The reality is, chess players prepare for tournaments by studying the Sicilian, not by updating themselves on the latest wrinkles in the USCF/FIDE handbook. Thus, I sat down to play the final game intending to follow the only rules I know well- “chess” rules. These are the rules I have learned from watching how people behave at chess tournaments over my eighteen years of playing, and these are the rules I instinctively adhere to using my own common sense and judgment. FIDE or USCF rules might need to be referred to once in a while, but for the most part, people do just fine relying on “chess” rules.
My understanding of “chess” rules tells me that it’s wrong to have your hand over or on the pieces while your opponent's time is running and they are executing their move, just like it would be wrong to pull a piece out of your pocket and place it on the board. Whether on the board or on the clock, both these actions have the effect of creating an unfair advantage for one side, and I reject them on those grounds.
Does anyone know what these "'chess' rules" are that she's talking about? Somebody please provide me with a link. Thank you.
And don't we just love this? "In my opinion, everyone should give more weight to 'what is right?' than to 'what does the rule say?' You should not disregard your moral judgments based on a line in a USCF handbook".
Imagine that! So folks, if you don't like an arbiter's ruling, all you have to do is disagree based on moral judgements. Basically, just come up with anything.
And then this: "I am satisfied with my play and shared first in this event, and am quite willing to play Anna Zatonskih in a match if she’d like a chance to demonstrate her chess superiority over me". Whoa! That's what we like to see! Will Zatonskih accept the challenge?
Read more of Irina's final letter here on the CLO website.