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faeces gambit
07-01-2006, 01:11 AM
Today in the lightning my son had a game where he was king+knight v king+ pawn, his opponent ran out of time and my son claimed a win. The arbiters ruled a draw due to insufficient material. Is this correct. I recall a similar incident in another tournament where this was ruled a win for king + knight

Kevin Bonham
07-01-2006, 01:50 AM
Today in the lightning my son had a game where he was king+knight v king+ pawn, his opponent ran out of time and my son claimed a win. The arbiters ruled a draw due to insufficient material. Is this correct. I recall a similar incident in another tournament where this was ruled a win for king + knight

As you describe it the decision is clearly incorrect under the laws of chess as they currently stand, because a checkmate is still logically possible although it would typically take deliberate co-operation from the opponent (underpromoting and then helpmating) for a checkmate to occur. If the pawn is a rook's pawn there is a mate in a few moves that the defender might blunder into, although it takes very weak play to fall for it.

This does not stop some arbiters from ruling draws in such positions in junior games on the grounds that it is "commonsense" that a player should not win on time in such a position.

faeces gambit
07-01-2006, 02:02 AM
As you describe it the decision is clearly incorrect under the laws of chess as they currently stand, because a checkmate is still logically possible although it would typically take deliberate co-operation from the opponent (typically, underpromoting and then helpmating) for a checkmate to occur.

This does not stop some arbiters from ruling draws in such positions in junior games on the grounds that it is "commonsense" that a player should not win on time in such a position.


Kevin, are you saying that if this happened in an adult game it would have been ruled a win? Surely both juniors and adults should be working under the same rules. Can an arbiter overrule a law of chess for "commonsense"? My son told me that he had ,shortly before his opponents clock ran out exchanged down to this position assuming an automatic win, as he had witnessed this in a previous adult tournament.

ElevatorEscapee
07-01-2006, 03:45 AM
Is it just me who finds this bloke's name a smidgin "off odour", or are most people here perfectly happy to communicate with someone who (effectively) claims to be a talking piece of poo?

pax
07-01-2006, 07:11 AM
My son told me that he had ,shortly before his opponents clock ran out exchanged down to this position assuming an automatic win, as he had witnessed this in a previous adult tournament.

Well this is clearly a mistake. If your opponent is about to run out of time, you want as much material on the board as possible.

Davidflude
07-01-2006, 08:35 AM
I have seen this arguement before and I have seen different arbiters rule in different ways.

Could someone please quote the rule in full. I think that it is absurd that a person is credited a win because there is a helpmate in the position. Whether this is in accordance with the rules of chess is not known to me.

Next time I play in a blitz tournament I shall ask the arbiter how he will interpret the helpmate question. I do not care which way he interprets the rule as long as it is made clear in advance since it may affect a players choice of move.

pax
07-01-2006, 08:51 AM
6.10

Except where Articles 5.1 or one of the Articles 5.2 (a), (b) and (c) apply, if a player does not complete the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, the game is lost by the player. However, the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player`s king by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most unskilled counterplay.


It's pretty clear that only helpmate is required to claim a win.

Rincewind
07-01-2006, 08:55 AM
Could someone please quote the rule in full. I think that it is absurd that a person is credited a win because there is a helpmate in the position. Whether this is in accordance with the rules of chess is not known to me.

All the rules interrelate so rather than quote the rule in full here is a link to the Laws of Chess from the FIDE website http://www.fide.com/official/handbook.asp?level=EE101

The law in question is 6.10 which says in part...

... the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player`s king by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most unskilled counterplay.

The emphasis is mine. As you can see the criteria of most unskilled counterplay is quite specific and stringent. Helpmate is clearly meant to be included.

Davidflude
07-01-2006, 09:07 AM
I have seen this arguement before and I have seen different arbiters rule in different ways.

Could someone please quote the rule in full. I think that it is absurd that a person is credited a win because there is a helpmate in the position. Whether this is in accordance with the rules of chess is not known to me.

