The Campbell Report - Chess "Etiquette"
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The Campbell Report
Correspondence Chess
Chess "Etiquette"

Following is a delightful response to a serious discussion of chess etiquette in previous "The Campbell Report" columns in APCT News Bulletin. The following was first published in the March-April 1994 issue of APCT News Bulletin. -- J. Franklin Campbell

Chess "Etiquette"

[Following is the text of a ... letter received from APCT'er Richard Mangus. My wife had to come from another room to see what was "wrong" with me as I read the letter. Richard had me "rolling on the floor." Read his contribution to our discussion of chess etiquette and see what YOU think. -- J. Franklin Campbell]

There has been some discussion of chess eitquette in the bulletin lately. I thought I would offer a few do's and don'ts.

  1. In over-the board chess, if you are losing, refrain from loading your revolver before the end of the game (refrain from explaining the row of nicks on the barrel).

  2. When your opponent makes a bad move, don't sing out, "Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer!" It may disturb other players.

  3. If your opponent is a psychiatrist, don't talk to your chess pieces.

  4. After the game, cheerfully return all captured men.

  5. Don't blow kisses across the board to your opponent.

    Sometimes a tournament is played one game a week, like the Charleston, WV Chess Club Championship. To make up missed games sometimes players play a game at one player's home. In this circumstance the following advice might be useful:

  6. When playing at your home, don't show your collection of serial murderer memorabilia to your opponent.

  7. When playing a make-up game at an opponent's home and their family is present, refrain from asking, "Which one of these kids is yours?"

In postal chess:

  1. In cases of a dispute over the position, don't glue pieces to a board and mail it to your opponent collect, COD (it's OK if you pay the postage yourself).

  2. Don't tell your opponent, "I know where you live." This won't work if they have a P. O. Box anyway.

  3. On the first move, never announce mate in 20 (unless they open 1. a3).

  4. Never sign up your opponent with a book club.

  5. Never send your opponent a copy of Reinfeld's "Invitation to Chess."

Ed McMan might say this is every rule you will ever need for chess manners ... wrong, checker-breath! I'm sure there are lots of other rules, some unfit for the pages of the APCT News Bulletin! ...

p.s. One more rule of etiquette for postal or OTB: never ask your opponent if you can include one of his games in your chess book you are preparing to be titled, "Impending Chess Disasters."

Copyright © 1994, 1998 by J. Franklin Campbell