Chess Scotland - Arbiters' Committee

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.35pm on Friday 25 March 2016.

 

Present: A Maxwell (chair); L Barnes, SR Gillam, AK Howie, AH McFarlane, K Stewart.

 

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of February 2015 were approved. Matters Arising: Advice had not yet been produced on Law G4 (introduction of time-delay mode in Quickplay Finish). AMcF would do this shortly, though it was noted that further Law changes in this area were likely and that there was pressure to write analogue clocks out of the Laws.

 

2. Arbiter Activity Reports and Reinstatement Consideration. Reports had been received from 11 arbiters. It was agreed that a specific request to record all FIDE-related activity should be added to the report form in order to ensure that FIDE requirements on activity are satisfied for National and FIDE Arbiters. It was agreed that Fiona Petrie should be reinstated as a CS Arbiter.

 

3. Courses and Exam, and Revision of Arbiter Training and Qualification; 4. FIDE Arbiter matters.

These related items were discussed together. No course had been held but the idea of combining a course with a (2-day) FIDE Arbiter course was again considered though it was noted that incompatibility of Swiss pairing systems would have to be taken account of in some way. It was agreed that an attempt would be made to arrange such a course.

Progress on developing the new qualification system was still slow, but in hand.

It was agreed that those CS Arbiters recognized by FIDE as National Arbiters should be indicated on the published list. It was important that other CS Arbiters should become recognized as NA and two others would be approached in this context.

 

5. Richardson and Spens Rules.

The Home Director (Open) had asked the Committee to consider some amendments to the rules, particularly in respect of pre-registration and appeals. Though the concept did not meet with universal approval, the content of a registration form was discussed and draft content agreed. A rule regarding appeals was also drafted. These would be further discussed with the Home Director (Open) and the CS Board before publication.

 

6. Other business.

(a) AH is involved in the FIDE process for anti-cheating measures and reported on this. It will be necessary for CS to purchase a hand-held scanner to monitor electronic devices. It was noted that some FIDE officials are arguing for the use of frequency-blocking devices (which would be illegal in some jurisdictions and pose H&S issues). The title of the group has been downgraded from “Commission” to “Committee”.

(b) FIDE requires proposals for changes to the Laws by June as part of the next revision cycle. The committee members would consider what ideas might be put forward.

 

The meeting closed at 9.35pm.

 

***

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.30pm on Friday 20 February 2015.

 

Present: A Maxwell (chair); L Barnes, SR Gillam, AK Howie, AH McFarlane, K Stewart.

 

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of February 2014 were approved. No Matters Arising other than items covered below.

 

2. Arbiter Activity Reports and Reinstatement Consideration. Reports had been received from 10 arbiters and one trainee. It was noted that George Pyrich is retiring from the list on going to live abroad. KS had thanked him for his contribution. One reinstatement is probable once the PVG process is completed. David Congalton has satisfied the requirements on activity reports and the Committee appointed him as a CS Arbiter.

 

3. Courses and Exam, and Revision of Arbiter Training and Qualification. No course had been held but there was a possibility pending. The idea of combining a course with a (2-day) FIDE Arbiter course was discussed; this seemed feasible and might attract participants from outside Scotland. Some options were considered.

Progress on developing the new qualification system was slow, but in hand.

 

4. FIDE Arbiter matters.

No major change in this. CS remains willing to submit players for FIDE licensing once they have passed the exam; it remains important to expand the panel as this is a limitation on what FIDE-rated events can be run. Activity within each three-year period is essential to maintain the IA and FA titles.

AH requires only an all-play-all event to complete qualification for the IA title though it appears that this requirement is not being rigidly enforced.

FIDE should be lobbied to allow training of arbiters at FIDE events.

 

5. Revision of FIDE Laws and new Rules Book. The Rules Book (with new FIDE Laws) was produced in the paper version in summer 2014. The web version had been uploaded by AH but had somehow reverted to the old one for reason unknown. This has now been corrected. FIDE has produced (but not yet formally approved) a revised version of Law 11.3b (relating to mobile phones); this is much more practical for “ordinary” play and is recommended for general use by leagues, etc.

