Touch move rule

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Alex Holowczak
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:35 pm

Colin S Crouch wrote:It was in the quickplay finish, with the Ealing player being very short of time. The Ealing player moved the king into check, and his opponent pointed this out. The Ealing player thought for a while - and then moved another piece! The Harrow player did not make a complaint. There were several onlookers on both sides, but of course unlookers must not interfere. If there had been an arbiter present, no doubt that player would have been obliged to intervine.
If I were an arbiter who was present, I would have involved myself after the clock was pressed after "Ealing player moved the king into check", and probably explained his requirement to move the piece he touched if I could see on the board that he could do so. You'd add two minutes to Harrow player, and reset the board to the position before Ealing player moved.
Colin S Crouch wrote:Anyway, play continued. Ealing was a couple of pawns up in a position of opposite colours, but the Harrow player, strangely enough, had the more dangerous pawn. structure. The Ealing player claimed a draw, with less than two minutes on the clock, but the Harrow player proclaimed that he could still play for a win, Eventually, things got deadlocked, with no more moves being played, and no clear result given. It is now, I guess, up th the league. I do not want to prejudgr thr conclusions given by the league, but how could the watchers present, in luding captains, have handled the position, to give a clear result on the day?
I don't think there's anything you could have done. Indeed, I don't really see what is wrong with this at all.

If it was a quickplay finish with no arbiter present, then Ealing player is entitled to claim a draw with less than two minutes on his clock. If the Harrow player disputes a claim made by his opponent, then fine; nevertheless, the game has ended with Ealing player's claim. You should then send off the scoresheets, the position on the board, clock times, and other relevant information (e.g. whose move it is!) to the league to decide on the claim made under Appendix D.

There was no way in this situation to get a clear result on the day if one player made a draw claim that the other player wasn't prepared to accept.

The league could avoid all potential for this to happen in one of at least two ways:
(1) Appoint arbiters to matches, which is likely to be unpopular on cost grounds
(2) Use incremental time controls or perpetual adjournments, the latter of which doesn't solve the problem of getting a result on the night, and the former of which is not practical if you do not have a supply of digital clocks.

Colin S Crouch
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Colin S Crouch » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:57 pm

Which does of course lead to the point that quickplay finishes does not necessarily mean that games do not necessarily finish in one evening. This could be a frustration to all of those who think that once an evening game has started, the game would always be finished in the same evening.
Fischer time controls are useful, provided everyone has clocks, but even here, there is always the problem of caretakers ratting their keys while players are trying to finish the game.
I should add perhaps that the Harrow player was genuinely wanting to play for a win. If he could recover one pawn, he would still be pressing on the second pawn, and he would still have a rather dangerous pawn. He was theredore ready to offer an extra ten minutes to the opponent, just to show that he is not merely trying to win, but again, it is a case of "time gentlemen please! Homes to go to!"
I do not think there is any genuine bad feeling between the players or teams, but the match still hinges on it.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:16 pm

Colin S Crouch wrote:I should add perhaps that the Harrow player was genuinely wanting to play for a win.
If the League agrees, then he will still win the game!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:57 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: If the League agrees, then he will still win the game!
If the non-claimant is worse then it's borderline as to whether the draw should be awarded. A benchmark is to hypothesise that the game has, if not infinite time, then increment time. So try the question as to whether the claimant could justify a draw offer, and whether the non-claimant could reasonably try to win other than on time.

Another benchmark is that if you cannot decide within a few seconds who is or should be winning or that it's a dead draw, then the claim isn't justified.


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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:04 am

David Blower wrote:It is a bit late but here is the match report containing details of the incident:
What is the standard of play in your league? It's puzzling that giving away a queen for nothing ( .. Qd4 as required to be played) or for a piece (.. Kg8 allowing Nf6+) doesn't imply immediate resignation.

In a way, the story is not so much about touch move, but the possible consequences of playing an illegal move, namely the requirement to move the piece making the illegal move.

Sometimes you get away with it.


