Thursday, January 27, 2022 13:38

Rules of the Trade, Part 1 – Whose gear?

Complementing my “Tools of the Trade” series, I’m going to occasionally highlight some rules of play.

Today: Whose equipment do you use? After all, both you and your opponent should have your own gear.

The tournament rules in the USCF Rulebook comes to this:

First and foremost: If you are late to the board, and the equipment your opponent (or the organizer) has set out meets equipment standards, there you are. You play with that equipment.

If you and your opponent agree on whose equipment to use, that is acceptable. As I TD, I would consider starting to actually play the game (i.e. both sides have made a move) to be the point where both sides have committed themselves to the equipment they are using. (Though clock malfunctions, etc. may be dealt with.)

If the organizer of a tournament provides set/board/clock, you would be expected to use that equipment. Not that you can’t use ‘your own’ or the opponent’s equipment – you may want to speak to the TD before doing that, though. (Especially if the organizer is using sensory boards or has a reason for providing the quipment.)

If no agreement can be reached and equipment is not provided: Is only one side’s gear within equipment standards? If yes, then that is the side’s equipment that is used.

Failing all else, and both sides equipment is standard: Black gets to choose whose equipment to use.

(And this applies to each piece of gear individually, more or less.)

Special note about clocks: Analog or digital clocks are both still allowed. If delay or add-back rules are in effect, a digital clock is preferred and takes preference in gear choices. If two digital clocks are used, and one side knows how to set the clock with delay and the other side doesn’t, the side who knows how to set their clock is used (also assuming delay or add-back is used.)

Last: If you have a question about any of this in a tournament, ask your TD to rule. But please make that ‘last choice….’ ;)

Knowing the rules of chess and quickly knowing whose gear is used can get one over disputes more quickly, which enables you to more quickly

Enjoy your chess!

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