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Hosted by Mark Donlan

From the Archives From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan Chess Mazes by Bruce Alberston From

Chess Mazes by Bruce Alberston

From the Archives

Since it came online over eight years ago, ChessCafe.com has presented literally thousands of articles, reviews, columns and the like for the enjoyment of its worldwide readership. The good news is that almost all of this high quality material remains available in the Archives. The bad news is that this great collection of chess literature is now so large and extensive and growing each week that it is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate it effectively. We decided that the occasional selection from the archives posted publicly online might be a welcomed addition to the regular fare.

Watch for an item to be posted online at least once each week, usually on Thursday or Friday. We will update the ChessCafe home page whenever there has been a newitem posted here. We hope you enjoy From the Archives

The ChessCafe is proud to welcome International Arbiter extraordinaire Geurt Gijssen (pronounced Hurt Hayshun) as a new monthly columnist. One of the most respected arbiters in the world today, Gijssen has been the Chief Arbiter in dozens of world class events, including the Kasparov-Karpov title matches in 1987 (Seville) and 1990 (New York/Lyon); Karpov-Kamsky 1996 (Elista); and the recent championship tournament in Groningen/Lausanne. From 1990-1994, he was Chairman of the FIDE Arbiters Committee and since 1994, he has been Chairman of the FIDE Rules Committee. We hope you will enjoy his essays and anecdotes from

An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

The King En Prise!

Since the tournament held at The Hague-Moscow in 1948 to determine a successor to Alekhine who had died in 1946, the world championship has always been decided by match play. It was usually a twenty-four game match, with the champion retaining the title in the event of a drawn match.

As a result of recent problems finding a sponsor for both championship matches and qualifying tournaments and matches, FIDE recently decided to combine candidates’ events and the final match into one large knock-out tournament. Ninety-eight players competed in the cycle just completed. The revolutionary

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format was characterized by short matches without adjournments, quicker time controls and tie-breaking rapid games (G/25) as well as blitz games (G/5:4). The Fischer time control mode was used in every stage of the games. The first part of the tournament took place in Groningen, The Netherlands, with the championship in Lausanne, Switzerland. I was the chief arbiter.

To acquaint the players with the details of the new format (in particular the new time limits) a players’ meeting was held immediately prior to the first round. During this players’ meeting, I was asked to clarify many points, especially what would happen if a player in a blitz game, while his king was in check, made a move that did not remove the king from check. I have also received several letters on the same topic.

These questions all concern Article C3 of the new Laws of Chess, which came into effect on July 1st, 1997. The complete text of Article C3 reads as follows:

An illegal move is completed once the opponent’s clock has been started. The opponent is then entitled to claim a win before making his own move. Once the opponent has made his own move, an illegal move cannot be corrected.

In the discussion at Groningen and in the letters I received, the question always was: If a player leaves his king in check; may his opponent then capture the

king?

I am also a member of FIDE’s Rules Committee. In the most recent meetings of

this committee, this topic was debated for quite a while. Our final decision was that the king could not be taken. It was the opinion of the majority of the Rules Committee that in blitz games the same rules that apply in “normal” and rapid games should also apply in blitz games. (A “blitz” game is considered any game that must be played to conclusion in fifteen minutes or less.) Our decision and recommendation was ultimately also accepted by the FIDE General Assembly.

I thought that this “new” rule might cause some problems, especially during the

first year after the Laws came into effect, because, as many amateurs can attest,

it has not been unusual to allow the capture of a king not removed from check in blitz games. However, I am sure that the problem will be solved very quickly, if at the start of events, all chief arbiters in tournaments where blitz games may occur announce that capturing the king is not permitted. This should, within a year, much like the change in the castling rule, which now requires the king to be touched and moved first. Now nobody moves the rook first and then the king when castling.

It is both worthwhile and interesting to review what should happen when a player’s king is in check, but the move then made does not remove the king

from the check. The correct procedure when a player leaves his king in check

is:

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The opponent (the one able to “capture” his opponent’s king) stops the clocks;

The arbiter is summoned;

The situation is explained;

The win claim is made; and

If the arbiter determines that the claim is valid, the win is awarded to the claimant.

What happens if a king is actually captured, however, was not discussed by the Rules Committee. I have spoken about this with several arbiters.

One had a very creative solution. He did not like to declare the game won for the player who captured his opponent’s king, because the capture itself could be considered an illegal move. He announces before the start of each event that the game must be continued with only one king on the board (!). Several very curious situations may then arise. First, it is clear that the player without a king cannot lose by mate. Second, only the player without a king may lose is by overstepping the time limit. According to my colleague, however, the allowing of the capture of the king should not last long. However, in my opinion, this “solution” is too radical.

