A note on chess etiquette

We had a great club championship at the end of 2015, and some talented young people joined us this past year. I’m looking forward to a lot more chess this year, and hopefully we can continue to expand our ranks! All in all, I think that we had a great year at the club.

However, a few club players have pointed out (and I have noticed) that there are some distracting behaviors occurring during games. I wanted take a moment to reflect on this and set some boundaries for tournament games.

During active tournament games or rated matches:

  1. All noises should be kept to a minimum. This means that cell phones should be silenced or set to vibrate, any conversations should be brief and hushed, and there should not be any running around (kids!).
  2. Active games should not be discussed or commented on by anyone in the room. This means that people watching a game should refrain from reacting to moves made by the players, and should be especially careful not to make any comments on those games. It is also not appropriate for an observer to point out that a player is out of time or that a player has made an illegal move. It is up to the opponent to notice these events and make a claim.
  3. Respect the space around an active game. This means that while you are welcome to observe active games, you should not “hover” too close to the players or to the board. For example, you should not be leaning on the table of an active game that you are observing.

Thanks for your cooperation! Following these rules will help increase the overall level of play and reduce the frustrations caused by distractions.

Happy New Year!

Vincent VanBuren
President and Tournament Director
Georgetown Chess Club

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