A while back I asked my good friend Ian (I'm half Mackem) Elcoate if he would like to write something for CPM as he has a similar warped sense of humour like me, and bless him he didn't let me down...

New Rules of Chess

By Ian Elcoate

We’ve seen a bit in the forum recently about new rules that some feel are petty. The ban on using your own scorebook, the touch-move being applied to any move written before it’s played, game forfeit if your mobile phone goes off, etc.

Well I think it’s time we had a competition with GM (Gone Mad) norms for the most ridiculous suggestions. 

My suggestions are:

1. In top tournaments expensive eye movement monitoring equipment should be installed and if it can be proven that a player has looked at one of his pieces and a square it can legally move to, then the move must be made. 

I expect this “look-move” rule will cause some concern but at the moment top players gain an unfair advantage by being able to accurately think several moves ahead.

Obviously this would be too expensive to implement amongst us mere mortals so we would have to have further ridiculous rules applied to us.

It could be deemed that if you have used less time than your opponent, or if you know how much time you have left in a time scramble, you have an unfair advantage. 

I therefore suggest all time displays are removed from the clocks with a simple alarm indicating that a player has run out of time. 

Obviously this would mean that all timepieces would be banned and anyone who nips out to look at the Town Hall clock in the Middlesbrough Congress would immediately forfeit the game.

I also suggest the “lift-fart” rule whereby if a player shifts his/her weight onto one buttock in an attempt to get comfortable at the board then his/her opponent can claim that one cheek has been raised slightly in an attempt to break wind. The player can then be made to “make this move” and the farting manoeuvre must be completed.  Any follow through will be deemed to be an illegal move and a time penalty will be imposed. 

This will certainly add to the atmosphere at congresses.

Chess Etiquette Part 1

By Ian Elcoate

One of my recent games, my massive blunder shown in the last CPM, led me to think about etiquette in chess.

I was rather surprised that such a nice gentleman as Steve Dauber did not say, “Ian, I believe you did not intend that move and I suggest you retract your knight move and play something else.”

This would have allowed me to keep my queen that I had left en prise and possibly go on to win the game.

Let me explain my surprise at Steve’s behaviour.

As a wee bairn (well, a small fat bairn actually) just becoming involved in chess I received a great deal of coaching from a gentleman at Middlesbrough Chess Club. In order to maintain the anonymity of this gentleman we shall call him Tony K. In the many blitz games we played then, and continue to play to this day, Tony K always instilled in us juniors, a gentlemanly respect for opponents.

We were always made to allow Mr. K to retract any bad moves to improve the aesthetic quality of the game and I have always thought that this is normal behaviour, even if not legislated for in the laws of chess.

I, therefore, would have expected Steve Dauber to extend the same courtesy to myself.

Obviously in my own competitive games I have never noticed a blunder of my opponent until several moves later when it was simply impossible to retract all the moves played after the blunder!