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  1. #16
    CC FIDE Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    I think it is incorrect to insist on unified penalties for illegal move across all time controls and this debate shows exactly why. The new unified penalty makes blitz tournaments harder to run and potentially slower (though not as slow as if they are held up by appeals, but that's another story.) But alternative penalties have problems too. Half the time means making an illegal move in a standard results in a far more severe penalty than in a blitz game with increment. That's silly.
    Would you agree that the penalty is exactly the same if you have 20 seconds on the clock, whether the game is Standard, Rapid or Blitz? That is not silly at all in my opinion. You say that in a Standard game (presumably also with increment) the penalty is far more severe than in a Blitz game with increment. Why? It sounds to me as the millionaire that is complaining about losing millions in tax, because he pays 50%, while the beggar on the street corner only pays a few dollars (also 50%). I don't see anything wrong with that. If you are saying that you don't pay any penalty if your remaining time is near zero, while you won't pay anything for the new moves you make (and the increments you gain) well that is true, but that is the effect of being a penalty on time savings, not a penalty on future periods or future increments.

    The silly thing is what was the law for some time between 2001 and 2014, so that in a Standard or Rapid game you would not lose a single second, but your opponent would get two minutes, while in Blitz the most severe penalty was used: the loss of the game. In my opinion a clear injustice to Blitz under the disguise that it was not manageable otherwise. Then in 2017 Rapid and Blitz was made identical as illegal move was also made an instant loss in Rapid. It seems to me that this whole exercise in trying to make the penalties compatible by defining Rapid as identical to Standard, then identical to Blitz, has not really obtained a penalty that is logical and severe and compatible between the modes of play. From January 1, 2018 we will have the same penalty for all 3 modes, with 2 minutes added to the opponent for Standard and Rapid, and 1 minutes added for Blitz, for the first illegal move, and a loss declared for the next illegal move. However in all 3 modes the penalty is really not a penalty, but a compensation for the opponent. Especially in Blitz a 1-minute addition to the clock instead of reduction of time will lead to scheduling problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    A time deduction creates problems with analog clocks though really those should be being phased out anyway, but also creates a somewhat arbitrary situation in which if the increment is large, an illegal move may result in immediate loss for one player but be not such a big deal for another who has just a second more on their clock.
    I'm not following your argument here. If you have 1 second on the clock, after the reduction to 0.5 second, the result is always rounded up to nearest second, so the penalty is nil - that means in no case the penalty will lead to a direct time loss. This is independent of if the increment is 2 seonds or 10 seconds or 30 seconds. The penalty is just like a 50% tax, it is used both for all the fixed time you have been added (for instance in different periods), and also to each move that was added with the increment time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    This change shows the problems with allowing the General Assembly's powers to change the Laws of Chess to be delegated. Instead of a stable set of Laws every four years we have ended up with this mess where changes (good and bad) can be made with no consultation at short notice.
    I agree. It seems several of the last changes to Rules have been without a thorough debate on the floor between arbiters. They should be heard.
    Chess well played is imagination, calculation, observation, experience and memorization in order of importance.

  2. #17
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldozer View Post
    I consider it as a compensation of time (needed for the correction) rather than penalty. The penalty will be after the second breach.
    It can be considered that way but really the time lost is nothing like two minutes, or one minute for blitz. It can however be seen as the opponent being entitled to be given some time to return to a normal thought process after the incident.

    A loss on time is somewhat arbitrary anyway. If you press the clock just a moment before it reaches 0:00 you are fine because you are added some time. But if you late just for one millionth of a second then you are lost.
    This is true but with a substantial increment most players won't lose on time, and those who do make a move with a fraction of a second on their clock (unless it is the last before the time control) will often lose on time later anyway.

    However many more players will from time to time get down to less than a minute left.

  3. #18
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard View Post
    Would you agree that the penalty is exactly the same if you have 20 seconds on the clock, whether the game is Standard, Rapid or Blitz? That is not silly at all in my opinion. You say that in a Standard game (presumably also with increment) the penalty is far more severe than in a Blitz game with increment. Why?
    Because it is much more likely that a player will have more time on their clock when they make an illegal move in Standard. Indeed a player cannot lose an hour of their time by making an illegal move in blitz.

