Confused About Etiquette
By Joel Benjamin   
September 27, 2006
Hello Joel,

You likely do not remember me, but back in 1981, we had a piece of pizza for lunch together at Famous Ray's on 6th Ave and 11th St, while we were both in high school and playing in a tournament at Bar Point. Those
were the days....

Anyway, my question. I read recently that Kasparov forgot to push his clock in a game against Karpov in a WC match, and that Karpov just sat and waiting, but the stakes are somewhat higher.

What should you do when your opponent makes his/her move, and then forgets to press the clock? Should you just sit there and wait? That seems kind of unsportsmanlike. However, you are not supposed to bother/talk to your opponent during a game except to offer a draw, but is this an exception?

Confused about etiquette,

Rob Bernard
Glen Ridge, NJ

Hmm, I don't remember that happening in a K-K match. But if your opponent forgets to hit his/her clock, you might as well tell him/her. Sure, you could sit there and wait. It probably won't help you win the game. But it will definitely make your opponent angry. So unless you like to make enemies, point out your opponent's oversight.

Plus if you don't say anything and leave your opponent's clock running, he/she might just try to make another move.

While it is a bit sleazy to let the clock run in this situation (I saw it happen once in a U.S. Championship; it led to some unhealthy relations), it is not illegal to do so. So everyone out there: Do not forget to press your clock! While most opponents will be good sports, you can't count on it.

Joel Benjamin