Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

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Roger Lancaster
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Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Roger Lancaster » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:27 pm

The following chain of events happened at a club match earlier this week:

1) White made a move which had the effect of giving effect to threefold repetition and, having made the move, claimed a draw

2) Black objected and pointed out to White that he had followed the wrong procedure, it being necessary to claim the draw before making said move, and that his claim was consequently invalid

3) The game continued. Black settled back to consider his next step, whereupon the playing session ended and Black sealed his next move.

4) There was then a cordial debate as to whether, through making a sealed move, Black had in turn relinquished the opportunity to claim threefold repetition.

Any helpful arbiters out there?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:58 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote: Any helpful arbiters out there?
Adjournments disappeared from International Chess between twenty and thirty years ago, so younger arbiters would have no experience of such problems.

I'd imagine there's precedent, as a repetition was always possible in the run up to a time control and end of session. With more time to consider, the player sealing the move may not want to repeat. If he wanted a draw, it's a bit pointless to seal, as he could claim on the grounds of his opponent's repetition.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Roger Lancaster » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:07 pm

That's entirely true although the current FIDE Laws include "guidelines" for adjourned games. However those guidelines don't seem explicitly to cover the situation discussed above so my guess - and it is a guess - is that any arbiter's starting-point would have to be whether a sealed move is made (or completed?) at the time the player stops his clock or only on resumption.

[The question has practical relevance in as much as, if the sealing player retains the draw claim option, he can afford to seal a risky move and then analyse it at leisure before deciding what to do. If he doesn't retain the draw claim option, then he seals a risky move only at his peril!].
Last edited by Roger Lancaster on Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:08 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:is that any arbiter's starting-point would have to be whether a sealed move is made (or completed?) at the time the player stops his clock or only on resumption.
This arbiter's starting point would have occurred some time previously.

<Organiser> Do you want to be an arbiter at this tournament coming up?
<Me> What are the details?
<Organiser> (explains them)
<Me> Adjournments? No thanks.

Thomas Rendle
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Thomas Rendle » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:13 pm

I'm pretty sure a sealed move is a completed move; assuming it breaks the repetition then the game continues as normal (unless the players agree to a draw before the resumption).

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:11 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote: If he doesn't retain the draw claim option, then he seals a risky move only at his peril!].
All the Leagues I play in dumped adjournments many years ago. I thought the sharp practice method on adjournments was that if the sealed move was a blunder, you offer a draw without revealing what it was. In the case of a local league, it can matter who has to travel.

Personally I would have thought the player lost the right to claim the automatic draw by sealing the move. He could always bluff that he had rather pointlessly sealed a repetition.

I suppose playing to a finish is better, but digital clocks combined with x in y + z time controls claimed another victim last night. A completely winning player declined a draw offer on the grounds that there was another 15 minutes to be delivered. There wasn't, as a glance at the wall clock would have indicated.

NickFaulks
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:11 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:I suppose playing to a finish is better, but digital clocks combined with x in y + z time controls claimed another victim last night.
I still don't understand this problem. How does it work?

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:26 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:I suppose playing to a finish is better, but digital clocks combined with x in y + z time controls claimed another victim last night.
I still don't understand this problem. How does it work?
Because the clock adds time automatically - and with mechanical clocks people were used to having to interrupt their game to fiddle with it to set the time correctly - they sometimes don't realise that the extra time has been added. If z, in Roger's example, is something like 15, some people don't notice.

But I suspect you'd worked that out, and like you, I've never really understood it either.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:40 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: I've never really understood it either.
You are at move 40, the time control was at move 35. The clock says you have ten minutes left. Or is it really twenty five? The display that flips between hours and minutes and minutes and seconds can also be confusing. The clock says 0:21. Is that 21 minutes or 21 seconds? Still it can be home advantage to use digitals when the opposition aren't familiar with them.

For the next match I'm considering annoying everyone familiar with the foibles of digital clocks by using a setting that will add the time at the press count. That's the way they used to work, on increments anyway, before the DGT 2010 came along. ( Trick - set increment to zero)

David Williams
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by David Williams » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:13 pm

I would have assumed that a sealed move is a completed move. It's just that the other player doesn't know what it is.
If my opponent announced that he was claiming a draw because he had written down a move that created a three-fold repetition I would think it rather odd that he hadn't said so at the time. No problem though, just show us the scoresheet!
As a related question, if a player who has sealed a move offers a draw before resumption, is his opponent entitled to say "From my point of view it's still your move. I'll consider your offer when I've seen what you've sealed. But the offer remains open."

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:24 pm

David Williams wrote: As a related question, if a player who has sealed a move offers a draw before resumption, is his opponent entitled to say "From my point of view it's still your move. I'll consider your offer when I've seen what you've sealed. But the offer remains open."
That was how it worked in tournaments when adjournments were a common practice.

In leagues you've got the problem that it can be necessary to travel to find out the sealed move or even to reveal it.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Ian Thompson » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:51 pm

David Williams wrote:I would have assumed that a sealed move is a completed move. It's just that the other player doesn't know what it is.
If my opponent announced that he was claiming a draw because he had written down a move that created a three-fold repetition I would think it rather odd that he hadn't said so at the time. No problem though, just show us the scoresheet!
I think you're right that a sealed move is a completed move, but only when the player sealing has stopped his clock. Until he's stopped the clock he has the right to change his sealed move.

If you were required to seal a move and you wanted to claim a draw by repetition with your next move you'd have to write the move down on your scoresheet, declare your intention to make the move and claim the draw (just like you would if you weren't sealing). If you were wrong, you'd have to seal the declared move and your opponent would know what it was.

If you wanted to claim a draw by repetition and you completed the sealed move procedure, including stopping the clock, then you would have lost the right to claim.

NickFaulks
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:08 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:You are at move 40, the time control was at move 35. The clock says you have ten minutes left. Or is it really twenty five? The display that flips between hours and minutes and minutes and seconds can also be confusing. The clock says 0:21. Is that 21 minutes or 21 seconds?
I have little sympathy for players who are so out of touch with their time management that they fail to notice when they have 15 minutes added, or who think they have 20 minutes left as their clock ticks down to zero. However, I do have to admit that, as a team captain and potential defuser of disputes, I sometimes struggle to work out what is going on. This problem is not restricted to digital clocks.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:33 pm

NickFaulks wrote: This problem is not restricted to digital clocks.
Notwithstanding allegations that it's contrary to the Laws of Chess, it is universal in English chess that with mechanical clocks, the extra time is added when both players agree they have reached the time control.

I did have an experience in the Blackpool Open where by virtue of being seeded exactly on the halfway point, I played someone inexperienced at competitive chess in the first round. I had to invoke the arbiter to explain that 40 moves in 100 minutes plus an extra 20 meant that you lost if 100 minutes expired before 40 moves had been completed.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Sealed move during threefold repetition sequence

Post by LawrenceCooper » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:10 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:For the next match I'm considering annoying everyone
:shock:

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