Monday, August 11, 2014

Zero Tolerance For Arbiters

Scottish grandmaster Jacob Aagard has some harsh words for arbiters and, in particular, the zero tolerance rule. He says, "One of the worst rules in chess is the so-called Zero Tolerance Rule...", before going on to propose what seems to me a reasonable alternative (and some nice words for arbiters, too, actually).

All very understandable from the players' point of view, but he should perhaps spare a thought for arbiters.

Just have a look at some of the proposed regulations for how arbiters are supposed to carry on. Like this, a sample case of arbiter misconduct and its proposed punishment: "3.m. Every action of his sporting or social life which causes a reduction of his prestige as an arbiter or constitutes defamation of the game of chess (disqualification from 2 years to deletion from the lists of Arbiters)."

Immediately you would ask, what exactly are such actions and who decides them? This is a rule that, if enacted, should really send shivers up the spines of arbiters and would-be arbiters everywhere. It is a rule that, like the zero tolerance one for players, could turn out to be unjust.

Hat tip: Chess Chat.

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