    It sounds to me as the millionaire that is complaining about losing millions in tax, because he pays 50%, while the beggar on the street corner only pays a few dollars (also 50%). I don't see anything wrong with that.
    I don't agree with this analogy. The millionaire is still rich and the fact that someone else might not have been taxed and might have stayed twice as rich does not affect the millionaire's wellbeing. In chess, losing half your time affects your chances significantly whatever the time control because the opponent still has the same time left.

    The silly thing is what was the law for some time between 2001 and 2014, so that in a Standard or Rapid game you would not lose a single second, but your opponent would get two minutes, while in Blitz the most severe penalty was used: the loss of the game. In my opinion a clear injustice to Blitz under the disguise that it was not manageable otherwise.
    We have had this debate many times before. Just in case anyone missed it, my view is that blitz is different because of (i) practical factors in tournament control and organisation (ii) intrinsic silliness.

    I'm not following your argument here.
    I was talking about uniform time deductions there.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 03-11-2017 at 07:13 PM.

  4. #19
    CC FIDE Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    First of all apologies for just cutting out specific statements from your post. The reader should read the previous post fully to get your full arguments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Because it is much more likely that a player will have more time on their clock when they make an illegal move in Standard. Indeed a player cannot lose an hour of their time by making an illegal move in blitz.
    A shop assistant will also never reach a tax of 50% that will amount to a million dollars. That does not affect whether it is fair to tax the millionaire and the shop assistant with a 50% tax. Probably we will just have to agree to disagree, because I really don't understand your argumentation. Obviously we have a different view on if this is fair and reasonable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    In chess, losing half your time affects your chances significantly whatever the time control because the opponent still has the same time left.
    I thought that was actually my best argument for the 50% penalty, not against it. We will probably just have to agree to disagree on if the penalty is reasonable and adequate.


    A few comments related to the extra administration on applying the penalties in Blitz. It is obvious that the solution of FIDE from January 1, 2018 of adding a minute to the opponent of the player making the first illegal move, will both mean delay from applying the penalty, and enlarging the total remaining time in the game by a minute. Instead it would obviously be a bit better if the offender was instead cut half his time on the clock.

    Additionally I am suggesting that the Blitz players can handle the correction of the illegal move and the reduction of time themselves, without arbiter intervention - unless they disagree about if the move was illegal or any other detail. If all the players are willing to intervene at the illegal move, ideally all the illegal moves can be handled by the players themselves. Of course I know it would be ludicrous to suggest all players in the world will be willing and able to manage that. However I think more and more players will be willing to step up and make the correction.

    If I as a Blitz player make an illegal move, I am quite willing to apply the penalty and correct my move and my clock so the arbiter does not have to intervene. If the situation is reversed and a Blitz player makes an illegal move against me, I am quite willing to apply the penalty for him and his clock too. This means that the ideal situation that all players can handle this themselves, we really only need around 50% of the players willing to give this service to the tournament, and it would go a long way to secure that the burden for the arbiters will go down, probably quite significantly.

    So why am I willing to offer this service to the arbiter? First of all the delay of the interruption of my own games will be diminished. Second I actually despise winning because of the declared loss, because that is a crude way to win a game. Thirdly I feel that this service makes a better tournament environment. If you want to change the world for the better, start with yourself. Fourth I would really hate to lose by an illegal move, even though it seems it never happened to me before in Blitz (perhaps because my memory is lacking on this). Maybe I'm an idealist about offering this service, but maybe there are many more idealist Blitz players if we give them a chance.


    Some Blitz tournaments have only inexperienced players that are not able to offer this service. Some players will be too lazy to participate. Some will not know how to handle the clock. I am not being naive about the practical difficulties, but I am optimistic that this could work.

    If school tournaments with inexperienced players are managed, it could still be possible to state a specific rule (for instance declare a loss if the player of the illegal move cannot correct the move and the clock). Or that first illegal move loses. I believe this would be acceptable in all scholastic tournaments where the results are not ELO rated.
    Last edited by Jesper Norgaard; 03-11-2017 at 09:42 AM.
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  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickC View Post
    While I think increasing the number of illegal moves to two before triggering an automatic loss makes sense for Rapid games, I'm not a supporter of this change for Blitz games because as you say it will create a lot more work for arbiters and may result in each round taking longer due to the extra time added to the opponent's clock (and the time for the arbiter to deal with the claim).
    I don't envy the arbiters. The Australian Blitz Championship on 7th January will be the first test of these new rules in our region. New Zealand will hold their Rapid Championship on 10th-11th January and Blitz also on 11th January.

