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Jesper Norgaard
15-07-2009, 08:02 PM
Geurt Gijssen considers a question of a funny game constructed to test the Laws of Chess, I believe, in his latest July column in ChessCafe. He is asked to consider it for all three types of Chess (Normal, Rapid, Blitz).

White starts the game with King and Queen reversed from the start. This can nullify the game at any state of a Normal game (to play a new game), or in the first three moves of Rapid or Blitz, if presented to the arbiter during the game. However in the game itself, apparently checkmate immediately ends the game, provided that the move was legal. White is trying his luck with the Fools mate (and it becomes a fools mate all right, but to himself!).

1.e4,e5 2.Bc4,d6 3.Kh5,g6+ mate! Hilarious stuff. Now all of this nonsense could be stopped during the game if somebody protests, both the reversed King and Queen positioning and the illegal Kh5 move. But apparently full house always wins, so the checkmate ends the game which makes it impossible to protest even to an appeal committee. The general problem is that some rules in the Laws of Chess are stated to be above other rules explicitly. This is not good rule making, for instance compare to these statements 1. All Danish are liars 2. I am Danish. Did I tell the truth? Nobody can tell because the rules are self-inflicting. Rules should not be able to tell something about themselves but about anything else (for instance Chess).

I seem to agree on Geurt on this one, but I also sense he is playing the Devil's advocate. He himself suggested in 2004 that it be "checkmate ends the game immediately provided all moves are legal", but he lost the vote. Perhaps some arbiters were afraid they would have to check all moves of the tourney or else be held accountable, but I think that is a non-issue. If you accept that you lost the game by signing the scoresheet, that is just it, no turning back. If you were however presented with 3...g6+ checkmate, you should be able to protest and have that nonsense anulled, before you sign the scoresheet. We don't really need to check every game for all moves if they were legal - the players should protest before the game concludes, then the claim of having wrong start positions of pieces or illegal moves can be checked for correctness, and resolved with common sense.

Kevin Bonham
15-07-2009, 08:32 PM
I think if you make an illegal move, press the clock, and get checkmated by a legal move made in response, then that's your problem and there should be no recourse. In a blitz game they could have just as easily lost by claim of illegal move anyway.

I am a little more sympathetic to a case where White makes an illegal move, Black not noticing the illegality makes a legal response, then White delivers mate immediately before Black realises what just happened. But I am not sure it justifies changing the move.

I am glad Geurt's 2004 proposal was rejected because it would indeed give rise to endless attempts by checkmated players to argue they were not checkmated because of some illegal move much earlier in the game. Of course, such players would refuse to sign the scoresheet while the checkmate was under review.

I mentioned before that I have had a few incidents involving this sort of thing. In one I unintentionally played an illegal move and my opponent responded by stalemating me. In another my opponent played an illegal move in blitz and I responded by resigning. :rolleyes:

Bill Gletsos
15-07-2009, 09:19 PM
Player A picks up a piece.
Player A moves his piece and releases it on a square.
Before Player A can press his clock Player B touches and moves a piece and release it on a square checkmating his Player A.
Player A having not "completed his move" because he has not pressed his clock replaces the piece he picked up on its original square and makes a legal move by either moving that piece legally or if it cannot legally move making a legal move with another piece.
Player A then presses his clock.

Player B then needs to retract his move and is free to make another move with any piece.


After all a player cannot be forced to make an illegal move however this is essentially what is happening if he is not allowed to correct his illegal move if he has not pressed his clock completing his move.

Jesper Norgaard
15-07-2009, 09:45 PM
I am glad Geurt's 2004 proposal was rejected because it would indeed give rise to endless attempts by checkmated players to argue they were not checkmated because of some illegal move much earlier in the game. Of course, such players would refuse to sign the scoresheet while the checkmate was under review.
I am not sure there would be so many cases like this, even though you state you have seen some. There would be a lot less cases than 10.2 claims, which I hear are not so common after all. It is kind of unusual to not notice an earlier illegal move until you get checkmated, unless the illegal move directly influenced that the checkmate could arise. Of course cheaters might hide that they know an earlier illegal move, and they use it to be able to find an emergency exit, since the arbiter must restore that position on their claim. But those cheaters would probably not wait until their own checkmate to use this emergency exit.

The 10.2 disputes could potentially arise in every game, but statistics show it happens seldom. In the case of a dispute of checkmate indeed the scoresheet had to be checked with some tedious checking, but not endless, and not anything out of the ordinary compared to any other position where checkmate did not happen as the last position, and there is a claim about an earlier illegal move.

