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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    repetition claims

    Years ago in a tournament game in Sydney, Player X under extreme time pressure (no increments those days) stopped his clock and claimed a draw due to triple repetition of the position.
    The DOP (Mr Theakstone if I remember correctly) reconstructed the position on a different board which took quite some time since both players had a series of incorrectly scored moves on their sheets. That of course rendered inadequate the method of locating the repetiton with the help of the score sheets.
    During that time Player X kept on looking on the original position obviously analysing, while his opponent and the DOP were trying to find how the actual position was reached.
    In the end it was decided that there was not a case of a triple repetition. Player X was warned, a clerk was placed there to record the moves, and the game continued until X lost on time.
    Was the arbiter's decision the right one? What are the rules for this particular case?
    Last edited by ER; 28-06-2009 at 01:07 AM.
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  2. #2
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justaknight
    Was the arbiter's decision the right one? What are the rules for this particular case?
    In my view everything looks correct, although I am not an arbiter. Except that additionally player Y should have been awarded 3 minutes on the clock by current rules, his opponents claim was incorrect. Perhaps it didn't matter since it was X in extreme time trouble. Until recently player X should also be deducted at least half his time, but at most 3 minutes - but these were old rules. And my memory might be flaky.

  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard
    In my view everything looks correct, although I am not an arbiter. Except that additionally player Y should have been awarded 3 minutes on the clock by current rules, his opponents claim was incorrect. Perhaps it didn't matter since it was X in extreme time trouble. Until recently player X should also be deducted at least half his time, but at most 3 minutes - but these were old rules. And my memory might be flaky.
    Thanks, Jesper this particular game took place more than a 1/4 of a century ago anyway! I was just curious what would have happened if a similar case took place today! Also if it can be proved that a player's repetition claim is genuine or just an unsportsmanlike method to gain some extra time!
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  4. #4
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    It would only be unsportsmanslike if X actually knew it was incorrect - and it seems nobody was sure, not even X. I do think that continuing to analyze and letting the opponent and arbiter about reconstructing, sounds a bit suspicious. But no more than that.

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Doesn't seem right that X continued to look at the board.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    The players should not analyse or discuss the game itself beyond what may be necessary to help the arbiter establish the correct course of moves. Ideally both players should be removed from the board so that all they can do is watch the reconstruction of the game, and not analyse the final position. I usually take both players aside into a different room while the game is reconstructed. In one case a junior was persistently sledging his opponent during the reconstruction so I penalised that junior five minutes on resumption.

    I once had a triple-rep claim where both scoresheets were so illegible that my attempt to reconstruct the game failed even with both players trying to help me. From what I could read of the moves it seemed unlikely there had been a repetition. I dismissed the claim and warned both players to score legibly or risk loss of game. You cannot uphold a claim if you cannot reconstruct the position or even determine from the moves on the scoresheets that a repetition has occurred.

    Sometimes even though some moves are missing you can still work out that the last several moves must have included or not included a repetition. In these cases a draw can be awarded. The test is that the arbiter must be certain a repetition has occurred and has been claimed at the right time in the right manner. Whether this knowledge is gained from watching the game, from reconstructing the game or by deduction from the last several moves on the scoresheet is immaterial.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 28-06-2009 at 05:15 PM.
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  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    thanks for the clarification. In the example I gave, X's behaviour was pointed out to me by an observant onlooker. Most of the others (including myself) were looking at the arbiter and player Y trying to reconstruct the position.
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  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    It is very difficult to stop players analysing the game during the reconstruction to some degree, which is why it is important that the arbiter tries to determine the outcome with a minimum of hassle and also that the arbiter apply penalties for an incorrect claim. Often I can tell from the scoresheets that a triple rep has definitely not occurred without needing to reconstruct the position and in this case I'll just reject the claim on the spot.

    To some degree, the opponent having extra time to analyse during the reconstruction is one of the pitfalls of making incorrect claims in the first place, so it's really not a disaster. And as a player in that situation it's impossible to just switch your brain off.

    Way back in my junior days, in my second rated game against Nigel Frame (we have now played 48 rated games!) I got into an ending with queen and six pawns against queen and three. Should have been a very easy win but I was inexperienced and short of time, and allowed a long series of queen checks. I thought the position did repeat during this time but very luckily for me he claimed it at what the arbiters ruled to be the wrong moment. The reconstruction and ruling took so long that while they were doing it I finally worked out how to escape the checks and win.

