Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chess etiquette

READY for tournament play? Want to be a member of the Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association (Cepca)?

There are some official and unofficial rules of etiquette to follow. The general guideline is to be a good sport and to be respectful. Some of the more common rules are:

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Every game must begin with the players shaking hands.

Never do anything to distract any other player in the tournament, especially your opponent.

Talking should be kept to a minimum. Chess is a game of concentration and a quiet atmosphere is necessary.

Always use the “touch move” rule.

If an illegal move is made, the tournament arbiter should be summoned.

Never gloat over a victory, or become despondent or hostile following a defeat.

If you’re playing with a clock, don’t forget to use the same hand to both move your piece and hit the clock.

If your flag falls and your opponent points it out, you lose.

Period. It is exactly the same as if you were checkmated.

Never comment on a game that is in progress, whether the game is yours or one that you are just watching.

After the game, shake hands again. Both players should say something like “Good game” or “Nicely done.”

If you have recorded the game or otherwise, remember the moves or a critical position, it’s nice to offer to analyze the game after it has been completed.

The tournament director has the authority to punish breaches of etiquette, and may add or subtract time as a sanction. In extreme cases, players may be forfeited for violating the rules and spectators may be banned from the site.

These rules of etiquette generally apply to tournaments.

During club meetings, always greet and welcome new players to the club so that they feel comfortable.

When an experienced club member plays a beginner, it is considered good sportsmanship to help the new player by pointing out better moves and letting them take their moves back.

If you’re playing with your best friend, the rules may be relaxed somewhat, and you both may feel comfortable passing insults back and forth. If you get in this habit, though, be aware that a random stranger is very unlikely to be amused by this behavior.

Never, ever accuse your opponent of something they didn’t do or lie about your move in order to save a piece. Chess is a game of honor. People who do these things are not allowed in our club.

AY MALI. US-based chess journalist Marlon Bernardino, who regularly follows Chessmoso for several years now, sent me an e-mail that Cebuano Econg Sevillano is not the defending champion of the just-concluded US Championship, as what I wrote last week.

Econg won the 2008 Open tournament and this is entirely different from the US Championship, which has just been won by Hikaru Nakamura over the favorite Gata Kamsky and has a nice purse of $40,000.

The hero of the tournament, though, is GM-elect Robert Hess, only17, who had the most remarkable result tying for second and winning $12,500.

Econg finished tied for 16th to 19th with 24 players after losing his last two games. He earned $2,375. Nice try though, Econg.

ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIP. This has been a touch and go tournament.

After a no-loss performance in the first six rounds, Richard Bitoon (4/6) had a firm shot at finally becoming a GM.

Unfortunately, he was not equal to the task and lost in rounds 7 and 8.

Also, our Boy Wonder Wesley So (5/8) is in danger of not qualifying for the World Cup. He has too many draws against players rated 2400+.

The best Pinoy performer is GM Joey Antonio who is tied for the lead with 6/8. Also with 6/8 is Girl Wonder Hou Yifan, my favorite, who is playing in the men’s division.

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