Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Realities and the USCF Rule Book

In the 1970's the USCF rule book was about 1/4 an inch thick; today it's closer to 2 inches thick. In thirty five years the USCF legislated a whole lot of things that used to fall under the discression of the director. I don't really know if things are better now.

Granted it now contains the FIDE rules as there was an attempt to merge the two systems a while back. But as with all American standardizing institutions we Americans know better than the rest of the world. Our common system of measurements, presidential election system, ANSI vs ISO, football vs football, etc. etc. prove this.

In addition the USCF book contains some facts you won't find anywhere else: example, Paul Morphy was the first chess world champ.

Comparing the USCF to FIDE rulebook you will see that there is one major underlying difference of perspective. For FIDE there are many more opportunities for the director to intervene in a game without being invited. In America/USCF most situations require a claim to be made by either player. So FIDE seems more fascist while USCF seems to rely on player initiation.

In a chess game contestant conditions of everything is equal except for color,. it's mano-a-mano and most games are resolved without any outside intervention. Why should a director come barging in if not invited? Does that type of officiating help chess? Granted the director should use initiative if there is disruption or harassment going on. I have seen situations where rules were broken but the offended party was not going to make a claim. They just don't want to get themselves disturbed, they feel it could possibly be a ruse to upset their Karma.

BTW many of these types come from a way back when rules were thin (and have USCF id's beginning with #1001.....) having had to deal with smoke being legally blown in their faces during games.

Most directors will tell you that in time scrambles, as the space time continuum dissolves, pieces and kings go where none have gone before, unnoticed, unclaimed.

So what are your feelings about USCF vs FIDE rules? Should the director be more intervening, or educational, or more disconnected? What are some USCF facts in the rule book that are just wrong?

Please comment. 02-19-2008 Mike Griffin

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