My concern is principally that we are trying to uphold nonsense that in any other aspects of the Laws of Chess the arbiter is expected to verify and correct - just because by chance checkmate resulted. I would have red ears if I had to deliver a PGN file from Dortmund or Linares with the above 3-move game. Many Chess databases would not be able to show such a game. :oops:

I think you should have red ears about your stalemate too, although I understand it was unintentional on your part. More importantly I don't think the Laws of Chess should uphold Normal games with illegal moves like this, I fail to see the rationale. In my opinion this is truely bringing Chess into disrepute! :rolleyes: - and I think the correct thing in your game would have been to continue from before the illegal move, in other words I think also the stalemate should not stand if there were earlier illegal moves.


In another my opponent played an illegal move in blitz and I responded by resigning. :rolleyes:
Yes if you resign there is no mercy, and I agree that the result should stand.

Kevin Bonham
15-07-2009, 09:45 PM
Re #3 - Yes. This is why I included "press the clock". If you haven't pressed the clock then checkmate in reply does not end the game and will have to be retracted to allow you to replace your illegal move with a legal one.

Kevin Bonham
15-07-2009, 09:58 PM
I am not sure there would be so many cases like this, even though you state you have seen some. There would be a lot less cases than 10.2 claims, which I hear are not so common after all.

From 1997 to about 2005 I ran numerous tournaments with guillotine finishes without increments - typically four or five such tournaments per year. In many tournaments we would get no 10.2 claims at all but in some other tournaments we had as many as three. Nine-tenths of them were very easy to rule on, and most were rejected. So yes in my experience 10.2 claims were much commoner than illegal moves, but at higher levels players in such tournaments were probably more likely to avoid making 10.2 claims in positions where they knew they would not be upheld.


In the case of a dispute of checkmate indeed the scoresheet had to be checked with some tedious checking, but not endless, and not anything out of the ordinary compared to any other position where checkmate did not happen as the last position, and there is a claim about an earlier illegal move.

I would be concerned about junior chess. In low-level junior chess scoring is often poor and illegal moves are very common.


My concern is principally that we are trying to uphold nonsense that in any other aspects of the Laws of Chess the arbiter is expected to verify and correct - just because by chance checkmate resulted.

It is up to the players to ensure they do not play nonsense and if they do play nonsense there is a risk they will be checkmated for it and lose the game.

Of course if I was confident the players were conspiring to concoct such a nonsense game I would rule the result zero-zero.


I think you should have red ears about your stalemate too, although I understand it was unintentional on your part.

Pretty sure there were no red ears on my part at the time. :D

It was a very odd thing to happen but if the opponent had not run himself down to c. 20 seconds for K+Q against K in the process of outplaying me then he would have been in a better position to notice I had unintentionally made an illegal move. Had he been able to reach said endgame with more time on his clock I would have just resigned.

The point you make about databases being unable to handle illegal moves is a good one. This is often a problem and it would be good for all databases to include something like "You have entered an illegal move. Are you really really sure you want to do this?" and allow for the option of illegal moves being entered.

Jesper Norgaard
15-07-2009, 10:05 PM
Player A having not "completed his move" because he has not pressed his clock replaces the piece he picked up on its original square and makes a legal move by either moving that piece legally or making a legal move with another piece.

Player A could not make a legal move with another piece, unless all other moves with the first piece are illegal (touch-rule) - however I understand what you (probably) meant.

Bill Gletsos
15-07-2009, 10:10 PM
Player A could not make a legal move with another piece, unless all other moves with the first piece are illegal (touch-rule) - however I understand what you (probably) meant.Thanks.
I have clarified it.

Jesper Norgaard
15-07-2009, 10:11 PM
It was a very odd thing to happen but if the opponent had not run himself down to c. 20 seconds for K+Q against K in the process of outplaying me then he would have been in a better position to notice I had unintentionally made an illegal move. Had he been able to reach said endgame with more time on his clock I would have just resigned.
Another case for arguing that all chess moves should have an increment. Then you would surely just have resigned much earlier :lol:

Saragossa
15-07-2009, 10:15 PM
So we don't have to double threads. What is the point of a signed scoresheet? Is it simply so the game can be reproduced and is said to be accurate by both players? Or some other reason? Because I constantly stuff my scoresheets up and often have illegal moves recorded that didn't actually happen in the game I just wrote it down wrong.

Kevin Bonham
15-07-2009, 10:16 PM
Another case for arguing that all chess moves should have an increment. Then you would surely just have resigned much earlier :lol:

Indeed - but given that I was in serious time trouble in that endgame too, if the game had had an increment, I may have been able to defend better and not get in a lost position in the first place.

