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Late arrival

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Old July 14th 03, 10:14 PM
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Default Late arrival

Subject: Late arrival

On 14 July 2003 ojunk (Ernest W. Schlich) wrote in

At a just concluded tournament, players A and B came up to me about 10
into the round and asked what the rule was when one opponent was late to the
board. As the discussion progressed, I found out the following. Player A,
arrived on time had found a set and board in place. Assuming it was his
opponent's equipment, he set up the clock and waited for the opponent to
appear. Just as his opponent arrives, another player runs up, grabs the set
board, and goes to his own game! Turns out it was not player B's equipment
A thought. Both players agreed to take the full 10 minutes off B's clock
before I could reach a decision if A got credit for having set up equipment
properly to take B's time. Comments?
Regards, Ernie
Ernest W. Schlich

Player A had no way of knowing that the equipment in place did not belong to

Player B. In my opinion, Player A acted correctly in starting Player B's clock.
And in accordance with Rule 16M of the USCF's Official Rules of Chess ("...A
late opponent's clock may not be started until the board and pieces are in
place..."), it is correct to dock Player B 10 minutes off his clock. No time
should be taken off Player A's clock. He acted in good faith, i.e. properly,
and should not suffer any penalty. No mention was made regarding whether Player
B (the late player) was black or white. It makes no difference, since the
player present makes the choice. In this case, Player A agreed to stay with the
pieces and board already in place.


George Mirijanian


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