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  1. #1
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    Moving pieces around on board

    In a 60+30 game, one player plays a check. Incorrectly thinking it is mate, he analyses by making numerous moves on the board for both sides.

    Should he be forfeited for analysing a game in progress?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM_Bill View Post
    In a 60+30 game, one player plays a check. Incorrectly thinking it is mate, he analyses by making numerous moves on the board for both sides.

    Should he be forfeited for analysing a game in progress?
    Where is the opponent?
    Does the opponent think they have been checkmated?
    Have the scoresheets been signed?
    Does the opponent take part in this anaysis?

    Answers to any of these questions would change my mind, but assuming the opponent is not present and the player plays his move and then starts analysing before the opponent returns the player has gained an advantage by analysing the position. It also seems to be at least very rude to the opponent by not letting them return to the board to see the checkmate if it had been checkmate and analysis should not be done in the playing area but in a seperate area.
    It deserves a large punishment, maybe a large reduction in time remaining for the player and an addition of time to the opponent, the amounts to be decided depending on how much time was left for each player, but I don't think the player can really complain if they are declared to have lost the game. Strictly speaking it would not be a forfeit, it would be recorded as a normal result and the game rated as such.
    Last edited by Scott Colliver; 21-06-2022 at 08:52 PM.

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    Thinking about it more, I do not think even a large time adjustment is enough, because there is always a possibility the player has discovered a result altering idea that may not have occured to them otherwise and they could play that idea even with very limited time.

    So I think there is no choice but to declare the player has lost the game.

    If the opponent did not have mating material then there could be an agrument to only give them half a point, but the situation is probably more like losing a game because of a mobile phone infringement than losing a game on time. So I think it should be 1-0 to the opponent no matter the position on the board, but I am not completely certain that this is the correct outcome.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Colliver View Post
    Where is the opponent? At the board.
    Does the opponent think they have been checkmated? No.
    Have the scoresheets been signed? No.
    Does the opponent take part in this analysis? No.

    Answers to any of these questions would change my mind, but assuming the opponent is not present and the player plays his move and then starts analysing before the opponent returns the player has gained an advantage by analysing the position. It also seems to be at least very rude to the opponent by not letting them return to the board to see the checkmate if it had been checkmate and analysis should not be done in the playing area but in a seperate area.
    It deserves a large punishment, maybe a large reduction in time remaining for the player and an addition of time to the opponent, the amounts to be decided depending on how much time was left for each player, but I don't think the player can really complain if they are declared to have lost the game. Strictly speaking it would not be a forfeit, it would be recorded as a normal result and the game rated as such.
    The opponent was given an extra 2 minutes, but he claimed he lost 9 minutes. They played on under protest. There is more to this story, however I am just curious to know if analysing on the board is worth an instant forfeit.
    Last edited by FM_Bill; 21-06-2022 at 11:20 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM_Bill View Post
    The opponent was given an extra 2 minutes, but he claimed he lost 9 minutes. They played on under protest. There is more to this story, however I am just curious to know if analysing on the board is worth an instant forfeit.
    Terrible decision by the arbiter as it fails to take into account that the analysis might have completely changed the outcome of the game.

    I feel that the possibility of a result changing advantage from the analysis means the game has to be declared lost by the player.

    I hope others give their opinion as I might be wrong.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM_Bill View Post
    In a 60+30 game, one player plays a check. Incorrectly thinking it is mate, he analyses by making numerous moves on the board for both sides.

    Should he be forfeited for analysing a game in progress?
    This is quite possibly one of the billions of examples that show why non-playing arbiters should always be used.

    As a non-playing arbiter, I will generally notice immediately when players start to converse. Typically this marks either an irregularity, or more often the 'conclusion' of a game. If I am not distracted elsewhere, I will go over to the board in question. If one or both players believes the game has concluded, then I will verify that the game has indeed reached a valid conclusion, that the correct result has been recorded, and collect the scoresheets from the players. It seems these steps were not taken here.

