Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Discuss anything you like about chess related matters in this forum.
Nigel White
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:22 pm

Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Nigel White » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:29 am

I can't find this covered in the laws of chess (unless it counts as distracting behaviour).

A player picks up a piece and moves it to a square, but realising that is a bad move doesn't release it. Instead they stand up and walk away from the board still holding the piece. They spend several minutes not sitting at the board, but hovering around in the vicinity holding on to the piece.

When they return to the board (still standing) their opponent requests that they at least replace the piece on the original square, as the opponent thinks that he should be able to observe the correct position on the board (rather than one with a piece missing). The original player refuses. Who is correct?

Ian Thompson
Posts: 2124
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Ian Thompson » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:51 am

Nigel White wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:29 am
I can't find this covered in the laws of chess (unless it counts as distracting behaviour).

A player picks up a piece and moves it to a square, but realising that is a bad move doesn't release it. Instead they stand up and walk away from the board still holding the piece. They spend several minutes not sitting at the board, but hovering around in the vicinity holding on to the piece.

When they return to the board (still standing) their opponent requests that they at least replace the piece on the original square, as the opponent thinks that he should be able to observe the correct position on the board (rather than one with a piece missing). The original player refuses. Who is correct?
You could argue that the piece is displaced (Laws 7.4.1 - 7.4.3) if it's not put back on the board within a reasonable length of time. It's clearly not acceptable.

I had something similar in the London League a few years ago. I captured one of my opponent's pieces and he quickly picked up my piece as it was obvious his only reasonable moves were to recapture. He held my piece in his hand for a couple of minutes before completing his move with his chosen recapture.

User avatar
JustinHorton
Posts: 6435
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Somewhere you're not

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:30 am

I was playing in a tournament last summer and, as with the protagonist of this story, placed a piece on a square but realised (or, on this instance thought it at least possible) that this was an error, so I replaced the piece on the original square. My opponent complained to the arbiter.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 2964
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:05 am

"I was playing in a tournament last summer and, as with the protagonist of this story, placed a piece on a square but realised (or, on this instance thought it at least possible) that this was an error, so I replaced the piece on the original square. My opponent complained to the arbiter."

Many years ago, I had a similar occurrence, except when I replaced the piece, my opponent said, "You do realise you've got to move that?" I complained about him talking to me when it was my move.

Anyway, to answer the original question, you should replace the piece as Justin and I did.

User avatar
Matt Mackenzie
Posts: 2855
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:51 pm
Location: Millom, Cumbria

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:16 pm

In that instance, it was IMO legitimate comment by your opponent - you might not have tried to get away with touching it, but others would.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

NickFaulks
Posts: 5074
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:28 pm

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by NickFaulks » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:26 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:16 pm
In that instance, it was IMO legitimate comment by your opponent - you might not have tried to get away with touching it, but others would.
In which case it was insulting as well as distracting.

Roger Lancaster
Posts: 689
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Roger Lancaster » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:39 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:26 pm
In which case it was insulting as well as distracting.
Well, maybe but arguably no more "distracting" than the opponent's action in picking up a piece and replacing it on its original square. I can't see an arbiter being overly interested in either.

I can see the thinking behind "insulting" but, on the other side of the coin, it probably lessens the risk that the opponent - after a period of reflection - genuinely forgets s/he has touched one piece and instead moves another. That could lead to a really difficult outcome.

User avatar
Christopher Kreuzer
Posts: 7294
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:34 am
Location: London

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:59 pm

It can be best to write down on the scoresheet that you have touched the piece, thus indicating that you intend to move it, but then that can be construed as making notes... What I tend to do is apologise to my opponent and indicate that I am aware I need to move (or capture) the piece I touched. Keeping your hand on the piece is indeed a distraction, as is removing it from the board while you think (your opponent no longer has the correct position to analyse). I once did this (putting the piece back and resuming thinking) in a tournament where red and yellow cards were being issued for infringements. I got a yellow card! :D

[Actually, I didn't immediately put the piece back, I had slid the piece along the board and held it on the destination square while thinking as doubt assailed me, and then put it back - this mannerism of holding a piece on the destination square while doing a quick blunder check and then pressing the clock (or in my case retracting the move and I might even have moved it to a different square) is fairly common. It should probably not be allowed, as holding a piece in place on the destination square, and examining the resulting position before letting the piece go with your hand, is equivalent to setting up the intended position on a board to help you decide whether to make the move or not - best practice is to decide and then make the move cleanly with no pauses - but human nature being what it is, people spot mistakes in the process of making a move, usually just after letting the piece go, when it is too late!]