Another arbiter was of the opinion that the capture of the king should not be strictly forbidden, but should only be evidence of the illegal move. It is my opinion that this will cause problems as soon as the “kingless” player might claim a win. A solution for the time being is probably that the game is lost for the player who left his king in check and that the opponent gets only a half point.

It is my opinion that the current rule, as implemented by the FIDE Rules Committee, is the best, using the procedure I described above. Then it is very clear how and what happens; the arbiter’s decision is relatively easy. Of course, any organizer of a private tournament may have his “own” rules, and there may be nothing wrong with that, provided all the rules are fully explained first, but I think it is more pleasant for chessplayers to always play in blitz tournaments according to the same standard rules.

The moral of the story: Do not take your opponent’s king!

Have an interesting question for Mr. Gijssen? Perhaps he will respond to it in a future column. Send it to geurtgijssen@chesscafe.com. Please include your name and country of residence.

Copyright 1998 Geurt Gijssen. All Rights Reserved.

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From the Archives

Copyright 2005 CyberCafes, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

"The Chess Cafe®" is a registered trademark of Russell Enterprises, Inc.

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From the Archives

From the Archives
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From the Archives From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan From the Archives Since it came
From the Archives From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan From the Archives Since it came

From the Archives

Hosted by Mark Donlan

From the Archives From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan From the Archives Since it came

From the Archives

Since it came online many years ago, ChessCafe.com has presented literally thousands of articles, reviews, columns and the like for the enjoyment of its worldwide readership. The good news is that almost all of this high quality material remains available in the Archives. The bad news is that this great collection of chess literature is now so large and extensive and growing each week that it is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate it effectively. We decided that the occasional selection from the archives posted publicly online might be a welcomed addition to the regular fare.

Watch for an item to be posted online periodically throughout each month. We will update the ChessCafe home page whenever there has been a newitem posted here. We hope you enjoy From the Archives

An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

The Time Limits They Are a-Changin'

During the 1983 European Team Championship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, I was the captain of the Dutch team. I remember very well one of the team meetings several weeks before the event. One of the items on the agenda was who should take which chess book with him. Clear agreements were made who should take care for the latest issues of Chess Informant, who was responsible for the Encyclopedia of Openings, who should bring the endgame books of Chéron and so on. Now each top player has his own laptop and arrangements similar to those of 1983 are completely unnecessary.

But even more things have changed in the chess world. In 1987, I was the Chief Arbiter of the Kasparov-Karpov world championship match in Seville. The time limit in this match was forty moves in two and one-half hours and then one hour for every additional sixteen moves. After five hours the games were to be adjourned. The same time limit was applied in the next match in 1990 between Kasparov and Karpov in New York/Lyon. But there was something new. Both players used computers to analyse the games after they had been played and for adjourned games. And from time to time the computer showed some improvements to the moves played in the games, even in the opening. Tom Fuerstenberg has written several interesting articles concerning the help of the computer.

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To diminish the influence of the computer, the match Karpov-Timman (Zwolle, Arnhem, Amsterdam, Djakarta 1993) was played according to the same time limit (forty moves in two and one-half hours and then one hour for every additional sixteen moves), but this time the games were not to be adjourned until there had been seven hours of play. It is clear that this time limit reduced the number of adjourned games and therefore the influence of computers.

Immediately after the opening ceremony of the Karpov-Kamsky match (Elista 1996), there was an unexpected incident. Rustam Kamsky, the father of Gata Kamsky and chief of his delegation, got into a furious dispute with Anatoly Karpov. According to Rustam Kamsky, in a press conference about four weeks before the start of the match, it had been announced that the time limit would be forty in two, then twenty in one, and finally thirty minutes for each player for the remaining moves.

However, Karpov said that there was a letter signed by both Gata Kamsky and himself, which had been sent from Groningen during the Koop Tjuchem tournament in December 1995. In this letter both players suggested that the time limit should be forty moves in two hours, then one hour for every additional sixteen moves, with adjournments after six hours of play. After prolonged negotiations in Elista, it was finally decided that they would play with this time limit. Since the first forty moves would be played more quickly than in the match Karpov-Timman, the probability for adjourned games was less.

In the last world championship tournament, i.e. the knock-out tournament in Groningen 1997 and Lausanne 1998, there were no adjourned games. The time limit was totally different: 100 minutes for forty moves, then 50 minutes for twenty moves and finally 10 minutes for each player for the remaining moves. After each move, thirty seconds were added. For the first time control this effectively meant forty moves in two hours and for the second time control twenty moves in one hour.

Before the start of the tournament many people were afraid of incidents and of possibly very long games. During the entire tournament there were no incidents and the games were generally shorter than before. I think that it had to do with the time limit. When a player had a lost position he resigned. With the “old” time limit, players who found themselves in a lost position sometimes tried to take advantage of the opponent’s “Zeitnot.” With this new time limit, it is almost impossible to do so.