Kevin Bonham
15-07-2009, 10:19 PM
So we don't have to double threads. What is the point of a signed scoresheet? Is it simply so the game can be reproduced and is said to be accurate by both players? Or some other reason? Because I constantly stuff my scoresheets up and often have illegal moves recorded that didn't actually happen in the game I just wrote it down wrong.

Many tournaments enforce signed scoresheets so that it can be said that the players have agreed to the result of the game being as indicated. At low levels it is usually not bothered with.

I didn't switch to algebraic scoring until about age 22 and I am still prone to record completely the wrong move now and then, especially if there are not numbers and letters on the side of the board or worse still they are the wrong way around. Quite embarrassing really.

Jesper Norgaard
16-07-2009, 05:30 AM
I would be concerned about junior chess. In low-level junior chess scoring is often poor and illegal moves are very common.

I understand the concern, but since they are probably pretty clueless in the first place about the illegal moves, they would also not claim an illegal move after checkmate. Perhaps their Dad would, though :)



It is up to the players to ensure they do not play nonsense and if they do play nonsense there is a risk they will be checkmated for it and lose the game.

The example game is in fact a little ingenuous construct in itself, leading to checkmate in 3 moves with both illegal start position and an illegal move that would have been legal if the King and Queen had been reversed, in other words if the start position had been correct. Both players may have been in good faith since for instance 3...g6 is the normal reaction to the Qh5,Bc4 attack. But even if the arbiter and the two players agree that the moves played were meant to be 1.e4,e5 2.Bc4,d6 3.Qh5,g6 (for instance being able to continue with the normal moves 4.Qf3,Nf6) then the hands of the arbiter are tied. Once he has witnessed that in fact a checkmate position has occurred, he must uphold that according to 5.1(a) and I don't see that he can legally obstain from that, exactly because it is only required that the last move was a legal move. My opinion is that in both determining checkmate and stalemate there should be a criteria that provided all moves and the start position to be correct. It does not mean you have check all the moves for legality in each game. It just opens up for an exception to that the game ended if there were an illegal move or illegal start position, provided there is a claim of this fact (as there is in the example).

So the risk is rather that the arbiter must ophold a nonsense game, even though he would prefer not to. Some arbiters would just correct start position and moves without worrying about the legality. But I think we should make consistent rules instead that will not enforce ridicule and put Chess in disrepute. In fact I'm more worried about the honor of the game itself (and the tournament) than the players that went on to accept several illegalities before realizing what happened, and thus can be punished. But we should not punish the tournament (which would look ridiculous with such a game played) or punish Chess.


Of course if I was confident the players were conspiring to concoct such a nonsense game I would rule the result zero-zero.

Agreed.

Garvinator
16-07-2009, 07:48 AM
So we don't have to double threads. What is the point of a signed scoresheet? Is it simply so the game can be reproduced and is said to be accurate by both players? Or some other reason? Because I constantly stuff my scoresheets up and often have illegal moves recorded that didn't actually happen in the game I just wrote it down wrong.

8.7 At the conclusion of the game both players shall sign both scoresheets, indicating the result of the game. Even if incorrect, this result shall stand, unless the arbiter decides otherwise.Also having both players sign both scoresheets confirms the result in the case of an agreed draw. Agreed draws are quite often not clear just from looking at the moves played, unlike a win or loss.

Kevin Bonham
16-07-2009, 03:34 PM
So the risk is rather that the arbiter must ophold a nonsense game, even though he would prefer not to. Some arbiters would just correct start position and moves without worrying about the legality. But I think we should make consistent rules instead that will not enforce ridicule and put Chess in disrepute. In fact I'm more worried about the honor of the game itself (and the tournament) than the players that went on to accept several illegalities before realizing what happened, and thus can be punished. But we should not punish the tournament (which would look ridiculous with such a game played) or punish Chess.

I don't think a nonsensical game like this brings the game into disrepute; it's just something people would see as comical. Most of the absurdity comes not from the result being checkmate but from the players having played such ridiculously illegal moves in the first place.

Concerning my comment about junior chess again: it quite often happens that a junior delivers checkmate via legal move from an illegal position (eg the king was in check, moved into check again, and then the opponent checkmates). I ran an interschool in a rural area today and there were at least four or five such cases. In these cases, the evidence of an illegal position having occurred is often on the board when the game ends, but reconstructing the position by getting the players to take back moves til the last legal move is tedious, time-consuming and often futile. But a requirement that all moves must be legal would force the arbiter to wind such positions back to a legal position which is an awful lot of work that I for one could do without.