Advice would be produced on Law G4 (introduction of time-delay mode in Quickplay Finish) and on incorrect pawn-promotion. Committee members to produce material and AMcF to collate.

 

6. Richardson and Spens Rules.

Two appeals against the Tournament Controller's decisions had been referred to the committee and dealt with. There are clearly still some issues with these rules (in particular ‘bona fide'). The procedure for revision should be that the Home Director (Open) should determine what a rule is required to say and that the committee should assist in producing a wording which achieves this.

 

7. Other business.

(a) AH is involved in the FIDE process for anti-cheating measures and reported on this. There is not thought to be a serious problem in Scotland but Arbiters need to be informed as to how best to handle situations involving possible cheating; this will be added to the Guide for Arbiters once suitable data is available.

(b) There are possible future issues regarding Swiss pairings as FIDE does not recognize the British system and is unlikely to do so for at least 4 years and until they can be suitably programmed.

 

The meeting closed at 9.05pm.

 

***

 

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.30pm on Friday 21 February 2014.

 

Present: A Maxwell (chair); L Barnes, SR Gillam, AK Howie, AH McFarlane, K Stewart.

 

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of March 2013 were approved. No Matters Arising other than covered below.

 

2. Arbiter Activity Reports and Reinstatement Consideration. Reports had been received from 9 arbiters and two trainees. Arbiters had disappeared from the list for a variety of reasons and concern was expressed about numbers. It was agreed to reinstate James Anderson following his satisfying all conditions. There was some discussion about other possible future reinstatements.

 

3. PVG Status on non-qualified Arbiters. The Committee noted the CS statement on use of non-qualified arbiters (Nov 2013). It was felt that (a) a new category of registered volunteer was needed (b) the time for a formal requirement to obtain PVG status should be after a pass in the exam, though earlier attainment would be beneficial.

 

4. Courses and Exam, and Revision of Arbiter Training and Qualification. No course had been held and only one inquiry received. An attempt would be made to develop local interest to enable a one-day course to be held; Edinburgh might be an option.

Progress on developing the new system agreed in September 2009 had been slow. AMcF would clarify what material was still required to set up the system and would ask for assistance on specific areas.

 

5. FIDE Arbiter matters.

No major change in this. CS would be willing to submit players for FIDE licensing once they have passed the exam.

 

6. Revision of FIDE Laws and new Rules Book. The Rules Book will be produced once it is clear that the update to the Laws is complete, probably in May/June. The rules for Richardson , etc, play against computers, entry to the Scottish Championship, Arbiter regulations and Jamboree pairings will be removed from the paper version but will remain in the web version.

AMcF circulated a document detailing necessary interpretations (on such matters as default times, mobile phone penalties, etc) to be used in applying the FIDE Laws in non-FIDE events. The committee agreed that it supported the proposed use of the document on a Britain-wide basis. AMcF would also put forward the best available summary of the Law changes and these documents would be added to the website.

 

7. Appointments.

(a) David Deary has satisfied the requirements on activity reports and the Committee appointed him as a CS Arbiter.

(b) Andy Howie has satisfied the requirements and the Committee appointed him as Senior Arbiter.

 

The meeting closed at 9.30pm.

 

***

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.30pm on Sunday 4 March 2013.

 

Present: A Maxwell (chair); SR Gillam, AK Howie, AH McFarlane (via Skype connection),

K Stewart. Apology: D Wilson .

 

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of February 2012 were approved. No Matters Arising other than covered below.

 

2. Arbiter Activity Reports. Reports had been received from 10 arbiters. Note was made of one or two who had not recently reported activity. Arbiters had disappeared from the list for a variety of reasons and concern was expressed about numbers.

 

3. Courses and Exam, and Revision of Arbiter Training and Qualification. KS and AMcF had held a course in Ayrshire in October 2012. Following this, David Congalton, David Deary, Alice Lampard and Stuart Lampard had been successful in passing the exam.

Good progress on developing the new system agreed in September 2009 had been made, principally by AMcF. The main requirement now was a supply of examples and members were asked to supply material to Alex who hoped for near completion by about May-June..

