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  1. #1
    CC FIDE Master Jesper Norgaard's Avatar
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    Miscarriage of justice

    I want to discuss these six game fragments in different modes of play

    (1) Player A makes an illegal move, confused by that move player B makes an illegal move, and the arbiter is called
    (2) 1.e4 d6 2.Bb5+ h5 3.Qxh5 White (player A) will win the rook and Black (player B) cannot retract the illegal move
    (3) From a dead position, Player A makes an illegal move, player B does not notice and player A has a winning position
    (4) With rook pawn and wrong bishop which is a draw, Player A plays bishop from white square to black square, and Player B doesn't notice, so A wins
    (5) Player B has the last pawn, player A lone king, and B promotes but to a wrong color queen, and A makes a move and wants to mate B
    (6) In a pawn race, player A pushes his pawn to the middle of the square where it could go, and the next square, and then in the next move again 1.5 square ahead, so that the pawn in 2 moves have advanced 3 squares ahead, and A wins the pawn race. Once player B has made a return move, he would like to retract the illegal moves.

    In all 6 cases, if this was a Standard game, the first illegal move would be retracted and the player committing it will be penalized. In (2) and (5) this means that player B is penalized, but allowed to retract his illegal move, and neither player gets an unfair advantage.

    In this is a Rapid or Blitz game, player A benefits unfairly to win a game that he should not have won. In all cases this leads to a miscarriage of justice for player B. Case (2) is especially easy to occur, but was not so relevant before, because the first illegal move would lose for player B, but now with only the second illegal move losing, there is a more "efficient" way to utilize the error of exposing the king to check, and it will always result in a game that is not recognizable as chess, because the illegal move shall stand according to A.4.2.

    We can avoid all these miscarriages of justice by eliminating A.4.2 and correcting all illegal moves in Rapid and Blitz games with 7.5.1

    If there is a dispute between players about which moves were made, it is true that it is easier to make an informed decision when there are two score sheets to compare, that should contain all the moves, but that will never guarantee that there is absolute consistency between the two score sheets. If there exists a discrepancy between the players' testimony, the arbiter must sometimes recognize that it is a word against word situation, and we cannot solve these without extra evidence, which could be DGT board output, video surveillance, an arbiter assistant watching, a credible witness etc. If both players are truthful we will always be able to correct all illegal moves, provided of course the players still remember correctly what happened. Just like in touch-move situations, when the players don't agree, there is nothing more to do than carry on the game from the position on the board.

    I was always baffled that the arbiter should act to eliminate all illegal moves in Standard games, but try to protect illegal moves in Rapid and Blitz games once a return move has been made. Isn't that encouraging miscarriage of justice? In the six examples above, this seems to be the end result.
    Chess well played is imagination, calculation, observation, experience and memorization in order of importance.

  2. #2
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    When FIDE implemented this crap of allowing an illegal move in blitz and rapid they opened themselves up to gamesmanship.
    And me being me, I've more than obliging to exploit this loophole.
    I have had situations similar to your (2) where my opponent left his king in check, only for me to play some crazy queen sack winning material, all for me to then announce check.
    I have also deliberately played an illegal move that gives me a huge advantage, forcing my opponent to stop the clock, call an arbiter to apply the time penalty. The large time delay of finding an arbiter, watching the arbiter explain the rule and awarding the extra time can sometimes take up to 2-3 minutes, during this 2-3 I had more than enough time to think whilst my opponent is completely distracted... Yes i know its still touch move, but you move a pined piece or blocked pawn you are not obliged to move it.

    On a side note your (4) looks like fun, I must try this next time I have this drawn position.

    Until FIDE fix's this, they must understand that this is allowed in the rule as the disrepute rules are far too vague and clearly open to interpretation. And no competent arbiter would forfeit a player for this as its pushing boundaries far too far.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlairMandla View Post
    I have also deliberately played an illegal move that gives me a huge advantage, forcing my opponent to stop the clock, call an arbiter to apply the time penalty. The large time delay of finding an arbiter, watching the arbiter explain the rule and awarding the extra time can sometimes take up to 2-3 minutes, during this 2-3 I had more than enough time to think whilst my opponent is completely distracted...
    This is just terrible sportsmanship.
    Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

  4. #4
    CC FIDE Master
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    Not sure about the answer to 3 being a correction - if you can demonstrate that a dead position occurred at the board, the game is drawn regardless of subsequent moves (illegal or otherwise).
    IA Craig Hall

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  5. #5
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    Ever picked up a coin from the gutter?
    Ever ran a red light when nobody was present?
    Ever been in the right lane on a freeway when not overtaking?
    Ever connectected to a public WiFi without permission?
    These are pretty common illegal things we do in day to day life, we often do it because nobody will known otherwise or its convenient, just because we do it does it make us bad people?

