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View Full Version : King capture bug in made/completed provisions?



Kevin Bonham
29-12-2006, 01:10 AM
A contributor to Gijssen's column on ChessCafe, Martin Norback (Sweden) has ingeneously attempted to expose a hole in FIDE's attempt to outlaw king captures in blitz.


Dear Mr Gijssen, I would like a clarification between “made” and “completed” moves:

1.1 The game of chess is played between two opponents who move their pieces alternately on a square board called a `chessboard`. The player with the white pieces commences the game. A player is said to `have the move`, when his opponent`s move has been made.

4.7.1 When, as a legal move or part of a legal move, a piece has been released on a square, it cannot then be moved to another square. The move is considered to have been made when all the relevant requirements of Article 3 have been fulfilled.

6.8a. During the game each player, having made his move on the chessboard, shall stop his own clock and start his opponent`s clock. A player must always be allowed to stop his clock. His move is not considered to have been completed until he has done so, unless the move that was made ends the game.

Now let’s consider these definitions in the context of illegal moves. It’s clear from 4.7.1 that illegal moves cannot be “made,” because they do not fulfill the requirements of Article 3. If they cannot be “made,” then how can they be “completed”? This should be clarified. Otherwise, how would you interpret 7.4? Also, consider the implications of the first sentence of C3.

C3. An illegal move is completed once the opponent`s clock has been started. The opponent is entitled to claim a win before he has made his own move.

Now, suppose that during a Blitz game Player A places his king in check. Player B captures the king and stops the clock, but does not start Player A’s clock. Player B can still claim a win because he has not “made” a move. Since only legal moves can be “made,” an illegal move cannot be “made.” Refer to C3 above. Had Player B started Player A’s clock, his illegal move would have been completed and Player A could claim a win. Best regards, Martin Norbäck (Sweden)

Gijssen's reply:
You refer to Article 4.7.1, but it is actually Article 4.6. I think that you are completely correct. A new definition for Article 4.6 is needed. What do you think of the following?

When a piece has been released on a square, it cannot be moved to another square. The move is then considered to be made. The move is called legal when all the relevant requirements of Article 3 have been fulfilled. If the move is not legal, another move should be made instead.

If this proposal is accepted, we will have to check for any cross references. Comments are welcome.

I think Norback is correct regarding C3 (I'm not concerned with his semantic argument re completed and made prior to that). I cannot see how a player can be punished for king capture as an illegal move, unless they press the clock starting the opponent's clock after taking the king. Until then, as the king capture is not legal, they have not made their move and are still free to claim the win by the proper method in addition to having "taken" the king.

Of course a player doing so runs the risk of having their illegal move claim dismissed for lack of evidence, which would serve them right, but even if that occurs they are still free to undo the king capture and play on.