AH had been successful in the Senior Arbiter exam and now required appropriate performance reports.

 

4. FIDE Arbiter matters.

FIDE have introduced their scheme of Arbiter registration; so far AMcF, SG, AH and KS have been licensed (this is for life unless there is a 2-year inactive period). It was desirable for some national arbiters also to be registered.

It was also desirable that Scotland should have some International Organisers (AMcF is one); this would involve an exam.

There remains uncertainty over FIDE's policy on licensing of players as it has changed repeatedly – the current position would be confirmed.

 

5. Revision of FIDE Laws and new Rules Book. There has been further delay by FIDE over deciding the new Laws with May now the earliest possible date. The Rules Book will be produced once the Laws are available. The rules for Richardson , etc will be removed from the paper version as they have been changed on a number of occasions, though they will remain in the web version.

 

6. Wandering Dragons - Hamilton dispute. An interim decision had been made by a group of the committee and a further decision would be communicated to the clubs once the investigation was completed. It was agreed that Andrew Muir's existing interpretation of the board-order rule should stand for this season; KS would ask Andrew Muir to communicate this to all teams remaining in the competitions. AH communicated his and the President's thanks to the committee for dealing with the matter.

 

7. Other Business.

(a) There was discussion of the requirement for Arbiters to hold CS membership; it was agreed there should be no change.

(b) It was agreed that IA Lara Barnes had such extensive experience that she should be appointed as a CS Senior Arbiter without further examination.

(c) It was agreed that Lara Barnes should be invited to join the committee.

 

The meeting closed at 9.20pm.

***

 

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.30pm on Friday 24 February 2012.

Present: A Maxwell (chair); SR Gillam, AK Howie, AH McFarlane, K Stewart, D Wilson.

 

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of February 2011 were approved. No Matters Arising other than covered below.

 

2. Arbiter Activity Reports. Reports (written or verbal) had been received from 15 arbiters. Note was made of one or two who had not recently reported activity. Steve Mannion = s recent illness was noted and good wishes expressed for rapid recovery.

 

3. Courses and Exam, and Revision of Arbiter Training and Qualification. Demand had remained low but KS would hold a course in Ayrshire being planned by John Montgomery. Progress on developing the new system agreed in September 2009 had again been slower than hoped. It was noted that material was needed to simulate events where arbiter intervention was involved (eg time scrambles, Law 10 decisions, draw by repetition), as it was now not unusual for very few of these to occur during a congress. AMcF would compile a list of situations where such material was required and all would then attempt to create or discover suitable examples.

The general structure is now in place but needs more development and definition.

The system would require mentors for trainee arbiters. Mentors would be approved by this committee and guidelines would be that the mentor should have been an Arbiter for over 3 years and officiated at least 10 events, some of which should be non-local.

AH and AM would be candidates for the Senior Arbiter exam; AMcF and KS would liaise over arrangements for this.

 

4. FIDE Arbiter matters.

FIDE seem likely to introduce their new scheme of Arbiter registration from 1 January 2013. The one-off fee for national arbiters would be small; it was not known whether all CS arbiters would require to be registered. However, the fees for IA and FA would be much greater and would require a repeat fee to reactivate a registration after a period of inactivity. It was agreed that Scottish IAs and FAs should be asked whether they wished to be registered, which would entail a commitment to be arbiter at sufficient events to avoid inactivity, and to propose to CS Council that CS should look at paying fees for those making such a commitment. It was noted that AH had qualified as FA in the past year.

 

5. Child / vulnerable person disclosure. The new PVG system is in process of introduction but has been delayed (at government level). Steve Mannion had initiated and would be proceeding with the process for Arbiters as soon as possible.

 

6. Other Business.

(a) New FIDE Laws will be finalised this year. There is no information yet on proposed changes, but the committee will consider and comment on these when available.

(b) This committee notes with serious concern the treatment of Alex McFarlane and Lara Barnes by the ECF.

