Touch Move question

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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John Upham
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Touch Move question

Post by John Upham » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:53 pm

Whilst "arbiting" (and not being an arbiter) I was asked to make decisions in two similar touch move debates in a junior tournament.

In both cases a player picked up their Queen and knocked an opposing piece that they could legally capture with the Queen.

They then decided that they did not like that capture.

They did not touch the opposing piece with their fingers or finger but rather with the piece they were moving (i.e. their Queen).

I insisted that they capture the piece.

Was I correct?

I've noticed that beginner children capture by knocking the captured piece out of the way rather then lifting it up first as most competent adults would do.

Alan Atkinson
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:08 pm

Re: Touch Move question

Post by Alan Atkinson » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:24 am

The Laws say "with the intention of" (moving/capture/castling/etc) so if you were of the view that the idea WAS to take that piece when it was touched or knocked from the board with the queen, then you were correct to insist.

It does not matter that no actual physical contact happened between the player and the piece.
If that had to be the case, I would play my next match wearing gloves, and go back to the last position where I was not losing and insist that we continued from that point!

Nick Grey
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Re: Touch Move question

Post by Nick Grey » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:22 pm

Clumsiness with pieces happens with adults too. Any reason not to give a warning - tell them to be more careful & if it happens again - explain what the consequences are. Junior tournaments are very difficult so you can end up with lots of complaints.

My experience is some younger players pick up their piece hover it in the air for as long as 60 seconds, not let go, hover it over another square, change their mind & put it elsewhere. An elderly opponent may not notice or complain. Other than point out the incorrect behaviour to the player, captain, coach, & parent after the game & suggest they sit on their hands until they make a decision, and they then can be decisive, accurate & careful.

Brian Towers
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Re: Touch Move question

Post by Brian Towers » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:48 am

Nick Grey wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:22 pm
Clumsiness with pieces happens with adults too. Any reason not to give a warning - tell them to be more careful & if it happens again - explain what the consequences are.
As Alan has pointed out the rules are very clear, particularly the latest version -
FIDE Laws of Chess wrote:4.2.1 Only the player having the move may adjust one or more pieces on their squares, provided that he first expresses his intention (for example by saying “j’adoube” or “I adjust”).
4.2.2 Any other physical contact with a piece, except for clearly accidental contact, shall be considered to be intent.
If a player picks up his queen and deliberately knocks over an opponent's piece that is clear physical contact and clear intent. Similarly a player reaching across the board and brushing a piece with his arm which falls over is clear accidental contact, clumsy or otherwise. Ditto knocking over one or more adjacent pieces whilst capturing, particularly with not very much time left on the clock.
Nick Grey wrote:
Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:22 pm
My experience is some younger players pick up their piece hover it in the air for as long as 60 seconds, not let go, hover it over another square, change their mind & put it elsewhere.
An arbiter seeing this kind of activity should intervene. Coaches should make sure their charges know this is unacceptable. Both players are entitled to an unobstructed view of the board whether it is their turn or not. This kind of behaviour will disturb many opponents and should be discouraged at the earliest opportunity. In my experience most kids are very good about this. You tell them what they are doing is not OK and explain why and they stop the behaviour and remember not to do it in future.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

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