Sunday, July 01, 2007

Shake That Hand or Lose

I have GM Ian Rogers' column in today's The Sun Herald (Sydney) to thank for this. Rogers reports of this latest decision by FIDE to immediately declare the game lost for a player who does not shake their opponent's hand. I checked the FIDE website, and yep, there it is.

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.

Bad manners maybe, in certain circumstances, but a loss of game? They have got to be joking! Never mind that there may be perfectly legit circumstances for one to refuse to shake an opponent's hand. What if my opponent went to the toilet and I saw that he didn't wash his hands? Or how about Rogers' example in his column of former Aussie chess champion (in 1957 with S. Lazare) Karlis Ozols who was later discovered to be a former Latvian SS officer? "[O]ne could understand", GM Rogers writes, "if some of his Melbourne opponents found shaking his hand before a game a step too far".

Thoughts?

15 comments:

Chris said...

This just sounds like another wacky Kirsan idea. lol.

Are they going to make Kramnik and Topalov shake hands EVERY time they play?

DeNovoMeme said...

Loss of game ? I agree!

Leave your politics and grievences at the door. Chess is chess. Behave like a prick OTB and you should not only lose the game, you should be kicked out.

Oh, and AR, why would you be watching the ablutions habits of your opponent? [ ;0 ] And would you NOT take a piece he left en prise?

On the otherhand, should should non-OTB chess behaviours get a player banned from OTB chess?

Anonymous said...

I try not to shake hands at all especially in cold and flu season. I nod politely, smile, do the whole social nicety thing, respectfully bow where appropriate, but I try not to shake hands. Kissing spreads less germs than handshakes, not that I'd want to kiss my opponent either.

Loss of game over a polite refusal to shake hands, no.

Loss of game over rudeness and insults, yes.

And if he left a piece en prise I'd squirt it with disinfectant first. :) heh-heh (no, that's not true...that could be interpreted as being rude).
Dan

DeNovoMeme said...

Dan,

I understand how people end up with beliefs that are wholey inconsistant with reality. Old wives tales and advice from day time television has the allure of secrete human business. However, Dan, your practises are, in practise, practically useless.

The spread of influenza between non-kissing persons is entierly from:
1. Aerosol droplets to your eyes nose and mouth (from sneezes) entering the upper respirory tract
2. Touching ontaminated surfaces and then hand to face/mouth transmission.

Therefore, the ONLY ways to avoid contassion are.
1. Stay away or
2. Wear a gas mask or
3. Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.

Do not believe me? Try http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/185_10_201106/col10881_fm.html

Now, Dan, shake hands and then wash your hands during cold and flu season, or just stay home and play on the internet. :-)

Anonymous said...

I don't like shaking hands for the practical reason of that arthritis in my hands can often lead to me suffering pain from what normal people would consider a firm handshake. How does that situation fit in with these new rules?
Really, this is child's stuff, two people deciding that they don't wish to embrace each other in any social manner should have no bearing on the game at all. So long as they play the game and abide by the rules of the game, they have fulfilled their part of the sporting contract. Trying to force them to shake hands reminds me of many adults forcing fighting kids to shake hands, never stopped the kids resuming hostilities once the satisfied adult disappeared.

Anonymous said...

'I don't like shaking hands for the practical reason of that arthritis in my hands can often lead to me suffering pain from what normal people would consider a firm handshake.'

How does typing affect your arthritis?

Anonymous said...

That's influenza, denovomeme, and you are right, it is aerosol spread (usually). Strangely enough I haven't had the flu in over 10 years and I don't get inoculated either. Not sure why I'm resistant (might be my gas mask).

Colds though are spread by contact and they're much more common. Washing hands is good advice and it is probably why I haven't had a cold in well over a year despite being surrounded by virus-incubating university students and having to adjust their virus-contaminated equipment for them. Soon as that lab is done it's soap and water time.

btw, I hear playing on the internet is not safe...you can pick up viruses that way too. ;-)

Dan

DeNovoMeme said...

Dan: btw, I hear playing on the internet is not safe...you can pick up viruses that way too. ;-)

DNM: not on my Mac ;-)

DeNovoMeme said...

Anon: Two people deciding that they don't wish to embrace each other in any social manner should have no bearing on the game at all. So long as they play the game and abide by the rules of the game, they have fulfilled their part of the sporting contract.

Sport is social
Games are social
Etiquette are social norms
Rules are rules and not meant to be ignored
Sports and games have social etiquettes.
Sports and games have rules.
Some rules relate to etiquette.

In chess the social etiquette is to shake hands.
If the rules embrase a stand of etiquette, you are expected to abide.

As for a crook set of metacarpals, simply follow one of two alternatives.

1. When thier hand is extended , smile and say,"My hand is a quite tender today. Do you mind ....." They will always repond with, "No problems."

2. Grin and bare it.

Either way, the OTB cordiality will be maintained in both short and term terms. Allowing a bitchy arsehole non-shaker to go unpunished is the start of chess sliding toward the nasty levels of (modern day) cricket and footballs all.

Alex said...

What I consider most unpleasant while playing chess is an opponent who refuses to bathe or change clothes.

Even some GM´s do it on purpose. When one complains to the Arbiter one is told that it is not against the rules to stink up the place.

When will FIDE do something about this far more serious problem.

Chessbuff said...

The way I read the quote from the FIDE rules is that you can shake hands OR greet your opponent in a courteous manner. Both set a good tone for the match, and either one is acceptable. Of course, it will be a quandary when your opponent extends his/her hands to you anyway. Then, it is up to you to deliver your excuse. However, greeting your opponent in a courteous manner, in the first place, makes you a law-abiding player.

Anonymous said...

"Not on my Mac"

LOL! Touche, Denovomeme! Good come back. :-)

Dan

simon said...

I would love to see Matt shaking Kevin's hand before a game. lol.

Phil Willis said...

I've only ever not shaken hands once.

And that was after my opponent cheated by making a move that left his rook en prise, lifting his hand off the piece, actually touching the clock (but not pressing the button, then took his move back and played a different one.

Even after I brought the TD into the dispute, the TD sided with the cheater.

I was so disgusted I didn't shake his hand.

And the next time I played him in a tournament I explained the touch move rule to him. Loudly enough and condescendingly enough for all his buddies to hear.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Kevin Bonham once make a child cry by forcing that child to shake the hand of another child that the first child disliked?

Indeed, just because adults are older does not mean that the dynamics or objections to hand shaking before chess games cease to exist.