(c) It was noted that in a 4-player double-round all-play-all event, in which one complete round-robin is followed by a second with colours reversed, it is recommended that the pairing order should be reversed for the second round-robin, to avoid players having the same colour in 3 consecutive rounds. This would be added to the Rules Book.

The meeting closed at 9.10pm.

 

***

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.30pm on Friday 11 February 2011 .

 

Present: A Maxwell (chair); SR Gillam, AH McFarlane, K Stewart, D Wilson. Apology: A Howie

 

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of February 2010 were approved.

No Matters Arising other than covered below.

 

2. Arbiter Activity Reports. Reports (written or verbal) had been received from 17 arbiters. No changes to the list other than those affected by item 4.

 

3. Courses and Exam, and Revision of Arbiter Training and Qualification. Demand had been fairly low but KS had had some inquiries. Progress on developing the new system agreed in September 2009 had again been slower than hoped. KS had circulated overall plans for modules (on Admin, Laws, Practical) for comment after which the group would develop these to a usable form. Thereafter some form of course/seminar would be arranged.

 

4. Child / vulnerable person disclosure. Some Arbiters (previously asterisked) had been removed from the list pending completion of the disclosure procedure to the satisfaction of the CS Lead Signatory. The committee must await developments on this, given current changes to the process.

 

5. Deaf-blind players. Correspondence had been received from Stephen Hilton and Chris Hampton regarding procedures. The committee reiterated its view (CS Rules Book p30) that an assistant was essential as otherwise in practice problems were too likely. A pragmatic approach should be taken to score-keeping. The Disability Officer could consider arranging a course for assistants.

 

6. FIDE Arbiter courses.

FIDE now recognise AMcF as a trainer of arbiters. He is currently trying (partly via AH) to clarify details of the requirements and hopes to run such a course once this is feasible. It was noted that Scottish participants would require to hold the CS Arbiter title.

 

7. Other Business.

(a) FIDE now has a website for arbiters (access via main FIDE site).

(b) FIDE document Annex 32 item 9 makes a suggestion that there may be reduced reporting (rating) fees if an International Organiser is present. This needs to be monitored.

(c) The Arbiters' Commission stated that it was not within its remit to consider the claim that FIDE had removed AMcF and Lara Barnes from the ECU list of Arbiters for the Olympiad.

 

The meeting closed at 8.30pm .

***

 

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.35pm on Friday 26 February 2010.

 

Present: A Maxwell (chair); SR Gillam, A Howie, AH McFarlane, K Stewart, D Wilson.

 

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of September 2009 were approved.

No Matters Arising other than covered below.

 

2. Arbiter Activity Reports. Reports (written or verbal) had been received from 19 arbiters, again better than last year, despite one or two communication problems.

 

3. Courses and Exam, and Revision of Arbiter Training and Qualification.

No courses had been held, in the light of very little demand. However, very recently a few names had been put forward. KS would consider what was possible in the light of the planned new process.

Progress on developing the new system agreed in September 2009 had been slower than hoped. KS would now circulate overall plans for modules (on Admin, Laws, Practical) for comment after which the group would develop these to a usable form.

 

4. New Swiss Pairing Rules.

There was general discussion of the new rules, as published in the 2009 Rules Book. They seem to be working well, with few problems in Scotland and being seen as better in England . Pairing programs were discussed; none is really good, with Swiss Master best.

 

5. Letter from FIDE.

A letter had been received asking our opinions on licensing of arbiters. The letter lacked essential information and though AH had been chasing this up, he had not received replies from those in FIDE contacted.

 

6. Tournaments.

There was discussion of the Richardson and Spens Cups, and the Team Lightning event.

 

7. Other Business.

(a) Grading by FIDE of Arbiters. FIDE had taken no action yet other than on those in categories A and B. There remained concern that the system was over-concentrated on the strength of the tournament rather than how effectively the arbiter performed his/her duties.

(b) There was discussion of progression to Scottish Senior Arbiter level and FIDE FA and IA level. It was considered important for Scotland to obtain further representation at these levels and that FIDE should not add barriers of expense to the existing problem of need to travel to qualify.