    If I were the arbiter, there would be a bunch of questions that I would need to have answered before making a ruling on this, such as:

    1. What are the ages and ratings (approximately) of the players?

    It is common for weak juniors to play a check and declare that it is mate when it isn't.

    2. When did Player A (who delivered the 'mate') become aware that it was not in fact mate? FM_Bill has indicated that Player B (who was 'mated') was aware that it was not checkmate. Did Player B alert Player A to this fact, or even raise the question "Is it mate"?

    3. Player B claims that he lost 9 minutes. How? He would not have needed to lose any time, as he should have stopped his clock. Having an opponent doing analysis on the game board is a valid reason for stopping the clock.

    4. Where was the arbiter while all this was going on?

    5. Player B was present at the board, but FM_Bill says that he was not taking part in the analysis. He is, however, witnessing the analysis, so in that sense, he is participating in it -- even more so, if he did not attract the attention of the arbiter immediately. Perhaps Player B was drawing his own benefit from the analysis, comparable to Player A. Again, hard to tell without more specific details.

    6. I'm hoping that FM_Bill could give his opinion on whether Player A could reasonably be seen to have benefited from the analysis? At the time of the incident, was the game clearly 'winning' for either player, or perhaps a clear draw? Would a strong player be of the view that the analysis that took place had a reasonable possibility of changing the game outcome? And for whom?
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  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM_Bill View Post
    In a 60+30 game, one player plays a check. Incorrectly thinking it is mate, he analyses by making numerous moves on the board for both sides.

    Should he be forfeited for analysing a game in progress?
    Firstly if he's ruled to have lost that's a default (rateable) not a forfeit (not rateable). I think the term "forfeit" is best kept to cases where one player does not start the game.

    In general I wouldn't default him but I would take time off the player (for gaining an unfair advantage and distracting the opponent) and add time to the opponent (for recovering from the distraction). Also if a clock has been left running during all this then it needs to be adjusted fairly.

    In terms of the opponent's response, even if the opponent agreed it was mate, that is irrelevant to the game continuing; incorrectly agreeing you've been mated is not the same as resigning. It may have some bearing on the appropriate penalty.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    In general I wouldn't default him but I would take time off the player (for gaining an unfair advantage and distracting the opponent) and add time to the opponent (for recovering from the distraction).
    Player A has engaged in behaviour that was very likely to have distracted his opponent. This is incontrovertible, hence I agree that taking time off Player A is very reasonable as a minimum.

    I'm not sure about how to penalise/compensate Player B as I am confused about their role in the scenario. Before awarding extra time to Player B, I would need to look into the extent to which they collaborated with Player A in the game board analysis. FM_Bill gave answers to Scott Colliver's questions inline, inside quote tags containing Scott's original questions, and FM_Bill says that Player B does not believe that he has been checkmated. Given this, Player B should not be engaging in analysis or be sitting there watching the analysis of his game, as Player B believes that the game is still in progress. If Player B were complicit then time should be deducted from them as well, as a minimum.

    Youth and inexperience are mitigating factors here, hence my Question 1 about ages and ratings of the players. If this happened in the Candidates, you would expect that one or both players would be defaulted. Similarly, most players rated 1800 or above would be able to deduce correctly whether a move is checkmate or not, and would have been playing chess long enough to know that analysing on the board during play is cheating. Hence, in this instance, an arbiter could be justified in applying the same standards to 1800-rated players as they would to players in the Candidates.

    If Player A is inexperienced, then it is understandable that they may have believed that they had checkmated their opponent and that the game was over. Any distraction caused by Player A in these circumstances is a result of their own confusion, and this should be taken into account (though of course Player A's actions are still a potential distraction, whether this is deliberate or not). As such, a simple time penalty might suffice to such a Player A.