In this regard, I would like to mention another development. In the 1991 Candidates Matches at Brussels it was decided that, in the event a match finished 4-4, the match would be continued with rapid games (60 minutes for forty-five moves and then 15 fifteen minutes for each series of twenty moves). The Yusupov-Ivanchuk match required the rapid games to break the ties. The first game of this mini-match is probably one of the most fascinating games of the last decade. This game was chosen as the best game in Chess Informant No. 52. In 1996 the Informant published a book entitled 640 Best Games - 64

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Golden Games. The best games of the period 1966-1996 were published in this book. A jury of grandmasters and readers voted again for the best game. The result was that the game Ivanchuk - Yusupov finished second. Here are the moves of this remarkable game:

Ivanchuk - Yusupov 1991 Candidates Match

1 c4 e5 2 g3 d6 3 Bg2 g6 4 d4 Nd7 5 Nc3 Bg7 6 Nf3 Ngf6 7 O-O O-O

8 Qc2 Re8 9 Rd1 c6 10 b3 Qe7 11 Ba3 e4 12 Ng5 e3 13 f4 Nf8 14 b4 Bf5 15 Qb3 h6 16 Nf3 Ng4 17 b5 g5 18 bxc6 bxc6 19 Ne5 gxf4 20 Nxc6 Qg5 21 Bxd6 Ng6 22 Nd5 Qh5 23 h4 Nxh4 24 gxh4 Qxh4 25 Nde7+ Kh8 26 Nxf5 Qh2+ 27 Kf1 Re6 28 Qb7 Rg6 29 Qxa8+ Kh7 30 Qg8+ Kxg8 31 Nce7+ Kh7 32 Nxg6 fxg6 33 Nxg7 Nf2 34 Bxf4 Qxf4 35 Ne6 Qh2 36 Rdb1 Nh3 37 Rb7+ Kg8 38 Rb8+ Qxb8 39 Bxh3 Qg3

0-1.

It was decided that in the match Karpov - Kamsky, in case of a tie, tie-break games should also be played.

As you probably know, in Groningen and Lausanne, rapid mini-matches of two (Rounds 1-6), four (Round 7) or six games (the final) were played. If after two, four or six games the standings were still level additional games would be played. The time limit was as follows: 25 minutes per player for the whole game with the addition of ten seconds per move; if after two games there was no decision, two more games were played; the time limit in these two games was 15 minutes per player for the whole game with the addition of ten seconds per move. If these games did not produce a match winner, sudden death games would be played. White received four minutes for the whole game and black five minutes. Once again ten seconds per move were added. The first decisive game would end the match. I was very surprised that even in these sudden- death games there were no incidents.

Personally, I was very happy that the last World Championship was not played using the time limits currently being used in many tournaments. By this I am referring to a final time control in which all remaining moves must be completed, e.g. 30 minutes. The problem I have often encountered is related to Article 10.2:

If the player has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall stop the clocks and summon the arbiter.

(a) If the arbiter is satisfied 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.

(b) If the arbiter postpones his decision, the opponent may be awarded

two extra minutes thinking time and the game shall continue in the

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From the Archives

presence of the arbiter.

(c) Having postponed his decision, the arbiter may subsequently declare the game drawn, even after a flag has fallen.

All incidents during the Olympiads in Moscow and Yerevan had to do with Article 10.2 of the FIDE Laws of Chess.

In my next column at the ChessCafe, I will show just how dangerous the provisions of this article can be.

Now for Readers’ Questions

Robert Spieler (USA) asked whether it is considered unsportsmanlike or illegal, to use two hands when time is almost spent? In other words, is there a rule mandating that the same hand that moves a piece must also hit the clock?

Answer Until 1 July 1997, the rule that you may not use two hands for moving

a piece and hitting the clock was applicable only to one hour, rapid and blitz games.

When the Rules Committee met in Paris in 1995 to consider some rule revisions, it had as a central theme to have, if at all possible, the same rules applying to all forms of the game: ‘normal’ chess, quick-play finish, rapid and blitz chess. With this in mind, you may not be surprised that we have now the following rule:

Article 6.7(b):

A player must stop his clock with the same hand as that with which he made his move. It is forbidden to keep the finger on the button or to ‘hover’ over it.