(c) Digital clocks were discussed and various problems and pluses considered.

 

The meeting closed at 9.15pm .

***

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.45pm on Sunday 27 September 2009

 

Present: A Maxwell (chair); SR Gillam, A Howie, AH McFarlane, K Stewart, D Wilson.

Also attending: P Thomas (as a proposer of the revisions)

 

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of February 2009 were approved.

The new Rules Book (including revised Swiss pairing rules) had been published in booklet form in August and distributed to Arbiters and organisers. AH would soon have the website version available.

A report on Scottish IAs = activity had been sent to FIDE but apparently not received. AH had attempted to re-send.

 

2. Arbiter Qualification. After consideration of reports, verbal and written, it was agreed that Peter Devenny should be appointed as a CS Arbiter.

 

3. Proposal for Revision of Arbiter Training and Qualification.

The proposal put forward by AH and PT was extensively discussed. It was agreed to revise the structure of training and qualifying along the following lines:

Training to be done principally by mentoring of candidates, supplemented where possible by one-day (or half-day) seminars on Laws, Swiss pairings or both.

Assessment to be performed mainly by either written or oral exam with separation between assessment of administration and of Laws. Some aspects, eg tournament data recording, to be assessed practically. Computer usage to be included.

Subsequent to satisfactory assessment, performance reports to be required to at least the present extent. Reports would need to address the quantity of problems encountered. At least one report would be required from a Senior Arbiter or ArbComm member.

A list of Arbiters willing to act as mentors would need to be prepared.

Development of more detailed rules and of assessment modules and materials to be done mainly by KS, AMcF, AH and PT, possibly followed by piloting with one or two candidates.

 

The meeting closed at 9.45pm .

***

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.45pm on Sunday 22 February 2009

 

Present: A Maxwell (chair); SR Gillam, AH McFarlane, K Stewart, D Wilson.

 

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of March 2008 were approved.

Steve Mannion continues to work on disclosure checks and plans to extend this to enhanced disclosure for arbiters.

2. Arbiter Activity Reports. KS reported that there had been 16 responses to the annual survey by qualified arbiters - up from 12 last year. No action appeared to be needed.

Amy Officer had now received satisfactory reports on her activity from two arbiters; it was agreed that she should be recognised as a qualified CS Arbiter.

3. Courses for Arbiters. No courses had been held in Scotland in the past year and KS had received very little in the way of enquiries. It might be appropriate to offer a one-day course to see what response there might be.

AMcF and Lara Barnes had held a course at Hartlepool in November. Chris Wardle (now resident in Edinburgh) had passed the ECF exam and it was agreed that this would count towards a CS Arbiter qualification.

4. Swiss Pairing Rules. A first draft of a system of Swiss pairings for all the countries of Britain had been circulated in January and commented on. Unfortunately, the final draft was not available in time for this meeting but it was agreed in principle that it would be approved, subject to a final review when available. It is possible that software to execute such pairings may be written.

5. FIDE Regulations on Arbiter Training. FIDE has approved new regulations for Arbiter qualification with the aim of improving standards. Unfortunately, these are hugely bureaucratic and make it virtually impossible for a training course to be held in Britain , at least without great expense and strong foreign involvement. There will therefore be a severe problem for creating new Scottish FAs and IAs with a consequent impact on the ability to hold international events.

FIDE requires a list of current Scottish FAs and IAs to include information on activity. KS will collate this and comment that the system needs refinement to emphasise arbiter ability rather than status of events.

6. Revision of Laws and Rules Book for 2009. Unfortunately FIDE has not yet come to a final decision on some details of the revised Laws. In the light of the final content, it may be necessary to introduce separate CS rules for non-FIDE-rated events in respect of start time and mobiles. Swiss rules would be revised in the light of item 4 above. CS policy on recommendation for FA and IA titles (see 2008 minutes) would be added to the arbiter section. Amendments to some other rules would be made. The aim would be to produce the new Rules Book by June.

7. Richardson and Spens Cups. KS had attempted to revise the rules to fit the actual format for the current season. Future arrangements remain unclear.

