Rule 10A

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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Gavin Strachan
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Rule 10A

Post by Gavin Strachan » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:21 pm

10.2
If the player, having the move, has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall summon the arbiter and may stop the clocks. (See Article 6.12.b)

a.
If the arbiter agrees the opponent is making no effort to win the game by normal means, or that it is not possible to win by normal means, then he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise he shall postpone his decision or reject the claim.

Normal means. If a player has K+Q v K+P and the player with queen has the easiest win ever (i.e. the pawn is not just about to queen). Is this a draw?

Does normal means basically mean that without creating mate (help mate)?

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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Alex Holowczak » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:23 pm

Gavin Strachan wrote:Is this a draw?
If he claims it, yes.
Gavin Strachan wrote: Does normal means basically mean that without creating mate (help mate)?
"Normal means" means that you can win over the board, i.e. you're not relying on winning on time.

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Gavin Strachan
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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Gavin Strachan » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:34 pm

There was an incident in 2008 at Ilford where IM Maden played Yang-Fan Zhou in the final round: In that case, one player had a knight and his opponent had a knight and rook's pawn when the player with the knight and pawn exceeded the time limit (Maden). The player with the lone knight claimed a win and got a win. The only possible way a mate could occur is help mate.

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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:35 pm

But did the player with the knight and pawn claim a draw before his flag fell?

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Gavin Strachan
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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Gavin Strachan » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:39 pm

FIDE Laws of Chess, when it comes to a win on time, says:

"However, the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves."

The flag had dropped. I think the draw claim should have occurred before flag.

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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:50 pm

That's right. If the player with the knight and pawn had offered a draw and then, if his opponent refused it, claimed a draw, then he almost certainly would have been given it. However you can't claim a draw after your flag has dropped. Unless you're John Upham.

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Gavin Strachan
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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Gavin Strachan » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:56 pm

I had a similar time issue in another tournament where a player had checkmate his flag fell and his opponent tried to claim on time.

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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Jon D'Souza-Eva » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:58 pm

See http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=555 for information about Rumens vs Mabbs in which the same thing happened.

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Re: Rule 10A

Post by David Williams » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:40 pm

1. Any chess player of a certain standard will know immediately whether a K+P v K endgame is a draw or not. A novice defending it might not even know to keep his king in front of the pawn. And in between there are players who, when it comes to the crucial move when you have to retreat to the back rank, will not know which square to move to. If I had the pawn, against an opponent of unknown strength, I'd play on in the hope that he'd get it wrong (particularly if he was short of time). Am I trying to win by normal means? What if it was a rook's pawn, where he'd have to be unusually incompetent to get it wrong? And if I take a few moves more than strictly necessary, running his clock down, does that make a difference?

2. I've got a rook and a lot of pawns against a bishop and equal pawns, but it's hard to make progress. I can see a couple of possibilities, one on each wing, though I suspect they may come to nothing. But they're worth trying because they might work, or he might make a mistake, and they're risk-free. And if they don't work I can give back the exchange because the pawn ending looks won. So my plan is to move my king to one side and have a look at the first possibility. If it doesn't work I'll shuffle it over to the other side and try there. And if that doesn't work I'll burn my boats and sacrifice. But I've an hour left and he's got twenty minutes. So I decide to prat around for a bit till he's down to five minutes or so, before starting my plan. Very likely he'll be out of time before I even get round to having to sacrifice. Am I trying to win by normal means? I certainly have a plan, but if my two possibilities turn out not to work there's no evidence that I do. And could he foil my plan while I'm pratting around by letting his clock run down to two minutes and claiming a draw?

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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:51 pm

David Williams wrote:1. Any chess player of a certain standard will know immediately whether a K+P v K endgame is a draw or not. A novice defending it might not even know to keep his king in front of the pawn. And in between there are players who, when it comes to the crucial move when you have to retreat to the back rank, will not know which square to move to. If I had the pawn, against an opponent of unknown strength, I'd play on in the hope that he'd get it wrong (particularly if he was short of time). Am I trying to win by normal means? What if it was a rook's pawn, where he'd have to be unusually incompetent to get it wrong? And if I take a few moves more than strictly necessary, running his clock down, does that make a difference?
Yes, you are trying to win by normal means. You're also making progress towards the result, which is another key factor. You can still claim the draw, and if you demonstrate that you can defend it, then the draw may be awarded after the flag has fallen.
David Williams wrote:2. I've got a rook and a lot of pawns against a bishop and equal pawns, but it's hard to make progress. I can see a couple of possibilities, one on each wing, though I suspect they may come to nothing. But they're worth trying because they might work, or he might make a mistake, and they're risk-free. And if they don't work I can give back the exchange because the pawn ending looks won. So my plan is to move my king to one side and have a look at the first possibility. If it doesn't work I'll shuffle it over to the other side and try there. And if that doesn't work I'll burn my boats and sacrifice. But I've an hour left and he's got twenty minutes. So I decide to prat around for a bit till he's down to five minutes or so, before starting my plan. Very likely he'll be out of time before I even get round to having to sacrifice. Am I trying to win by normal means? I certainly have a plan, but if my two possibilities turn out not to work there's no evidence that I do. And could he foil my plan while I'm pratting around by letting his clock run down to two minutes and claiming a draw?
If you haven't got to the sacrifice bit, then you're not making progress towards the result. No progress = draw.

You have to try to make the time control. E.g. if you play 19 moves in a rapidplay game by the time the last 2 minutes comes up, then you're unlikely to get a 10.2 in your favour.

