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How to be a Polite Spectator

A friend and I were recently discussing chess spectator etiquette and how they differ from the arena of Magic The Gathering tournaments.  In Magic tournaments it is considered rude to spectate for a brief period and then leave the table.  Leaving the table can show an opponent that maybe the game is over and any future bluffs shouldn't be respected.  In chess tournaments this happens frequently that when a blunder is made players start to leave the table.  What other forms of chess spectator etiquette stands out as impolite?  What do you find acceptable?

  • Walking away immediately after a move
  • Facial expressions
  • Grunts or snickers
  • Walking a few feet away and whispering to another spectator

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Comments


  • 6 months ago

    I_Am_Second

    last summer at the Sacramento Championships i was playing a 2000 player that is well known for hardly staying at the board during a game.  I also like to get up and walk around alot :-) 

    One of the local masters walked by while i wa actually at the board, and said that this was the first time he saw someone here at the board. 

  • 7 months ago

    RC_Woods

    alghul, I'm completely on the same page. I only look at other games after mine's completed, basically, or I pretend to look a little so I blend in nicely. (I do try to see who's better on other boards but that's about it).

  • 7 months ago

    castle0-0-0

    Laughing

  • 7 months ago

    alghul

    I'm a slow calculator and usually do not get up from my game. If I do, it is just to stretch my legs. I cannot concentrate on other games while walking around, only my game is in my mind. I always found it amazing that others can watch other games so easily.

  • 7 months ago

    CM smarterchess

    Lance I will remember that for the next tournament we play together!

  • 7 months ago

    GabrieleMiceli

    During my games i never go and watch other matches.

    When i'm just a spectator i try not to stay too near the table to give some space to the players. I find annoying people that talk loudly and/or laugh disturbing all the tables.

    I think it's perfectly acceptable walking away immediately after a move

  • 7 months ago

    Shi_Tou

    It's most annoying when people gather around the board and watch the game, the pressure just increases

  • 7 months ago

    castle0-0-0

    B.O.

  • 7 months ago

    Suman3

    most unnerving is when your opponent stare at you steadily for a long period of time after making a move...embarrassing!

  • 7 months ago

    CM smarterchess

    Talking to someone while staring at your board. Not good.

  • 7 months ago

    succenna

    The most annoying thing I ever encountered is if they shake the leg so that the whole table quivers

  • 7 months ago

    RC_Woods

    What smarterchess said. I think it's fairly typical in chess to leave the table because typically you'll also be playing a game yourself. That in itself provides plenty of reason to leave at any moment during spectating, because you have every right to be concerned with your own game right :)?

    As to the talking bit - I too think this can be a bit annoying, but up until a certain level I think it's not worth the hassle of enforcing rules about it. Many club players prefer to play in a relaxed atmosphere and that's fine. Unless I had reason to suspect that my game was discussed in detail, I'd shrug it off. 

  • 7 months ago

    Abhishek2

    I find it annoying when my opponent talks to everyone, especially when they're looking at the board. I don't usually report them though

  • 7 months ago

    CM smarterchess

    That's what I do as well when I'm in a game.  Glance at another game for a bit then move on regardless of the position :)

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