November 08, 2011 17:50

ECU General Assembly accepts anti-draw and dress code rules

ECU General Assembly accepts anti-draw and dress code rules

From January 1st, 2012 a draw offer before move 40 will be forbidden during official ECU events, and there will be a dress code. This was the main result of the ECU General Assembly, held in Porto Carras, Greece on November 5th, 2011 on the occasion of the 18th European Team Championship. ECU President Silvio Danailov and ECU Board members as well as delegates from 48 countries (members of the European Chess Union) were present at the meeting.

The ECU Board, L-R: Honorary President Boris Kutin, Deputy President Tomasz Sielicki, President Silvio Danailov and Secretary General Sava Stoisavljevic | Photo © ECU

According to the decision made at the extraordinary General Assembly in Aix-les-Bains in March 2011, ECU President Silvio Danailov established committees for the 'Sofia rule', a 'dress code for participants and officials in the ECU competitions' and for 'copyrights on the use of chess games from the ECU competitions'. According to a report on the ECU website,

The important decisions were made concerning the Dress code as well as the rule which states that in the official ECU competitions it will not be possible to offer a draw before the 40th move. The decisions will come into effect starting from January 01, 2012.

The copyrights issue doesn't get further mention in the ECU report, because it wasn't accepted by the General Assembly. Further details were given by Evgeny Bareev at the website of the Russian Chess Federation. Here's a bit of what Colin McGourty translated at WhyChess:

An ECU Commission had prepared suggestions for copyrighting games, but ultimately came to the conclusion that the issue still needs to be worked out by lawyers, as each European country has its own laws that often differ greatly. It was mentioned that another 2-3 years would be needed for that.

Here's our archive for articles about copyright:

The most recent article reported about the court case won by Chessbase, and lost by, well, Danailov. In May 2010 the Bulgarian Chess Federation, after organizing the Anand-Topalov World Championship match, took Chessbase to court for "violating copyright rules". Chessbase had transmitted the moves of the match live on their Playchess server, without permission of the Bulgarians. However, a court in Berlin rejected all demands of the Bulgarian Chess Federation.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


noyb's picture

Time to start boycotting ECU events. Dress code, whatever, I like players wearing suits, but telling a player when they can and can't offer draws is BRAVO SIERRA.

SadTruth's picture

Dresscode? Oh shiatt we are all screwedd.

stevefraser's picture

In America the major sports NFL, NBA, and MLB all have dresscodes....but most of their fans are not adolescent fixated shut-ins. I want to see the world champ appearing in tabloid mags with a hot blonde porn star hanging on him....or perhaps getting arrested for "brandishing" a gun outside a strip club a 2 about great PR.

bondegnasker's picture

So do I have to wear a tie now? Or can I wear a dress instead?

Szoker's picture

Dress code ?

for real ?


Rudy's picture

Am I the only one who's getting fed up with these no-draw-before-move-X kind of rules? If you don't want that players aim for a short draw then don't reward them both with 1/2 point.
If both players instead 'earn' zero points for a draw there is no reason to not play on. Problem solved.

Narayanan's picture

True and good point

Knighk's picture

If the position will reach a dead draw state (e.g. K vs K), then they will have both zero points. What a genius you are to have points like that. A better way is to let them play for shorter time if the classical game is drawn (e.g., a blitz game or the Armageddon directly to save time).

Rudy's picture

Why exactly is this better? Again you're rewarding players for a draw, albeit with a blitz/armageddon game.

Bernd's picture

A draw is better than a loss, so awarding zero points for a draw is nonsense.
Why not accept that the draw is part of the game? If you don't like it watch poker instead. To avoid *short*, or even *pre-arranged* draws is a different matter. This is a question of the players' character, prize money and extra rules like the "Sofia rule".

Thomas Richter's picture

I guess the European Championship is an official ECU event. It's a Swiss open with amateurs rated 2000 or below on the lower boards - dress code for everyone??

And which one of these two players would be penalized?

KingTal's picture

Depends on the dress code. ;)

Stephen's picture

Both, because the game was drawn two moves later.

Mike's picture

And if I and my opponent we decide to play our game under some sort of free license like GPL, Copyleft and so on? I think Copyright in Chess should be allowed but NOT mandatory for all.

Michael Lubin's picture

Anti-draw si, dress code no! I loved the old days in chess, where it didn't matter if somebody showed up in a rumpled shirt and faded jeans, because THE MATHEMATICS OF THE BOARD ARE ALL THAT MATTER. If you make the right moves, who cares even if you look like a monkey?

peter visser's picture

Dress code? Ridiculous. It's 2011, remember.

Mike's picture

Even in chess the liberals are taking over!. When I play a game of chess,its between me and my opponent,if we want a draw its our decision NOT some politician!!. A dress code ?, insane!!!!.

ghosh's picture

Liberals are for more freedom. This rule is the opposite of liberalism.

freakclub's picture

Does this mean I won't be seeing Grischuk playing chess in a dark colored t-shirt again?

RealityCheck's picture

That's right, no T-Shirts but there's nothing stopping him from growing his Dred-Locks back.

deadeurope's picture

screw ECU, dresscode? copyright? these totally retarded decisions make them look like an official of the corrupt EU.

Michel83's picture

Dress-code? That's revolutionary!
I'm sure they needed many extensive meetings and debates for this highly important matter. I'm very glad they are spending time on it, that's exactly what this commitee should be there for! For next year I propose to discuss the colors of the ties (in a conference hall in a very expensive hotel of course).