    Kevin Bonham makes a very good point in the other thread, namely that inexperienced players, particularly young juniors, can easily be intimidated by older players into accepting a wrong outcome. If Player B is a much younger and inexperienced junior, then they might falsely believe that they have been mated. Or, as in this case, they may realise that they have not been mated. In the latter case, Player B, if playing against an older player, may simply lack the confidence to make a valid claim, or may not know who to make the claim to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Also if a clock has been left running during all this then it needs to be adjusted fairly.
    I agree that Player B's clock should ideally be adjusted fairly. The reality is that it is difficult to identify how much time has actually been lost by Player B. They claim 9 minutes. Given that Player B believed that something was wrong, why did it take them 9 minutes to find an arbiter? Why, in this 9 minute interval, did they not point out to Player A that their move was not checkmate, if they had known this all along? [Had they pointed out to Player A that it was not checkmate, and had Player A then continued to move pieces around on the game board, then I would not hesitate to award the game to Player B, provided that the end position was legal and Player B were able to win by some sequence of legal moves.] Perhaps an arbiter watching the game or spectator would be able to corroborate the claim of 9 minutes lost. Otherwise, I would be a bit skeptical (as it appears the arbiter may have been in this case).

    In practical club chess, the arbiter will not be watching every game as closely as the FIDE Arbiters' Manual would like them to, and two players may disagree over an irregularity that occurs. The complainant is more likely to get a result from their complaint if they stop the clock immediately and find an arbiter while the evidence is fresh. If they wait 9 minutes before stopping the clock and making a claim, then they run the risk of not getting the same outcome, and not getting their clock time corrected in full.
    Last edited by Andrew Hardegen; 23-06-2022 at 02:07 PM.
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  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Hopefully we will get the "more to this story". I am wondering if B incorrectly agreed that they had been checkmated and was participating in the analysis on that basis.
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  10. #10
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    I wasn't there. However, B did not agree it was mate and did not participate in the analysis. The players were adults something like 1500 strength so in theory they would realise it was not mate. I have not seen any positions from the game. Apparently, A went into a long flurry of moves during his analysis.

    I recall a rule which is that if a player analyses on another board, you lose by default. There is no need to decide if it helped the player or not. In this case maybe it could be ruled as a mistake and probably a 5 minute bonus would have been better.

    I will see if I have permission to post the full story.
    Last edited by FM_Bill; 23-06-2022 at 11:22 PM.
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  11. #11
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    I missed that Bill had answered my questions inside the quote so my answer after that still assumed the opponent was not at the board as I could not believe this happened with the opponent at the board.

    So both are at the board and Player A plays a move giving check and they claim to have thought it was checkmate.

    Did Player A do anything to indicate they thought they had delivered checkmate?
    Did they do any of the following before they started analysing the position,
    1. Announce checkmate when they made the move
    2. Stop the clock as though the game was over
    3. Offer to shake hands
    4. Write the supposed result on their scoresheet

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FM_Bill View Post
    I recall a rule which is that if a player analyses on another board, you lose by default.
    In the current Laws there is this:

    11.3.1

    During play the players are forbidden to use any notes, sources of information or advice, or analyse any game on another chessboard.
    No particular penalty is specified, so the penalty is left at the discretion of the arbiter. At my club there is a strong player who while playing, and not having the move, would occasionally amble over to the analysis boards, and start analysing with players from the lower boards who had already finished their games. While forbidden, I thought it was a nice touch, so on the few occasions that I saw him doing this, I would merely explain 11.3.1 to him politely, and ask him not to analyse on other boards during his games. No harsher penalty was ever necessary: he learnt the rule soon enough, and stopped doing it.


    Quote Originally Posted by FM_Bill View Post
    There is no need to decide if it helped the player or not.
    The Preface to the Laws of Chess states that the Laws cannot cover all situations that arise, and invites arbiters to use their freedom of judgment in cases that are not precisely regulated. The Laws may cover analogous situations, but sometimes they do not. Since the penalty for this particular infraction is not specified, one appropriate question is: "Has it happened before, and what penalty(ies) was(were) given to the wrongdoer?". An approach to these cases based in common law (i.e. precedent) is essential in order to achieve consistency. Together with the question of precedent, I would also consider: "To what extent has the wrongdoer done harm to others, or benefited personally, as a result of his wrongdoing?" In many things, I take a consequentialist viewpoint -- giving more weight to outcomes rather than the actions that lead to them -- so I would be more inclined to penalise a wrongdoer more heavily if his actions result in outcomes that I evaluate to be more unjust. After all, a greater injustice generally requires stronger action to correct it. Different individuals approach these questions in different ways: arbiters who are more process-oriented may take a more deontological standpoint and apply a uniform penalty to all analogous cases, irrespective of what the outcomes of the wrongdoing may be in each case.

