules are relaxed. E.g. A player gains the agreement of the arbiter, and other players, that they may answer their vibrating phone for essential work purposes. The player has permission to leave the playing area to use the communications device. Note that, although this is not against the laws (the player having gained permission), it does leave the situation open to the possibility of cheating (device can access chess websites, chess engines, chess data)
The club event may have more relaxed rules, or it could have 'strict' enforcement. That is for the club to decide in what rules it has in place, especially for a club event if the arbiter is playing in the tournament.


The problem is that some players can be very pedantic about rules being followed. In such cases, the arbiter must be clear about under what circumstances they give permission for a communications device to be on and to be used.Some players can also be very difficult with any rule enforcement, so it is a case of balancing the two extremes, or saying this is the type of club we offer and advertising the rules of the club up front.


The difficulty comes in deciding under what circumstances authorisation should be given– players who are doctors, players with ill relatives, players with children that might need picking up, or players whose job requires constant contact? Should an arbiter give permission in all these circumstances, or none? How do you decide in which circumstances is communication access essential?I answered this above in respect to club events, but in the more serious events, the less likely permission will be given.


Also, permission to use a communications device may be less acceptable in more prestigious events or events where players do not know each other or for some reason may not trust the player in question. Giving permission for a player to use a communications device may bring the reputation of the event into question. The idea that the arbiter, or some independent person, should observe the use of the device and listen in on the conversation to make sure there is no cheating seems essential to prevent this. But how practical is this if an arbiter is playing in the tournament or is busy with other matters?
I think you have answered a little bit of your own thoughts/questions in the last sentence or so. As the tournament becomes more 'serious', the level of rule enforcement generally becomes greater, which includes the strictness of the mobile phone rule.

Also in the more serious tournaments, there will always be a non playing chief arbiter, so the issue of the arbiter playing is not relevant. In the more prestigious tournaments, there are outside criteria that the tournament has to meet ie ACF and or FIDE rating rules, laws that the tournament must obey etc. So the general flexibility is less.

In the more serious events, it is also expected that players are taking the event seriously. In some of the top tournaments, mobiles and other electronic communication devices are completely banned from the playing hall.

Spiny Norman
15-10-2009, 06:08 AM
... if the rule as outlined by Bill in this thread was clearly explained by the arbiter to all tournament participants and Steve's particular situation explained as well, we would all be very happy to have Steve back and playing chess. It would be great. So I hope this means you'll be playing in the Club Championship, Steve. :)
I'm considering it, certainly. Part of my renewed interest can be explained by looking at the GRV Racing Calendar:

http://www.grv.org.au/content/Calendars/General/index.html

For the foreseeable future, on Thursday nights will be only two race meetings: Bendigo and Sandown. Having monitored things for some 6 months now, I have discovered that:

* if Bendigo call me, its usually earlier in the day, around 3:30pm, when they start up their judges PC and timing systems; and

* Sandown rarely call me (although yesterday was a notable exception)

There's been a long-standing minor fault at Sandown that I am hoping to fix today (same issue was at The Meadows, and I successfully fixed that yesterday, so fingers crossed!). I am working at Healesville today and Warragul tomorrow. But I should be back home today in reasonable time.

So its a better than 50:50 chance that I will make it to the club tonight. If I do, then its really down to how comfortable people are with me leaving my phone on (though silent) and in the possession of the arbiter, just in case it does 'ring'.

Igor_Goldenberg
15-10-2009, 12:47 PM
If I do, then its really down to how comfortable people are with me leaving my phone on (though silent) and in the possession of the arbiter, just in case it does 'ring'.
If the phone is silent and left with the arbiter then I don't see a problem at all.
(unless, of course, arbiter is also playing).

Garvinator
15-10-2009, 12:54 PM
If the phone is silent and left with the arbiter then I don't see a problem at all. (unless, of course, arbiter is also playing).
Agreed

Spiny Norman
16-10-2009, 05:50 AM
So its a better than 50:50 chance that I will make it to the club tonight.
Best laid plans of mice and men. Had a shocking day yesterday. Nothing much went right at Healesville, so a 4-hour job turned into a 7-hour marathon. Added to that were problems at Sandown (hopefully now permanently fixed), Ballarat (to be fixed today), Sale (hopefully now permanently fixed). I had thought that I might have finished work relatively early, around 4pm, but I didn't finish until 10:30pm. So no chess for me ...

michael.mcguirk
12-11-2009, 08:30 PM
But if a mobile phone rings, is there a sound if no one hears it?

Only if the ringtone is of a falling tree.