Anonymous's picture

Going by all the short draws I've seen in the current European Team Championship, most of which probably came about due to a desire for extra rest days by one or both players and a lack of confidence by the other or both players (if you don't want to play because you're afraid of your opponent perhaps you should just resign instead), and my personal lack of interest in such passive draws, I find having to actually PLAY the games you're SUPPOSED TO PLAY (for 40 moves, anyway) much better. It's all good and well to let amateurs draw whenever they please, but events like this surely are funded in large part by the expectation that real games will be played that interest the audience (whoever that may be). Perhaps many in that audience don't care about getting only half as many interesting games as there otherwise might be, but I personally do care. If you're a professional you should play, should you not? Perhaps better incentives (such as some money for each win a player achieves) would also help.

Stephen's picture

In team competitions a draw is often a strategic result. Without it, you might as well do away with team competitions.

tanc's picture

The ECU's official dress code is to follow this man:

The next ECU meeting's agenda is to force all participants to dance like this man before the start of each game:

Alexander's picture

Somebody should have proposed an anti-Danailov code instead.

Zeblakob's picture

This iz a very light revolution: they try to make a heaven in the hole of the chicken. Classical chess must be banned and replaced by random chess, at least in an incremental way.

Joe's picture

Actually a dresscode makes pretty much sense for anything aiming to be professional, or so it seems to me. Can anyone provide me with some arguments why to bash this so much without any reasoning? Just curious...

peter visser's picture

Next step is a uniform...

monoceros4's picture

Then we'll be deprived of the humor in seeing Vassily Ivanchuk show up to play in pink trousers.

Frits Fritschy's picture

I would like to know the contents of this dress code. Bareev on says no more than: 'from now on chess players will be asked to dress neat and tidily'. That doesn't sound too bad.
There is an extensive article (in Dutch) on chess and dress on Two arguments there that can make you look differently on dress codes in general:
- T-shirts with political messages can disturb your opponent (even when you're right). The famous example is the Gulko-shirt that IGM Van der Wiel once wore against USSR opponents.
- Sponsor names can conflict with the interests of tournament organizers. For instance, Tata organizers wouldn't be pleased with a participant advocating U.S. Steel on his shirt during their tournament.

By the way, quoting Dutch representative Hamers in this article, there seems to be no intention to force players to wear a tie in ECU-events.
Anyone has a text of this dress code?

Sander's picture

God forbid we should dress neatly and tidily.

Frits Fritschy's picture

There is a difference between 'should' and be 'asked for'. That's why I would like to see the text of this dress code.

ghosh's picture

What's the big deal about the dress code? Name a single professional sport (other than chess) where this is not required. (At least for the top level events.)

>> God forbid we should dress neatly and tidily.


Alexander's picture

"Actually a dresscode makes pretty much sense for anything aiming to be professional, or so it seems to me. Can anyone provide me with some arguments why to bash this so much without any reasoning? Just curious.."

As far as I'm concerned, I'm not opposed to dress code because I wouldn't want to see players dressed "neatly and tidily". I am against it because dressing appropriately is not a rule to be enforced, but rather a matter of good manners. It simply goes without saying that players should show up in proper and clean clothing, and when you think about it, it's actually quite rare to see a player failing to do so. When good manners and etiquette become an object of explicit regulation, bureaucracy triumphs over common sense. And I'm afraid the dress code is just a comic side of the problem. Banishing draws before move 40 stems from the same illusion, i.e. that playing exciting chess could be incited by the regulation. The only thing we'll get from this nonsense is a few more awkwardly clothed players and a lot of bad games, won over trivial mistakes in drawn positions.

L8 4 tea 's picture

1- What willl be the penalty for not following the dress code?
2- Who will have the responsibility of deciding whether a player is or is not following the dress code?

Wild Billl's picture

The last person in the world to lecture any one on what is "professional" is Silvio Danailov, the author of toiletgate.

Tony's picture

1. Dress codes can be abused on both sides. Income is also a factor in these thingss so care should always be taken. Requiring Anand to pay for a suit is very different than requiring a poor country's players who scrape together funds to fly to an event pay for one.
2. Copyrighting chess moves is basically impossible. It would also require copyright of all text descriptions of sporting events as well. Newspaper, television reports, blogs all would be effected. How would you describe a brilliant move in chess other than with a game score?

YourName's picture

I welcome dress codes. I demand short dresses wwith plunging necklines for all attractive 20-something, single female chessplayers.

fen 's picture

Not funny :(

Anonymous's picture

Is there any professional sport where the players can where whatever they please?
I think a dress code is good for the promotion of the great sport of chess.

Anonymous's picture

typo: where should be spelled wear

Yetispotter's picture

I'm still gonna wear my "Tintin in Tibet" t-shirt!

Johnny's picture

A dress code makes the pitch to sponsors more attractive. A sponsor who is putting up money for a chess tournament would prefer to have well-dressed players. It adds to the class and prestige, and "image" of the event. The sponsor is probably prefers to be perceived as classy and prestigious itself, so just imagine the winner of a big tournament accepting his trophy unshaven with holes in his jeans and a purple mickey mouse t-shirt. It would make the whole tournament look like a farce or a joke. These are not just random or arbitrary decisions, guys.

RealityCheck's picture

If FIDE plan to enforce the dress for success code they should offer to the players some training on how to dress; how to appraise a good fitting suit, how to tie a Tie properly (polyester clip-ons should be forbidden) and how to starch and iron a dress shirt.

Just putting some clean clothes on a chess players back is no guarantee they won't appear on stage looking like a slob or a dork.

I personally like free style... You like wrinkled shirts, bring 'em to the table, you like dred-locks twist one for me, you like mini-skirts bring two or three...

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