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I just received a curiously worded tournament press release from MonRoi, an entity of which I was previously unaware. The 10-player round robin with six GMs starts on January 15 in Montreal. Perhaps more interesting than the field is the MonRoi broadcast system that will be used for the first time in an international event. Each player gets a palm PC-looking device to record the moves instead of using a paper scoresheet. This "ECM" transmits the moves over a wireless network to a central PC. In turn the games can be broadcast online.

Problems are inevitable as with any new system, but I guess this is a step in the right direction. It still seems strange to have the players recording the moves at all when electronic boards are increasingly prevalent. Wireless boards are in the works. One advantage of the MonRoi concept is that each player keeps his little computer, which stores many games. The potential for abuse is not trivial, although not as great as the potential for errors.



Years ago I thought of a little machine with just a few keys (for rank/file/piece, etc) that would typewrite the moves quietly (thermal printing or something like that).

Sometimes I can't read my scoresheets, or I mis-identify the ranks from my own point of view (i.e. I write Nf3 instead of Nf6 if I'm Black)

But in the end, I wonder about the reliability. Pen and paper don't fail so easily.

Oh, problems are definitely inevitable here, though I don't know about the chances for abuse. If you're referring to funky or spurious flag claims, etc., though, then I agree.

There are some things that can't really benifit from electronics, and keeping the score of a chess game is one of them. I can picture the number of games lost to the record because someone can't figure out how to write their score on one of these, even with keypads. (Though the player could always claim that the game was lost under a mess of Grafitti.) Or battery failure during long games. And unless they've overridden the auto shut-off function (you're talking Palm-like, so I'm assuming PalmOS here), there's gonna be all sorts of grief when someone gets in a time crunch and doesn't notice his unit is dark while he's punching moves. (It can happen.) No, I'm not normally a troglodyte, but paper scores are definitely better in this case.

I don't understand how this can be superior to the sensory boards. Didn't Steinitz and Zuckertort have a guy recording the moves while they just played?
Isn't it better to just play or is it like golf that the walking is part of the game? Is the recording part of a game of chess? I don't think so...

Firstly MonRoi had a stand at last Olympiad.

Secondly from the tech specs I can read that this is a proprietary operating system (not Palm OS or Windows Mobile and this distinction is important for a couple of features the device has like the protection against abuse).

The processor is ARM7 which means it might as well be like a Pocket PC



Take a look on MonRoi's website for more details.

Electronic Chess Manager (ECM)

Tournament information

From ChessCafe Geurt Gijssen's collumn An Arbiter's NoteBook

We again had extensive discussions about mobile phones. The following was
agreed: If a player’s mobile rings in the playing venue, then this player shall
lose the game. The arbiter shall ensure that all the players are informed in
advance of this rule.

A personal observation: But there is more to mention. It is my opinion that it
must be forbidden to bring mobile phones into the playing venue at all. With
the new technology it is possible to use the mobiles to get a lot of information,
even about actual positions on the board. The problem is how to check it that
players do not bring them into the playing hall. We probably need to use
metal detectors in the top tournaments. The second problem is the mobile
phones brought in the playing hall by spectators. It is very clear that a request
at the entrance of the playing hall to switch off mobiles phones is not
Let me return to the meeting of the Rules and Tournament Regulations
Mrs. Brana Malobabic from the Monroi Company in Canada demonstrated an
electronic device, which in her opinion saves some time, when players use it
instead of a score sheet. The Committee made some comments and expressed
its enthusiasm for each development in chess which might benefit of the
game. Mrs. Malobabic promised to investigate the possibility of organising a
tournament in Canada using this electronic device.

More harmfull than MonRoi's ECM might be that some cell phones are coming with Windows Mobile capability.


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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 10, 2005 11:53 PM.

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