Eating at the board

A partial list of foods consumed by various contestants during the Sacramento Chess Championship last weekend:

  • Mini-cinnamon bun
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Granola bar
  • Roast beef sandwich
  • Pita chips
  • Keebler Town House crackers
  • Pretzel rods
  • Chocorooms (I did not make this up)
  • dry Froot Loops
  • Chocolate cookies

Not sure if any chessplayers still read here but… Let us debate.

Isn’t a “no food at the board” policy common? Was that an east-coast thing? Or a major-tournaments-only thing?

I can’t remember ever playing a tournament where people routinely set up a box of snacks next to their board and start munching on move one.

As a player do you find this accommodating or irritating?

On the one hand, games can be 5 hours long and exhausting. On the other, games are supposed to be quiet and non-disruptive…

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7 thoughts on “Eating at the board

  1. Wasn’t there a no-eating-at-the-board rule at Metrowest named after one of the chief offenders?

    I think eating at the board is a significant potential distraction that should be outlawed. Except in G/5 events, which I think should (within reason) be pretty much “anything goes.”

      1. I don’t recall an actual name being given to our no-eating rule, but I recall the incident that sparked it vividly. There was a young player (I honestly forget his name now) eating Crunchy Cheetos® (with the requisite crinkly bag) in the row behind IM Igor Foygel’s game one night. For those who don’t know him, Igor is about the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. After about 45 minutes, Igor spun around and said out loud, in his low, heavily Russian accented voice, “Will you STOP… eating those damn… CHEETOS!”

        We instituted the no-eating rule the next month.

        Amateur Team East explicitly had a no-food rule this year, but it’s the first time I remember them announcing it.


  2. Ew.

    I usually bring a Clif bar and around move 40 I get up and gobble it down AWAY FROM THE PLAYING AREA.

    1. I don’t want to discourage anyone from presenting a dissenting opinion but I’m wit’ you, man.

      But seriously it was routine at this event. This must be a known and accepted thing.

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