John McKenna
Posts: 3722
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by John McKenna » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:40 pm

Christopher Kreuzer>It can be best to write down on the scoresheet that you have touched the piece, thus indicating that you intend to move it, but then that can be construed as making notes... <

I doubt opponents will have the presence of mind to do what you advocate in this situation. Most do not even write (=) when a draw is offered.

When I'm offered a draw I usually say to my opponent - I'll write it down and think about it. (Some opponents do not write down their own draw offers.)

When my opponent touches a piece or pawn and starts hesitating... I write the initial letter of the piece name or pawn's square down on my scoresheet then wait for the rest of the move to follow...

I do not regard any of that as "making notes", and neither should the rules.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Kevin Thurlow
Posts: 2964
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:18 pm

"When my opponent touches a piece or pawn and starts hesitating... I write the initial letter of the piece name or pawn's square down on my scoresheet then wait for the rest of the move to follow..."

So do I, and although it is illegal to write your own move down before you play it, it is perfectly OK to write your opponent's move down before (s)he plays it...

User avatar
Christopher Kreuzer
Posts: 7294
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:34 am
Location: London

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:25 pm

Heh. Is it insulting to write down your opponent's move before they make it if they only have one move they can make? :mrgreen:

Nigel White
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:22 pm

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Nigel White » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:00 am

Nigel White wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:29 am
I can't find this covered in the laws of chess (unless it counts as distracting behaviour).

A player picks up a piece and moves it to a square, but realising that is a bad move doesn't release it. Instead they stand up and walk away from the board still holding the piece. They spend several minutes not sitting at the board, but hovering around in the vicinity holding on to the piece.

When they return to the board (still standing) their opponent requests that they at least replace the piece on the original square, as the opponent thinks that he should be able to observe the correct position on the board (rather than one with a piece missing). The original player refuses. Who is correct?
Returning to my original question, this occurred in a recent tournament and I was the player who was not making the move. In the game I would not have pursued it further had it not been for, in my opinion, a rather rude response to my request ("I'm a chess player and I know the rules"), so I asked the arbiter for clarification. Much to my surprise, the arbiter ruled that, as it was my opponent's move, my opponent could do what he liked with piece, so long as he eventually made a legal move with it.

From the responses above, I sense that most don't share this arbiter's view.

Paul Buswell
Posts: 383
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:56 pm

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Paul Buswell » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:07 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:25 pm
Heh. Is it insulting to write down your opponent's move before they make it if they only have one move they can make? :mrgreen:
At the level I play at, yes: they should come to a realisation of the position for themselves.

PB

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 18092
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:13 am

Nigel White wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:00 am
Much to my surprise, the arbiter ruled that, as it was my opponent's move, my opponent could do what he liked with piece, so long as he eventually made a legal move with it.

From the responses above, I sense that most don't share this arbiter's view.
11.5 should apply
11.5 It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. This includes unreasonable claims, unreasonable offers of a draw or the introduction of a source of noise into the playing area.
Having to analyse a position with a missing piece would be a distraction or annoyance to many players.

The "source of noise" example is relatively recent. I think it may have been aimed against bring very small children or babies to the board, but could equally apply to personal headphones , mobile phones, except they are covered elsewhere, or pets.

Ian Thompson
Posts: 2124
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Awbridge, Hampshire

Re: Legitimate procedure in making a move?

Post by Ian Thompson » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:14 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:18 pm
So do I, and although it is illegal to write your own move down before you play it, it is perfectly OK to write your opponent's move down before (s)he plays it...
Note taking, surely.

Post Reply