National Chess Federation of the Philippines

"Make the Right Move, Play Chess"




6th Column - Chess
Arbiter's Guide
(Part 1)

5th Column - The New FIDE Laws of Chess
(Part 2 of a series)

4th Column - The New FIDE Laws of Chess
(First of a series)

3rd Column - The Responsibilities of Arbiters in Chess Games

2nd Column -
Arbiters who applied for FIDE License

1st Column -
About Arbiter's Corner



January 2, 2013


By: I.A. Gene Poliarco


(As a New Year treat to our readers, I would like to share with them the foregoing article about the duties and responsibilities of an arbiter in a chess game.)


The Responsibilities of Arbiters in Chess Games


Considered by many people as a game that challenges the minds of players who are knowledgeable about the effective application of military strategies and tactics, chess is a sport that depicts situations in warfare. Players who want to be successful in this game should have a background on the offensive and defensive techniques that are used in military activities. With this in mind, players will be more prepared when they play actual games of chess.


Being knowledgeable about the techniques, strategies and tactics that they can employ in chess, it is also important that players learn the official rules implemented in chess tournaments to have more chance of winning. Knowing the official chess rules will give players advantages in the game as well as help them deal with other players and officials who are in-charge of monitoring their games.


Having an arbiter in an official chess game is necessary to observe the trends, moves and positions made by players in a game. Learning the responsibilities of arbiters in tournaments will also help players understand their role in ensuring that the situations in the playing area are all in order. Above all, players will learn how to value the presence of arbiters in official games.


As stated in the official chess rules, arbiters must avoid giving bias decisions in case their intervention in a particular game is needed. It is also essential that arbiters have a closer look on the clocks of the players. Whenever illegalities are committed in the game, the arbiter is in-charge to provide penalties to the player who violated the official chess rules.


Adding and subtracting players' time, the elimination of a player from the tournament as well as the recognition of the game as drawn or lost game, are some of the sanctions that arbiters are authorized to impose. However, players still have the chance to file an appeal if they oppose the sanctions given by the arbiter. Hence, the appeal must be in a written form, which would be given to the tournament director before another game begins.


The responsibilities and authorities entrusted to arbiters should be known to every chess player to help them know how to deal with the decisions made by these officials. Arbiters are important officials in chess tournaments. The roles that they play in tournaments are essential to the outcome of a particular game so players should know the rules concerning the decisions that they can and cannot make to avoid experiencing conflicts in formal chess events.


Starting January 2013, the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) wish to inform all organizers that NCFP will not sanction any tournament if the arbiters who will handle the officiating are not license-holder members of the Chess Arbiters' Union of the Philippines (CAUP).


At present, there are only 19 National Arbiters, one FIDE Arbiter, and two International Arbiters who have acquired their licenses from CAUP. Those who want to apply for licensing may contact the union's secretary-general Miles Samaniego.


As I have mentioned in my last column, I would like to reiterate my reminder to some members of the Chess Arbiters' Union of the Philippines (CAUP) who are organizing arbitration seminars not sanctioned by CAUP and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP). Disciplinary action will be imposed to those who insist on defying the guidelines set by the federation and strictly implemented by the union.


I received a report about an out-of-town tournament held recently that the chief arbiter allowed the use of two different computer programs to make the pairings of the competition. This is a clear violation of the FIDE Tournament Rules and Regulations that governs a Swiss System competition


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