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Yesterday, I was in a clothes shop and saw shirts that had wild patterns with screamingly bold colours. The same day, I saw this picture from the Angolan Chess Olympiad team, whose shirts reminded me of those I had seen earlier that day. I wondered whether it could be considered a distraction if they had the same flashy colours as the shirts I had seen earlier.

If the colours are so flashy, that it's hard to ignore them and the patterns make you dizzy when seeing them (maybe from the corner of your eyes), would it in theory be possible to claim a distraction? What would you do, and what would happen to the opponent if he had no clothes to change?

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    reminds me of Rapport made a minor splash during the candidates with his bold pink suit
    – qwr
    Jul 30 at 18:17

1 Answer 1

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would it in theory be possible to claim a distraction?

Of course you can claim whatever you like however your claim will be dismissed if it is just the colour scheme of your opponent's clothes. To count as "distracting" they would either have to depict nudity, semi-nudity or expose flesh in a way that would be considered distracting.

FIDE does have a dress code for FIDE events. These events include Olympiads, World Championships, Candidates, qualifiers, etc. They do not include lower level FIDE rated events although arbiters and organisers are likely to use them anyway as guidelines.

Here is an extract from the above linked document -

3. Dress Code for players during games in progress.
3.a. The following is acceptable for men players, captains, head of delegation.
Suits, ties, dressy pants, trousers, jeans, long-sleeve or shirt-sleeve dress shirt, dress shirt, alternatively T-shirts or polo, dress shoes, loafers or dressy slip-ons, socks, shoes or sneakers, sport coat, blazer,, Bermuda shorts, turtleneck, jacket, vest or sweater. Team uniforms and national costumes clothing.
3.b. The following is NOT acceptable for men players, captains, head of delegation.
Beach-wear slips, profanity and nude or semi-nude pictures printed on shirts, torn pants or jeans. holes, denim shorts, short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts, unclean clothing, sun glasses, sport caps.
3.c. The following is acceptable for women players
Women's suits, dresses. skirts, blouses, turtleneck, T-shirts or poloʼs, trousers, jeans or slacks, footwear (boots, flats, mid-heel or high- heel shoes, sneakers with sock), jacket, vest or sweater, a scarf, as well as jewelry (earrings, necklace, etc.) coordinated to the outfit may be worn. Team uniforms, national costumes clothing.
3.d. The following is NOT acceptable for women players
Beach-wear slips, profanity and nude or semi-nude pictures printed on shirts, torn pants or jeans. holes, noticeable unclean clothing, sun glasses, sport caps. Revealing attire. Clothes such as denim shorts, short-shorts, cut-off shorts, gym shorts, crop tops, tank tops, and clothes made of see-through materials or clothes that expose areas of the body usually covered in the location where the event is taking place.

Note that team uniforms and national costumes are explicitly allowed. Hence the Angolan brightly coloured uniforms are explicitly allowed.

what would happen to the opponent if he had no clothes to change?

The player with the offending clothing would have to either go back to their hotel and change or go out and buy suitable clothes. This has happened in a World Cup to an over-casually dressed Canadian player and the player ended up flying home early.

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    So you could show up in a white tuxedo and top hat if you wanted to? Or a princess gown?
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 30 at 21:03
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    Whoever makes these FIDE rules, someone should tell them that some people wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the harsh glare of intense lighting. And indeed some people need telling that intense lighting hurts people's eyes.
    – Rosie F
    Jul 31 at 5:51
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    @RosieF - Indeed. And while they are at it, someone should tell the FIDE people that we are in the 21st century, in which separate dress codes for male and female players look outdated, and in which (presumably) not only men can be heads of delegation or captains. And indeed, where more genders than just female and male are recognized.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jul 31 at 7:20
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    Well, ah, they wrote out one list for women and another for men, which differ in several details. So, yes, they are separate dress codes. As for gender politics, FIDE is already getting into that by having dress codes divided by gender (let alone stipulating that women—and not men—should not wear clothing that reveals parts of the body that are usually covered in the region in which an event takes place). I am just commenting on their gender politics.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jul 31 at 10:28
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    @CarstenS If they form part of a national dress then obviously yes. For instance if the Scottish team chose to wear kilts I'm sure that would be allowed. Remember also that these rules are only for select top ranked FIDE events. They do not apply for lower level events. There is a well known male English IM who identifies as non-binary who occasionally plays in a dress in the British Championships. Nobody bats an eye.
    – Brian Towers
    Jul 31 at 16:42

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