Next time I play in a blitz tournament I shall ask the arbiter how he will interpret the helpmate question. I do not care which way he interprets the rule as long as it is made clear in advance since it may affect a players choice of move.

eclectic
07-01-2006, 09:19 AM
Hello all,

It's a while since I've posted ...

Here is my understanding of the logic behind this rule.

During the game each player is doing their best to win or, failing that, to draw.

However the moment the flag falls then for the player worse off time wise we are no longer interested in their what ifs ie had they played their best moves.

They have lost on time.

All we are interested in after the flagfall is the situation of the better off player time wise.

We are now only interested in their best moves based on what material they have and the extent to which the worse off player's pieces can be called upon to cooperate in bringing about mate.

Effectively the worse off player has entered the negative side of their clock and therefore is only entitled to "play" "negative" moves.

Remember the number lines we drew in primary school.

Also, when we are trying to disprove a hypothesis one procedure used is to show its failure using a worse case scenario and induce then that it is disproved for better cases.

Hence the "helpmate" provision inherent in the rule.

(Ok mathematicians etc here may now call me a idiot!)

Bill Gletsos
07-01-2006, 11:42 AM
I have seen this arguement before and I have seen different arbiters rule in different ways.

Could someone please quote the rule in full. I think that it is absurd that a person is credited a win because there is a helpmate in the position. Whether this is in accordance with the rules of chess is not known to me.

Next time I play in a blitz tournament I shall ask the arbiter how he will interpret the helpmate question. I do not care which way he interprets the rule as long as it is made clear in advance since it may affect a players choice of move.It isnt up to the arbiters discretion how he interprets the rule. The rule is quite clear. There is no arbiters discretion involved.

The problem is that a number of arbiters "believe" that endings like the one in question should be drawn even though it is clear from the rules that it is not. This can lead to the ludicrous situation in a tournament where an arbiter rules this way and the player not knowing any better just accepts it.
Then in a later round when the situation occurs again between different players the arbiter again rules it drawn. This time however the player knows the rules and that the arbiters decision is incorrect and insists the arbiter follow the rules. If the arbiter still sticks with his decsion then the player appeals where any competent appeals committee will overturn the arbiters decsison.

This example would be even worse if the player who accepted the arbiters decision in the first place was on the losing side in the second.

It is for reasons like this that the arbiters should follow the rules and not make decsions contrary to them irrepective of their belief.

These sort of postitions have been discussed in Geurt's columns.
As he points out K+B v K+B is a win provided the bishops are of opposite colours.
K+ (B or N) V K + P if the player with the (B or N claims a win on time then his claim is correct as his opponent's pawn can be underpromoted to a Knight and a mating position contructed.

ElevatorEscapee
07-01-2006, 02:22 PM
I agree with Bill's post.

It's quite simple and logical, no arbiter's interpretation should be required.

If there is any theoritical possibility, through any combination of legal moves, that the player who lost on time may be checkmated by his opponent (ie the "helpmate"), then the player who lost on time should be declared as lost, and the full point awarded to his opponent. :)

pax
07-01-2006, 04:04 PM
Of course in any non-blitz game, the above ought to be pretty obsolete as the player running out of time can claim a draw under 10.2 (his opponent is unable to win by 'normal means'). But:
a) He must claim before his flag falls, and
b) 10.2 doesn't apply to blitz - in blitz you can bang out fifty moves of K+B vs K+ (opp) B if you like (and good luck on claiming the 50 move rule).

Bill Gletsos
07-01-2006, 04:34 PM
In the circumstances we are describing here if the flag falls then the opponent should be able to claim a win according to the rules no ands if or buts.

However prior to the flag falling could the player wanting the draw do anything about it.

Putting the cat amongst the pigeons for a moment, in the following scenario where such action as described would no doubt be highly controversial, it could be a solution to those blitz players who feel they must win at all costs even in positions that really are complete draws.