8. Other business.

(a) It was agreed to invite Andy Howie to join the committee. (He has accepted)

(b) The minutes would again be posted on the CS website after agreement by the committee.

 

Addenda to item 3 – events subsequent to the meeting:

(a) P Devenny passed a retaken Arbiter exam.

(b) A Howie and P Thomas have submitted proposals for a revision of the qualification system. These are under consideration.

 

***

Comments to FIDE on proposed changes to Law 6.7 - December 2008

1. The following proposals were circulated as possible amendments to the existing Law 6.7, namely:

Any player who arrives at the chessboard more than one hour after the scheduled start of the session shall lose the game unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.

 

A 6.7 Any player who arrives at the chessboard, later than the time specified by the competition for the scheduled start of the session, shall lose the game unless the arbiter decides otherwise . In the absence of any other specified time in the regulations, the time before default shall be 15 (30) minutes.

 

B 6.7 Any player who arrives at the chessboard more than 15 minutes after the start of the session shall lose the game unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise in cases of force majeure .

 

C 6.7 Any player who arrives at the chessboard more than 30 minutes after the scheduled start of the session shall lose the game unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.

 

D 6.7 Any player who arrives at the chessboard more than 15 minutes after the scheduled start of the session (or a different period of time if specified by the rules of the competition) shall lose the game unless the arbiter decides otherwise.

 

2. Subsequently there appear to be proposals to replace times such as 15 or 30 minutes by 0 minutes. Further, it also appears to be proposed that the clauses permitting arbiter discretion, competition rules, etc should be removed to give a proposal on the lines of:

6.7. Any player who arrives at the chessboard after the start of the session shall lose the game.

3. We start from the premise that the Laws of Chess should be applicable to all competitions , from World Championships to local club and league chess. This means that Laws must be practical for all levels and must therefore take account of the fact that players have lives outside chess.

 

4. A general Law which does not tolerate any lateness (which in any case is penalised by the clock) does not satisfy the test of practicality and would be highly destructive of the promotion of chess. One example could be an evening team match where a chain of events makes a group of players late, thereby making the match pointless; such players might choose not to play at all in future. It is also common for players to travel large distances with uncertain transport.

 

5. Any requirement to be present at the start of play must be a matter for the Tournament Regulations, rather than the Laws of Chess.

 

6. We find little to criticise in the current Law but would be content with a change on the lines of 1.C above. This retains the essential freedom for the arbiter and rules of the competition while setting a general standard for the ordinary player to understand.

 

7. One consequence of a zero-tolerance approach would probably be that the number of FIDE rated events in Scotland would decline significantly.

 

8. In short, any proposal for zero tolerance of lateness is impractical and would be highly damaging to the promotion of chess. Any proposal excluding discretion is particularly objectionable. We vehemently object to such a proposal.

 

Donald Wilson - President, Chess Scotland

 

Chess Scotland Arbiters = Committee (Alistair Maxwell, Simon Gillam IA, Alex McFarlane IA, Ken Stewart IA, Donald Wilson)

 

***

 

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.30pm on Sunday 16 March 2008.

Present: A Maxwell (chair); SR Gillam, AH McFarlane, K Stewart, D Wilson.

 

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of February 2007 were approved.

It was possible that updating of disclosure checks might soon be needed but we should wait at present while the CS review goes on.

2. Arbiter Activity Reports. KS reported that there had been 12 responses to the annual survey by qualified arbiters - down from 18 last year.

3. Courses for Arbiters. KS had revised the exams for arbiters to be consistent with the 2005 Laws. A one-day course had been held for eight people at Perth in March 2007. Of these, only Amy Officer had so far taken the exam - successfully. KS had only five names of those possibly interested in the course at present.

4. Swiss Pairing Rules. AMcF reported that the ECF was keen to see an agreed system of Swiss pairings for all the countries of Britain. There are currently some differences (eg ECU upfloat the median rather than highest-rated in a score group and avoid a further float within two rounds) but these are not enormous. AMcF would progress this by contact with English arbiters with the aim of having an agreed version on paper by March 2009, with hope of a program to execute this thereafter.

