The purpose of this code of conduct is to ensure that the members of the Club and any person playing in it, or organising any Club-sanctioned activity, conduct themselves in a sporting and fair manner at all times.
This, in turn, should lead to a greater quality in the participation of players thus making chess at our Club a more enjoyable activity. The more enjoyment that can be derived from playing at the Club, the more likely it is that players will continue their involvement in chess and the greater chance that new players will be attracted to our Club.
While not every circumstance can be addressed, this code seeks to identify general areas of conduct which are inappropriate and liable to disciplinary action being taken by the Club. The nature of the disciplinary action may vary depending on the deemed level of misconduct.
1. Understand and play by the rules
Understanding and playing by the rules is your responsibility. The rules of chess, as set out by FIDE, exist for good reasons and if everyone learns and abides by them then this will ensure the enjoyment of all people involved in chess. You should also comply with rules set by the Club Committee. If you consistently or seriously break the rules you must accept that there will be consequences for you.
2. Respect referees and club officials
Referees and club officials (such as members of the Committee) have a difficult task to perform and you could not play the game or run the Club without them. Referees are there to enforce the rules of play but, like all people, they cannot always be right. Accept their decisions graciously. Club officials run the Club on a volunteer basis, so please treat them accordingly. You have the right to appeal the decisions of referees and officials and if you use this right, do so without causing problems. Abuse of referees or officials is unacceptable behaviour. You must accept the decision of the players appeal committee - failure to do so will be seen as a serious breach of this code of conduct.
3. Verbal abuse
Verbal abuse of officials is a serious offence against the rules of chess. Verbally abusing other players or deliberately distracting or provoking an opponent is also not acceptable. Loss of temper is not only unpleasant for other participants in the game, it can also distract you and have an adverse effect on your concentration and effectiveness at the board. It will also distract other players nearby.
4. No smoking or consumption of alcohol
There is no smoking and no alcohol allowed on the premises. Persons may smoke outside the entrance to the Club. It is prohibited to enter the Club while under the influence of alcohol.
5. Be a good sport
Part of participation in sport is respect for all participants in the game. Your opponents are entitled to proper courtesy. Good manners and respect for others can be infectious. If you acknowledge the achievements of your opponents it is likely they will follow suit. Always introduce yourself to your opponents, shake hands before and after the game and accept a loss gracefully.
6. Be respectful during the game
It is important to give each and every opponent proper respect during the game as well as before and after it. Everyone can be late for the odd game but players who are consistently late for games may be considered disrespectful to their opponents. Players not paying attention to the game by reading at the board, listening to music at the board (even through earphones) or in any other way displaying disinterest in the game may also be considered disrespectful. Don’t engage in psychological tricks such as staring at the opponent while he is thinking, coughing across the table at them, or intentionally failing to properly adjust your pieces. If you have a cold, blow your nose rather than sniff loudly – this distracts the entire playing hall.
7. Be respectful towards all members and guests
Everyone at the Club is expected to display a common level of respect and civility towards all of the Club’s members and guests. Regardless of their gender, ability, cultural background, religion or other factor irrelevant to the game, all persons connected with Chess are entitled to equal treatment and respect. Harassment, for whatever reasons, is unacceptable. This includes making unsolicited approaches to members and guests for money, cigarettes and other things. Avoid any remarks that could be construed as offensive or discriminatory. Sometimes even a joke may give offence.
8. We owe a special duty of care to Children in Chess
Everyone involved in any way in Melbourne Chess Club owes a special duty of care to children who play the game. Anyone who neglects this duty will be in serious breach of this code. Any form of abuse of any child, be it verbal or physical, will be viewed as the most serious breach of this code of conduct and will be dealt with in the harshest possible manner.
9. Always respect the use of facilities and venues provided
Facilities, equipment and venues provided by the Melbourne Chess Club and other organisers cost money and need to be respected by all users of the Club. Failure to do so will be considered a serious breach of the code of conduct. This includes a responsibility of all users of the facilities to clean up after themselves, whether it be litter brought to the Club, use of the Club’s utensils or other matters relating to hygiene and cleanliness.
10. Utilising the Melbourne Chess Club
Anyone using the Club premises for non-chess related or personal purposes will be subject to disciplinary action. No persons are authorised to be on the premises between 1am and 9am. Attendance at the Club during these hours will be deemed to be not chess related. No person may sleep in the club. The Committee may approve non-chess activities from time to time.