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Opponent handling checkers on your turn

Posted By: Taper_Mike
Date: Tuesday, 10 June 2014, at 11:31 p.m.

In Response To: Opponent handling checkers on your turn (Jason Lee)

Thanks for bringing up this subject. It has been a pet peeve of mine for a while. Touching the board, dice, or checkers when it is not your turn is more than just a trivial infraction of the rules. It is a serious problem. Here are two of the reasons why:

  1. It is possible that a player might accidentally jostle nearby checkers while reaching for a checker that must be hit. It is bad enough when the player on roll does this. We donít need an opponent doing it.
  2. It interrupts a playerís train of thought when his opponent begins moving pieces on the board. Whatever a player is thinking must go on hold, so that he can observe his opponentís actions, and make sure that no checkers are moved to illegal locations.

This second point can be a serious issue in a clocked match. During the recent Chicago Open, I saw one well-respected player frequently picking lint off the surface of the board when an opponent took longer than normal to contemplate a move. Such an action interrupts the flow of a playerís thoughts, and will sometimes force a player to waste clock time while retracing them.

Straightening the checkers causes the same problem. Hitting the clock and fixing checker alignment afterwards is illegal, but when it occurs in one continuous movement, it is not a serious distraction. When a player waits, however, until his opponent has rolled and begun to consider his move, and then begins to straighten the checkers, it is a problem.

I like Jasonís solution. I hope he is stopping the clock during his polite explanations. That should irk an opponent enough to get his attention.


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