Also, if you allow a player to make a claim that an illegal move had occurred after the checkmate, how much time would be allowed for such a claim?

I generally like checkmate-with-a-legal-move wins. It puts the onus on the players to look after the legality of the position themselves (as they should) and it eliminates the need for the arbiter to get involved in pointless attempts to wind back positions that may not be properly documented.

It's true that you will get the odd absurd result but at the sort of level where players would actually play the sort of "game" given in the example sent to Gijssen, it's likely that there's plenty of other nonsense going on that is just as embarrassing to serious play. We're not talking about something grandmasters could do (though I did once see a GM play five moves of a blitz game before noticing his king and queen were the wrong way around.)

Jesper Norgaard
17-07-2009, 09:54 AM
Concerning my comment about junior chess again: it quite often happens that a junior delivers checkmate via legal move from an illegal position (eg the king was in check, moved into check again, and then the opponent checkmates). I ran an interschool in a rural area today and there were at least four or five such cases. In these cases, the evidence of an illegal position having occurred is often on the board when the game ends, but reconstructing the position by getting the players to take back moves til the last legal move is tedious, time-consuming and often futile.

I appreciate that there are a lot of illegal moves and positions in these kind of junior events. But let's not mix apples and pears here. I think you are mistaken by seeing the normal moves as something different than the checkmate moves. You don't need to check anything more in a checkmate move as you do a normal move, except perhaps that it is a checkmate resulting. Specifying that the checkmate only ends the game if there were no previous illegal moves or start position does not mean you have to check that pro-actively. It means somebody can claim an earlier move, but he can do that on all moves, not just checkmate moves, and your response as an arbiter should be the same, check the claim to the bottom as far as you can.

In checking moves there are several ways to do it. You can do it the hard way as the x-ray operator in the airport, that needs to check each and every item that is boarded to the plane for all possible irregularity. Or you can check it as the policeman in the park that only strolls along without any specific aim, has no intention to check each and every person and item in the park, but will only act on seeing something suspicious.

In a typical junior event perhaps there are 40 players in average, that makes 40 moves per game in average. Suppose in a typical round that makes up 1600 moves that you as an arbiter need to supervise, but as a policeman in the park, not as the x-ray operator, you only need to act if you see something suspicious. Suppose of those 20 games there were 8 checkmates, 2 draws and 10 resigned games. This makes it 1600 moves where you have the obligation to check (as policeman) that they are legal moves. Your suggestion is that of these 1600 moves where 8 were checkmate moves, you should be relieved of that responsibility, so you can close your eyes to that there was something illegal going on for those 8 moves. So now you only have to supervise 1600-8 = 1592 moves. In each of these if there is a claim, or you see something suspicious, you must act. But I don't see how reducing your burden from 1600 to 1592 will relieve you very much.



But a requirement that all moves must be legal would force the arbiter to wind such positions back to a legal position which is an awful lot of work that I for one could do without.
Only if there is a claim or suspicion, and just as it is the case with the 1592 other moves. There really is no difference.

Kevin Bonham
17-07-2009, 02:56 PM
In a typical junior event perhaps there are 40 players in average, that makes 40 moves per game in average. Suppose in a typical round that makes up 1600 moves that you as an arbiter need to supervise, but as a policeman in the park, not as the x-ray operator, you only need to act if you see something suspicious. Suppose of those 20 games there were 8 checkmates, 2 draws and 10 resigned games. This makes it 1600 moves where you have the obligation to check (as policeman) that they are legal moves. Your suggestion is that of these 1600 moves where 8 were checkmate moves, you should be relieved of that responsibility, so you can close your eyes to that there was something illegal going on for those 8 moves. So now you only have to supervise 1600-8 = 1592 moves. In each of these if there is a claim, or you see something suspicious, you must act. But I don't see how reducing your burden from 1600 to 1592 will relieve you very much.

I'll give some data for the Interschool I ran yesterday. The number of players was 54 and it was a seven round swiss. The time limit is G15 flat. Because many of the players are at beginner level, players are not required to claim illegal moves themselves; we will intervene when we see them. The number of games in each round was of course 27. There were an average of 6.7 draws per round, so about 20 games each round finished in checkmate.

I discourage resignations because at that level many players will stalemate their opponents even in straightforward endings like KQ vs K and therefore resigning is a bad idea. Thus there was on average about one resignation per round. There would have also been an average of about one win on time per round, so the number of checkmates each round was about 18.

