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Suppose that, during a round of an official FIDE-rated tournament, I insult the arbiter privately (they notice), without distracting any of the other players. Could I get expelled from the tournament or lose that game?

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Suppose that, during a round of an official FIDE-rated tournament, I insult the arbiter privately (they notice), without distracting any of the other players. Could I get expelled from the tournament or lose that game?

You are letting your solipsism get the better of you.

As long as you have paid your entry fee for the tournament the officials don't care about your opinions. They may form the opinion that you are a rude, obnoxious piece of scum but they will wisely keep their opinions to themselves.

My decades as a player and later as an arbiter have lead me to believe that very few chess players are completely sane (I obviously include myself in this).

The behaviour you suggest is far from the extremes that any arbiter or organizer will experience if they run tournaments for any extended period of time. Sensible officials will smile and nod (hopefully not too condescendingly) and carry on. They would be well advised, however, to keep a more vigilant eye on your games to ensure your behaviour doesn't spill over into something more serious.

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    How does this involve solipsism? – Acccumulation Dec 30 '20 at 23:41
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Incidentally I'm a national arbiter and a passionate player at the same time. Here is the rules side: FIDE rule 11.1 forbids the player to do anything bringing chess in miscredit. We have no yellow card (actually, I do have one in my arbiter kit, just in case :-) but insulting the arbiter definitely falls under 11.1 and is punishable by all the 12.9. sanctions (and yes, 12.9.9. allows to throw a player out of a tournament, but the punishment must fit the crime).
Now the big question is: why should a player insult me? 90% of all decisions are clearly governed by FIDE laws, I simply tell the player why law isn't on his side, and chess players may be wackos, but they are reasonable wackos. ;-)
A further 9% are lie-vs-lie situations (say piece touche and I didn't see it) where I have to make a decision on good faith. I communicate that too, the players will accept that too even if I factually wronged one. OK, assume that it's one of these situations where everything went south and the player calls me a frelling drenhead in the heat of the battle. Guess what, I think "so's your mum", a good arbiter should be able to handle such a situation with dignity. And as Brian suggested, it's very improbable he pulls out the nuke.
That said, in my player career (and I'm 60 and play around 50 tournament games in a normal year), I personally observed the following...
1 act of physical violence (to my best knowledge, the perpetrator got life - chess exclusion, that is),
1 act of justitiable name calling (the two are arch enemies and probably would kill each other if unattended; the called kept an ice cool, making the caller look like a complete idiot, he probably scored this as check mate),
zero incidences of insulting me either as player or arbiter.

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  • Fancy seeing you here again! :) – Rewan Demontay Dec 30 '20 at 22:15
  • "why should a player insult me?" I could see a situation like an Australian player calling an American arbiter a word that rhymes with "hunt" either as a term of affection or a (relatively) mild insult, and the American flipping their lid over it. – nick012000 Dec 31 '20 at 13:31
  • @nick012000: Point taken, could even happen in Germany due to a word rhyming with hunt (it actually doesn't in German) means a word rhyming with hunt everywhere...except in Bavaria, where it means an completely innocent orifice :-) Maybe I ask our main arbiter honcho if he ever heard of cases in Germany. – Hauke Reddmann Dec 31 '20 at 18:52

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