In this position the game had continued 1. .. Bc3 and then 2. Rb5 Bd2+


so I carried on with my plan by playing Rb6+ to force his King back, only to be reminded that the latest Bishop shuffle gave check. Fortunately the Rook is far enough away that intercepting the check with the Rook isn't possible.

Lewis Martin
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Lewis Martin » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:16 pm

How about an incident where the arbiter didn't know what to do? I was in disbelief about this since I knew all about this rule pretty much about the time I started playing chess.

It was played abroad so I doubt my opponent would even know this forum. (I will still keep his name anonymous however.)

The story goes:

It was his move. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have the game, nor can I remember all of it (probably could if I set a board up, but I won't bother). The key components in this scenario are: (I was White) my passed pawn on a4, Bishop on c4, and his two black rooks on a8 and e8.

My opponent picked up his a8 rook and made the move in such a way that he also held my pawn in his hand without releasing his hand on the rook on the a4 square. Upon this 'new' situation, he realised that I could reply with Bb5 and hence forking his two rooks, going to be an exchange up.

Then he put my pawn down and moved his rook back to a8, and then later moved it to d8. I was a bit surprised at this, and proceeded to stop the clock and raised my hand for an arbiter to see. He proceeded to come over and I then tried to explain the situation to him. (To my opponent's credit he didn't complain, more bewildered if anything, that I am claiming that this process was illegal, since you had to take your opponent's piece if you touched it.)

As if this wasn't surprising enough, the arbiter (must have been an IA since it was a prestigious event) was looking puzzled too, and then proceeded to walk somewhere to find the rule book. After waiting for him to appear, he walked over, reading the relevant rules, and then agreed that I was indeed correct, and then the game carried on with the black rook on a4. (I later won, if you were interested to know)

At least the right thing happened, but it did leave me a little bemused to be honest. I don't know what training it takes to be an arbiter, but surely stuff like this must have been picked up. Maybe Jack Rudd/Alex Holowczak or other arbiters on here might like to shed a bit of light on this?

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:29 pm

David Blower wrote:It is a bit late but here is the match report containing details of the incident: http://brewoodchess.webs.com/apps/blog/ ... alesowen-b
Thanks for linking to that, David. Like Roger, I'm wondering what the standard of play is - from the descriptions (and please don't take this the wrong way) the standard of play doesn't sound that high (ah, I see the grades are 60 to 135). From my experience, a dispute like the one you describe would not even be a dispute between stronger and experienced players. They would just accept that they had blundered, shrug, and resign. This is not to say that experienced players don't get into disputes, they do, but normally of a less 'obvious' sort.

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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:17 pm

Lewis Martin wrote:At least the right thing happened, but it did leave me a little bemused to be honest. I don't know what training it takes to be an arbiter, but surely stuff like this must have been picked up. Maybe Jack Rudd/Alex Holowczak or other arbiters on here might like to shed a bit of light on this?
Big events might have lots of arbiters, and some not so highly-qualified arbiters who are there more as experience/training than anything else. Some of these events simply might not have the depth of arbiters available. For example, even the Olympiad doesn't have a complete roster of IAs!

In England, I would expect a Level 1 Arbiter to know how to resolve that situation; i.e. anyone who passed the test. Even then, I don't think it's that obscure a Law - I'd think most would do it.

For what it's worth, if the arbiter was unsure, I think he did exactly the right thing - he took his time and made the right decision.

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Re: Touch move rule

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:07 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Lewis Martin wrote:At least the right thing happened, but it did leave me a little bemused to be honest. I don't know what training it takes to be an arbiter, but surely stuff like this must have been picked up. Maybe Jack Rudd/Alex Holowczak or other arbiters on here might like to shed a bit of light on this?
Big events might have lots of arbiters, and some not so highly-qualified arbiters who are there more as experience/training than anything else. Some of these events simply might not have the depth of arbiters available. For example, even the Olympiad doesn't have a complete roster of IAs!

In England, I would expect a Level 1 Arbiter to know how to resolve that situation; i.e. anyone who passed the test. Even then, I don't think it's that obscure a Law - I'd think most would do it.

