I was playing and I am pretty sure that my opponent was talking about the game with his friend in another language. I don’t speak the language, but you can tell. What should I have done?

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    How old was your opponent? The repercussions for a 10-year old might/should be different than for a 40-year old.
    – Mast
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 21:58
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    Your opponent was talking with his friend while the game was still going on? Or afterward?
    – TylerH
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 19:36

2 Answers 2


First, you should inform the tournament director, and let that person handle it. There is a parental instinct that makes me want to just take the kid aside, and say something privately first, but since that can be misconstrued, do not do that, and let the TD handle it. I am sure that they will mention it, or warn the kids, and hopefully it will be done with.

I speak Russian, and in times gone by, I would hear some of them discuss games that were not mine, and it was not so much about specific calculations, but still. Thankfully, it was not common, but it still violates the rules, and needs to be dealt with. In my case, they were always adults, who should have known better. In your case, you have kids, who often just have not been taught well enough yet, and hopefully a stern word of warning will end this before it is evolves into intentional cheating.

Playing kids is hard enough: To have to play two of them in tandem is for the birds. :)

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    huh? you cant discuss other games ? since when ? Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 15:38
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    I am used to playing under USCF rules, and it has always been prohibited: 20I. Discussion of games. Players should not discuss their games in progress with anyone; this may lead to penalties under 20E, Soliciting or using advice prohibited. The director has the option of banning all talking in the tournament room, even if not loud enough to be disturbing. See also 1C2, Director discretion; 20K, Penalties; 21F2, Facts are agreed upon; and 21K, Use of director’s power. They typically ban all game discussion so there is no ambiguity. If you are in another room, it is generally fine. Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 15:45
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    I was talking about discussing other games while in the tournament hall. If nothing else, one of the players may overhear you, or notice your excitement, or other facial expressions, and realize something is up. Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 15:47
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    You are talking about a long time ago. It has been a no-no for a long time now. Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 15:58
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    and you say that now absolutely everybody say nothing to anyone the whole time? even at small local tournaments ? Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 16:01

Hi Liam and welcome to chess.stackexchange. I am sorry that you had this experience. If this tournament was played under FIDE rules, then the following articles are directly relevant:

11.3.1 During play the players are forbidden to use any notes, sources of information or advice, or analyse any game on another chessboard.

11.5 It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever.

12.7 [...] Spectators are not allowed to interfere in a game. The arbiter may expel offenders from the playing venue.

12.2 The arbiter shall:

  • 12.2.1 ensure fair play,
  • 12.2.2 act in the best interest of the competition,
  • 12.2.3 ensure that a good playing environment is maintained,
  • 12.2.4 ensure that the players are not disturbed,
  • 12.2.5 supervise the progress of the competition,
  • 12.2.6 take special measures in the interests of disabled players and those who need medical attention,
  • 12.2.7 follow the Anti-Cheating Rules or Guidelines

You should therefore at the time call the arbiter and explain the situation so he can take the corrective steps.

The arbiter should stop the clock (although the player has the right to do this prior to calling the judge too). The judge has absolute discretion under the laws, to come to the best solution. A wide number of different circumstances can have led to the complaint, with varying levels of penalty appropriate, and different clues are available. If cheating is suspected then a substantial interruption may be required for investigation

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    an what would the TD do ? the one key move to help the kid win may already have been given to him.. how can they make it fair after the fact? Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 16:02
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    Thanks Edwina - am adding the response to my answer.
    – Laska
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 16:32
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    By way of comparison, in international magic the gathering tournaments, i’ve come across this kind of behaviour fairly often. It’s a game where there is some dialogue between the players as a matter of course, any communication from outside the game is banned. Normally I would ask for the communication to stop and (on the very rare occasion when it didn’t happen) immediately call a judge. Chess does not have such a natural window for dialogue between the two players, so I would call the arbiter much sooner.
    – Laska
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 16:48
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    Please do no use codeblock for things that are not actually code. Quoteblock should be used when directly quoting other sources. Marking edits with meta commentary is not necessary, a post should be edited to the best form of itself without demarcation between versions - that's what post histories are for.
    – Nij
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 4:12
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    @Laska, general Stack Exchange policy is to not signal edits. It's a question and answer site, not a conversation forum - answers should always reflect their best form as if it had always been that way. Furthermore, as it is not a conversation form, chatty preambles are also discouraged. Your answer should be useful to more people than just the original poster, so addressing the original poster in a conversational manner is not part of the Q&A format (because welcoming Liam is not useful to future readers).
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 13:06

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