Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ignoring Touch move = Illegal Move?

From GM Bartlomiej Macieja to the FIDE Rules and Tournament Regulations Committee, and republished here with his permission

Dear Members of the Rules and Tournament Regulations Committee

I would like to consult with you the following cases:

In a blitz game a player deliberately touches a piece, but eventually moves another piece.
An opponent claims a win basing on Article B.3.c:
"An illegal move is completed once the opponent's clock has been started. The opponent is entitled to claim a win before he has made his own move."
What should an arbiter decide?

In a rapid game, in the phase when both players have only seconds left to the end of a game, a player deliberately touches a piece, but eventually moves another piece.
An opponent calls an arbiter, claiming that irregularity.
What should an arbiter decide?

What should an arbiter decide in cases 1) and 2) if a player wishing to claim the above mention irregularity, having only 1 second left, doesn't manage to stop the clock before his flag fells?

Best regards
Bartlomiej Macieja

Feel free to make your answers in the comments section to this post.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Distracting your opponent - with water bottles

From Reasonable Person in the comments section below

First, thank you for setting up this blog.I am not sure if anyone is supposed to initiate a topic...but if so, here goes. A local club has reportedly banned the act of players drinking out of a water bottle during games , instead instituting a rule that players must use a cup / mug e.g pour soft drinks out of the purchased bottle into a cup. This apparently follows a complaint from one of its long-standing members that he was distracted by the act of players drinking out of bottles (strangely, this complaint seems to only emanate when said player loses the game). Several players have been recipients of this complaint, though in most, if not all, cases, their act would not have constituted a distraction by any objective measure. It seems to only affect the particular sensitivities of this complainant, and therefore, presumably to appease this person, the club has instituted a total ban on the use of drinking bottles during a game. The irony is that some players may also find the act of pouring a drink into a cup during a game distracting in itself etc. So, my question is this: do the FIDE rules (or ACF ones, for that matter) assess complaints of distraction objectively or subjectively i.e. in the latter case, it would regard the complaint as valid if the complainant is distracted, regardless of the fact that objectively, a reasonable person would not have been distracted in the same scenario. If the latter were to be true, then surely, all sorts of frivolous complaints would be upheld e.g. I might complain that the act of players holding their heads in their hands is particularly distracting to me etc. etc. I look forward to your view and advice. Thanks.

Article 12.6 of the FIDE Laws of Chess state "It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever." However what constitutes a distraction isn't stated in the rules, so this is why we have arbiters.
My first thought (more as an organiser than an arbiter) is the need to balance the needs of the many with the needs of a few. If no one minds not using water bottles at the board, then I guess there is no real problem with the rule. If however it ends up that you lose 3 or 4 players from the club/tournament just to keep one player there, then I think it is a net loss for the club and the rule should be dropped. If I was looking for middle ground I would simply allow water bottles etc at the table, but players could only use them during their move, so as not to disturb their opponent on their opponents thinking time.

Geurt Gijssen also discusses distracting an opponent it in his latest Chess Cafe column, although the example given is much more clearcut (as it involves the use of profanity).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Forfeit Time

From the 1st of July 2009, the laws of chess have been changed to allow tournament organisers to set a forfeit time for their own events, rather than the previous case where it has been 1 hour. However the rule change also states that the default time shall be 0 minutes, unless the organisers specifies otherwise.
So a couple of questions in terms of what will happen in practice.
(a) If an organiser fails to publish a set forfeit time in their entry form/tournament conditions does it have to be 0 minutes or can the chief arbiter simply announce that the forfeit time will be x minutes before the first round?
(b) Can a sanctioning body for a tournament (eg a national federation / state association) set a general forfeit time that will then cover all events under their control?
(c) What do you think is a sensible forfeit time?

Chess Rules Blog

Welcome to the "Chess Rules" blog. This blog is intended as a platform for the discussion of the FIDE Rules of Chess, past, present and future. I don't expect it to be a blog with a lot of topics, but I do hope the comments section will contain a lot of discussion.
The only thing I would like to see in regards comments is that they have a name attached to them (rather than just anonymous). The name can be a pseudonym or as something as simple as "Dave", just as long as there is some indentifying mark.