Tournament Mobile Phone Rule

In chess tournaments there are restrictions on “mobile phones” or “cell phones” or “smart phones”. And similar devices as well. The original rules used to be ones of courtesy, whereby you could have such a device on your person, but you forfeited the game immediately if the phone rang. The issue was the noise. If the phone rang on vibrate mode, it was kind of a grey area of the rules!

The more recent rules have centered around the rise of smartphones, and the fact that you can have a super-computer in your pocket. There have been some cases of suspected cheating by people using computerized chess apps on their phones, which they reviewed in the toilet. So recent rules may not even allow phones (or similar devices) on your person, or perhaps even in your bags. The exact rules vary by tournament code.

This is not the only anti-cheating rule. The official referees have a lot of discretion in this area. There are older rules against verbal cheating (e.g. your friend suggesting a move) and also against the use of any written chess materials. These rules apply to all the old-timers (over-30’s?) who wouldn’t know how to launch an app anyway.

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