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  1. #1
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    FIDE Arbiters' Magazine #4

    Has anybody already seen the last issue of the the Arbiters' Magazine? (http://arbiters.fide.com/images/stor...ruary_2017.pdf)

    The "Case C – Displaced Captured Piece" (pag. 12) is quite surprising - for the 'official'(?) opinions expressed at the end: "The White player captures a Black piece, by using a White piece to push aside the Black piece that is being captured. However, the White player performs the capture by just slightly pushing the captured Black piece aside, but does not actually remove the captured Black piece from the chessboard. The White player then presses his clock ... " (then the article continues).

    Isn't this an illegal move, accordingly to article 3.1? ... If a piece moves to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece the latter is captured and removed from the chessboard as part of the same move...

    losboba

  2. #2
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    I think the point is that it's not deemed to be a "move" as it's an act of negligence rather than specifically placing a piece in a position, and therefore only deserving of a lesser penalty than loss of the game. In the same way, knocking over a piece, or accidentally pushing one to another square would be handled that way.

    However as noted in the ruling, the arbiter was at fault in not stepping in when the piece was left on the board. The laws require the arbiter to ensure that the laws are followed, and it's therefore not Black's responsibility to claim. Black, who was the only participant not at fault, is somewhat unfortunate to be the one who loses. It sounds like the result is so tainted by the arbiter's error that the games should be replayed.

  3. #3
    CC International Master Kaitlin's Avatar
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    And an investigation commenced into whether any illegal bets were placed that that would happen on that specific move number. Got to come down hard on this type of stuff now before it gets more entrenched
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  4. #4
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    In my opinion, the correct ruling is a penalty for pressing the clock without making a move.

    Quote Originally Posted by FIDE Laws of Chess
    6.2

    a. During the game each player, having made his move on the chessboard, shall stop his own clock and start his opponent’s clock (that is to say, he shall press his clock). This “completes” the move. A move is also completed if:
    1. the move ends the game (see Articles 5.1.a, 5.2.a, 5.2.b, 5.2.c, 9.6a, 9.6b and 9.7), or
    2. the player has made his next move, in case his previous move was not completed.
    b. A player must be allowed to stop his clock after making his move, even after the opponent has made his next move. The time between making the move on the chessboard and pressing the clock is regarded as part of the time allotted to the player.
    c. A player must press his clock with the same hand with which he made his move. It is forbidden for a player to keep his finger on the clock or to ‘hover’ over it.
    The players must handle the chessclock properly. It is forbidden to press it forcibly, to pick it up, to press the clock before moving or to knock it over. Improper clock handling shall be penalised in accordance with Article 12.9.
    Instead of "press the clock before moving", "press the clock before a move have been made would have been better", but it is still clear from the bolded part of 6.2.a that a clock cannot be pressed without making a move.

    The greatest sin of this article, speaking as a local lecturer (not FIDE), is that all beginning arbiters should be instructed to look for defeat avoidance tactics in blitz games and declare the game lost for the offender. For example, a player drops a piece to the ground, press his clock, stand-up, gets the piece an put it back on the right square, there is one second left on the player's clock. The arbiter must declare the game lost for the player because clearly, if he had followed the rules, his flag would have fallen. Article 7.4 does not limit the penalty to a mere one minute. Arbiters should ensure that, contrary to many other sports, there should not be cases in which it is advantageous for a player or a team to deliberately take a minor penalty rather then face more dire consequences. This is why a single illegal move looses the game in blitz, otherwise, it could be advantageous for a player who is out of time to give his opponent one minute in exchange for a game stoppage at the right moment. The player could continue thinking on the game until the arbiter arrives, add the one minute and resume the game. Before the game resumption, the offending player could easily get two extra minutes thinking time, enough to find a win that he has not seen previously.

  5. #5
    CC International Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre Dénommée View Post
    In my opinion, the correct ruling is a penalty for pressing the clock without making a move.
    Instead of "press the clock before moving", "press the clock before a move have been made would have been better", but it is still clear from the bolded part of 6.2.a that a clock cannot be pressed without making a move.
    This formulation of 6.2.a is a clumsy attempt to state that you are only allowed to complete a move (by pressing the clock) after you have actually made a move. However, there are several obvious problems. First of all you are allowed to press the clock (without moving) as Black before White makes his first move. This may be within the arbiter's duties to start the clock in some jurisdictions, not in others. Second, what if you thought you just made a move, but you have forgotten to press the clock? Only a fool would deny the player the right to press the clock, but as we see, it really depends on what moves and clock presses have just been made. Once my opponent went to the loo and came out and saw I hadn't played a move, but his clock was stilling running, so naturally he pressed the clock, thinking he had forgotten to press the clock. In fact I had played Kg2 to protect my queen, although the position appeared unaltered to him.

