Posts Tagged ‘arbiter’

Have you got what it takes to be a FIDE Arbiter in the modern game? Could you hold your nerve and conduct yourself with diplomacy during the fierce heat of competitive chess? Just answer the following ten questions based upon some typical tournament incidents.

Inspired by The Complete Chess Addict & Viz’s ‘You are the ref!‘ *, and my own, warped, sense of humour.

* Viz is a British comic famed for its toilet & off the wall humour, and being not as funny as it used to be ( ). This post is, essentially, a homage to Viz.

1) You are walking past one of the top boards at a tournament. The players have just reached the first time control and entered a rook ending when you suddenly notice that one player has got 36 pawns on the board. What do you do?

A) Declare the game drawn and ask to inspect the scoresheets.

B) Briefly avert the attention of the players and quickly remove most of the pawns.

C) Return to your chair and aimlessly shuffle some scoresheets about.

2) An unrated player has just beaten a strong IM. As he passes you the scoresheets he can no longer contain his excitement and puts his hands down your trousers. What do you do?

A) Punch him in the face.

B) Smile and ask him for his phone number.

C) Naturally flustered, you submit the result as a loss before you notice your mistake.

3) You are an arbiter at an open tournament. A crackpot with strong political views has entered it and bombarded the tournament website with tales of torture by U.S soldiers. Several top Grandmasters approach you claiming they were ambushed in the toilet by him and had to endure anti-American tirades, delivered in a musical Swedish accent of all things. What do you do?

A) Begin the following round with a reminder to all that its uncool to ambush Grandmasters at any time.

B) Have the player removed from the tournament at once.

C) Refer the matter to the chief arbiter and let him decide before returning to your station to continue watching gore videos on line.

4) You are an Arbiter at the final of the 1991 British County Championships. The plucky Bedfordshire team have made it through to the finals for the first time. Their reserve that day (yours truly) is seen tampering with the thermostat of a dodgy tea urn in the cafeteria. Unaware of the danger, members of the opposition start up casual conversation around the rapidly overheating urn, unable to resist the allure of some cheap biscuits. Suddenly it explodes, they run off into the toilets badly scalded, and screaming. Bedfordshire now has an unfair advantage. * What do you do?

A) Reduce the team sizes accordingly to compensate for this unfortunate incident.

B) Stop play and point out the culprit to the victims when they have recovered in hope of a good punch up.

C) Marvel at the ingenuity of the gamesmanship on hand and say nothing about it.

* Back then I was too innocent to conjure up such naughtiness.

5) You are an arbiter at a major tournament. There is a restaurant next to the playing hall. Inside it a large group of Grandmasters have had one bottle of wine too many with their meal, and much to the frustration of those still at the board, begin performing the conga. What do you do?

A) Stop play and have the offenders ejected by security.

B) Stare blankly and sharpen some pencils.

C) Join in at the front and steer the drunken GMs into the playing hall.

6) A spectator at a tournament you are involved with has caused offence by performing gigantic burps whilst walking around and watching the games. It is pointed out to you that he is deaf and does not realize the nature of his crime. What do you do?

A) Draw an artistic cartoon showing him what he is doing.

B) Search for someone who can explain in sign language.

C) Sellotape a piece of paper saying ‘Punch Me’ to his back without him noticing.

7) * You are an Arbiter at an Olympiad, and once again the English team has flattered to deceive. After a promising start they have faded away with a series of erratic results. A rumor begins to circulate amongst the press that a member of the English chess team has been seen several times in a shady area downtown, purchasing large quantities of cocaine. It is alleged that the English are playing their matches ‘coked-up’, hence their inexplicable performances. You dismiss the rumor as being daft and think no more of it, however, shortly before play late in the tournament, you enter the gents in order to have a massive piss and notice four individuals all within one cubicle. Naturally you wonder what is going on and knock on the door. Seconds later the door opens and the entire English team walk out as if nothing has happened. Shortly after you casually walk over during the start of play and notice to your horror that all members are wearing dark sunglasses and sniffing. What do you do?

*Based upon some facebook banter long, long ago and nothing more.

A) Nothing. You remember that the British are such a peculiar bunch that entering toilet cubicals in groups of four is simply a cultural norm over there.

B) Ask the team captain whether the players have developed colds, suggesting that appropriate medication can be administered, should that be the case.

C) Contact FIDE immediately for advice concerning its anti-doping policy.

8) It’s the 1930’s, the world champion Alekhine has upset his opponent by putting his cats on the board prior to play. You are a big admirer of the world champion. What do you do? (The Complete Chess Addict, page 155)

A) Resolve the situation by allowing a bunch of rabid Rottweilers to run amuck in the playing hall.

B) Kindly ask the world champion if he could pose for a picture whilst reassuring him there’s nothing in the rule book about cats being on the board.

C) Ignore the entire thing, take a handsome cab to the corn exchange to watch ‘What the Buttler Saw!’ a silent but sordid adventure in which a cleaner flashes an ankle whilst polishing a grandfather clock.

9)  You are at a function with the FIDE top brass and a bunch of senior politicians to tackle the problem of cheating in chess. Since the tournament in Cork, Ireland where a toilet door was kicked in and a participant beaten up, there have been waves of copycat attacks across the globe. The situation is getting out of hand. You are asked for a proposal to discourage cheating from chess altogether. What do you suggest?

A) Pressurize smart phone manufactures to remove all chess applications and block all future development of them.

B) Insist that playing hall doors must be locked at all times during play (except in case of fire), and that players may borrow colostomy bags should they need to defecate.

C) Insist that any player caught cheating in chess have their name taken down and placed on the sex offenders register.

10) With the zero tolerance rule being seen as the latest in a string of unpopular FIDE directives, a big tournament in the Netherlands has gone badly wrong. In response to several high-profile exclusions from the tournament when a malfunctioning lift caused participants to be seconds late, the playing hall is completely empty for the next round. Later that day, a huge mob of  angry chess players has gathered in the streets outside and begun setting parked cars on fire. You are in a nearby McDonalds when all of a sudden bricks and petrol bombs come flying through the restaurant windows to the chanting of ‘KIRSEN OUT, KIRSEN OUT’: a riot has broken out. You ordered a Big Mac Meal and have only eaten half of your burger,  and what’s worse, you haven’t even touched the fries yet. What do you do?

1) Stay and finish your meal. After all, you paid for it.

2) Leave the fries and join in the rioting as you have had enough of FIDE too.

3) Report the incident to FIDE at once.

Score card.

1 A=5   B=1   C=3

2 A=1   B=3   C=5

3 A=3   B=1   C=5

4 A=5   B=3   C=1

5 A=1   B=5   C=3

6 A=3   B=5   C=1

7 A=1   B=3   C=5

8 A=5   B=3   C=1

9 A=5   B= 3  C=1

10 A=3   B=1   C=5

Your score:


Stick to playing chess.


You can keep your cool and think clearly but further development is required. Consider entering FIDE training sessions and remember to buy a dull suit that will allow you to fade into the background at all times.


There’s no doubting the fact that you are arbiter material, and what greater goal in life could there be? Contact FIDE at once and show them what they are missing out on.


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