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Good Chess Etiquette and Sportsmanship

Page history last edited by Mike Games 14 years, 7 months ago

Each player is expected to demonstrate good chess ettiquette and sportsmanship.


Good Chess Sportsmanship


Definition of Sportsmanship:  Conduct and attitude considered as befitting participants in sports, especially fair play, courtesy, striving spirit, and grace in losing. 


Always be polite.  Greet your opponent on time in a pleasant way with a handshake. You may say, “it’s a pleasure to meet you, my name is…” or “I look forward to playing you” or “thank you for playing me” or something along those lines.  Never make any statement about your game expectations. Do not say anything that may offend your opponent.


Also, avoid expressions, body language or gestures that may offend.


Always follow the rules of chess. If your opponent breaks a rule and does not correct the move when asked, or you disagree about the move, ask a tournament director or person in charge to make a ruling on the situation. Do not argue with your opponent.


Following a match, be a good loser or winner.  Either way, thank your opponent for a good game with a handshake.  If you lost, consider this to be a good learning opportunity and analyze what you might have done different, preferably with your opponent.  This is much more productive than getting upset. Remember, you can learn more from a single loss than from many wins, and when you learn you really win. If you won the game, make no statement about having won or celebrate in front of your opponent.  Simply thank them for a good game with a handshake.


Good Chess Etiquette


Definition of Etiquette:  conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.



  • Always greet and welcome new players to the club so that they feel comfortable.  Ask them if they want to play a game.
  • When an experienced player plays a beginner, it is considered good sportsmanship to help the new player by pointing out better moves and letting them take their moves back.  Teach them how to beat you.
  • Always leave the chess room as neat, or neater, than you found it.
  • Keep your hands to yourself.  This is not a time for running around, picking up or poking at your friends.
  • At all times be respectful and considerate of the other chess club members and the game of chess.





  • Every game should begin and end with the players shaking hands and either wishing each other “good game” or congratulating each other for playing a good game.
  • Never gloat over a victory or have a temper tantrum over a defeat (even if you're just mad at yourself).
  • Talking should be kept to a minimum.  Chess is a game of concentration and a quiet atmosphere is necessary.
  • Never comment on another game that is in progress, it distracts the other players and is considered to be rude behavior (this is called kibhitzing). 
  • If you make a mistake or you see someone else make a mistake don't fall off your chair or make a "Doh" kind of noise.  It might be that your opponent will not notice your mistake if you play quietly.
  • Never touch your opponents' piece unless you are taking it from the board.
  • Never, ever accuse your opponent of something they didn't do or lie about your move in order to save a piece.  Chess is a game of honor.
  • Don't knock over pieces before you take them.  This is considered rude behavior.
  • If you need to adjust a piece, you must first say, "adjust" before you touch it. 
  • If you touch a piece (without saying "adjust"), you must move it.  The only exceptions to this rule are:  1) If you are in check and must move your king out of danger or 2) The piece you touched cannot be legally moved.
  • Once you remove your hand from the piece, you cannot move it to another location unless you have made an illegal move.
  • If you disagree with what your opponent has done and believe he/she has made an illegal move, raise your hand and ask for help.
  • You do not have to say "check". 
  • At the end of the game, shake hands with your opponent, hand them their pieces and then reset the board.


Each player is expected to demonstrate good chess ettiquette and sportsmanship.


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