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Jezza
12-10-2008, 04:36 PM
Hello Everyone,

I have a bizarre situation which occured today in a 'friendly' lighting game against my brother which became quite heated afterwards. Now, (a couple of hours later) I dont really care about whether I won or lost but am more interested in what the proper rules would say.

Set the scene: We play countdown 5min then 4, 3, 2, 1:30. The first to win at 1:30 wins. So lightning rules should apply. I am better than him so if he gets a draw I let it count as a win (so it is similar to armageddon matches). However if he has 1:30 on the clock he has to beat me in the final game in order to win the match. Illegal move counts as a win for the opponent.

Situation 1: We were both on 1:30 and I had king and pawn vs his king and rook. He had 1 second left I had 2 seconds left. I accidently blurted out 'flagfall' too early. He moved, then I moved and just before he could take my final pawn (and thus prevent me winning on time with my extra pawn) his flag really fell. I called it and thus won on time. He complained that my fake call of flag fall distracted him. Although I know that it didn't distract him, I thought that under the real rules he was probably right - you cant distract your opponent so we replayed the game.

Situation 2:
I had lone king to his king, queen and rook (yes I know, I suck at lightning). Now comes the really interesting part. As he was making the final checkmating move (i.e. before he had finished moving and pressed the clock) he ran out of time. On the process of moving he knocked his king over and then called 'checkmate' just before I called 'flagfall' (literally about a tenth of a second difference, although this has no affect on my question). So this all happened before he pressed his clock. The king landed lying down such that it was blocking the Queen from giving checkmate. Now what should be the outcome (a) according to the proper rules and (b) according to the moral precidence of Situation 1?

Things to consider:
1) Mate ends the game - simple as that. ** Most likely the correct result
2) His move was not completed until he pressed his clock or stopped the clock to end the game (eg if you make an illegal move in lightning you only lose if you have pressed your clock) so my call of flagfall wins. **Not sure if this is correct
3) He has no right claim checkmate if his king has been knocked over and he should adjust the piece on his own time (thus his call of checkmate is invalid and I get a draw) ** The second most likely result
3) Since his king is no longer on its square he has moved two pieces and has made an illegal move which has been completed since he pressed his clock ** Highly unlikely
4) The king is lying down blocking the path of the Queen so there is no checkmate and game drawn since he ran out of time. ** Even more unlikely
5) Him knocking his king over distracted me from calling 'flag fall' so the game should be replayed (moral precident) ** Morally correct result

Bizarre I know. So please ignore this is a friendly game and pretent it was the final armageddon match in the world championship between Anand and Kramnik. :)

Jezza

Jezza
12-10-2008, 04:44 PM
I think I answered my own question. Draw by article 7.3:

7.3 If a player displaces one or more pieces, he shall re-establish the correct position on his own time. If necessary, either the player or his opponent shall stop the clocks and ask for the arbiter`s assistance. The arbiter may penalise the player who displaced the pieces.

Agree?

Miranda
12-10-2008, 04:46 PM
haha sure sounds like a 'friendly' game (try playing chess with your twin, who refuses to play unless they're white and you let them do the 4-move-checkmate on you)

But yeah, in game 1 I think he was right
and in game 2 I think you win, because you have to set your pieces up the right way before your move is over...

just my two cents worth :)

Bill Gletsos
12-10-2008, 05:08 PM
It is generally considered by the FIDE Rules Committee that what occurs on the board is the most important.

Lets look at the following situations:
a) Player A picks up a piece to deliver mate, releases the piece on the square but prior to pressing his clock his opponent player B claims flag fall. In this circumstance player A wins as the mate immediately ended the game and stopping the clock is irrelevant.

b) Player A picks up a piece to deliver mate but prior to releasing the piece on the square, his opponent player B claims flag fall. In this circumstance the flag fall is valid as player A has not completed his move.

c) Player A picks up a piece to deliver mate and at virtually the same instant as he releases the piece on the square, his opponent player B claims flag fall. If the arbiter is observing the game he can determine the result based on what he witnessed. However if he is not observing it or is unsure which occurred first then he should rule in favour of the mate.

Note in a) and b) above I assumed there is no disagreement between the players as to what happened. If in both cases player A claims to to have released the piece prior to player B claiming flag fall then the arbiter is essentially in case c).

Kevin Bonham
12-10-2008, 05:53 PM
Situation 1: We were both on 1:30 and I had king and pawn vs his king and rook. He had 1 second left I had 2 seconds left. I accidently blurted out 'flagfall' too early. He moved, then I moved and just before he could take my final pawn (and thus prevent me winning on time with my extra pawn) his flag really fell. I called it and thus won on time. He complained that my fake call of flag fall distracted him. Although I know that it didn't distract him, I thought that under the real rules he was probably right - you cant distract your opponent so we replayed the game.

In a real game with an arbiter he would have to have the situation with the early flagfall call dealt with by the arbiter instead of continuing the game and then trying to complain after flagfall. Once your flag actually falls you have virtually no rights. What he should have done is, after your bogus flagfall call, immediately stop the clock. Then an arbiter could, for instance, give you extra time to compensate for the disturbance. Or the two of you could agree something like that.


Situation 2:
I had lone king to his king, queen and rook (yes I know, I suck at lightning). Now comes the really interesting part. As he was making the final checkmating move (i.e. before he had finished moving and pressed the clock) he ran out of time. On the process of moving he knocked his king over and then called 'checkmate' just before I called 'flagfall' (literally about a tenth of a second difference, although this has no affect on my question). So this all happened before he pressed his clock. The king landed lying down such that it was blocking the Queen from giving checkmate. Now what should be the outcome (a) according to the proper rules and (b) according to the moral precidence of Situation 1?

