Thursday, May 21, 2009

Black has preference; better have a damn good chess board!

Last week at the local club I overheard a conversation where one of our players asked a TD about proper etiquette and rules regarding players who draw Black; concerning preference of chess sets and game clocks.

As most of us know, Black does have the preference of using a certain chess set over another set, as long as Black is at the board before playing time and White has not set up an acceptable regulation set. Black also has the preference to determine which side of the chess board the game clock is to be placed. However, concerning clocks; if one clock is digital with a delay versus a non-delay clock, then the clock with the proper delay is used. If both clocks are digital with a delay, then Black has preference of choice.

All pretty much standard stuff as most of us know, but I have to admit; if I’m playing White and Black insists on using his old crumpled up vinyl board where pieces have to do a balancing act from move to move, or if the chess board comes with blue or red colored squares that act painfully upon my eyes, I will put up a stink and I will demand a better setting or traditional board!

Bobby Fischer was quite the anal person when it came to the conditions of his playing environment. I guess you could say the same thing about me when comes down to the conditions of a chess board.