Compared with the 2020 edition, there are two new chapters. One deals with online regulations including a section by Ken Regan about his anti-cheating tool.
We recommend all arbiters and tournament organisers to read that chapter immediately and refresh their memory by working through the rest of the manual carefully during the next few weeks before over the board play returns.
Tim Harding is now a FIDE Arbiter, following the ratification of title applications at June 2020's quarterly FIDE Council (held online). Tim received his certificate from FIDE on 10 August last year but, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is still awaiting an opportunity to act in this capacity.
Once he has been completely vaccinated he hopes it will be possible to assist in running tournaments.
Tim's title now shown on his FIDE Profile and on the list of arbiters by country posted by the Arbiters Commission.
In September 2018 Tim became a FIDE-licensed National Arbiter, having completed his qualification in August 2018. He immediately began the process of earning norms for the much more important FIDE Arbiter title.
As a FIDE Arbiter Tim will be qualified to act as a chief arbiter or deputy arbiter in most classes of tournament in which international titles may be earned. National Arbiters are qualified to run FIDE-rated non-title tournaments and officiate as an assistant at more important events.
At present Tim is not in a position, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, to act as an arbiter but hops to be fully vaccinated by the end of May after which he will be available to officiate at some tournaments if Irish government regulations permit them to be held during the summer and autumn. .
Last month (February 2021) FIDE announced that every Arbiter, Trainer, and Organiser must confirm their activity status by filling a form that would be available on its website starting from the 1st of March, until the 31st of October, 2021. (As of today, though, there is still no sign of this!)
The announcement said that details will be circulated to all federations in March, and active arbiters should ensure they respond by the end of September once the form goes live.
Tim's final qualification was earned when the Irish Chess Union organised a FIDE Arbiter Seminar, early in 2020, which was conducted by International Arbiter and FIDE lecturer Alex McFarlane from Scotland. Attending one of these and passing the exam with a score of at least 80 per cent is an essential requirement, and Tim passed top of the class with a score in the 90s.
Nine of the 16 the candidates attending the seminar passed the exam; one was an Italian IA doing the course as a referesher and one was a Norwegian arbiter. Two of the non-Irish arbiters who passed the exam are actually resident here.
Tim intends to resume arbiting in the second half of 2021 or at latest 2022 in order to work towards the highest title of International Arbiter. This can only happen when over-the-board chess is able to return to something like normal.