The player would make the claim in the last 2 minutes (if he's let his clock down to that). The arbiter would then tell him to carry on, and delay his decision. All fine. If he makes no more moves, then he won't get the 10.2. If he moves, and you continue to show no signs of progress, then the arbiter may award a draw. You'd have to try your sacrifice to make sure you couldn't get a 10.2 awarded against you, because then you're making progress towards the end of the game!

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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Ian Thompson » Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:46 pm

David Williams wrote:And if I take a few moves more than strictly necessary, running his clock down, does that make a difference?
If the arbiter believes you are doing this then yes, you are not trying to win by normal means. In practise, it probably depends on how blatant you are. Lets say you have a position where you need to move your king from h1 to h8 to make any progress. If you go h1-h2-h3-h4-h5-h6-h7-h8 then you are OK. If you go h1-h2-g2-g3-h3-h4-h5-g5-g6-h6-h7-h8 then you're pushing your luck. If you go a much more circuitous route then a claim from your opponent is likely to succeed.
David Williams wrote:2. I've got a rook and a lot of pawns against a bishop and equal pawns, but it's hard to make progress. I can see a couple of possibilities, one on each wing, though I suspect they may come to nothing. But they're worth trying because they might work, or he might make a mistake, and they're risk-free. And if they don't work I can give back the exchange because the pawn ending looks won. So my plan is to move my king to one side and have a look at the first possibility. If it doesn't work I'll shuffle it over to the other side and try there. And if that doesn't work I'll burn my boats and sacrifice. But I've an hour left and he's got twenty minutes. So I decide to prat around for a bit till he's down to five minutes or so, before starting my plan. Very likely he'll be out of time before I even get round to having to sacrifice. Am I trying to win by normal means? I certainly have a plan, but if my two possibilities turn out not to work there's no evidence that I do. And could he foil my plan while I'm pratting around by letting his clock run down to two minutes and claiming a draw?
The position is sufficiently complicated that its unlikely that a 10.2 claim would succeed, provided you're not just aimlessly repeating moves prior to the sacrifice.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:10 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:You'd have to try your sacrifice to make sure you couldn't get a 10.2 awarded against you, because then you're making progress towards the end of the game!
This reminds me of the situation you commonly get in bullet chess on the internet, where you sacrifice everything just to run your opponent's clock down (well, not *everything*). In OTB chess, the danger is that you make attempts to "win" in your opponent's 2 minutes, and end up with a losing position that they can convert to a win in less than a minute. The even bigger danger is that you overpress in your opponent's time trouble and then do something silly that lets them claim an extra two minutes, thus giving them time to play out an easy win.

Of course, attempting to run your opponent's clock down is unsporting, but presumably there are ways to do it that an arbiter cannot object to. The "circuitous route" is one the arbiter can object to. Sacrificing everything to confuse your opponent is less easy to identify as an unsporting attempt to win on time. Playing on in a lost position in the hope that your opponent's flag will fall is also unsporting, but seems generally accepted (see the thread on "when to resign").

And incremental time controls do away with all this, which is excellent! Though as I've managed to lose on time in events with 30 extra seconds per move, you do still need to watch the clock.

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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:19 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Sacrificing everything to confuse your opponent is less easy to identify as an unsporting attempt to win on time.
Ah, but you're making progress towards the result! Bad progress... but nevertheless progress!
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:And incremental time controls do away with all this, which is excellent! Though as I've managed to lose on time in events with 30 extra seconds per move, you do still need to watch the clock.
This is why incremental time controls will one day be the only sort of time control used in chess tournaments. Once we've got around to buying digital clocks, of course.

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Re: Rule 10A

Post by David Williams » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:49 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
David Williams wrote:And if I take a few moves more than strictly necessary, running his clock down, does that make a difference?
If the arbiter believes you are doing this then yes, you are not trying to win by normal means. In practise, it probably depends on how blatant you are. Lets say you have a position where you need to move your king from h1 to h8 to make any progress. If you go h1-h2-h3-h4-h5-h6-h7-h8 then you are OK. If you go h1-h2-g2-g3-h3-h4-h5-g5-g6-h6-h7-h8 then you're pushing your luck. If you go a much more circuitous route then a claim from your opponent is likely to succeed.
Of course such a sequence is perfectly legitimate if it's the first time control and you're the one that's short of time. The player who's managed his time better seems to get the worst of the deal both times. And there's sort of an implication that if you have the worse position you can claim a draw if your opponent repeats a position three times - unless you're very short of time, when twice may be enough. Another benefit from mis-managing your time.

Who'd be an arbiter?

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Re: Rule 10A

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:29 pm

David Williams wrote:And there's sort of an implication that if you have the worse position you can claim a draw if your opponent repeats a position three times - unless you're very short of time, when twice may be enough.
Well, if the same position occurs three times, short of time or not, then it's a draw regardless.

However, if a player stops recording, and an arbiter is not present. Suppose that the position repeats itself three times, over the duration of five moves. So the player in time trouble claims a draw by three-fold repetition. Now, his opponent doesn't write these moves down. The arbiter arrives at the board upon being summoned. One player claims a three-fold repetition, but the player recording the moves hasn't written it down!

Now imagine if this position happened on move 37-41, and you realise you made move 40, but your opponent stopped recording at move 39. So he claims that you've lost on time, while you're claiming a three-fold repetition, and it's almost impossible for the arbiter to find the facts.

No idea how you'd settle that one!

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