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Exhibit A

Note that §E8.1.1. says (...)as clearly and legibly as possible(...). My arbiter's estimation is that maybe around 5% of all players produce Orc runes. (My own handwriting is atrocious, but I somehow comply.) Naturally this gets worse in time trouble. (Add alternate national figurine symbols for extra decoding fun.) Usually, the inner logic of a chess game and the memory of the players may help if it gets problematic, but...

Can you report an incident of either

  • an arbiter throwing the book at a player who constantly produces illegible score sheets? (Also think of the poor tournament bulletin redaction.)
  • illegible score sheets became relevant in the judging of a claim?

Word-of-mouth is accepted, URL preferred.

5
  • This had me rolling
    – Hauptideal
    Jul 12 at 11:06
  • 1
    How come I can identify "Hauke questions" based on their title 😅
    – Hauptideal
    Jul 12 at 11:08
  • 2
    Link to real Korchnoi scoresheet deserves a (+1) Jul 12 at 15:07
  • Isn't this why it's standard practice for both players to record both plies of every move? If one player's is illegible, hopefully you could consult the other player's sheet to remove any confusion. Unless players are deliberately making false recordings in a malicious manner (and somehow keeping things internally consistent with the rules of the game - this would be its own challenge on top of actually playing the game), or maybe both players have terrible handwriting. Of course if it's a serious high level competition, it's all on camera anyhow... Jul 13 at 14:41
  • @DarrelHoffman: If orc probability is p, orc fight is p^2 - just in my last match I had such a case, and since games are manually transferred to PGN for viewers, it was much fun to decrypt (luckily I'm a FM aaaaand have much experience from transferring my profs gruesome handwriting to typed paper :-) Jul 13 at 20:32

1 Answer 1

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Can you report an incident of either an arbiter throwing the book at a player who constantly produces illegible score sheets? (Also think of the poor tournament bulletin redaction.)

"Throwing the book" is generally counterproductive to generating long term change. If you have to officiate regularly where a player produces illegible scoresheets then you have to use more persuasive techniques to generate the desired change.

The one case I know of where this worked involved a strong local player who produced scoresheets which didn't even allow you to make a reasonable guess as to what was written and a very senior arbiter. She often officiated in tournaments where the games were submitted to FIDE in which he often took part and so she often had to deal with his scoresheets.

Sitting him down and asking him to read his own scoresheet sort of did and didn't work. Of course he couldn't read what he had written but he was a strong enough player that he remembered the game perfectly anyway.

He is the same generation as me and so grew up using descriptive notation. What she did when she "persuaded" him to start recording legibly was to, firstly switch from descriptive to algebraic. I had to input one of his games once (fortunately his opponent's scoresheet was legible) and I didn't know he was using descriptive! That's how bad his writing was.

Second, she got him to slow down. Apparently as part of her effort to coach and train him to write legibly she noticed that he was scribbling at high speed and realised she needed to get him to slow down. Kudos to her because now his scoresheets are legible although still far from copperplate.

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