    Note that under the current Laws a claim of a draw is also an offer of a draw. In your example, X who was the opponent of the claimant eventually lost the game on time. Perhaps if he was already in time trouble he should have not disagreed with the claim!
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 29-06-2009 at 11:49 AM.
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  9. #9
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Note that under the current Laws a claim of a draw is also an offer of a draw. In your example, X who was the opponent of the claimant eventually lost the game on time. Perhaps if he was already in time trouble he should have not disagreed with the claim!
    I think that X was the claimant so he was just trying anything to "buy time". Y was not going to take the implicit draw offer because he would just let X "crash and burn" with his diminishing time left, but Y had to to be involved in the reconstruction because he was the one with the more reliable scoresheet. In any case X showing complete disinterest in the reconstruction does raise a red flag for me - was his triple rep claim really in good faith?

    In a game where I was about to win a pawn but short of time going to first time control at move 40, I made a couple of repetitions with a rook, and then a Bishop move, just to return the Bishop move again the move after, not realizing that although I had not made the same move 3 times, now a threefold repetition could occur! So he made a move and claimed the draw because his move repeated the position for the third time - I was absolutely devastated, and kicking my ass for not realizing what was happening. Unfortunately we could not find an arbiter, few players left in the chess club, so I just accepted and signed the draw on the scoresheet. Only getting home I realized certainly, his claim was incorrect because he made it after executing his move on the board! So I raised an appeal case and one of the issues was why there was not an arbiter at that moment (they later gave me an apology for that), and the appeal determined that in the cause of events my claim that the draw claim was invalid had been correct, but this fact was null and void once I signed the scoresheet with the draw result.

    That will teach you, as they say! I learned several things during this case, perhaps most importantly that you should never score the scoresheet with the result if there are any doubts. This has a reminiscent in PaulB receiving an invalid move Nf5-d7+ which forked Queen and King so he just resigned on the spot and signed the scoresheet, only to figure out later in his lunch/dinner(?) that the move was illegal. But nothing could be done as his opponent had already left and she was not coming back until next round later that day. Of course the arbiter could not just dictate a different result at that moment, rather the only way the situation could have been resolved was to return the position right before the illegal move and let the game continue from there. But this was not going to happen with no opponent around (she was in good faith too and had not realized her "winning" move was illegal).

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Another very interesting dimension of the triple repetition consept, thanks Jasper. I have to reread carefuly your advice about scoring so I can comprehend it completely! thanks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasper
    (...) you should never score the scoresheet with the result if there are any doubts.
    Do you mean "score" as in scoring the last move or just sighning the scoresheet?

    BTW Mr Theakstone was a very likeable gentleman of the old school who had lots of time for all newcomers to the game! His only flow was that he played the Tromp!
    Last edited by ER; 29-06-2009 at 07:25 AM.
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  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard
    I think that X was the claimant so he was just trying anything to "buy time".
    Yes, you're right, I misread it.

    In any case X showing complete disinterest in the reconstruction does raise a red flag for me - was his triple rep claim really in good faith?
    Indeed, which may explain the warning. Normally there is no warning for a false triple rep claim (unless it is obviously silly), just the time penalty.
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  12. #12
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justaknight
    Another very interesting dimension of the triple repetition concept, thanks Jesper. I have to reread carefully your advice about scoring so I can comprehend it completely! thanks again!
    Thank you justaknight, but please don't think you will necessarily get the eternal wisdom from my scribbling, I was just telling a nice anecdote. I would give you this additional advice though, don't try to settle Laws of Chess at the board without the arbiter, have a trained eye look at the dispute. I learned that much from the incident.

    Quote Originally Posted by justaknight
    Do you mean "score" as in scoring the last move or just signing the scoresheet?
    I don't know why I wrote "score the scoresheet", yes I meant "sign the scoresheet". But you eat bananas on the bananaboat, you conquer the conquest, so naturally you "score the scoresheet", right? NOT

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    lol, yes to all, and after all it shows that I read your postings thoroughly! Congratulations again for Peter's great performance last night! I wish him all the best as the tournament progresses!
    Cheers!
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  14. #14
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justaknight
    Thanks, Jesper this particular game took place more than a 1/4 of a century ago anyway!
    In the 50's, 60's and 70's if a player made a triple repetition claim his clock continued to run whilst the claim was checked by the arbiter. This could result in him losing on time if the arbiter ultimately rejected his claim and his flag had fallen.

    From possibly as early as 1976 but certainly no later than 1980, the relevant rule changed where the clock was stopped but if the claim was rejected 5 minutes were deducted from the claimants clock. This could result in the claimant losing on time if the claim was rejected and he had less than 5 minutes when he made the claim.
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