    You see this behaviour in sports aswell, Soccer players flopping for penalties, basketball players kick their legs out for fouls, tennis players serving underarm, tennis players taking too long to serve, tennis players grunting, swimmers swimming underwater for extended periods, cricket players bowling underarm... the list goes on.

    The point is rules need to not have loopholes, there is a very blatant of obvious loophole with the FIDE illegal move rules in blitz and rapid.

  6. #6
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    I haven't taught chess in around 7 years.
    And I see no problem with it, I lost a game earlier in the year via the same tactic.
    You congratulate your opponent and move on.

    Your point is making it sound like you are still made over Trevor Chappell
    Last edited by BlairMandla; 09-07-2019 at 08:41 PM.

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlairMandla View Post
    Until FIDE fix's this, they must understand that this is allowed in the rule as the disrepute rules are far too vague and clearly open to interpretation. And no competent arbiter would forfeit a player for this as its pushing boundaries far too far.
    No competent arbiter would forfeit a player for deliberately playing illegal moves, but they might very well default them (and perhaps expel them from the tournament too). The difference is that a default is rated.

    Yes, the disrepute rule is vague and open to interpretation. That includes it being open to the interpretation that a player who deliberately cheats in any way should be kicked out of the tournament. FIDE have had ample opportunity to clarify the rule and stop arbiters from being able to use it in that way, and haven't done so. They have left such situations to the judgement of the arbiter, as modified by the judgement of the appeals committee where necessary.

    Appeals committees apply all kinds of standards but a common standard is that an arbiter's decision stands if it is not clearly or at least probably wrong, ie if it is reasonable. Applying harsh penalties to prevent cheating is reasonable. Indeed if you can't apply harsh penalties to control deliberate cheating, what are they for?

    A common standard stressed by leading IAs at Rules Commission meetings has been that the Laws for the most part assume good faith by the players and are written as they are to punish honest errors, not deliberate ones. IA Geurt Gijssen - chairman of the Rules Commission at the time he said it though not speaking in an official capacity - once said he would use it against a top-level player who played on making legal moves with KNN vs K purely in the hope of flagging an opponent. That's obviously milder than deliberately making illegal moves. And players caught with a mobile phone on them are defaulted because they could potentially use it to cheat - even if they haven't done so.

    The important thing to stress here is that the arbiter must be certain that the illegal move was deliberate, and must have good reason to be certain. An arbiter who defaulted a player just because the arbiter believed the illegal move was deliberate would be cruising for an overturning on appeal. Often players benefit from unintentional illegal moves.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 09-07-2019 at 11:26 PM.

  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesper Norgaard View Post
    (6) In a pawn race, player A pushes his pawn to the middle of the square where it could go, and the next square, and then in the next move again 1.5 square ahead, so that the pawn in 2 moves have advanced 3 squares ahead, and A wins the pawn race. Once player B has made a return move, he would like to retract the illegal moves.
    Are you saying player A would like to retract the illegal move? I would let him. A.4.2 "[..] Once the opponent has made his next move, an illegal move cannot be corrected unless this is agreed by the players without intervention of the arbiter." So A says to me "Hey, I just realised that I moved my pawn three squares in two moves and I want to wind back the position so I only moved two squares." I say to B, "Are you happy with this?" B says yes, I say "OK then." I consider this to be facilitating an agreement, not intervening. Even if I'm wrong, nobody's going to appeal.

  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlairMandla View Post
    You see this behaviour in sports aswell, Soccer players flopping for penalties, basketball players kick their legs out for fouls, tennis players serving underarm, tennis players taking too long to serve, tennis players grunting, swimmers swimming underwater for extended periods, cricket players bowling underarm... the list goes on.
    Most of these cases involve players playing within the rules but in an unsporting manner. They are not comparable to deliberately making an illegal move, which is both unsporting and against the rules.

    Deliberate diving in soccer is comparable in that it is against the rules but players often get away with it because it is hard to reliably detect. A player who deliberately made illegal moves but pretended they were accidents would be in a similar category, but if they did it often enough they'd soon get a local reputation for it.

    I have had situations similar to your (2) where my opponent left his king in check, only for me to play some crazy queen sack winning material, all for me to then announce check.
    This is fine; I don't even think this is unsporting. It's the opponent's responsibility to not leave their king in check in blitz and rapid because blitz and rapid events are time-sensitive and arbiters shouldn't have to continually be sorting out messes in them.

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