    If being very literal (and perhaps a bit pathetic), before moving 2.Nf3 you were allowed to press the clock, when completing the move 1.e4, so it becomes a tale of if the hen or the egg came first.

    Consider these events
    A. White plays 1.e4
    B. Black quickly responds 1...c5
    C. White presses the clock to complete 1.e4
    D. Black presses the clock to complete 1...c5

    Clearly in C and D the player was not moving immediately before pressing the clock, although they were in a technical sense since C came after A, and D came after B.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre Dénommée View Post
    The greatest sin of this article, speaking as a local lecturer (not FIDE), is that all beginning arbiters should be instructed to look for defeat avoidance tactics in blitz games and declare the game lost for the offender. For example, a player drops a piece to the ground, press his clock, stand-up, gets the piece an put it back on the right square, there is one second left on the player's clock. The arbiter must declare the game lost for the player because clearly, if he had followed the rules, his flag would have fallen. Article 7.4 does not limit the penalty to a mere one minute. Arbiters should ensure that, contrary to many other sports, there should not be cases in which it is advantageous for a player or a team to deliberately take a minor penalty rather then face more dire consequences. This is why a single illegal move looses the game in blitz, otherwise, it could be advantageous for a player who is out of time to give his opponent one minute in exchange for a game stoppage at the right moment. The player could continue thinking on the game until the arbiter arrives, add the one minute and resume the game. Before the game resumption, the offending player could easily get two extra minutes thinking time, enough to find a win that he has not seen previously.
    This is the first full explanation I have seen why a single illegal move must lose in Blitz and Rapid. I appreciate that. I don't know if that is the only purpose, or it was also an attempt to avoid that arbiters will be bothered with illegal moves in quick games, as in "we shoot horses, when they break a leg, don't we?"

    I think that a better option would be to deduct half the time as the penalty for making an illegal move, which would be a fair (and proportionate) penalty for all clock times in Standard, Rapid or Blitz games. That would not make it so attractive to commit the infraction deliberately as it is now in Standard games, and it would be less Draconian than the loss of game that prevails in the quicker formats of chess.

    It has always felt wrong to me to give the penalty for an illegal move as two minutes added to the clock of the opponent. It is like telling a bank robber "You won't go to jail, but instead we will give the terrible punishment that we give a raise to the bank manager". Ahem, ridiculous, isn't it?
    Last edited by Jesper Norgaard; 28-03-2017 at 01:28 PM.
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  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    The case for illegal move:

    3.1 It is not permitted to move a piece to a square occupied by a piece of the same colour. If a piece moves to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece the latter is captured and removed from the chessboard as part of the same move.

    3.10

    A move is legal when all the relevant requirements of Articles 3.1 – 3.9 have been fulfilled.
    A move is illegal when it fails to meet the relevant requirements of Articles 3.1 – 3.9


    The case for pressing the clock without making the move:

    4.7
    When, as a legal move or part of a legal move, a piece has been released on a square, it cannot be moved to another square on this move. The move is considered to have been made in the case of:
    a capture, when the captured piece has been removed from the chessboard and the player, having placed his own piece on its new square, has released this capturing piece from his hand.


    My ruling would be illegal move. The reason is that if you deem the player to have not made a full move but just pressed the clock without making a move, you open the door to other such claims. For instance the player slides their knight from c3 to c4 to d4, releases it on d4 and presses their clock. They then say that they meant to move it to d5 and hadn't finished their move. Pressing the clock means an incomplete move that is on the board becomes completed as an illegal move. There is strictly no such thing as "making" an illegal move.

    Whatever it is, it isn't "displaced piece". Which piece is displaced, the moving piece? No, it has moved where it was meant to go. The captured piece? No, it hasn't moved at all and anyway its proper place is off the board. Displaced piece is a concept that refers to accidents, like knocking pieces over or off the centre of their squares, not to failure to finish the requirements of the move.

