Electronic Device Policy

  1. While playing, players may not possess or use cellphones or other electronic devices capable of chess analysis or communication, without permission of a Tournament Director/Arbiter (TD). A player possessing or using an electronic device during play without permission of a TD will be penalized.
  2. US Chess approved electronic score keeping devices are permitted at the discretion of the TD in US Chess rated only sections, not FIDE rated sections.
  3. During play all electronic devices, except those specifically permitted to be used by a TD, or exempted by rule 2, must be stored out of sight in a bag or case, etc. and must be completely turned off, not put into vibrate, silent, sleep, airplane mode or something similar. The bag or case must remain at the playing table while the game is in progress.
  4. A player whose electronic device makes an audible noise in the tournament room while a game is in progress will be penalized. If the offending player’s game is over, the penalty shall apply to the following round.
  5. The penalty for violating these rules may be any of the following:
    1. The player is forfeited.
    2. 30 minutes or 50% of the remaining time, whichever is less, is deducted from the player’s clock.
    3. If no more than 5 moves have been played, the offender may receive a warning rather than a penalty.

The TD will determine the penalty, taking into consideration the details of the offense and the scores of the players. A second offense will generally result in forfeit. If there is evidence of cheating, the player will be forfeited and usually ejected from the tournament with no refund.

A single penalty is generally applied for simultaneous violation of multiple rules. For example, a player penalized for using a cell phone is not also penalized for having it visible.

  1. A player who needs to make a phone call during play should see a TD and request permission to do so. A player who anticipates possibly receiving an emergency call should notify a TD at least one hour in advance and will usually be provided with an alternate number for the caller.
  2. The TD may ask to inspect a player’s clothes, bags, personal items, or to scan the player using an electronic device scanner. The TD will make every effort possible to respect the player’s privacy and sensitivity while ensuring the integrity of the game. Declining to cooperate with a search request may result in forfeit of game and ejection from the tournament with no refund.
  3. While games are in progress, spectators may not possess or use cellphones or other electronic devices capable of chess analysis or communication within the playing area. Spectators with such devices will be asked to leave.