If for example a player's opponent wont accept a draw in a K+B v K+B opposite colour bishops or similar endgame then provided he does so before a flag fall perhaps the player wanting to claim the draw could stop the clocks summon the arbiter and make a claim to the arbiter that his opponent is bringing the game into disrepute under article 12.1.

The arbiter could then ask the opponent if he is really unwilling to accept the draw. If he says yes, then the arbiter could rule in favour of the claimant, but instead of just declaring it drawn, declare it lost for the claimant's opponent under article 12.1.

If this happened and arbiters applied it consistently, it would no doubt soon stop the practice of players simply playing for wins on time in such circumstances.

pax
07-01-2006, 06:32 PM
If for example a player's opponent wont accept a draw in a K+B v K+B opposite colour bishops or similar endgame then provided he does so before a flag fall perhaps the player wanting to claim the draw could stop the clocks summon the arbiter and make a claim to the arbiter that his opponent is bringing the game into disreoute under article 12.1.

I like it..

I'd be interested to hear how our resident IAs would rule in this situation.

Bill Gletsos
07-01-2006, 06:46 PM
I like it..

I'd be interested to hear how our resident IAs would rule in this situation.Well given there are 4 IA's running the events in Brisbane I'd be more concerned that some of them couldnt apparently follow the FIDE laws and incorrectly ruled that the K+N v K+P ending in question was drawn.

ElevatorEscapee
07-01-2006, 07:28 PM
...Putting the cat amongst the pigeons for a moment, in the following scenario where such action as described would no doubt be highly controversial, it could be a solution to those blitz players who feel they must win at all costs even in positions that really are complete draws.

If for example a player's opponent wont accept a draw in a K+B v K+B opposite colour bishops or similar endgame then provided he does so before a flag fall perhaps the player wanting to claim the draw could stop the clocks summon the arbiter and make a claim to the arbiter that his opponent is bringing the game into disreoute under article 12.1.

The arbiter could then ask the opponent if he is really unwilling to accept the draw. If he says yes, then the arbiter could rule in favour of the claimant, but instead of just declaring it drawn, declare it lost for the claimant's opponent under article 12.1.

If this happened and arbiters applied it consistently, it would no doubnt soon stop the parctice of players simply playing for wins on time in such circumstances.

I am not quite sure I understand what you are getting at here. (Then again, I am easily confused. ;)).

Are you suggesting that a player who has a drawn ending (eg K+B v K+B opposite colours), can summon the arbiter to claim a draw, and the arbiter then asks the opponenet if he will agree to a draw. If the oppononet disagrees (eg, because he has more time on the clock and wants to win on time), then the arbiter then declares the game lost to the player with more time on the clock?

PS "disreoute", "doubnt" & "parctice" are very un-Billesque. You haven't been around at Matt's place sampling a few brewskis by any chance? ;)

Bill Gletsos
07-01-2006, 08:01 PM
I am not quite sure I understand what you are getting at here. (Then again, I am easily confused. ;)).In that case I try and explain it in more detail. ;)

Are you suggesting that a player who has a drawn ending (eg K+B v K+B opposite colours), can summon the arbiter to claim a draw, and the arbiter then asks the opponenet if he will agree to a draw. If the oppononet disagrees (eg, because he has more time on the clock and wants to win on time), then the arbiter then declares the game lost to the player with more time on the clock?I'm simply suggesting that the ending I described is clearly drawn. The player in such a situation playing only for time could well be considered behaving in an unsportsmanlike manner. Some may consider such behaviour as bringing the game into disrepute.

Therefore all I am theorising is that if the player claims his opponent is bringing the game into disrepute and the arbiter is nclined to agree, then the arbiter by asking the player why he wont accept what is a clearly drawn position is effectively giving the player a last chnace not to be found to be bringing the game into disrepute and if the player still refuses the arbiter could then well decide the player is in fact guilty of breaching Article 12.1 and declare the game lost for the player under Article 13.4.

