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Most of these arguments have NOTHING to do with Legal Moves

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Saturday, 15 March 2014, at 4:57 a.m.

In Response To: Most of these arguments have NOTHING to do with Legal Moves (Art Grater)

The reason it is wrong to allow two players to make an agreement to play any rules that are different from the tournament rules (unless they have permission from the TD) is this:

1. It is not a level playing field. With different rules, some players are playing "easier" matches, shorter matches, or matches that do not reflect what the competition is supposed to be;

2. If some players make a private agreement to change the rules and there is a problem, the TD can hardly be expected to make a fair ruling, as the tournament director has every expectation that the tournament rules are in force.

3. If you allow players to change the NLM rule, where do you draw the line?

4. Having players play differently is confusing to spectators and is unsettling.

5. If you play one set of rules at one table and another at the next table, people get confused. It creates problems.

6. Agreeing to rules that are not a part of the formal tournament rules, in itself that creates great problems. When you play by the tournament rules, they are written out and the application is clear. If you agree to play LM or NLM and those rules are not specifically written out, it is a real problem. Both players, in their mind, might not even think they are playing the same rules. The terms mean different things to different people.

Let me give you a specific example. Let's say people agree to play LM. That means you are supposed to correct any wrong play of either opponent you see it. But can you correct it after the other player rolls, or not? If you do correct it after the other player rolls, does his roll stand or does he roll over? Can you correct it after the other player rolls, moves, and then picks up his dice? If the error is found then, does the roll and the move go over?

I have my opinion on what the rule should be, but what if my opponent does not agree with me as to how we are playing it. How is a dispute handled then? You can't even call on the TD to make a ruling because he doesn't know what was agreed to, and the players didn't really completely agree. If you stick to the tournament rules, it is clear what the rules are and the intent of the rules are and how the TD should rule. (I overstated this, because in the ABT, for years, we have had many rules that are unclear and even rules that different tournament directors interpret and rule differently, and that's another reason I have been in favor of rule revisions and rewrites and clarifications for the past 20 years.)

Art, it sounds lovely to say that people should be free to choose and have options. But that is not the way tournaments are supposed to be run because that does not allow for a level playing field.

Please show me just ONE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR that agrees that at his tournament the players are free to revise any rule they want to without his permission, and then I will concede that maybe you have a point in some strange cases.

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