Two rules that stood out to me are: 21E. The Playing Director. Essentially this rule states that the TD must not only be absolutely objective, but he/she "should not direct and play in the same tournament." Of course the USCF notes that club events are a different animal, but notes that even in a club event one should not direct and play if it involves substantial prizes. Further, though, a "player/director" who must devote time to a dispute in another game may stop his or her own clock during this period. It is pretty clear that the clock is only to be stopped when the "player" who is also a "director" can stop the clock, but only and only if he or she is devoting time to resolving a dispute in another game. There must be a dispute in another game in the same tournament for the "player" to stop the clock when that "player" is acting as a "director". There are no other times the clock should be stopped, unless, of course there is a dispute in the game the "player/TD" is involved in, but then there must be another person who acts as a TD to resolve that dispute. In all my years of playing, and that is over 30 years, rated games are to be taken seriously and should seriously follow these rules as it concerns the clock. It would seem to me if the clock is stopped for any other reason during a rated game, that game should be void as a rated game. There is no rule to that effect and I am not purposing it, but rather I am expressing my opinion on the matter. In other words, if you don't want to play by the rules, don't start a game that you want to be rated and make sure everyone involved in the game understands the seriousness of the game being played.
This brings us to a second point on tampering with clocks which is to be found on the USCF site under the Code of Ethics: Standards of Conduct 6b: Cheating in a game of chess is illegal.....(and consists of) tampering with clocks. This, of course, has a lot to do with purposely slowing or speeding up the clock to one player's advantage over the other, but also includes removing the clock from the playing area, stopping the clock when there is no dispute as Rule 21E points out and also applies to those who are only players in a rated game. The clock is to "run" unless there is a formal dispute. Stopping it once the game starts and the clock is punched signifying the start of the game, it is not to be stopped unless there is a formal dispute. Keep this in mind the next time you want to play a rated game and don't take a rated game as a trivial matter. To those outside the chess world/culture this is a trivial matter, but to those who take the game very seriously and are concerned with its integrity, it is not a trivial matter. However, if you just want to play for fun and it does not involve rating the game, then have fun and play chess under the spirit of the game and good sportmanship and you need not worry about my rants as if you would anyway.
A final note, of course, this blog like the others are intended only as food for thought and does not reflect the viewpoints of every member of the Club or its officers.