Two issues arose this evening in matches at the Bury St Edmunds club.
In one game, where an adult was playing a junior, the latter’s phone rang. He didn’t resign but showed his intention of playing on (perhaps he didn’t know the rule?) His opponent took pity on him (he’s only 12) and allowed the game to continue. He lived to regret that decision, as he eventually lost!
So, what is the correct procedure? The rule (FIDE 12.3) says “If any (such) device produces a sound, the player shall lose the game.” So that’s clear, but what if the player whose phone rang doesn’t react? One thing is certain: if his opponent allows the game to continue, then he cannot claim the game later on. It doesn’t really matter if the opponent is a junior, an old age pensioner, or an attractive young lady. You have won, and you should not allow the game to carry on. If the opponent protests, then inform the team captains.
Has this happened to you? What did you do – did you take the tolerant route or did you insist that you had won?
The second issue was a 10.2 claim. This is when a player claims a draw when he has less than two minutes left on the basis that his opponent is either unable to win by normal means, or is making no attempt to win (i.e. trying to run you out of time). The problem with this claim was that it was made on a digital clock with just two seconds remaining. If you want to claim under this rule, you must leave sufficient time for the arbiter (if there is one, or the two captains otherwise) to watch the game and confirm that the opponent is making no real attempt to win. Obviously, this is impossible with two seconds left. As it happens, the player with more time was losing in material terms and agreed a draw. But my advice in this situation is to decline the draw (don’t forget, a claim of a draw is also an offer of a draw) and let your opponent’s time run out. He has 90 minutes to complete the game and if he is unable to do so in that time, then that’s tough. It doesn’t matter if the other player has a material deficit.
The lesson to be learnt here is that if you intend to claim under FIDE rule 10.2, then do so as soon as you have less than two minutes remaining.
Again, your comments on this issue will be welcomed.