It's currently my turn and I really need to use the bathroom. I know I'm allowed to when it's my opponent's turn, but now it's not. I don't want to be accused of cheating, but I also want to play my next move with a clearer mind.

What should I do?

1 Answer 1


What should I do?

You should ask the arbiter for permission. Elderly men often suffer from prostate problems which increase the frequency of need to go to the toilet. If this is you then talk to the arbiter before the event and explain the situation and get permission before the need arises.

According to the FIDE Laws of Chess:

11.2.1 The ‘playing venue’ is defined as the ‘playing area’, rest rooms, toilets, refreshment area, area set aside for smoking and other places as designated by the arbiter.

11.2.2 The playing area is defined as the place where the games of a competition are played.

11.2.3 Only with the permission of the arbiter can: a player leave the playing venue, the player having the move be allowed to leave the playing area.

So, the toilets are part of the playing venue but not part of the playing area. When it is your turn you may not leave the playing area to go to the toilet without the permission of the arbiter. Or, to put it a different way, if you need to go to the toilet on your turn then first get the permission of the arbiter.

  • If you get permission from the arbiter, presumably it would be good etiquette to also inform your opponent ahead of the game, so they're not distracted (or less distracted) if/when it happens. (Especially if getting permission from the arbiter was one conversation at the start of the day, not separately ahead of each game with the opponent present.) Jan 4, 2022 at 4:32

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