A Short Loss When Phone Rings

  • SonofPearl
  • on 11.09.2008, 12:09.

British Grandmaster Nigel Short has become the latest player to lose as a result of his mobile phone ringing during a chess game.

Bringing a phone into the playing area of a chess tournament has been illegal under the official FIDE rules for some time, but in reality - and especially at big open events - phones are allowed, as long as they are switched off before play starts.

The relevant clause of the official rules is 12.2 (b):

It is strictly forbidden to bring mobile phones or other electronic means of communication, not authorised by the arbiter, into the playing venue. If a player`s mobile phone rings in the playing venue during play, that player shall lose the game. The score of the opponent shall be determined by the arbiter.

Since the introduction of the ban quite a few players have been caught out, notably Ruslan Ponomariov.  Nigel Short now adds his name to the list of shame.  The incident occurred in the second round at the European Union Individual Open* currently being held in Liverpool.

There was a twist in this instance however, as it has been reported that Short's phone was off and didn't ring - but it beeped because it was low on battery power!  This may have been a technicality which could have been argued upon, but Short decided to take his punishment on the chin and his opponent Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (pictured) from Scotland, rated 2448 Elo was the beneficiary.

Players at all levels will need to take care to learn from Short's misfortune.  If you must take a mobile phone with you into a tournament hall, make sure that it's switched off AND that it's well charged AND that it doesn't have any other fancy features which will cause it to burst unexpectedly into life during your game!


* A very interesting tournament and a nice tournament website - well worth a look.

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  • 8 lat temu


    Wait wait wait...phones absolutely DO NOT beep because they're low on battery if they're OFF!

    He must have had it on vibrate or something. If it was off it can't make any noise. So Short is more responsible than it seems--he should've turned it off!

  • 8 lat temu


    its just a cell phone. deal with it.

  • 8 lat temu


    good example set by Short but i think it was technical flaw in the set. When it is turned off then it should keep it mouth shut about low battery as battery is not being used.


    Power Hungry Mobile Smile

  • 8 lat temu



  • 8 lat temu


    Didn't this guy have a hotel room to leave his phone in?  Laughing

  • 8 lat temu


    cell phones suck!

    i hate them.

  • 8 lat temu


    Unfortunate for Short, I guess.

  • 8 lat temu


    During the Malaysian Open last month, two players were caught when their mobile phones rang despite having the chief arbiter reminding all players to have them switched off before the start of every round which helps... Even spectators were reminded to have the phones on silent mode. One of the unfortunate player's phone rang due to a birthday reminder..... well... best to have your battery removed.

  • 8 lat temu


    At least he wasnt playing cheparinov I guess.  This is why whenever it's really critical I have my phone off, I tend to take the battery out/off.  I know phones can turn themselves on for stuff like reminders that you didnt even know you had.  For chess though I just have it on silent and turned off. 

  • 8 lat temu


    That poor guy... my phone does the same thing... I know exactly how he feels...

  • 8 lat temu


    It's like anything else - he had his mind more on the game than leaving his phone behind - anyone could have done this.  A word of warning to us from now on.

  • 8 lat temu


    ps: Wonder if you knew your competitor's cell phone number, could you have someone dial it for you during the match - just in case he/she is packing? Or would that be too diabolical?!

  • 8 lat temu


    I got rid of my cell phone/s a long time ago - now I just use smoke signals.

  • 8 lat temu

    NM ih8sens

    Very funny... poor short.

  • 8 lat temu


     fuze, my phones spouced to off at school but I still keep it on me. I need to make calls before and after school. Nigel might be a family man and maybe makes calls to his kids or wifey before or after the match. Family member might be sick, expecting a call, and a whole bunch of other reasons.

    Diskamyl, the designers don't always think of it all. Like my phone wouldn't turn on while charging, usualy cuz it was dead... I don't understand why. So im sure theres a phone or 2 out their that does warn you that you have a low battery whent he phones off.

  • 8 lat temu


    OK. I was going to ask who had the misfortune to call him, but never mind. Is not it worst, though, for it to be a dumb low battery ring? The day your phone rings during a game is the day you wished you had not so many friends, or such over-protective parents. =P

  • 8 lat temu


    why do u need a phone on your person?

  • 8 lat temu


    I'm with diskamyl, this sounds curious...  I think it must have been that the ringer was set to silent mode, but the phone was still on.

  • 8 lat temu


    if it has to be off why even have it on you?

  • 8 lat temu


    I've seen parents getting kicked out of a tournament room because of their cell phones ringing, but usually when a player's cell phone rings the tournament director just gives them a warning, in big tournaments like that I can see it being a big problem :)

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