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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:05 pm 
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Hello,

last night, at a league match, a member of our team was late. At the start time, White's clocks get started on all boards. My team member was still missing and was supposed to play as Black. His opponent starts Black clock without making his move. He claimed that based on FIDE rules, when the Black player is late, White could delay making his first move on the board until the opponent actually arrives, while still being allowed to start Black's clock.

I found this really weird, the discussion then stopped since few minutes later our player arrived and they started the actual play.

I looked quickly on the FIDE handbook under the laws of chess but I could not find any reference to anything like that; White explicitly mentioned FIDE rules, so it's nothing to do with special provisions of the league or any English law from the Middle Age. Does anyone know whether:

1) I missed something from the FIDE handbook and White was correct delaying his first move while Black clock was running (could you please point to the section of the FIDE handbook?)
2) the claim is invalid, such a rule does not exists
3) the claim is invalid, such a rule does not exists, but something to this effect used to exist in FIDE rules

?

Just curiosity, our team won the match (and the late player won his game), so no intentions to complain, just to understand if such a rule exists.

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:25 pm 
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Paolo Casaschi wrote:
His opponent starts Black clock without making his move. He claimed that based on FIDE rules, when the Black player is late, White could delay making his first move on the board until the opponent actually arrives, while still being allowed to start Black's clock.


I don't think there's any such rule, although there might have been in the past, or local rules to that effect. The only specified action is where neither player is present.

Quote:
6.4
Before the start of the game the arbiter decides where the chess clock is placed.
6.5
At the time determined for the start of the game the clock of the player who has the white pieces is started.
6.6
a.Any player who arrives at the chessboard after the start of the session shall lose the game. Thus the default time is 0 minutes. The rules of a competition may specify otherwise.
b.If the rules of a competition specify a different default time, the following shall apply. If neither player is present initially, the player who has the white pieces shall lose all the time that elapses until he arrives, unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.





There is however this material about adjournments from http://www.fide.com/fide/handbook.html? ... ew=article

Quote:
9.
If, at the agreed resumption time:
a. the player having to reply to the sealed move is present, the envelope is opened, the sealed move made on the chessboard and his clock started.
b.the player having to reply to the sealed move is not present, his clock shall be started. On his arrival, he may stop his clock and summon the arbiter. The envelope is then opened and the sealed move made on the chessboard. His clock is then restarted.
c.the player who sealed the move is not present, his opponent has the right to record his reply on the scoresheet, seal his scoresheet in a fresh envelope, stop his clock and start the absent player’s clock instead of making his reply in the normal manner. If so, the envelope shall be handed to the arbiter for safe-keeping and opened on the absent player’s arrival.


At the back of my mind are precedents where arbiters, when deemed present, have allowed the player with the white pieces to seal the first move in the absence of his opponent. On a slightly different tack, it would be my impression that a player should be allowed to take back their first move and substitute an alternative if a reserve replaces the original player in a team match. There again that's probably just convention or local rules.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:58 am 
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Paolo, this has got to be wrong if not archaic, I've never heard of this rule. My understanding is White can only start Blacks clock once White has played a move on the board, not in their head or sealed or otherwise. I would be interested to know the rule that White refers to?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:31 am 
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Ian Stephens wrote:
My understanding is White can only start Blacks clock once White has played a move on the board, not in their head or sealed or otherwise.
Under current vanilla FIDE rules, unadulterated by the ECF or local rules neither situation exists. If White is there and Black is absent at the start time Black loses. The game does not take place; white does not need to move or start a clock, its defaulted, it ceases to be, it's non existent and the result is nailed to the score sheet. So its unlikely that there is anything anywhere in the FIDE rules except in error. Where the ECF or event organisers vary this rule, as they may, they should specify how late arrival is dealt with; but do they ?

Going back in history there was a rule operated along these lines. If black arrived late White could play any move and change it when Black arrived. This was used to allow White to vary the move, when the player arrived or against a substitute. If my memory is correct, this rule was used in the early 4NCL days to avoid giving away preparation. There are games on databases from this period eg A Ledger v default 1.a4. Bristol v Northumbria 4NCL 1997. Usually 1.a3 was played but as players began playing this, as a semi serious system, 1.h3 increased in popularity.

What baffles me though, is the game 1.a4 Default v M Houska Slough v North West Eagles 4NCL 1996. Who played White's move ?

This old rule shows signs of BCF arbiter invention, when the new cohort of 1990 arbiters came on the scene wanting to leave their mark.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Imagine this in the next FIDE rule changes - whenever a player leaves the board (absents self) the opponent may start the absentee's clock without making a move. When the absentee returns he can restart the opponent's clock without making a move.
In the original scenario a player in the match claimed he can start black's clock before making his first move (as white) because his opponent is absent and FIDE rules permit it. He should given the rules and be told to find the rule with his clock running, first.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Irrespective of the specific rules, I have always found it slightly strange that white is required to play his first move without first knowing who his opponent is, and by that I mean have sight of them. If my opponent arrives, say, 45 minutes late I might well prefer to play a different first move than if they have all of their time, and in the case of someone I do not know I might prefer to attempt to guess their style before committing (eg play something positional against a junior who might be expected to play sharp lines).
Certainly, in the case of a substitute player I have seen the board reset when the new player is declared, and in the case of re-pairing at congresses it is always a brand new game.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:52 pm 
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E Michael White wrote:
Going back in history there was a rule operated along these lines. If black arrived late White could play any move and change it when Black arrived. This was used to allow White to vary the move, when the player arrived or against a substitute. If my memory is correct, this rule was used in the early 4NCL days to avoid giving away preparation.