PS "disreoute", "doubnt" & "parctice" are very un-Billesque.Thank for pointing them out, I have corrected them.

You haven't been around at Matt's place sampling a few brewskis by any chance? ;)Nope. Unlike Matt's efforts, mine were simply typing errors.

Phil Bourke
07-01-2006, 08:36 PM
You seem to be wanting to have a bob each way here, if in the first situation, K+N v K+P, a situation that isn't always drawn, you wish to rule in favour of the player who won on the clock, because of the unskilled play, ie, helpmate. Yet in the second instance, you wish to punish the player with more time because he won't accept a draw, yet there is a helpmate here too.
Why the inconsistency?
Surely the player with more time is quite entitled to play to flagfall, and then use the unskilled play part of the rules to gain the win.

shaun
07-01-2006, 08:48 PM
Speaking only for myself, in situations like this, where the position is drawn* (barring complete stupidity), if one player claims I usually ask the opponent what that think the "fair" result is, with body language suggesting that agreeing to a draw would be looked upon favourably by me. If the opponent cares not for my favour, or just thinks winning is the be all and end all of chess, and insists on playing on, then I just shrug my shoulders, impart the withering look, and explain to the claimant that his/her opponent is quite within their rights to play on in such a position, even if all they are trying to do is to win the game on time as they were not able to win it at the board. And the game continues.
There is a school of thought that argues that running your opponent short of time (through setting them difficult problems to solve) is part of lightning and consequently you should not be deprived of the reward due to you, no matter what the position on the board. I do have some sympathy for this position, but only up to a point.

*In this case a "drawn" position would be one in which the non-claiming player has no pawns, and usually just 1 minor piece.

Bill Gletsos
07-01-2006, 09:36 PM
You seem to be wanting to have a bob each way here, if in the first situation, K+N v K+P, a situation that isn't always drawn,Other than the player with the knight winning on time there is no real chance of him ever winning the game across the board.

you wish to rule in favour of the player who won on the clock, because of the unskilled play, ie, helpmate. Yet in the second instance, you wish to punish the player with more time because he won't accept a draw, yet there is a helpmate here too.
Why the inconsistency?
Surely the player with more time is quite entitled to play to flagfall, and then use the unskilled play part of the rules to gain the win.Firstly when I put up my scenario and said lets put the cat amongst the pigeons, I was playing devil's advocate.
Even so there is no inconsistency at all.

You would notice I said if the flag falls then the player should win in line with the rules. If the players with only opposite colour bishops both choose to play on then so be it. As for the K+N V K+P then if the player with the pawn continues to play on in the hope of either queening his pawn or winning on time then so be it. It is a case of players sowing what they reap if both players are prepared to play till a flag falls.

However in the specific case I mentioned with the opposite coloured bishops and in the case of K+N V K+P there is no practical chance in the first instance of either player winning whilst in the second there is none for the player with the pawn losing across the board.

As such in both cases the player wanting the draw (either player in the first case) or the player with the pawn in the second could be able to claim as I suggested.

1min_grandmaster
08-01-2006, 02:52 PM
Bill, I think your idea of using Article 11.2 to claim that your opponent is putting the game into disrepute by refusing a draw and playing on in in the situation you describe is truly excellent! Such unsportsmanlike behaviour should certainly be discouraged and if they are going to have a "win at all costs" mentallity through the unethical exploitation of the rules, then it is ironic that they should be taught a lesson in fair sportsmanship using the rulebook.

If this situation comes up, the real test will be whether the arbiter is willing to take a stand against bad sportsmanship and turn the tables on the unethical player by declaring their game lost (and not drawn).

I will consider claiming under this article next time I find myself in this situation in a lightning tournament!

arosar
08-01-2006, 07:18 PM
How could it bring the game into disrepute when the very rules themselves allow such behaviour? It's a cute idea, but it doesn't hold.

