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  1. #1
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    Simultaneous Checkmate & Flagfall

    Interesting case from NZ Lightning Championships (Fide rules).

    I will explain it as best I can - appreciate any comments on the correct outcome of the game. We actually just agreed to replay the game as a compromise.

    My opponent (Anthony Ker) called my flag, as I was in the process of moving my queen to deliver checkmate (Qf8 to Qd6#). He did not stop the clocks as when he did this. Another player who witnessed it said that he thought the flag fall call was before I completed placing the queen on d6 (I think he was right).

    To complicate things, I think (though I might be mistaken given the speed we were moving) was that he had knocked over my queen as he played his previous move. It is also possible that I, or we mutually did this, given we were both moving pieces very rapidly.

    Just an interesting question that I though someone might know the rules on.

    Does my opponent have to stop the clocks to claim the win on time?
    Does mate take precedence over the flag-fall.
    Does knocking over my queen affect the flag-fall call?
    What happens if we don't know who knocked over the queen?

    cheers
    Ralph

  2. #2
    CC International Master
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    My answers to these questions would be:

    You need to stop the clocks and call the arbiter over to claim a win on time.

    Checkmate ends the game and if this happens before the player claiming a win on time stops the clocks, then the checkmate wins. However, if the opponent claims a win on time and stops the clocks before the mating piece lands on the square then the win on time stands. Witnesses may be required to determine what happened first.

    A player knocking over a piece needs to adjust that piece in their own time. So, the opponent could either press the clock immediately and ask the player to reset the piece or stop the clock and ask the arbiter to adjudicate (and perhaps decide whether a penalty should be applied). If play continues, with a piece still misplaced, then one of the players should stop the clock and call the arbiter over to resolve the situation.

    So, knocking over the queen in the situation described does not affect the flag fall because neither player insisted that the piece be adjusted.

    But, I'm interested to find out what others think.
    Last edited by Ian CCC; 22-01-2010 at 06:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Yes the clocks must be stopped by the player claiming a win on time. If the claimant for the win on time does not stop the clocks then their claim automatically fails whether the flagfall happened before mate or not.

    Even if the player does complete the time claim, if there is a dispute about what they did first, and it cannot be established, then checkmate should always prevail. What goes on on the board has priority in cases of doubt.

    We had the following in Aus Junior lightning today: A's flag falls. B, failing to notice, plays on and checkmates A later. But then it is noticed that B's flag too has fallen such that both flags are down. There is then confusion about whether B delivered mate before B's flag fell; the players don't agree and an adult spectator says the mate was first while a junior spectator sometime later said the flag fell first. We decided to award the win by checkmate.

    Does knocking over my queen affect the flag-fall call?
    What happens if we don't know who knocked over the queen?
    The non-knocker has the right to stop the clocks and the arbiter would then make the knocker put the piece back on their own time. However that right needs to be exercised before flagfall.

    If it is unknown who knocked over the piece then the arbiter could fix it with the clock stopped, but a player still has to stop the clock.
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  4. #4
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian CCC
    Checkmate ends the game and if this happens before the player claiming a win on time stops the clocks, then the checkmate wins. However, if the opponent claims a win on time and stops the clocks before the mating piece lands on the square then the win on time stands.
    The piece landing on the square is irrelevant, it must be released on that square.
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  5. #5
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    ... There is then confusion about whether B delivered mate before B's flag fell; the players don't agree and an adult spectator says the mate was first while a junior spectator sometime later said the flag fell first. We decided to award the win by checkmate.
    Correct decision, but note that it is irrelevant whether B delivered mate before B's flag fell because no claim of flag fall was done by either arbiter or opponent (note the arbiter can only do that in Blitz when both flags are down as in this case). What the spectator or the arbiter saw during the game (before checkmate) should be irrelevant if a legal checkmate occurs.

    I guess that some arbiter might argue that if he was 10 boards down the isle, saw the double flag fall, rushes back to stop the game, but checkmate stands on the board, the flag fall "claim" or rather observation of it, should make the arbiter resolve it as a draw, but I disagree with that. A claim needs to be spoken out loud, not just observed.

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