At this level, players will frequently believe it is checkmate when it is not - the most common cause being overlooking a possible capture, especially if the capture is with king, pawn, knight or bishop moving backwards. Therefore players are very strongly encouraged to put their hands up when they think checkmate has occurred so it can be verified. A few are absolutely certain and will not do this, but in each round there would still be something like 16 checkmates I need to personally verify - bearing in mind that these are occurring in games that only last half an hour maximum, and that they tend to occur in a rush in the middle of the half hour.

As you mention, I only have to interfere with an illegal move situation if there is a claim or I see that an illegal position has arisen during a game. There is virtually never a claim (they tend to sort it out between themselves) so the only time I will encounter an illegal non-checkmate position is if I happen to see one (usually someone moving their king into check) as I am wandering around the room watching games. Indeed, quite a bit of my time is spent wandering around the room keeping an eye out for such things, especially on the lowest boards where illegal moves are commonest. When someone just keeps moving their king into check, it's easy to say, "can't go there, move the king somewhere else" and that fixes it instantly.

But I can't watch every game at once, so on the boards where I am not watching, a pursued king may spend several moves moving into check then being checked again and I won't know about it, until finally there is a hand up for a checkmate. Then I arrive at the board, see that the mate was executed by a legal move but in an illegal position, say "yes that's checkmate", and move on to the next board.

It's much harder to fix a case where you have to wind back the position (legal move in illegal position) than a case where you only have to go back one move (illegal move in legal position). But what I find is that checkmate is a very common way in which I become aware that the first has even happened. I think maybe 30-40% of cases in which I become aware that a legal move has been made in an illegal position are cases in which that legal move was checkmate and the players have their hand up for it. It's the requirement that players claim for checkmate that causes me to notice such situations disproportionally.

There would probably be about one checkmate by legal move in obviously illegal position per round, sometimes two. Winding these back can take two or three minutes per game. With the time constraints I am under, I don't think that two or three minutes (for the sake of producing another equally lopsided position in which checkmate will probably happen within a few moves anyway) is worth it. That's time I need for verifying checkmates on other boards as quickly as I can (children don't like waiting) and looking after boards where players are having ongoing trouble understanding the rules.

I suspect therefore that if a requirement that the whole game be legal for checkmate to be valid was imposed, many junior chess organisers would have to simply ignore it. I reckon I would. :D

Jesper Norgaard
17-07-2009, 05:42 PM
I suspect therefore that if a requirement that the whole game be legal for checkmate to be valid was imposed, many junior chess organisers would have to simply ignore it. I reckon I would. :D
I reckon I would be very understanding to this view in junior chess :D

My concern is of course more serious games, where a game like the constructed one would probably never happen, unless by spiteful players on purpose, but there might be checkmate positions where it occurred that the last move was illegal before delivering the surprising checkmate, for instance something like Nf5-d7 followed by Nd7-f8+ checkmate. I am not sure I remember any practical examples of this kind of thing. I reckon many arbiters would then just roll back to before Nf5-d7 without bothering about FIDE legalese. But it still is my impression that in completeness and precision the FIDE Laws of Chess are lacking - perhaps because you have the daunting task of getting arbiters from 250+ countries to agree on any specific thing based on a common understanding.

I think that if you put a PhD student make final thesis by improving the text of all the holes in the swiss cheese of Laws of Chess (trying to weed out inconsistencies, common areas where players have questions but FIDE has not included specifics in the laws etc.) then we would get a better result.

Then again if I compare to the horrible blunders in lawmaking by Politics in Denmark, then I can't really say that Laws of Chess are so bad. But they could be improved. For instance why is there no specific phrase that between claim of time and checkmate, checkmate is more important? Why is there no comparison of who wins in Blitz when one claims win on time, the other claims illegal move? Why is it not explicitly said you can move after your opponent moves, but he has not yet pressed the clock? Etc. Very common cases that gets discussed time and time again by experienced players because they have not been able to see a precise explanation in FIDE Laws of Chess.

Bill Gletsos
17-07-2009, 07:52 PM
For instance why is there no specific phrase that between claim of time and checkmate, checkmate is more important? Why is there no comparison of who wins in Blitz when one claims win on time, the other claims illegal move? Why is it not explicitly said you can move after your opponent moves, but he has not yet pressed the clock? Etc. Very common cases that gets discussed time and time again by experienced players because they have not been able to see a precise explanation in FIDE Laws of Chess.Because FIDE believe these are covered by the Preface and "common sense". :hmm: :doh:

Remember of course that there is no problem in these cases unless the players involved disagree and their is no independent reliable witness.

