Chess Club members are expected to have proper game etiquette at all times. This is true whether the game is a pick-up game or a serious game, whether the game is in a tournament or in practice, regardless of location.
Before the game, players should shake hands and wish the other player a “good game.” In pick-up games, the players may determine which player plays white. In tournament games, which color each player plays is predetermined. If a chess clock is required, you will be given instructions on the time control. The player with the black pieces chooses on which side of the board the chess clock is placed.
During the game, players must remember to respect their opponent, the other players around them, and game administrators (like tournament directors and the Chess Coach). In pick-up games, players can talk to each other quietly, but talking should be kept to a minimum. In tournament games, talking should be kept to an extreme minimum. Other noises, such as foot-tapping, finger-drumming, etc. are also off limits, as they are distracting.
In a tournament game, you are encouraged to alert the tournament director if your opponent refuses to follow these common sense rules of courtesy.
Tournament games are played according to the official rules of chess as established by the US Chess Federation. You can check out more about the rules here.
It is not necessary to announce “check,” but it is not prohibited.
If you touch a piece, you must move it. This is called the touch move rule. You may adjust a piece on the board only if you announce “adjust” before you touch the piece. Also, when castling, you must move your king first.
If you touch an opponent’s piece in the act of taking it but change your mind, you must take the piece, unless, of course, it would be an illegal move. In the case of an illegal move, raise your hand for the Chess Coach or other referee to come and resolve it.
We will always be using the touch move rule. Also, there are no take-backs, either in pick-up or in tournament games. Once you make a move, unless it is an illegal move, the move stands.
Non-players are not allowed to kibhitz — to make comments on a game in progress. This includes giving advice, reacting to a move just played, or signaling in any way. Non-players are also not allowed to do anything to distract the players playing the game.
Bad attitudes, in either winning or losing, are not welcome in the Chess Club. Also, disrespect to the Chess Coach or other adults, or facilities or property will not be tolerated.
After the game, players should shake hands and congratulate each other on playing a “good game.”