CHESS ETIQUETTE: Playing On In Ridiculous Positions, etc,

zenwabi

In my area, at over-the-board tourneys, I encounter scholastic players who are weak in the chess etiquette department., so I am putting up this post, for action and comment.

 

(1) If your opponent has an insurmountable advantage, and checkmate is inevitable, do NOT play on in a ridiculous position, unless there is a reasonable chance for a stalemate draw.  You cannot play a chess game without an opponent, so show him or her some respect and do not waste his time by forcing him to play out a ridiculous position that does not even have a drawing chance for you.

(2) This one is in the rule book: you can only adjust pieces on the board when it is your turn to play. 

(3) This is also in the rule book: do NOT annoy your opponent with repeated draw offers. If he has said "no draw" 2-3 times. that means "no draw".

(4) The rules give Black his choice of equipment (chess set & clock). So, if you have White, do NOT run to the board to set up your stuff. Wait until Black gets there, unless it's 5 minutes until to the start and Black has still not arrived.

(5) Sit quietly in your seat during the game, no loud eating of food or practicing your chair-dance moves. If you feel the need to move around, get up and walk around in the tournament hall.

(6) If you get beat, shake hands and say something like "good game". Don't sulk and refuse to shake hands. As I said, you need an opponent to play, so show some thanks & respect.

(7) No talking in the tourney hall, please. If you want to analyze with your opponent when the game is over, go to the skittles room.

Thanks for your cooperation!

corum

I could never accept the first one. A player has every right to play on no matter what the circumstances. I know you can say that a position is 'clearly lost' but I can always find positions where people would disagree on that. What is lost according to one player still has play according to another. Besides, even if a player thinks he is losing he is entitled to play on. He may want to learn by seeing how his opponent wins the game, or he may be hoping for an blunder (why not?) or he may think he can win on time (playing your moves within time is part of the game). I often hear players say that they would have won but they ran out of time and it's not fair. Sorry. The reason you are 'winning' may well be because you took so long making your moves whereas your opponent moved more quickly; if they win on time that is good gameplay. 

zenwabi

Corum, my chess friend, there is merit in what you say. A player certainly does have the right to play until checkmate.  However, I was talking about playing on in a "ridiculous position that does not even have a drawing chance" for the weaker side. That sort of behavior shows no respect for your opponent, and, if there are more rounds to play that day, shortens the break time for both players. 

Example: I was at the Chicago Open last year, and one of my kid opponents announced to his dad before the game that he was definitely going to beat me. OK, a little trash talk. When it became apparent he was going to lose, he played on until the position became ridiculous, he was down to a lone king, but still, he played on. He resigned much later, 1 move away from mate, and then refused to shake hands. 

My basic point is that our opponents deserve our respect & thanks, because without them we will not have a game of chess. So we should not force them to expend time playing out a ridiculous position. Yes, what constitutes a "ridiculous position" is subjective. But we all know one when we see one, eh? 

Anyara
zenwabi wrote:

Yes, what constitutes a "ridiculous position" is subjective. But we all know one when we see one, eh? 

Kinda contradicted yourself here.

 

I agree that your described opponent would be considered rude and having bad etiquette. But that's more because of his overall behavior, and not just because he/she played on in a "ridiculous" position. If your opponent played on with a single king, but he shook hands and thanked you for your time / complimented your skills, would that still be considered rude?

apotosaurus

Some of this chess ettiquete is just d*** random i****ic stuff. I got stalemated down a whole queen and bishop.

apotosaurus

What if you suffer claustrophobia and it is your move?

EvanLutz

I think rule 1 depends on how strong the players are. If both are U800 or something like that then even with a lone king I think there are cases where the tides could turn interestingly and a draw could occur. So really one must take into account his own strength and his opponent's.

DannyCSW

For scholastic players, there is really no reason to resign. Even in losing positions, young players can learn from how the other player ends the game. Perhaps they don't use their queen and rook to walk the king down the board, but instead combine them in some other way to force checkmate, and the player might be able to employ this technique in a later game. I assume when you say "ridiculous" you are implying a massive material advantage, but in situations where one young player has a lot of material, they may accidentally stalemate. So no, I don't think its necessary for scholastic players to resign. The other rules seem fair. As far as 2 goes, one time, a player was just being stupid about the adjustment rule, like adjusting all of his pieces about 1mm during my turn, and they made him forfeit the game. Kinda funny. As far as eating, I've actually never been allowed to eat during a game for any tournament I've ever been at. You could even add a rule about shaking hands before the game as well. I think before every tournament game I've played in, I shake hands before and say "good luck" and then no matter the outcome, I shake hands after and say "Good game."

lfPatriotGames
zenwabi wrote:

Corum, my chess friend, there is merit in what you say. A player certainly does have the right to play until checkmate.  However, I was talking about playing on in a "ridiculous position that does not even have a drawing chance" for the weaker side. That sort of behavior shows no respect for your opponent, and, if there are more rounds to play that day, shortens the break time for both players. 

Example: I was at the Chicago Open last year, and one of my kid opponents announced to his dad before the game that he was definitely going to beat me. OK, a little trash talk. When it became apparent he was going to lose, he played on until the position became ridiculous, he was down to a lone king, but still, he played on. He resigned much later, 1 move away from mate, and then refused to shake hands. 

My basic point is that our opponents deserve our respect & thanks, because without them we will not have a game of chess. So we should not force them to expend time playing out a ridiculous position. Yes, what constitutes a "ridiculous position" is subjective. But we all know one when we see one, eh? 

