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  1. #1
    CC International Master
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    Chess kids video

    If you go over to chesskids.com.au on the front page there is a vid titled exciting finish in state finals. Watch the video and discuss whether the decision made by the arbiters was correct.

    It follows roughly: two kids are playing in time pressure, it gets to a position where one of them has a rook and the other an a-pawn. The rook gives check to the king but instead of moving it he pushes the pawn (not blocking the check just an illegal move) he hits the clock and the player with the rook flags. An arbiter then interferes with the position and makes pawn a move for the player with the pawn then adds time to the flagged players clock. Now the move the arbiter made and the illegal pawn move have set up a convenient stale-mate for the player with the pawn in an otherwise completely lost ending. The rooked player makes a move (He seems to know it will cause a stalemate) and the game is a draw.

    This was all caught on video! Watch the video and explain to me how this could happen.
    And still, no one has satisfactorily proven, that it isn't opposite day.

  2. #2
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saragossa
    If you go over to chesskids.com.au on the front page there is a vid titled exciting finish in state finals. Watch the video and discuss whether the decision made by the arbiters was correct.

    It follows roughly: two kids are playing in time pressure, it gets to a position where one of them has a rook and the other an a-pawn. The rook gives check to the king but instead of moving it he pushes the pawn (not blocking the check just an illegal move) he hits the clock and the player with the rook flags. An arbiter then interferes with the position and makes pawn a move for the player with the pawn then adds time to the flagged players clock. Now the move the arbiter made and the illegal pawn move have set up a convenient stale-mate for the player with the pawn in an otherwise completely lost ending. The rooked player makes a move (He seems to know it will cause a stalemate) and the game is a draw.

    This was all caught on video! Watch the video and explain to me how this could happen.
    Total screw up by the arbiter.
    The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    White actually makes two moves in a row. He makes the illegal pawn move then while black is complaining about the illegal move he moves his king out of check.

    One of the children watching actually tries to fix it up by putting the pawn back where it should be but it doesn't seem that the child doing so actually explains it so the arbiter just puts it back. That conveniently sets up the stalemate and yes, it looks like black stalemates deliberately to avoid a loss on time.

    Really no harm done since a draw is the correct result for a CK interschool game in this situation. Since the juniors generally don't know 10.2 I would have just declared this drawn to save black from flagging and white from getting his hopes up re a win. I wonder though whether the arbiter was aware they were setting up a stalemate.

    Usual disclosure re me and CK events applies.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 29-10-2009 at 10:38 PM.

  4. #4
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    White actually makes two moves in a row. He makes the illegal pawn move then while black is complaining about the illegal move he moves his king out of check.

    One of the children watching actually tries to fix it up by putting the pawn back where it should be but it doesn't seem that the child doing so actually explains it so the arbiter just puts it back. That conveniently sets up the stalemate and yes, it looks like black stalemates deliberately to avoid a loss on time.
    Of course with the extra 2 minutes he should have received he would quite possibly have mated his opponent.
    The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.

  5. #5
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Can anyone hear from the video how much time actually was added on?

    I don't implement 2 mins for illegal move in CK qualifiers, though I do make sure no player loses on time because of their opponent affecting their time with illegal moves. If I did implement 2 mins for illegal moves then in some of the qualifiers 30% of games would be decided by illegal move under the 3-strike rule leaving at least 15 children in tears, and without the 3-strike rule but with just 2 mins per illegal move some of the games from May would probably still be going. But at state final level this sort of thing usually doesn't happen much except on the lowest boards.

    By the way white made 2 illegal moves in the scramble. There is an earlier one where he moves his king into a rook check while black's bishop is lying on the board.

  6. #6
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    When a player claims an illegal move does he have to claim the two minutes rule or the arbiter has to infer? Specifically, does the player have to say something like "I request 2 minutes added to my time because my opponent made an illegal move." Or is it enough just to say "It is an illegal move". Thanks.

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad
    When a player claims an illegal move does he have to claim the two minutes rule or the arbiter has to infer? Specifically, does the player have to say something like "I request 2 minutes added to my time because my opponent made an illegal move." Or is it enough just to say "It is an illegal move". Thanks.
    At normal time controls the arbiter must apply the illegal move rules without requiring a claim if they see an illegal move or determine that one has been played.

    In rapid or blitz the player must claim the illegal move before they have made a reply. The exception is that the arbiter must interfere if possible when both kings are in check or the promotion of a pawn has not been completed properly.

  8. #8
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    My question was specific for kid's competition. If two kids are playing and one is short on time while the other one made an illegal move. If the first kid notices the fact that the illegal move was made but does not know what it means, is the arbiter supposed to explain the rules? Thanks.

  9. #9
    CC FIDE Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gletsos
    Total screw up by the arbiter.
    I absolutely agree with you, only if you watch the video closely it seems there were 3 arbiters, not that it helped (many cooks will mess up the food!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    White actually makes two moves in a row. He makes the illegal pawn move then while black is complaining about the illegal move he moves his king out of check.
    I agree with these observations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Usual disclosure re me and CK events applies.
    I have no idea what you are talking about, can you enlighten me on this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    By the way white made 2 illegal moves in the scramble. There is an earlier one where he moves his king into a rook check while black's bishop is lying on the board.
    I would sort of argue that since the lying down bishop is on b4 and he plays Ka4 he cannot "see" the check from Re4. And since black's next move is Kd4 he can now safely remove the bishop from the board.