    I expect there will be sufficiently many arbiters to deal swiftly with any illegal moves as they arise. In a game that goes the full distance, a single illegal move may result in the round being a minimum 2 or 3 minutes longer -- and queries and appeals will stretch the rounds out further. But, speaking as a player, I am optimistic that the scheduling won't be too adversely affected.

    My main concern is not so much scheduling, but that the new rule may not be applied fairly. Players are generally happy to deal with any irregularities themselves without the arbiter's assistance, and often don't listen to the announcements prior to the start of the first round. Consider a game between two players, neither of whom are aware of the new rule. White makes an illegal move and presses the clock; Black claims a 'win'. Player A concedes defeat and the players record the result as 0-1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldozer;
    I consider it as a compensation of time (needed for the correction) rather than penalty. The penalty will be after the second breach.
    This sounds fair. I don't support a reduction of a player's time for an illegal move: if the purpose of the rule change is to permit each player one solitary illegal move, why should it be penalised (unless the player is blatantly breaking rules in an attempt to obtain an unfair advantage, e.g. by deliberately moving their king into check in the hope that the opponent will capture it)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard;
    Additionally I am suggesting that the Blitz players can handle the correction of the illegal move and the reduction of time themselves, without arbiter intervention - unless they disagree about if the move was illegal or any other detail. If all the players are willing to intervene at the illegal move, ideally all the illegal moves can be handled by the players themselves. Of course I know it would be ludicrous to suggest all players in the world will be willing and able to manage that. However I think more and more players will be willing to step up and make the correction.
    I am sure it does happen in club chess, and probably in lower levels of some other sports, that players are willing and able to sort out problems themselves. But this is generally not permitted in higher-level contests in any sport, and perhaps with good reason: the example in my third paragraph above indicates that there is some danger in doing so.

    Specifically, the danger is that when the arbiting is left to unqualified arbiters, the rules may not be applied correctly, and penalties may not be consistent -- even disregarding whatever interest these players will have in their own decisions. My preference is to let the tournament arbiters handle all such situations. After all, it is up to the arbiters to uphold the Laws, and they are the ones best placed to ensure that all players are dealt with fairly.
    Last edited by Andrew Hardegen; 03-11-2017 at 01:59 PM.
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  6. #21
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard View Post
    First of all apologies for just cutting out specific statements from your post.
    On the contrary. I strongly encourage posters to only quote the parts they are replying to and not feel obliged to quote the lot, so I approve.

    I thought that was actually my best argument for the 50% penalty, not against it.
    I think it is more important to strongly deter illegal moves in blitz because if they are not deterred they become more of a problem for arbiters, and also players become more tempted to cheat. In a normal time control game an illegal move is a rare event and just fixing it and getting on with the game would normally be sufficient.

    A few comments related to the extra administration on applying the penalties in Blitz. It is obvious that the solution of FIDE from January 1, 2018 of adding a minute to the opponent of the player making the first illegal move, will both mean delay from applying the penalty, and enlarging the total remaining time in the game by a minute. Instead it would obviously be a bit better if the offender was instead cut half his time on the clock.
    When the offender has a reasonable amount of time I prefer your penalty (though I prefer immediate loss of game in Blitz to either.) But if a player has two seconds plus an increment of three seconds per move, taking one second from them is unlikely to make any difference, whereas giving time to the opponent could make a big difference.

    If I as a Blitz player make an illegal move, I am quite willing to apply the penalty and correct my move and my clock so the arbiter does not have to intervene.
    I think a lot of players will just forget how much time they have if they are allowed to adjust the clock themselves in such cases.

  7. #22
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    No, two illegal moves at any stage of the game.

    If the arbiter is not watching, the player will need to claim the first illegal move when it happens, otherwise it will not be treated as illegal, meaning that a second illegal move won't lose.

    This is going to create a lot more work for arbiters in blitz tournaments.
    Most unusual. Normally the silliest rule changes have increased arbiterial and organizational power at the expense of players’ rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    I'm opposed to it for the same reason. There should have been more consultation about it.
    That would be a first.
    1. In the USA, state after state votes to keep marriage as it's always been.
    The Left: judges should overrule the people.

    2. In Australia, the people vote to allow gay marriage.
    The Left: the minority should shut up and let the majority have its way.

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