I agree with the others here. I'm sure we all have different definitions of what "insurmountable advantage", "ridiculous position", and  "reasonable chance of stalemate" mean. Because when you say ridiculous position that does not even have a drawing chance there is only one position that I can think of that qualifies. Checkmate. Anything short of that DOES have a drawing chance. 

I played a game a few months ago where I was a queen and a bishop down, it was my opponents turn and I was facing a checkmate in one with plenty of time left. It's hard to imagine a position more likely to satisfy all the requirements you mentioned as being resign worthy. But he didn't checkmate me and I dont feel bad for playing on. He simply didn't see the checkmate in one and instead played a move that WOULD have resulted in checkmate in 2. But he failed to notice my escape square was covered by his bishop on the other end of the board. He didn't see that. So I had no legal moves. Stalemate. 

Your other suggestions make sense because they are either rules, or just common courtesy. 

zenwabi

Thanks to all for your interesting comments!

Taskinen

I just accidentally stalemated my opponent with queen, pawn, bishop and a rook against rook, pawn and king. It was a blitz game with relatively low time for both sides, it's kinda easy to lose sight what squares all your pieces cover from far away. It was my bad obviously and in that sense draw was the fair result. And I think that everyone has the right to play until the game finishes, either by checkmate, time running out or stalemate. People who get angry for not being able to end the game need to hone up their checkmating skills.

Only thing that I consider really rude is leaving the timer to run out when you decide that you don't want to play anymore. It happens quite often in 5, 10 to 15 minute games, unfortunately. Then you just have to sit and wait for the remaining 5 to 10 minutes for opponents timer to run out. I guess that doesn't really happen in tournament play (never played OTB), but yeah. Play until the game is finished, but if you don't feel like playing anymore, just resign.

zenwabi

 If you play enough at OTB tourneys, you see the whole gamut of rude behavior. Once many moons ago, my opponent, who was losing, got up from our game, and sat down next to a different game to observe. After about 15 minutes of this, the TD ordered him to come back & finish our game.

 

So, I think it's a good idea to teach kids chess etiquette as soon as possible. After all, we are trying to get them to compete like ladies and gentlemen, instead of like boorish Trumpkins.

woton

I hate to say this, but rude behavior is part of the American culture.  Just look at our elected officials (President, his advisers. members of Congress, etc.).  It's not going to go away.  You can continue tilting at windmills or you can just ignore their behavior and get on with life.,

ghost_of_pushwood
zenwabi wrote:

 

Thanks for your cooperation!

A bit of a backhanded thank-you, no doubt (in keeping with the times)...

lfPatriotGames
zenwabi wrote:

So, I think it's a good idea to teach kids chess etiquette as soon as possible. After all, we are trying to get them to compete like ladies and gentlemen, instead of like boorish Trumpkins.

Maybe some people are just sore losers.  Chess etiquette, as well as other types of etiquette, probably should be valued more. Sometimes losing is difficult, and not just with chess. And sometimes the losing side is very sore, very rude, and very upset about the loss. Sometimes competing ladies and gentlemen lose sight of the fact that we all have different goals and ambitions but still wish the best for our competition so long as it doesn't harm us.

We can teach etiquette, but most of us realize that no matter what, there will still be a segment of the population that will remain obnoxious, foul, bitter, and unreasonable when they (or their side) loses.

Choleriker

Man I hate what this thread is (yet again) showing. This "never give up"-mindset to me is 90% of the time just a sign of someone who is unable to accept their mistakes. Above a level of 1500 you should be able to tell when it's time to throw in the towel.

thil003
I enjoy my opponents game thus not ruin it by resigning but until the mate occurs :)
zenwabi

Perhaps we should talk some more about dealing with the pain of losing. I am a well-aged adult happy.png. I find it much easier to accept losing to another adult, but it is really difficult to accept losing to a kid. Problem is, many of these kids -- and I am talking really young, say in the 8 to 12 years old range --- are very good chess players, so losing some games to them is inevitable. I always make it a point to shake hands after I lose, congratulate my opponent, and wish them luck in the next round, but man, the pain of losing to a player who is so short he/she cannot read the pairing sheet is pretty intense, I will tell you that. However, learning to accept losses with a measure of grace -- or at least without destroying furniture -- is one of the great lessons of chess.

lfPatriotGames
zenwabi wrote:

Perhaps we should talk some more about dealing with the pain of losing. I am a well-aged adult . I find it much easier to accept losing to another adult, but it is really difficult to accept losing to a kid. Problem is, many of these kids -- and I am talking really young, say in the 8 to 12 years old range --- are very good chess players, so losing some games to them is inevitable. I always make it a point to shake hands after I lose, congratulate my opponent, and wish them luck in the next round, but man, the pain of losing to a player who is so short he/she cannot read the pairing sheet is pretty intense, I will tell you that. However, learning to accept losses with a measure of grace -- or at least without destroying furniture -- is one of the great lessons of chess.

Judging from what you said in post number 12, you still have a long way to go as far as dealing with the pain of losing. Maybe the best solution is to take your own advice and apply it to yourself. Learning to accept losses is a measure of grace. Some people, I'm afraid, will never be able to do that.

zenwabi

You may have misread my post. I have never actually destroyed any furniture happy.png. That was a figure of speech. And I think you would look a long time before you found an adult tournament chess player who would say, "Why yes, I enjoy losing rated tournament games to small kids."  The kids have a real psychological edge in a chess game with an adult. It's a factor that adult chess players have to find a way to deal with.