    Quote Originally Posted by FM_Bill View Post
    In this case maybe it could be ruled as a mistake and probably a 5 minute bonus would have been better.
    You may well be right. I hope you are able to share the full story.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hardegen View Post
    In the current Laws there is this:



    No particular penalty is specified, so the penalty is left at the discretion of the arbiter. At my club there is a strong player who while playing, and not having the move, would occasionally amble over to the analysis boards, and start analysing with players from the lower boards who had already finished their games. While forbidden, I thought it was a nice touch, so on the few occasions that I saw him doing this, I would merely explain 11.3.1 to him politely, and ask him not to analyse on other boards during his games. No harsher penalty was ever necessary: he learnt the rule soon enough, and stopped doing it.




    The Preface to the Laws of Chess states that the Laws cannot cover all situations that arise, and invites arbiters to use their freedom of judgment in cases that are not precisely regulated. The Laws may cover analogous situations, but sometimes they do not. Since the penalty for this particular infraction is not specified, one appropriate question is: "Has it happened before, and what penalty(ies) was(were) given to the wrongdoer?". An approach to these cases based in common law (i.e. precedent) is essential in order to achieve consistency. Together with the question of precedent, I would also consider: "To what extent has the wrongdoer done harm to others, or benefited personally, as a result of his wrongdoing?" In many things, I take a consequentialist viewpoint -- giving more weight to outcomes rather than the actions that lead to them -- so I would be more inclined to penalise a wrongdoer more heavily if his actions result in outcomes that I evaluate to be more unjust. After all, a greater injustice generally requires stronger action to correct it. Different individuals approach these questions in different ways: arbiters who are more process-oriented may take a more deontological standpoint and apply a uniform penalty to all analogous cases, irrespective of what the outcomes of the wrongdoing may be in each case.



    You may well be right. I hope you are able to share the full story.
    I consider 11.3.1 to describe methods of cheating and should be dealt with by loss of the game they are playing and explusion from the event

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Colliver View Post
    I consider 11.3.1 to describe methods of cheating and should be dealt with by loss of the game they are playing and explusion from the event
    Then you would be wrong.
    If loss of game was the penalty for breach of article 11.3.1 then the Laws of Chess would explicitly state that. They don’t because it isn’t.
    Also the Arbiter’s manual makes no comment whatsoever over possible penalties for breach of article 11.3.1.
    Arbiters are expected to be fair and should use good judgement. Defaulting players as a first option doesn’t generally fit that description.
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  15. #15
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    The point of 11.3.1 is to discourage players from gaining an advantage by analysing their own game or something that might be in some way relevant to their own game on another board. It might seem that they are gaining no advantage from analysing a completely different game but who knows, there might be a theme there that is relevant to their own game and so that is not allowed; simpler to just say players can't analyse any game on another board (likewise they can't read a book about the Sicilian during the game even if they are actually playing the Slav). Also analysing a completely different game on a different board may create a disruption.

    A player analysing a completely different game isn't attempting to cheat, they are just breaking the rules through ignorance and a polite explanation is entirely correct.

    The very odd case of a player analysing their game in the false belief that they have delivered checkmate and the game has ended is more serious, but even here it's most likely the player is gaining no advantage from analysing lines from earlier positions in the game.

    If a player was found to be trying to analyse their own game in progress on another board with a view to better understanding the position and thus gaining an advantage then in my view loss of game is an appropriate penalty in most if not all cases, but there is no specific rule to that effect.
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