5. Arbiter Titles. Currently there is no CS policy on the requirements for the committee to support an application for the FIDE Arbiter title. It was agreed that an application would require the candidate to satisfy the FIDE conditions, to be currently fully active as CS Arbiter or Senior Arbiter and to be supported by the committee. There would continue to be a requirement for an applicant for the International Arbiter title to be a Scottish Senior Arbiter.

6. Revision of Laws and Rules Book for 2009. FIDE has circulated proposals for changes to the Laws (with additional ideas from D Welch). KS would circulate those to the members who had still to see them. Members would comment (with an initial 3-week deadline) and KS would collate with the aim of sending our views to FIDE by end-April. It was noted that there were a number of moves for the Laws to acknowledge the much greater use of digital clocks.

Swiss rules would be revised in the light of item 4 above. Other rules might also require revision, but on a less tight timescale.

7. Richardson and Spens Cups. These were now being run by Sam Collins who was operating them in a new format which the current rules do not cater for. KS would contact Sam with a view to revising the rules for next season to fit the actual format.

8. Other business.

(a) A case in a Rapid game where a player used different hands for moving pieces and pressing clock was discussed. It was agreed that the current Laws required the arbiter to intervene but that there was an inconsistency between this offence and that of not observing > touch-move = , which seemed to come into the same category. A comment on this would be included in the submission to FIDE.

(b) There was discussion of the problem of adding two minutes to a player = s clock during a time scramble, when this might have the effect of disadvantaging the injured party. It was noted that resetting digital clocks in this way was particularly slow and suggested that a button to facilitate this would be a good design feature.

(c) Committee members agreed to encourage suitable candidates to qualify as Arbiter or Senior Arbiter.

(d) The minutes would again be posted on the CS website after agreement by the committee.

 

***

 

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 8pm on Sunday 18 February 2007.

Present: A Maxwell (chair); SR Gillam, AH McFarlane, K Stewart, D Wilson.

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of February 2006 were approved.

There had been no further development of the Swiss pairing section of the grading software.

KS would look further into the possibility of identification badges for arbiters.

The Guide for Arbiters had been updated by KS with input from the committee. It was available for download from the website and would continue to be a text for the arbiters' course.

2. Arbiter Activity Reports. KS reported that there had been eighteen responses to the annual survey by qualified arbiters - the best response rate on record. An addition would be made to the report form to remind arbiters that running internal club events, although useful, did not count towards their quota of activity.

3. Courses for Arbiters. KS reported that there was interest from a number of people in the east which would be addressed by holding a one-day course in Dundee or Perth . KS would conduct the course which was being set up with local input from Jim Anderson and Donna Officer. This would be publicised once details were definite.

Meantime, KS would revise the exams for arbiters to be consistent with the 2005 Laws.

4. Quickplay finishes. There was a general discussion of issues relating to these. KS agreed that there would continue to be questions on the subject in the revised exams for arbiters. The committee would continue to try to promote consistency of application of Art 10 of the Laws while noting that related problems seemed to be occurring less frequently, at least at congresses.

5. Richardson and Spens Cups. The committee noted that these were now being run by Sam Collins and that a change of format was likely next season. No further comment was made meantime.

6. Other business.

(a) It was noted that time scrambles (in congresses especially) were now much less common. This (and a similar effect regarding Law 10) made it more difficult to observe how candidate arbiters would handle such situations.

(b) AMcF commented on a move in England to move towards counting clock presses rather than moves in determining whether the time control had been reached when using digital clocks. He also pointed out that incremental time limits were becoming more commonly used (and accepted by players).

(c) Disclosure checks. CS was likely soon to make these a requirement for continuation on the list of arbiters; the process is currently being phased in.

(d) There was discussion of whether we require more formal rules for the removal of an arbiter from the list. It was agreed that no action be taken at present but that this be kept in mind.

(e) The minutes would again be posted on the CS website after agreement by the committee.

***

Dec 2006: Arbiter Guide

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Feb 2006: Chess Scotland - Arbiters' Committee

Minutes of a meeting of the Arbiters' Committee held at Coatbridge at 7.30pm on Sunday 5 February 2006.