The answer to your time or checkmate question is in a post of mine here (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=211741&postcount=4).

Your situation of time or illegal move in Blitz is similar to the checkmate one. Without an independent reliable witness there is no way to determine which claim came first and whether either is valid. Therefore all the arbiter can see is that one player has his flag down and the other player has his king in check. The arbiter should rule in favour of the player making the illegal move claim. There is however a complication if the illegal move does not involve the opponent leaving their king in check. In that case it can be extremely difficult for the player claiming illegal move to actually prove it and hence the claim of a win on time would succeed.

As for your situation that a player can move after their opponent moves, but has not yet pressed their clock is as far as FIDE is concerned already covered and clarified by the Laws of Chess since 2001.


This whole thing comes down to FIDE's use of the words "completed", "move has been made", touched a piece", etc in various areas of the rules.

Thus the sequence of a move is:
1) A player touches a piece. Lets keep this simple and assume he touches one of his own pieces. A piece is considered touched when a player deliberately touches a piece with the intention of moving it.
2) The player then moves his piece to a square and releases the piece. The move is now considered to "have been made". Unless the move is illegal, the player can no longer retract or change his move.
3) If the move in 2) immediately ended the game under any section of Articles 5.1 or 5.2 then stopping the clock is irrelevant.
4) if the move did not end the game then the move is then considered to be complete when the player stops his clock. Note in Blitz it is not until this has occurred that a player can claim a win via illegal move.

Now the issue of when an opponent is able to reply to a players move is covered by the last sentence of Article 1.1 which states: "A player is said to 'have the move', when his opponent's move has been made.

Note the FIDE Rules commission deliberately changed Article 1.1 in the 2001 Laws to say "has been made". In the preceding rules (FIDE 1997) the wording was "has been completed".

Jesper Norgaard
19-07-2009, 04:23 AM
Because FIDE believe these are covered by the Preface and "common sense". :hmm: :doh:

Yes, I really like that preface, but unfortunately I think FIDE has used it as an excuse to not fix a number of things that could be stated specifically.



The answer to your time or checkmate question is in a post of mine here (http://www.chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=211741&postcount=4).

Yes but the place I would really like to find it is in the FIDE Laws :doh: ... nothing against your nice post though :clap:



Your situation of time or illegal move in Blitz is similar to the checkmate one. Without an independent reliable witness there is no way to determine which claim came first and whether either is valid.

Yes I agree. But given the situation where there is no dispute between the players that there was a flag fall and there was an illegal move, and the players + arbiter can't agree/determine who was first, then FIDE Laws should state who wins (and you suggest that the illegal move should stand, I agree too but since there is no declaration in the Laws I was actually ruled to lose a Blitz game because of time even though my illegal move claim came first and he only then realized my time was gone). Sigh.



There is however a complication if the illegal move does not involve the opponent leaving their king in check. In that case it can be extremely difficult for the player claiming illegal move to actually prove it and hence the claim of a win on time would succeed.

In the case where claims are made but can't be determined and are disputed by the players, all we can do is rely on the preface and the common sense of the arbiter - no need to make too specific rules about that. Just the simple ones that happen all the time and gets an "arbitrary treatment" :owned:



As for your situation that a player can move after their opponent moves, but has not yet pressed their clock is as far as FIDE is concerned already covered and clarified by the Laws of Chess since 2001.
Well they put in a phrase "a player must always be allowed to stop his clock" thinking that now it is crystal clear to everyone that this means his opponent can move before he presses the clock. I think it would not hurt with an explicit statement :doh:

Bill Gletsos
19-07-2009, 01:12 PM
Yes, I really like that preface, but unfortunately I think FIDE has used it as an excuse to not fix a number of things that could be stated specifically.Possibly but I am not convinced.

Just look at my response regarding time or illegal move. In my response I was explicitly responding to your reference to Blitz.

It would have been different if it had been a normal or rapid game, in which case if there was no independent reliable witness as to which claim occurred first, the arbiter should continue the game after awarding the player making the illegal move claim an extra 2 minutes and dismissing the time claim. Of course it could be argued that if there is no scoresheet available and the king is not in check then what evidence is there of an illegal move and therefore in that case the player should not be awarded an extra 2 minutes. If no additional time is awarded then that player would lose on time.

You can see the relative degree of explicitness required with my description of the time or illegal move issue.

Apparently FIDE do not wish to get so explicit. Unfortunately the problem in FIDE doing that is that it opens up the situation for different decisions by different (or less competent) arbiters.

Yes but the place I would really like to find it is in the FIDE Laws :doh: ... nothing against your nice post though :clap:I think it is fairly obvious, but putting it in the Laws would help.