AR

1min_grandmaster
08-01-2006, 09:53 PM
I quote you from the Australian Lightning Championship thread:


As for playing for time in drawn positions (e.g. K+R v K+R), well, that's simply immoral.

So you agree that such behaviour is immoral. Does immoral behaviour not bring the game into disrespute? And does article 11.2 not say that no player shall bring the game into disrepute?

Bill Gletsos
08-01-2006, 10:01 PM
And does article 11.2 not say that no player shall bring the game into disrepute?You mean Article 12.1.

arosar
08-01-2006, 11:37 PM
I quote you from the Australian Lightning Championship thread:



So you agree that such behaviour is immoral. Does immoral behaviour not bring the game into disrespute? And does article 11.2 not say that no player shall bring the game into disrepute?

Actually, Sandler said it.

Personally, I find it silly to play on in, say, K+R v K+R positions. For under normal conditions, it's a draw. But blitz is not "normal". In blitz, time is the principal factor. And the laws recognise this.

So to make this leap into invoking 12.1 is just ridiculous.

AR

Phil Bourke
08-01-2006, 11:45 PM
Other than the player with the knight winning on time there is no real chance of him ever winning the game across the board.
Try White Kc2 Nb4 Black Ka8 Pa4
White to move; 1 Kc1 a3 2 Nc2+ Ka2 3 Nd4 Ka1 4 Kc2 Ka2 (4...a2 5 Nb3#) 5 Ne2 Ka1 6 Nc1 a2 7 Nb3#
One of the first endgame examples in the chapter The Knight from Chernev's Practical Chess Ending.
Granted that all cases where the side with the Knight can engineer a win, involve a Rook pawn, but seeing as how the original post never distinguished the original position, I allowed the possibility of it being one where a Rook pawn existed.
But moving along, I agree with Shaun and yourself in that positions that are theoretical draws should be declared as draws, and players not allowed to play for the win on time. I just felt that you had made a distinction favouring one endgame over another, and in the case of opposite coloured bishops, it needed the opponent's absolute co-operation to bring about mate, and in the case of a Knight v Pawn, there is situations that favour the Knight.
My suggestion would be the removal of the unskilled play aspect of the rules and replacing it with a clear ruling that in situations that are clearly drawn, a player may claim so, and the DOP may rule it so.

Garvinator
08-01-2006, 11:57 PM
i think you are all on drugs and living in the land of make believe. To have an arbiter make a ruling as being suggested here will never happen in australian chess and furthermore, it is unfair because an arbiter cannot be at each table.

Also the normal means part of 10.2 causes enough controversy, without having it introduced in a modified format for blitz.

Here is a simple solution, if you dont like being flagged in dead drawn positions, dont play blitz.

Phil Bourke
09-01-2006, 12:01 AM
Well.....we play chess : )

Bill Gletsos
09-01-2006, 12:57 PM
Try White Kc2 Nb4 Black Ka8 Pa4
White to move; 1 Kc1 a3 2 Nc2+ Ka2 3 Nd4 Ka1 4 Kc2 Ka2 (4...a2 5 Nb3#) 5 Ne2 Ka1 6 Nc1 a2 7 Nb3#
One of the first endgame examples in the chapter The Knight from Chernev's Practical Chess Ending.
Granted that all cases where the side with the Knight can engineer a win, involve a Rook pawn, but seeing as how the original post never distinguished the original position, I allowed the possibility of it being one where a Rook pawn existed.You seem to have missed the point entirely.

Where the pawn is in K+N V K+P at the time the player with the pawn's flag falls is totallly immaterial. The player with the Knight can win via a helpmate by simply promoting the pawn to a B or N and then constructing a mating psoition such as White: Kf7 Ng6, Black: Kh8 Nh7 or White: Kf8 Nf7, Black: Kh8 Bh7.

However prior to a flag fall and assuming no immediate forced mate is possible the player with the pawn should be able to claim a draw as I described above as the player with the Knight has absolutely no chnace of winning via normal play.