    Here is my reconstruction of the events:

    PGN Viewer
     

    So here white plays the illegal move 20.Ka4?? (unless you count the lying-down bishop on b4) and black responds with 20...Kd4 to produce the following position, with this move black trips his rook over to lie on e5, but while white is busy removing the black bishop on b4 black is busy restoring his rook to e4, so ....
    PGN Viewer
     

    So here White played the illegal move 25.a5?? and pressed the clock, black protested by pointing at the king Ka7 and white therefore played an extra move Ka8 and pressed the clock again (in vain), then the arbiter-2 grabs aimlessly at the clock, then arbiter-1 places the white king back at a7, kid-1 moves pawn back at a4, black grabs Kc5 to reinforce that it was at c5, arbiter-1 moves pawn a4 (wrongly) back at a5, kid-2 then puts white king wrongly at a6, black confirms it was his move (but not in that position), arbiter-2 now adds 2 minutes to *another* clock than the original clock and arbiter-3 presses the clock after arbiter-2 placed it at the board (great teamwork! ... or not?)

    The position should have been the following with white in the move:

    FEN Viewer


    but instead what they come up with is the following totally reconstructed position with black to move (it should be white since white made the last illegal move)

    FEN Viewer


    Here black apparently deliberately, even after receiving 2 minutes extra time (or so he should according to FIDE rules), plays 1...Rc7?? stalemate while he could have avoided any loss and safely play for the win with 1...Kb4 2.Kb6 Re6+ 3.Kc7 Kxa5 since flag fall here will still just be draw.

    There is hardly a single person around the board that didn't do something wrong, perhaps kid-1 when he correctly placed the pawn back at a4 before reconstruction, but then he should have insisted on it to the arbiters, and besides he should inform arbiters, not make moves on the board himself.

    But I was ROFL from the video.

    One comment on the use of a new clock, while this would be a disaster on an analog clock (what happens to white's reconstructed time??) it may in fact be a good idea on digital clocks because you can copy the time with precision down to the second.
    Last edited by Jesper Norgaard; 01-11-2009 at 03:36 PM.

  10. #10
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard
    I have no idea what you are talking about, can you enlighten me on this?
    The company that ran this tournament, Chess Kids, is based in Melbourne. However they also run tournaments in Tasmania and I am one of the people who runs them (as a freelance contractor, not an employee) and is paid arbiter's fees for doing so. I think it is appropriate that I disclose this when commenting on matters that relate to Chess Kids in any way.

    kid-1 moves pawn back at a4, black grabs Kc5 to reinforce that it was at c5, arbiter-1 moves pawn a4 (wrongly) back at a5, kid-2 then puts white king wrongly at a6,
    Readers who haven't seen the video should note that "kid-1" and "kid-2" are not the players but children spectating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad
    My question was specific for kid's competition. If two kids are playing and one is short on time while the other one made an illegal move. If the first kid notices the fact that the illegal move was made but does not know what it means, is the arbiter supposed to explain the rules? Thanks.
    As "kid's competitions" are often played with various FIDE laws simplified then what the arbiter does in such a situation depends on the competition. No point telling the kids they can claim two minutes if you are not actually applying that rule.

    Whatever the standards the arbiter needs to make it clear that illegal moves must be retracted and replayed. When running events in remote areas where knowledge of the rules is poor I usually drum in "you cannot take the king" early on in the day; if this is not done there will be many players claiming wins by king capture.

    Also whatever the standards, arbiters need to ensure a player is not disadvantaged by an opposing illegal move.

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    No point telling the kids they can claim two minutes if you are not actually applying that rule.
    And it can be a bit of a time waster generally to add the two minutes each time if the two children are playing 15 + 5 and have more than 20 minutes each on the clock when the illegal move happens

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Usual disclosure re me and CK events applies.
    This should be your new sig

  13. #13
    CC FIDE Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Readers who haven't seen the video should note that "kid-1" and "kid-2" are not the players but children spectating.
    Good point, that I didn't make. Readers also please note that none of (arbiter-1, arbiter-2, arbiter-3) were Kevin Bonham well just joking.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the answers guys! Are arbiters allowed to consult video evidence (Probably not worth it here but certainly applicable in a higher class tournament)?

    And if you watch the video closely there is a moment where the player with the rook moves his king to be covering two squares (half way on each square). If this is witessed (And especially important in blitz) can the opposing player claim an illegal move. Seeing as a piece can't be on two squares.
    And still, no one has satisfactorily proven, that it isn't opposite day.

  15. #15
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saragossa
    Thanks for all the answers guys! Are arbiters allowed to consult video evidence (Probably not worth it here but certainly applicable in a higher class tournament)?
    An arbiter can consult any evidence they like, although consulting video evidence is often too slow in terms of making a practical decision. A problem with taking time to review video evidence is that it may give players time to analyse the position and at quick time controls this needs to be avoided.

    And if you watch the video closely there is a moment where the player with the rook moves his king to be covering two squares (half way on each square). If this is witessed (And especially important in blitz) can the opposing player claim an illegal move. Seeing as a piece can't be on two squares.
    I think of this as sloppy piece placement rather than illegal move, unless the player is clearly doing it deliberately. The player who is placing pieces sloppily should be made to rectify the situation on their own time.

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