Yes I agree. But given the situation where there is no dispute between the players that there was a flag fall and there was an illegal move, and the players + arbiter can't agree/determine who was first, then FIDE Laws should state who wins (and you suggest that the illegal move should stand, I agree too but since there is no declaration in the Laws I was actually ruled to lose a Blitz game because of time even though my illegal move claim came first and he only then realized my time was gone). Sigh.Obviously in your blitz game you and your opponent disagreed.
In your blitz game was his illegal move that he left his King in check?
If so then the arbiters decision was in my opinion wrong. At the very least he should have declared it a draw as he could not determine whether your illegal move or your opponents time claim came first. If however your opponents illegal move was other than leaving his king in check then the arbiter had no evidence of an actual illegal move and as such should rule in favour of the time claim.

In the case where claims are made but can't be determined and are disputed by the players, all we can do is rely on the preface and the common sense of the arbiter - no need to make too specific rules about that. Just the simple ones that happen all the time and gets an "arbitrary treatment" :owned:So in the complicated ones where the claims are made but the players disagree the arbiter can reply on the preface and common sense, but in simple ones they cannot and should be explicitly covered. I would suggest that even your simple ones are not that simple. ;)

Well they put in a phrase "a player must always be allowed to stop his clock" thinking that now it is crystal clear to everyone that this means his opponent can move before he presses the clock. I think it would not hurt with an explicit statement :doh:Actually FIDE included the "a player must always be allowed to stop his clock" in the 1997 Laws but due to the then wording of Article 1.1 things were still unclear. It wasnt until the 2001 Laws that they changed article 1.1 to use the words "has been made" as opposed to "has been completed".

In a number of cases i believe it would make more sense if FIDE moved some of the wording in some of the Articles to other Articles. e.g. The last sentence of Article 1.1 would be better suited as part of Article 4 probably between 4.6 and 4.7.

Jesper Norgaard
19-07-2009, 06:52 PM
Apparently FIDE do not wish to get so explicit. Unfortunately the problem in FIDE doing that is that it opens up the situation for different decisions by different (or less competent) arbiters.

Exactly. It is apparently a special problem in the team championships in Denmark because there is not enough money to hire an arbiter for each match, and therefore the home club of the match constitutes any old half-baked arbiter aspirant (with a little course) to be arbiter in the match. He/she has not all responsibility as chief arbiter (which is not around) but since 10.2 claims must be validated on the spot, unfortunately he has full judgement over that. Being from the club there is obviously a bias that often makes it very hard for these match-leaders to see the mistakes of the clubs own players, but a real falcon eye for the mistakes of the opposing team. Not good, but not FIDEs fault of course. But I still don't like that 10.2 decisions can't be appealed, they are the most likely appeal item existing. I guess that is exactly why they did't make them appealable. Stuffing the can of worms aside. If the general tendency of less games with 10.2 and more with increment persist, that is fine with me.



Obviously in your blitz game you and your opponent disagreed.
In your blitz game was his illegal move that he left his King in check?

He did not dispute that he had made an illegal move. Actually I don't remember if it was check, but not so important if he did not dispute having made the illegal move. I agree that if he is really unsporting and denies he made an illegal move, and is not in check, the arbiter probably would have to award him the win.



So in the complicated ones where the claims are made but the players disagree the arbiter can reply on the preface and common sense, but in simple ones they cannot and should be explicitly covered. I would suggest that even your simple ones are not that simple. ;)

True, but some guidelines like "what happens on the board is more important" (checkmate and illegal move) would help I think. Perhaps a priority list:

1. Cell phone.
2. Checkmate.
3. Illegal move.
4. Flag fall.

I think checkmate must be high on the list, but the rest could be ordered different ways - I just miss clear rules from FIDE here.

Bill Gletsos
19-07-2009, 11:24 PM
Exactly. It is apparently a special problem in the team championships in Denmark because there is not enough money to hire an arbiter for each match, and therefore the home club of the match constitutes any old half-baked arbiter aspirant (with a little course) to be arbiter in the match. He/she has not all responsibility as chief arbiter (which is not around) but since 10.2 claims must be validated on the spot, unfortunately he has full judgement over that. Being from the club there is obviously a bias that often makes it very hard for these match-leaders to see the mistakes of the clubs own players, but a real falcon eye for the mistakes of the opposing team. Not good, but not FIDEs fault of course. But I still don't like that 10.2 decisions can't be appealed, they are the most likely appeal item existing. I guess that is exactly why they did't make them appealable. Stuffing the can of worms aside. If the general tendency of less games with 10.2 and more with increment persist, that is fine with me.The easiest way around this is to use Article D instead.
That is what we do in the NSWCA Grade Matches (Interclub Matches) where no arbiter is present.