Where the king lands is irrelevant; the only question is whether a checkmate delivered with a motion that includes knocking pieces over (without replacing them) before the hand is released from the mating piece is still a valid checkmate.


2) His move was not completed until he pressed his clock or stopped the clock to end the game (eg if you make an illegal move in lightning you only lose if you have pressed your clock) so my call of flagfall wins. **Not sure if this is correct

This is certainly incorrect as a checkmating move need not be completed to be valid. It only needs to be made, which requires releasing the hand from the piece. The clock need not be pressed. If you deliver checkmate and then your flag falls after that, you win without needing to claim the mate.

Flagfall only trumps mate if the player claiming the flagfall has stopped the clock and claimed the flagfall before the mate is delivered. If in doubt the mate takes precedence.

Art 5.1a says that checkmate immediately ends the game provided that the move producing the checkmate position was legal. There is no doubt the move itself was legal, nor about what move the player intended to make; it just happened that a king was knocked over during it. So 5.1a appears to say it is checkmate. At the same time 7.3 places obligations on the player displacing pieces to re-establish them and provides that a penalty may be imposed even if the pieces were re-established.

I would rule that since it was an accident and the intention of the player was clear, no penalty should be applied under 7.3 and the mate should stand. This is in line with the general principle that if in doubt the board trumps the clock.

Capablanca-Fan
13-10-2008, 12:49 PM
In a real game with an arbiter he would have to have the situation with the early flagfall call dealt with by the arbiter instead of continuing the game and then trying to complain after flagfall. Once your flag actually falls you have virtually no rights. What he should have done is, after your bogus flagfall call, immediately stop the clock. Then an arbiter could, for instance, give you extra time to compensate for the disturbance. Or the two of you could agree something like that.
If a player distracts an opponent just before flagfall, so the opponent doesn't have a chance to summon the arbiter while the flag is still hanging, an arbiter can regard it as bringing chess into disrepute.


I would rule that since it was an accident and the intention of the player was clear, no penalty should be applied under 7.3 and the mate should stand.
Agreed. Replacing the pieces applies to a game still in process, but this game was ended by the mate.


This is in line with the general principle that if in doubt the board trumps the clock.
That's a principle I've heard a lot and applied, but is it official?

Kevin Bonham
20-10-2008, 04:10 PM
If a player distracts an opponent just before flagfall, so the opponent doesn't have a chance to summon the arbiter while the flag is still hanging, an arbiter can regard it as bringing chess into disrepute.

They might (with all the problems the nebulous "disrepute" rule entails, see thread on which) but in this case clearly the opponent had a chance to stop the clock. (Indeed, the opponent found time to move and press the clock).


That's a principle I've heard a lot and applied, but is it official?

Not as far as I know. If it was official it would be a Law or a formal clarification rather than "just" a principle.

Jezza
26-10-2008, 11:22 PM
Another Day - Another Argument,

We played again the other day (after I thrashed him 5-0 the time before!). It was down to 2 min each on the clock for the next game. Interestingly enough it got down to me having a King and Bishop and him having a Knight, King and Pawn (on the seventh rank on the G file [I think] with the queening square the same colour as my bishop). My king and bishop were close enough to stop his pawn so I am pretty sure it is a draw with best play. He would need to somehow get his knight blocking the path between my bishop and the queening square so he can promote his pawn safe from my bishop. But my king was close enough that his knigh could not block. So all he had to do was push the pawn to promote and my bishop would have to capture and then it would be a draw, and by the rules we play, a draw counts as a win for him.

But he tried was trying to win the drawn position which was pretty rude I thought (and stupid since he only needed a draw). But he wasted so much time trying that he got down to less than 5 second left on the clock - a lot less than me. When he realized this he offered me a draw (with utter desperation in his voice which made me laugh on the inside) which I refused (paying him back trying to win the drawn position) and then blitzed him so he ran out of time. Even if he promoted his pawn in this time (he did not by the way) a bishop and king can legally checkmate a king and knight so I claimed a win on time.

He protested and I showed him the Fide rules and he accepted it regarding the potential to mate with any legal series of moves. However, if this was a tournament game, it is clear that I was only trying to win on time as so the disrepute rule judged by arbiter would come into place I assume. But since we dont play with arbiter we have to chuck that rule out the window. I then won the next game so I won 5-3.

Just thought I would share this interesting update. But it is great - no matter how much we argue and fight, we always play again a few days later.

Jezza

Desmond
27-10-2008, 10:09 AM
Nice work! It is very satisfying to have an opponent refuse a draw because he is trying to flag you, and then you flag him!

Kevin Bonham
27-10-2008, 11:38 PM
However, if this was a tournament game, it is clear that I was only trying to win on time as so the disrepute rule judged by arbiter would come into place I assume.

Or not.

Although some people have commented on the possibility of the disrepute rule being invoked in such positions, trying to win blitz games on time is certainly not "disrepute" in general - indeed, it's one of the main ways one does win them. I don't think trying to win blitz games on time in extremely unwinnable positions is really "disrepute" either. Indeed, as I think Ian Rout pointed out on another thread, blitz is full of situations that by any normal understanding are pretty disreputable themselves, so what "disrepute" is in blitz is quite unclear.

So while an arbiter is free to form their own view of what disrepute is or isn't, many arbiters would not employ that rule.

Rincewind
28-10-2008, 07:59 AM
so what "disrepute" is in blitz is quite unclear.

I'd agree but would include. Intentional gamesmanship along the lines of...


placing pieces marginally between squares with the premeditated intention of taking advantage of the ambiguity. The old d2-d(4.5) :)

holding captured pieces in your hand with the intention of the opponent wasting time looking for them when promoting a pawn

Note that I believe the intention is important which I admit is difficult to prove.