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NMCO Rules and Code of Conduct

Code Of Conduct for Players, Parents, Coaches And Spectators

To make our tournaments a more positive experience for the many young players, your own child among them, and to enhance the integrity of our game, we have adopted a Code of Conduct for our playing and non-playing participants:

  1. The games are between the two players only. Parents and spectators may not interfere with games in progress. They do not have the right to make claims of rules violations in games in progress. They may not implement penalties for violations of the rules or in response to behavior by another player.

  2. Players may not receive assistance in their games from third parties or from chess-playing devices.

  3. Every person has the expectation to be treated with respect-- by the opponent, the staff and from other players, parents and coaches.

  4. Bullying, harassing, threatening or assaulting a player is unacceptable behavior.

  5. Parents and spectators are not allowed in non-spectating areas and may not remain in areas off limits to them when requested to leave by a staff member or official.

  6. No players, parents, coaches or spectators may interfere with a tournament official in the performance of their duties.

  7. Bullying, harassing, threatening or assaulting a staff member or tournament official is unacceptable behavior.

  8. Players, parents, coaches or spectators may not undertake actions detrimental to the best interests of the tournament.

  9. The penalties for violations of the above are at the discretion of the Tournament Director, and depending on the nature of the offense, may range from a warning or time penalty all the way to immediate forfeiture of a game, expulsion from the tournament and possible further sanctions issued by the New Mexico Chess Organization and the U.S. Chess Federation against a player, parent or spectator after the tournament.

  10. Players, parents or spectators who are expelled from the tournament do not have a right to remain in the meeting areas of the venue used by the tournament. If they are responsible for their own children or other minors playing in the tournament, they may be required to reassign those responsibilities to another responsible guardian; if they are unable to do so then they may be required to leave the tournament area along with any minors for whom they are responsible.

  11. It is ALLOWED for players, parents, coaches and spectators to encourage each other outside of games and be considerate, especially of those in special circumstances.

NMCO Electronic Device Rules

  • Rule #1 - Players may not possess or view, while playing, devices (cellphones or other electronic devices capable of chess analysis or communication), without permission of a Tournament Director. Devices may be stored in a bag or case that must remain at the playing table and not be opened or carried during play. See rule 10 for penalties.

  • Rule #2 - During play, stored devices must be out of sight in a bag or case and turned off (no vibrate, silent or sleep mode).

  • Rule #3 - Music players, which cannot communicate or operate software, will usually be allowed if opponent does not object. The use of a computer or phone to play music is prohibited, even if disabled so it can only play music.

  • Rule #4 - A player who possesses or views a cellphone in a bathroom, or outside the tournament area, loses the game. Other illegal devices besides cellphones in these areas also warrant this penalty, except the TD has the option of a rule 11 penalty if believing the player was unaware the device was illegal. See rule 6 for definition of tournament area. Spectators are also not allowed to possess or view devices in bathrooms. Players whose games have finished are considered spectators and may be penalized through loss of time in the next round.

  • Rule #5 - Players may not leave the tournament area (or go to a different floor of the hotel if the tournament uses multiple floors) during play without Tournament Director's permission. The tournament area consists of the tournament room(s), skittles room(s), vendor room, lecture room, and adjacent bathrooms or foyers.

  • Rule #6 - A player who wishes to make a call during play should see a Tournament Director and request permission to call.

  • Rule #7 - A player who anticipates receiving an emergency call should notify a Tournament Director at least an hour in advance and will be provided with an alternate procedure.

  • Rule #8 - If a player’s cellphone rings in the tournament room while games are in progress, there is a penalty (see rule 10). However, the player does not automatically forfeit, even if the event is FIDE rated, as FIDE rules no longer require this.  If an offending player’s game is over when the cellphone rings, the penalty shall apply to the following round.

  • Rule #9 - A player who simultaneously violates more than one rule may obtain only one penalty.

  • Rule #10 - The penalty for violating rules 1, 2, 5 or 8 is one of the following:

    •        A. The player loses the game.

    •        B. The player loses 30 minutes or 50% of remaining time, whichever is less.

    •        C. If no more than 5 moves have been played, the offender may receive a warning rather than a penalty.

    •        Note - The Tournament Director will determine the penalty, taking into consideration the details of the offense, the scores of the players, and the size of the prize fund. If there is sufficient evidence of cheating, the player will be forfeited regardless of score or prize fund, and may also be ejected from the tournament, barred from future tournaments, and/or reported to USCF for possible revocation of membership.

  • Rule #11 - Players must submit to a search for electronic devices if requested by a Tournament Director. Refusal to cooperate with a search request warrants forfeiture of game and ejection from the tournament, with no refund. 

  • Rule #12 - Electronic scoresheets are usually permitted if approved by USCF or FIDE.

  • Rule # 13 - Exceptions. To request an exception, contact Tournament Director or NMCO at least two weeks before the tournament and attach supporting documentation.

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