What would happen when White played 1.a3 and instead of being sat at his board waiting for Black to turn up, White went to watch some games at the other side of the playing hall. During this time, Black turned up at the board and played 1...d5 and pressed his clock? Would they have to play from this position?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:30 pm 
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A devious trick* when your opponent (black) is not present at the start of the game is to play a ‘little’ move such as 1.b3, or more specifically 1.b2½. Write your move down and then hide from view. When your opponent arrives he/she may look over from across the room, not see the move you have made, assume you are absent and look at the other games.
When they lose on time you make your appearance and voilà, 1-0!

*Of course I wouldn’t dream of partaking in such a sneaky trick myself.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:08 pm 
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E Michael White wrote:
Under current vanilla FIDE rules, unadulterated by the ECF or local rules neither situation exists. If White is there and Black is absent at the start time Black loses. The game does not take place; white does not need to move or start a clock, its defaulted, it ceases to be, it's non existent and the result is nailed to the score sheet. So its unlikely that there is anything anywhere in the FIDE rules except in error.

Not sure your reasoning is correct, because:
1) article 6.6a of the FIDE laws of chess says "Any player who arrives at the chessboard after the start of the session shall lose the game. Thus the default time is 0 minutes. The rules of a competition may specify otherwise.". Therefore having a non-zero default time is allowed (although not the preferred option in FIDE eyes). If a non-zero default time is an allowed option, the laws of chess could/should define special rules when a player is late
2) article 6.6b starts "If the rules of a competition specify a different default time, the following shall apply. If neither player is present initially, ..." so a special rule is defined for cases when a non-zero default time is set and both players are late. If there was any intention to define a rule such as the one claimed by my teammate opponent, the FIDE laws of chess could have included such a rule

Key to the initial question is that the claim, quoting my teammate opponent, was based on FIDE rules, hence the reference to the FIDE laws of chess. I dont think the league has any special provision either, apart from setting the default time at 30min.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
On a slightly different tack, it would be my impression that a player should be allowed to take back their first move and substitute an alternative if a reserve replaces the original player in a team match. There again that's probably just convention or local rules.


But it isn't mandatory to write down the players' names on the match scoresheet before the games start? In Italy I have always seen the captains doing this, maybe in England the procedure is different.

Indeed, if the opponent's name is unknown, it is more than reasonable to wait for his arrival before making the first move. For me there would be no problem, because I open always in the same way whatever opponent I meet, but many players begin to make choices right from the opening move.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Giulio Simeone wrote:
But it isn't mandatory to write down the players' names on the match scoresheet before the games start? In Italy I have always seen the captains doing this, maybe in England the procedure is different.


That would be the normal practice in England as well. League rules frequently allow a substitute/reserve to replace a missing player, provided it is done before the default time. Practices may vary as to whether the potential substitute has to be named on the team sheet or can be just anyone.

Typically for an evening league game starting at around 7.30 pm, the match captain may take a view at around 8pm as to whether no-shows are likely to appear. If you are the away team, you probably don't have a reserve unless you are well enough organised to have a spare player travelling. If you are the home team, you may have a spare member or two of your club just down to watch or play casual games. You may even be able to summon someone who lives locally. There is a balancing act, you don't want to substitute for one of your top players at 8pm, only to see them walk through the door at 8.05pm. Equally you don't want to confront the reserve with a very difficult clock position.

In the early days of the 4NCL as mentioned above by EMW, substitutes could be almost anyone, because the league had yet to formalise its registration and wild card process. So arbiters allowing White to play dummy moves sounds plausible.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Quote:
Irrespective of the specific rules, I have always found it slightly strange that white is required to play his first move without first knowing who his opponent is, and by that I mean have sight of them. If my opponent arrives, say, 45 minutes late I might well prefer to play a different first move than if they have all of their time, and in the case of someone I do not know I might prefer to attempt to guess their style before committing (eg play something positional against a junior who might be expected to play sharp lines).


There is no compulsion on you to move, you can wait for your opponent to arrive. (But obviously you have to accept that your clock will be running while you wait.)


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Why not just play 1.Ra3 and start Black's clock? If your opponent hasn't arrived, they can't object. Can the arbiter or the opposing captain insist that you play a legal move before starting Black's clock, and would an objection from Black (when they arrive) lead to the clock times being reversed? I think I heard of that happening once when someone started Black's clock without making a White move.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:46 pm 
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Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Why not just play 1.Ra3 and start Black's clock? If your opponent hasn't arrived, they can't object. Can the arbiter or the opposing captain insist that you play a legal move before starting Black's clock, and would an objection from Black (when they arrive) lead to the clock times being reversed? I think I heard of that happening once when someone started Black's clock without making a White move.


In standardplay, the arbiter points out illegal moves, not the opponent.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:43 am 
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The Thames Valley League has the following rule

The player of the white pieces has the option on his first move, in the absence of his stipulated opponent, of starting black’s clock without playing a move. Black on arrival can immediately restart white’s clock.

The idea is that white may wish to play a prepared opening against a particular opponent and would then be aggrieved if the opponent was substituted and would want to play a different move against the actual player.


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