For what it's worth, if the arbiter was unsure, I think he did exactly the right thing - he took his time and made the right decision.
I agree with Alex's comments.

Lewis, you don't name the country, but I can think of several where this could have happened.

David Blower
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by David Blower » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:29 pm

Thanks for comments. I like to think as the webmaster of the website we have a good website as well!

Regarding the standard of play in the league, its obviously not the best league in the world (the B team for Brewood are in Division 3 of a league that runs divisions from 1-4.) It does provide competitive play for myself and the club though.

I have also blundered my queen and not resigned.

I think it comes from playing players on chess.com (where the standard of play is a lot lower for me than the OTB matches I play) where I have blundered my queen on chess.com, not resigned, and ended up winning matches.

E Michael White
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by E Michael White » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:18 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:In England, I would expect a Level 1 Arbiter to know how to resolve that situation; i.e. anyone who passed the test. Even then, I don't think it's that obscure a Law - I'd think most would do it.

For what it's worth, if the arbiter was unsure, I think he did exactly the right thing - he took his time and made the right decision.
Yes most ENG arbiters would get those parts of the rules correct. Where they sometimes slip up are:-

a) touch move only applies to pieces on the board; eg during pawn promotion.
b) when a player touches a piece on the board they lose the right to enforce touch move by their opponent on the previous move.
c) anomalously, according to what is written in the rules, touch move does not apply on white's first move. This piece of poor rule drafting is probably advantageous as it allows white to adjust any misplaced pieces before starting the game !

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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:34 pm

E Michael White wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:In England, I would expect a Level 1 Arbiter to know how to resolve that situation; i.e. anyone who passed the test. Even then, I don't think it's that obscure a Law - I'd think most would do it.

For what it's worth, if the arbiter was unsure, I think he did exactly the right thing - he took his time and made the right decision.
Yes most ENG arbiters would get those parts of the rules correct. Where they sometimes slip up are:-

a) touch move only applies to pieces on the board; eg during pawn promotion.
b) when a player touches a piece on the board they lose the right to enforce touch move by their opponent on the previous move.
c) anomalously, according to what is written in the rules, touch move does not apply on white's first move. This piece of poor rule drafting is probably advantageous as it allows white to adjust any misplaced pieces before starting the game !
I was quietly pleased with myself until you mentioned c). I hadn't considered that before, and I wonder if it is deliberate.

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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:24 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:What is the standard of play in your league? It's puzzling that giving away a queen for nothing ( .. Qd4 as required to be played) or for a piece (.. Kg8 allowing Nf6+) doesn't imply immediate resignation.
Oh, I don't know. I witnessed a game in the British Major Open once, in which this fellow lost two queens in the same game to knight forks, yet still managed to draw the game. The fellow who won the two queens, but didn't win the game, still managed to earn the title of British U18 Champion through his result in that particular tournament.

Lewis Martin
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Re: Touch move rule

Post by Lewis Martin » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:27 pm

David Sedgwick wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Lewis Martin wrote:At least the right thing happened, but it did leave me a little bemused to be honest. I don't know what training it takes to be an arbiter, but surely stuff like this must have been picked up. Maybe Jack Rudd/Alex Holowczak or other arbiters on here might like to shed a bit of light on this?
Big events might have lots of arbiters, and some not so highly-qualified arbiters who are there more as experience/training than anything else. Some of these events simply might not have the depth of arbiters available. For example, even the Olympiad doesn't have a complete roster of IAs!

In England, I would expect a Level 1 Arbiter to know how to resolve that situation; i.e. anyone who passed the test. Even then, I don't think it's that obscure a Law - I'd think most would do it.

For what it's worth, if the arbiter was unsure, I think he did exactly the right thing - he took his time and made the right decision.
I agree with Alex's comments.

Lewis, you don't name the country, but I can think of several where this could have happened.
Apologies, I have only just noticed this point. It was in Switzerland - not the country that might have come to your mind...?

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