    PS I thought Pierre's explanation of why illegal move should be a loss in blitz was excellent.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 28-03-2017 at 08:44 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard View Post
    This formulation of 6.2.a is a clumsy attempt to state that you are only allowed to complete a move (by pressing the clock) after you have actually made a move. However, there are several obvious problems. First of all you are allowed to press the clock (without moving) as Black before White makes his first move.
    Only with obsolete mechanical clocks and one model of non-FIDE endorsed electronic clock that I know. DGT 2000, 2010, and XL clock are started by pushing the start button. C.02.5.1 is silent on how the clock is activated at the beginning of the game.

    Article 6.2.a begins with during a game. At the beginning of the game, we follow Article 6.6. At the time determined for the start of the game White’s clock is started. The Article does not care how the clock is started or by whom it is started.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard View Post
    Once my opponent went to the loo and came out and saw I hadn't played a move, but his clock was stilling running, so naturally he pressed the clock, thinking he had forgotten to press the clock. In fact I had played Kg2 to protect my queen, although the position appeared unaltered to him.

    If being very literal (and perhaps a bit pathetic), before moving 2.Nf3 you were allowed to press the clock, when completing the move 1.e4, so it becomes a tale of if the hen or the egg came first.

    Consider these events
    A. White plays 1.e4
    B. Black quickly responds 1...c5
    C. White presses the clock to complete 1.e4
    D. Black presses the clock to complete 1...c5

    Clearly in C and D the player was not moving immediately before pressing the clock, although they were in a technical sense since C came after A, and D came after B.
    There is no requirement to press immediately after making a move. A player may play 1. e4, go the washroom, order a coffee and press upon returning to the board. The requirement is that first a move is made and only after, the clock is pressed. The relevant Article ia 6.2.a

    During the game each player, having made his move on the chessboard, shall stop his own clock and start his opponent’s clock (that is to say, he shall press his clock). This “completes” the move. A move is also completed if:
    the move ends the game (see Articles 5.1.a, 5.2.a, 5.2.b, 5.2.c, 9.6a, 9.6b and 9.7), or
    the player has made his next move, in case his previous move was not completed.
    A player must be allowed to stop his clock after making his move, even after the opponent has made his next move. The time between making the move on the chessboard and pressing the clock is regarded as part of the time allotted to the player.

    Actually, you could get many moves behind. Two children playing in the beginner's section of the 2015 Canadian Open did complain to the arbiter that the clock has failed to add time at move 40. They have reached move 40 in around 30 minutes of real time. Inspection of the clock revealed that it has been pressed only 23 times. I have suggested to FIDE that the clock should a all time display the number of times that it has been pressed, but this has been rejected. That would remove all the problems caused by the omission to press or by pressing without making a move. On many chess clocks, the player can press a button to obtain this information, but it is rarely done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard View Post
    This is the first full explanation I have seen why a single illegal move must lose in Blitz and Rapid. I appreciate that. I don't know if that is the only purpose, or it was also an attempt to avoid that arbiters will be bothered with illegal moves in quick games, as in "we shoot horses, when they break a leg, don't we?"

    I think that a better option would be to deduct half the time as the penalty for making an illegal move, which would be a fair (and proportionate) penalty for all clock times in Standard, Rapid or Blitz games. That would not make it so attractive to commit the infraction deliberately as it is now in Standard games, and it would be less Draconian than the loss of game that prevails in the quicker formats of chess.

    It has always felt wrong to me to give the penalty for an illegal move as two minutes added to the clock of the opponent. It is like telling a bank robber "You won't go to jail, but instead we will give the terrible punishment that we give a raise to the bank manager". Ahem, ridiculous, isn't it?
    FIDE has removed all mandatory time deductions from the Laws of Chess. In the 1977 version of the Laws, 5 minutes were subtracted from the clock of a player for a false triple repetition claim. Now, FIDE believe that is is unreasonable for a player to loose the game for this violation. As time goes, this penalty has become more and more lenient. I agree that time subtraction is the right way to deprive a player who is seeking an illegitimate game stoppage of the advantage that he his seeking. I will apply the rules as voted by FIDE, which means no time deduction for illegal moves and for false triple repetition draw claims. The Laws of Chess are frozen for the next 4 years.

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