But moving along, I agree with Shaun and yourself in that positions that are theoretical draws should be declared as draws, and players not allowed to play for the win on time. I just felt that you had made a distinction favouring one endgame over another, and in the case of opposite coloured bishops, it needed the opponent's absolute co-operation to bring about mate, and in the case of a Knight v Pawn, there is situations that favour the Knight.I favoured no endgame over another.

I made the distinction between where a flag had fallen and where a flag had not fallen.

As I said if both players are prepared to play on without making any sort of claim to the arbiter and a flag fell then so be it. I made it abundantly clear that in such a case the rules as written should be applied.

It was where no flag had fallen that I had suggested the use of Article 12.1 and that could be consistently applied to the B of opposite colours endgame for either player or the K+N V K+P endgame for the player with the Pawn.

Bill Gletsos
09-01-2006, 12:58 PM
i think you are all on drugs and living in the land of make believe. To have an arbiter make a ruling as being suggested here will never happen in australian chess and furthermore, it is unfair because an arbiter cannot be at each table.That is no problem at all.
The player simply stops the clock and summons the arbiter.
If the arbiter is busy at another table he just has to wait.

Phil Bourke
09-01-2006, 02:35 PM
Right, now we are on the same page, I think : )
Now it is my turn to play devil's advocate ; )
If in the situation of Black running out of time and the position is as I described, White Kc2 Nb4 Black Ka8 Pa4, Black called the arbiter to ask the game be drawn, the arbiter rules correctly that it isn't a draw, does Black have his time reduced because of his faulty claim?
Also got me thinking of the reverse situation, what if White is the player asking the arbiter to enforce a draw, if the position on the board is one where White can win, and Black is only able to escape with a draw at best, is the arbiter obliged to ask Black to accept the draw, or should the arbiter just say play on.

Bill Gletsos
09-01-2006, 03:20 PM
Right, now we are on the same page, I think : )
Now it is my turn to play devil's advocate ; )
If in the situation of Black running out of time and the position is as I described, White Kc2 Nb4 Black Ka8 Pa4, Black called the arbiter to ask the game be drawn, the arbiter rules correctly that it isn't a draw, does Black have his time reduced because of his faulty claim?In your example I think you meant the Black King is on a1 not a8. ;) Provided by running out of time you mean he still has time and his flag hasnt fallen then the arbiter should reject the claim.
Note that an incorrect draw claim under blitz rules is still governed by the rules of Artcile 9 and especially that under blitz an incorrect claim of 50 moves or triple repetition would still come under article 9.5.
Now as Geurt would say, you can draw an analogy here and surmise that an incorrect draw claim as you described in your scenario above could also be covered by 9.5 or a variation of it.

Also got me thinking of the reverse situation, what if White is the player asking the arbiter to enforce a draw, if the position on the board is one where White can win, and Black is only able to escape with a draw at best, is the arbiter obliged to ask Black to accept the draw, or should the arbiter just say play on.If the position is as you described above then the arbiter should tell white to play on as black could theoretically queen his pawn if White plays poorly. If White really wants to draw he should can sack his knight for the pawn ensuring the draw.

Kevin Bonham
11-01-2006, 10:12 PM
Kevin, are you saying that if this happened in an adult game it would have been ruled a win?

Who knows? It's possible that the same arbiter would have ruled it a draw in an adult tournament too.


Surely both juniors and adults should be working under the same rules. Can an arbiter overrule a law of chess for "commonsense"? My son told me that he had ,shortly before his opponents clock ran out exchanged down to this position assuming an automatic win, as he had witnessed this in a previous adult tournament.

I was describing existing practice, not defending it. My view on this is the same as Bill's in his first post to this thread - decisions of this kind are just plain wrong, and would be overturned on appeal by any competent appeals committee. Yet they continue to be made.

Chess is full of "injustices" (smothered mate, stalemate, zugzwang etc) that run counter to commonsense; what harm does one more do?