September 30, 2016

Carlos Oliveira Dias from Portugal is the chief arbiter at the FIDE World Youth U14, U16, U18 Championships 2016. Despite of the busy schedule and loads of work to be done during the rounds of the tournament he was kind enough to grant the official media team of the event an interview regarding the championships and his impressions about Khanty-Mansiysk. Enjoy!

The Chief Arbiter Carlos Dias (POR)

The Chief Arbiter Carlos Dias (POR)

– Carlos, you are the chief arbiter at the FIDE World Youth U14, U16, U18 tournament. What are your overall impressions from the arbiter’s point of view?

– I am very happy about my team on these World Youth Championships. All arbiters are really good and professional. I am also satisfied with the work of the organizing committee. The playing hall is super. Till now everything is running smooth. No problems at all.

– Tell us about other arbiters of the tournament. 

– Well, I am from Portugal, two arbiters are from the Great Britain. They are Lara Barnes and Alex McFarlane. We have two arbiters from Armenia, two from Belarus, one from Japan, one from Australia and the rest are from Russia. It’s quite good lot of arbiters. They are doing their job properly.

– What can you say about the quality of games during the tournament?

– We are having quite a good lot of participants here. Their level is very high and I hope in the end of the tournament we’ll have maybe three, four or five new titles. We’ll see.


– Is it more difficult to deal with children that with grown-up players?

– Actually, the difference between tournaments for children and for grown-ups is not so big. The rules are the same for everybody. But you have to be careful, because young players make some mistakes that grown-up people don’t make. But it’s more or less. Of course, we have some difference in their emotionality as well, as they are still children. But at this age it is not very big.

– Sometimes kids are very much interested in receiving some hints and advices from their coaches. What is done on this tournament to prevent them from doing this? What anti-cheating measures are used here?

– We are not taking a lot of measures about that, but we are careful about anti-cheating, of course. We are trying to avoid the contact between players and their coaches. And so far, so good. No problems. It is not like in the Olympiad. We have less rules of anti-cheating. But we are controlling the situation, of course. All electronic devices in the playing hall are prohibited. Once or twice we even went to the toilets just to check one or two players but it was ok, we didn’t find anything. In all big events like World Youth Championships and the Grand-prix we have a big gap between places for coaches and players. This is done to prevent hints from the audience. We are doing this to protect the players, nothing else.

– What is your opinion about the dress-code for players?

– I don’t think this is needed for players. At least not in this kind of events. For the players dress-code if needed only in Grand-prix, World Cups and World Championships. Besides, they are kids and almost all of the time they want to show their own clothes from their home countries. And this is ok. But as for arbiters, of course, we have our dress-code.


– Is it your first visit to Khanty-Mansiysk? What have you heard about this place before coming here and what are your impressions about the city?

– Yes, it is my first visit. Before going here I looked in the Internet trying to learn more about the city, but I was very surprised when I came here. I find this city very lovely. It is small like my city Leiria in Portugal with about 100 000 inhabitants.  People of Khanty-Mansiysk are also very nice and friendly. I have visited the Ugra Chess Academy and I liked it. I didn’t see anything like this before. I enjoy this visit very much.

– What about the organization of this tournament?

– Super! Really super! Everything is prepared well – the playing hall, the accreditation desk, the personnel that is ready to help the delegations with any issue. Everything’s going really good till now and I hope till the end as well.

– How many year are you working as an arbiter?

– I’ve started my career as an arbiter 33 years ago. I am an international arbiter since 1997, almost 20 years now. I got my “A” category 5 years ago. I am also FIDE lecturer and I am a member of the Arbiters’ Commission of the International Federation of Chess.


– Your work involves a lot of travelling all over the world. Is it difficult to have such a lifestyle?

– Yes, I travel quite a lot. Sometimes it is difficult because I miss my family. But it’s ok. They are looking forward to seeing me back from Khanty-Mansiysk with presents from Russia. I got shoes for my wife, some toys for my kids and a lighter for my father. I hope they’ll like it.

– What will be your next tournament?

– My next tournament will be in Portugal in November and I hope to be in Qatar in the end of the year for World Rapid and Blitz Championships. We’ll see.