Jesper Norgaard
20-07-2009, 06:28 PM
The easiest way around this is to use Article D instead.
That is what we do in the NSWCA Grade Matches (Interclub Matches) where no arbiter is present.
Thanks for this tip. It might work in the Danish Team Championship. I am not involved though and wonder whether I have the intellectual energy to pass on the idea. The idea is good.

Kevin Bonham
18-08-2009, 12:40 AM
There is a point where things become ridiculous. Today in a primary school interschool I saw one of the most awesome games I have ever witnessed: 1.e3 f5 2.Bb5 d5 - which is illegal but instead of making black correct it white (not yet noticing the illegality of black's previous) came up with the diabolical 3.Qh5#!! and raised his hand to claim checkmate.

As our interschools are not always strictly "by the book" and the emphasis is on learning and winning on something resembling merit rather than in three moves on completely unnatural technicalities I decided that sadly I had to be a spoilsport and disallow it. :lol: I thought of Jesper's threads on the matter as I did so.

Jesper Norgaard
18-08-2009, 03:15 PM
There is a point where things become ridiculous. Today in a primary school interschool I saw one of the most awesome games I have ever witnessed: 1.e3 f5 2.Bb5 d5 - which is illegal but instead of making black correct it white (not yet noticing the illegality of black's previous) came up with the diabolical 3.Qh5#!! and raised his hand to claim checkmate.

As our interschools are not always strictly "by the book" and the emphasis is on learning and winning on something resembling merit rather than in three moves on completely unnatural technicalities I decided that sadly I had to be a spoilsport and disallow it. :lol: I thought of Jesper's threads on the matter as I did so.

Too bad spoiling the fun for an innocent kid (irony could have been used) :lol:
Had a good laugh on that one. I really did not think that this checkmate with two pieces giving check could appear so early from the start position. Two youngsters showing how easy it is to produce a quick checkmate!!

This reminds me of the effort of Edgar Alan Poe (from memory, could be another author) to prove that the chess playing Turk had to be a hoax, so he wrote 20 pages on the matter trying to prove beyond doubt that it had to be a human chess player hiding inside. Another attempt was made at an exhibition of the Turk by a perhaps less intellectual but without doubt more effective solution: He shouted with a panicky voice "Fire! Fire!" and in 1-2-3 came running out a small panicky Chess Maestro faster than the rats can abandon the sinking ship. :lol:

In the above example I am of course the personification of Poe (with long cryptic Chesschat articles about what FIDE should do) and the school pupil playing 3.Qh5# is our new hero. :owned:

Nowadays the chess playing Turk could sit on a much smaller coffin, in fact diminutive, you only need Rybka inside. It would beat the heck out of most GMs today (up to Super GM level). And then Michael Adams perhaps shouldn't be counted among Super GMs (he lost 5- to Hydra).

Rincewind
18-08-2009, 04:21 PM
Nowadays the chess playing Turk could sit on a much smaller coffin, in fact diminutive, you only need Rybka inside. It would beat the heck out of most GMs today (up to Super GM level). And then Michael Adams perhaps shouldn't be counted among Super GMs (he lost 5- to Hydra).

At the time (or at least recently before that match) Mickey was playing at Super GM level and floating around the top 10 of the FIDE rating list and playing in all the elite level events. Also the Hydra was an array of 64 computers and I'm not sure of the exact physical dimensions, but I would imagine that it was larger (and produced more heat that would need to be dissipated) than a diminutive man. :)

As for the result I'm not sure how seriously Adams prepared for the match. Certainly less than one might for a WCh or even candidates match. I don't remember the games but my failing recollection is Adams didn't play an overtly anti-computer style (for example) which I would have thought a sensible person would in a situation where they wanted to maximise their result in such a match.

Jesper Norgaard
20-08-2009, 08:41 AM
As for the result I'm not sure how seriously Adams prepared for the match. Certainly less than one might for a WCh or even candidates match. I don't remember the games but my failing recollection is Adams didn't play an overtly anti-computer style (for example) which I would have thought a sensible person would in a situation where they wanted to maximise their result in such a match.
I agree with you on both counts (preparation, anti-computer style). As a matter of facts he had two more games looking drawish (than the draw he got), but he was apparently fixed on getting at least one win and went down in flames ... too bad since he was getting prize money for each half or full point he obtained.