Writing down the move first - and changing it

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JustinHorton
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Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:13 am

Morning all. I have a question especially aimed at those of the arbiting, though all informed opinion is welcome.

As we know, some years ago the laws were amended such that it was no longer acceptable to write down a move before playing it, on the grounds that this constitutes making notes.

If a player is seen to do so, but then crosses out their proposed move, writes down and makes a different one - is there any penalty for doing so? If there is no specific penalty set out in the laws, what would be the normal practice of arbiters in these circumstances?

(If it is relevant, the particular context was club-level players in a FIDE-rated open tournament.)
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Gavin Strachan
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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by Gavin Strachan » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:25 am

The laws I don't think were changed just clarified.

There is a series of warnings and time things the arbiter and then game forfeit.

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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:30 am

Thanks. Are there any specifics to that?
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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by Gavin Strachan » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:35 am

Usually off the top of my head in the form of giving the opponent extra 2 /5 mins incrementally after a verbal warning. It is largely to the discretion of the arbiter. I have to say I do not know of any incidences of this happening as most players get the message are a quiet word.

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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:40 am

OK, that's useful, ta. So am I right in thinking that:

a. there's nothing actually set down, it's all custom and practice?
b. normal procedure is no penalty for a first offence?

(I have a weird feeling that I asked this before, by the way, so apologies if the query looks familiar. I've been on the other side of the board of this more than once!)
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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by Gavin Strachan » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:49 am

a) there is, I really do not want to trawl http://www.fide.com/fide/handbook.html but I love it. ok:

13.4
The arbiter can apply one or more of the following penalties:

warning
increasing the remaining time of the opponent
reducing the remaining time of the offending player
declaring the game to be lost
reducing the points scored in the game by the offending party
increasing the points scored in the game by the opponent to the maximum available for that game
expulsion from the event.

A generic rule that fits all. Interesting point is rule 8.1 "A player may reply to his opponent’s move before recording it, if he so wishes. He must record his previous move before making another."

Personally I would go straight for expulsion on the first offence (seems reasonable!)

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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:00 am

Hmmm, yes, 13.4. That's kind of what I mean by nothing specific.

Am I right in thinking that there are specifics for other situations, e.g. making an illegal move? (Time added to opponent's clock?) The rules as stated seem to me to be an invitation to people to ignore them, since no penalty exists for doing precisely the thing that the law exists to prevent.

Oh, and regarding the writing-down-first thing, I have an interesting query for you. Can somebody claim a threefold repetition while having an incomplete scoresheet, i.e. without recording the opponent's last move?
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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:09 am

Gavin Strachan wrote:The laws I don't think were changed just clarified.
The 2005 (and 2009) Laws specify that "It is forbidded to write the moves in advance". That wasn't the case previously.
JustinHorton wrote:Morning all. I have a question especially aimed at those of the arbiting, though all informed opinion is welcome.

As we know, some years ago the laws were amended such that it was no longer acceptable to write down a move before playing it, on the grounds that this constitutes making notes.

If a player is seen to do so, but then crosses out their proposed move, writes down and makes a different one - is there any penalty for doing so? If there is no specific penalty set out in the laws, what would be the normal practice of arbiters in these circumstances?

(If it is relevant, the particular context was club-level players in a FIDE-rated open tournament.)
When the 2005 Law was introduced, Guert Gijssen recommended in his Chess Cafe column that a player should be given two warnings and then forfeited.

He was commenting in the context of a high level event. At club level, one might be more lenient, particularly if the opponent was showing no sign of being bothered.

I'm talking here of the situation where a player simply writes down the move before making it. It's rather more serious if (s)he writes down a move and then crosses it out and writes down and plays something different. That is note taking of the precise kind that the new Law was introduced to prevent.

In those circumstances I would be certainly be inclined to forfeit a player after two warnings, even at club level. At international level I'd be minded to do so after only a single warning. (Obviously (s)he would be told at the time of the warning that any repetition would result in a forfeit.)

Custom and practice in Spain may of course be different. I can't comment on that.

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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:15 am

Heh. I can, though perhaps I won't.

Part of the problem here is that in an international open you get club players, who perhaps ought to normally get more leeway, playing in an international event alngside GMs - and I can't see how in the same event you can have different interpretation of the rule.
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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by Gavin Strachan » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:18 am

To answer the writing down first thing - yes. An arbiter can be watching/writing the moves down and uphold the claim.

Yes the 13.4 rule is a one size fits all which are not already covered in a more specific manner type law. Sometimes it is on intent I suppose, a player making an illegal move usually doesn't realise it at the time and the rule concerning that does have specific instructions on what to do. A player who is consistently making illegal moves is doing so with intent (or they just do not know how to play the game and therefore if having entered a tournament not knowing how to play would be forfeit) and therefore this would be covered by rule 13.4.


Thanks Dave for update: I vaguely remember a memo going out that this was a clarification of a rule that already existed for years but obviously if the rule was invented in 2005 then this makes sense. I suppose why would Kotov recommend writing moves down first in his book "Think like a Grandmaster" written 40+ years ago.

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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:19 am

JustinHorton wrote:Hmmm, yes, 13.4. That's kind of what I mean by nothing specific.

Am I right in thinking that there are specifics for other situations, e.g. making an illegal move? (Time added to opponent's clock?) The rules as stated seem to me to be an invitation to people to ignore them, since no penalty exists for doing precisely the thing that the law exists to prevent.
For some infractions a precise penalty is specified. In other cases the penalty is at the discretion of the arbiter.

JustinHorton wrote:Oh, and regarding the writing-down-first thing, I have an interesting query for you. Can somebody claim a threefold repetition while having an incomplete scoresheet, i.e. without recording the opponent's last move?
Yes you can, although it strikes me as a little odd to do so.

It used to be the case that you couldn't claim a threefold repetition unless you'd written down the moves as they were played. That was changed in 1985. Hence a claim during a time scramble is potentially valid, provided the arbiter is satisfied what has happened.

If it is your own move that will produce the threefold repetition, you still have to write down the move but not make it. This is an explicit exception to the general rule that we're discussing.

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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:24 am

I'm confused now. I thought it was only possible to claim a threefold by announcing your intention to make a move which would produce it. Am I wrong on that?

But if you are going to claim it because of your move, you do have to write it down and therefore have to have written down the move you wish to play and the previous one? Is there a source I can quote on that? I know an arbiter I'd like to show it to.....
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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by Gavin Strachan » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:26 am

when my personal life has ironed out I will do the FIDE arbiters course. With kids on the way its hard enough getting a game!




Who's been mucking about with my signature.

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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by David Sedgwick » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:27 am

JustinHorton wrote:Part of the problem here is that in an international open you get club players, who perhaps ought to normally get more leeway, playing in an international event alngside GMs - and I can't see how in the same event you can have different interpretation of the rule.
It's not a matter of a different interpretation, but of a different penalty. You don't have to give the same penalty on Board 242 as you would on Board 3.

However, I accept that it would be difficult to justify this to an Appeal Committee. If you enter a GM tournament, you should expect to abide by the same standards as the GMs.

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Re: Writing down the move first - and changing it

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:28 am

JustinHorton wrote:Am I wrong on that?
Yes:

9.2 The game is drawn upon a correct claim by the player having the move, when the same position, for at least the third time (not necessarily by a repetition of moves):
a. is about to appear, if he first writes his move on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, or
b. has just appeared, and the player claiming the draw has the move.

9.2b is the key one, you can claim it if the position has just happened, not only if you're about to make it happen.
Last edited by Alex Holowczak on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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