Present: A Maxwell (chair); SR Gillam, AH McFarlane, K Stewart, D Wilson.

1. Minutes of Last Meeting and Matters Arising. The minutes of the meeting of March 2005 were approved. As planned, a new Rules Book had been published in September 2005.

2. Arbiter Activity Reports. KS reported that there had been eleven responses to the annual survey by qualified arbiters and that a number of candidate arbiters had also responded.

3. Reports on Candidate Arbiters. Sufficient reports had been obtained relating to four candidate arbiters. It was agreed that James Anderson, Trevor Davies, Andy Howie and Fiona Petrie all satisfy the requirements and should be appointed as CS Arbiters. Although this is encouraging, conversion rates from exam pass to qualification remain disappointing. KS had investigated whether there should be reports for any others of those who had passed the exam in Aberdeen in 2003, but with no positive result.

4. Courses for Arbiters. KS had received very few new expressions of interest from potential arbiters since the 2005 course. There was a possibility of some interest from the Dundee area. If this developed, it might be addressed by a one-day course in Dundee or by holding another four-evening course in Stirling .

5. Richardson and Spens Cups. The committee discussed possible alternative formats in the light of the unsatisfactory numbers of clubs entering the Spens. Possible ideas included having an all-in first round with losers then contesting the Spens (this would work with well with certain sizes of entry but could require more rounds in other cases), reducing the Richardson to eight clubs, use of central venue (probably not practical), etc. KS would canvass opinion via the website bulletin board. The decision on format should be taken by the Home Chess Board.

Rule 4 as relating to players resident outside Scotland was discussed. No change was recommended.

6. Visually impaired players. In the light of recent events, the committee considered guidance on this matter. It was agreed that the Laws (in particular Section F) cover the matter quite fully but that the following observations could be added.

If both players keep score, there is no time adjustment required; however, if practical, a small amount of additional time could be given to both players.

The visually impaired player may use an assistant to make and announce the moves (if this assistant records the moves, then a time adjustment (Law 8.1) could be made). If this does not happen, the sighted player may use an assistant.

The boards are better placed side-by-side rather than end-to-end.

We recommend that the home club provides assistance if there is likely to be a problem for both players (eg hearing impairment) and that both parties observe a spirit of tolerance.

7. Swiss pairing programs. It was noted that (for understandable reasons) little progress had been made recently on the Swiss part of the grading program and that this was not yet suitable for general use. It was clear that pairing programs are exceedingly difficult to write. Swiss Perfect remains useful but with major flaws, especially relating to colour sequence.

8. Other business.

(a) Guide and exam for Arbiters. KS would produce updated versions of these with input from other members.

(b) FIDE ratings. These are now calculated on individual games rather than by the average for a tournament. Title norms are still done on the latter basis. Notification of this from FIDE had been poor, if given at all. The process for becoming an International Arbiter has been changed. It is not currently possible to achieve qualification for this without working outside Scotland .

(c) MonRoi. This is a wireless electronic scoresheet device, approved by FIDE. Arbiters should be aware that (i) it is difficult to read the number of moves made and (ii) the device has a database facility which must not be accessible to the player during play.

(d) These minutes would be displayed on the CS website after email approval by the committee.

(e) Law 10 (draw claim in quickplay finish). The arbiter may ask the claimant whether the claim is on grounds of “not trying to win” or “cannot win by normal means”. It is then important to make a decision quickly.

(f) KS would look into the possibility of identification badges for arbiters.

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March 2005: Congratulations to: David Archibald, Stephen Balmer, Trevor Davies, Tom Donohue, Andy Howie, Murray Pollock, Fiona Petrie who have all attended the recent course for arbiters and been successful in passing the examination held at the end of it.

We hope they will all go on and complete the process of qualifying as Chess Scotland Arbiters. This now requires them to receive satisfactory reports on acting as arbiters at tournaments.

Anyone interested in taking part in a course should contact Ken Stewart - Technical Director.

List of Arbiters

Arbiter Guide