Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's Nice To Be Nice . . .

Via Mida, some extraordinary chess news from FIDE:
Having discussed several recent cases in different chess tournaments where the attitude of players toward their opponent or officials, journalists etc. was not acceptable under conventional social behaviour, the FIDE Presidential Board –at the suggestion of President Ilyumzhinov- decided on setting up strict rules regarding such behaviour.

Any player who does not shake hands with the opponent (or greets the opponent in a normal social manner in accordance with the conventional rules of their society) before the game starts in a FIDE tournament or during a FIDE match (and does not do it after being asked to do so by the arbiter) or deliberately insults his/her opponent or the officials of the event, will immediately and finally lose the relevant game.
Mm. What does "conventional social behaviour" mean to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, I wonder? And might the emphasis on behaviour towards one's opponent, in the above passage, be a smokescreen by FIDE under which Kirsan wishes to smuggle in a certain over-protection of chess officials? Such as, say, himself?!

(Oops. Did I just forfeit a game?)

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"or greets the opponent in a normal social manner in accordance with the conventional rules of their society"

Should that be "or who does not greet..."?

But then I'm wondering about the "conventional rules of their society" bit... and thinking: bring on the Mauri GMs for their welcomes.

Angus

ejh said...

Hmm. Is one obliged to shake hands with a Sun journalist? I have done, but at the time I didn't know he was one....

That said, I don't think it's necessary to view this as some kind of nefarious scheme by FIDe. For some reason this is considered de rigeur in nearly all chess commentary and yet there is nothing exceptional about the requirement to adhere to given norms in relations with players and officials - it'd happen in any other sport, as it does in football or golf, albeit on very different levels in either case.

I do think it's damaging to chess commentary in general that the starting point for any discussion of anything FIDE does is "what evil scheme are FIDE up to?". Àn official, for insatnce, isn't likely to be a corrupt associate of Kirsan's - they're more likely to be some hardworking amateur whom a professional player uses as a verbal bouncing board during a dispute.

It would be helpful to consider this in context - what sort of things have been going on that might make this helpful or necessary, would it be helpful and necessary and so on. My view is that you really shouldn't be obliged to shake hands with anybody if you don't want to, but if somebody said "is it really that much of an imposition?" could I really disagree?

Tom Chivers said...

Now that would make chess more a spectator sport Angus...

Justin - well, yes. But I guess I am wondering what prompted this announcement from FIDE. Is it the refusal of Kramnik/others to shake hands with Topalov? Or Short's baiting of Azmai?

ejh said...

Wasn't there an incident with Topalov and Morozevich?

It's also possible that they've decided that as major sports do have these guidelines, so should they: entering the twenty-first century, that sort of thing. I've no objection to a code of conduct though I would surely have breached any such code many times had it existed in the past....

Tom Chivers said...

Moro refuses to shake Topalov's hand, and also to say why. I think one other top player does too, possibly Pono? I'm not sure though. Maybe a handshake should be made a required formality, I don't know. Sometimes I forget at the end of a game though, or forget if I've done it or not, and end up doing it twice. I don't really object to the handshake convention, of course.

Should officials be protected from criticism though? Of that I'm not so sure.

ejh said...

Of criticism, no - provided of course they themselves are allowed to answer back, which I think is what causes the problem in football, for instance.

Jonathan B said...

I ALWAYS shake hands with an opponent after a game - no matter how much of a [word banned by blog editor] he might be.

I can remember a couple of occasions when my opponents have sulked after I've beaten them and have refused to shake hands for no reason whatsoever.

Last time I dealt with this by calling him a [word banned by blog editor] to his face.

Very satisfying.

Anonymous said...

I once played someone for the third time. I won the first, he won the second but was miffed that I complained he wasn't writing his moves down in my time trouble. In the third encounter I won a piece but required the usual tidying up. At the time control I nipped off to the loo for no more than a minute or so. Upon my return I bumped into him making a hasty exit. He mumbled something about he had to go and I returned to the board to see the pieces set up. He doesn't play for that team (Maidenhead) anymore and they don't seem to miss him at all.
Andrew