Alvaro Faria Paz Pereira (Portugal) sent the following inquiry:

Mr. Gijssen:

I found your The King en Prise article in the ChessCafe very interesting. It

reminded me of something that happened in a blitz (five- minute) tournament, here in Portugal, a couple of years ago:

1. Two players were in time trouble. Player A had a winning advantage in the endgame. Player B tried a little trick: he slid his king next to his opponent’s king. Player A, not noticing that, just pushed a pawn on its way to queen. Player B played KxK (or may be he just claimed a win by irregular move, I don’t remember exactly; anyway, this is not relevant, because, in that tournament it was allowed to take a king “en prise,” as a traditional way of claiming a win by illegal move). The arbiter was called and neither player disputed the underlying facts. The arbiter, supported by the tournament director, decided to award player B the win. She considered that, after player A’s last move, an illegal

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From the Archives

position had appeared on the board, so player B could claim a win. Arbiters who present agreed, but others have disagreed, citing two reasons:

In fact, it had been player B who had made the irregular move; and, prior to his claim of a win, player B had also engaged in what could be called “bad conduct” (the trick itself).

How would you decide if you were the arbiter?

2. A related question (again in a blitz game): Player A makes an illegal move,

but player B only has his king. It’s a win for player B or a draw?

Answer Your questions may be answered with the help of the new Laws of Chess.

1. Player B made an illegal move and player A did not notice this and played a

move. This move was also illegal and now player B can claim the win.

2. A player having only a king cannot win. Article C4 says:

In order to win, a player must have ‘mating potential’. This is defined as adequate forces eventually to produce a position legally, possibly by ‘helpmate’, where an opponent having the move cannot avoid being checkmated in one move. Thus two knights and a king against a lone king is insufficient, but a rook and king against a knight and king is sufficient.

Finally, as an update to last month’s column, I would like to announce that the Rules Committee, in the meeting during the Olympiad in Elista, will decide what the penalty will be when a player captures the opponent’s king.

will be when a player captures the opponent’s king. [ ChessCafe Home Page ] [ Book

Copyright 2006 CyberCafes, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

"The Chess Cafe®" is a registered trademark of Russell Enterprises, Inc.

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From the Archives

From the Archives
From the Archives
From the Archives From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan From the Archives Since it came
From the Archives From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan From the Archives Since it came

From the Archives

Hosted by Mark Donlan

From the Archives From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan From the Archives Since it came

From the Archives

Since it came online many years ago, ChessCafe.com has presented literally thousands of articles, reviews, columns and the like for the enjoyment of its worldwide readership. The good news is that almost all of this high quality material remains available in the Archives. The bad news is that this great collection of chess literature is now so large and extensive and growing each week that it is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate it effectively. We decided that the occasional selection from the archives posted publicly online might be a welcomed addition to the regular fare.

Watch for an item to be posted online periodically throughout each month. We will update the ChessCafe home page whenever there has been a newitem posted here. We hope you enjoy From the Archives

An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

Rapid Rules

Ramon Etxeberria from Spain, asks a question about the following position:

from Spain , asks a question about the following position: Black, in a Blitz game, played

Black, in a Blitz game, played 1

move is illegal, but afterwards White does

not have “mating potential.” Should it therefore be declared a draw.

Bxe5. The

The answer clearly is no, because it is White who can claim a win after the illegal move. Let me repeat Article C3 of the Laws of Blitz games:

An illegal move is completed once the opponent’s clock has been started. The opponent is then entitled to claim a win before making his own move. Once the opponent has made his own move, an illegal move cannot be corrected.

Another question came from Jorge Laplaza from Argentina:

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It would be very interesting to know your opinion about when a player can claim a draw in those cases where, in blitz or 5 minute “fast-play- finishes,” a player is completely winning, but he believes his opponent wants to win on time. For example, if a player has a blocked pawn and his opponent has, say, two rooks, can he claim a draw before his flag is down? What are the limits? And, if the arbiter is not a master, can he decide? Thank you.

If this happened in a Blitz game (and in a blitz game all moves must be made in a fixed time limit of less than 15 minutes) such claims would be impossible under the Laws of Chess. In the last phase of a game played by the Quickplay Finish Rules or in a Rapid game, such a claim is possible. In a “rapid game,” all moves must be made in a fixed time limit of between 15 to 60 minutes. Mr. Laplaza’s implication has merit in that the arbiter must understand the position, and he is completely correct that this can be a problem.

Interestingly enough, I had already prepared some positions in which the arbiter has to decide whether it is a draw or not.

In every one of the following positions, Black has the move and claims a draw.

following positions, Black has the move and claims a draw. Position 1 Black claims that his
following positions, Black has the move and claims a draw. Position 1 Black claims that his

Position 1

Black claims that his opponent cannot win by normal means, noting the opposite- colored bishops and so on. Let’s see what

can happen: 1

Kh5

2.g4+ Kh6 3.Kf6! Kh7

(if 3

Bh7

4.Be3 mate) 4.g5 Kh8 5.Bd4 Kh7

(if 5

Bh7

6.Kxf7 mate) 6.Bc3 Kh8 7.g6!

fxg6 8.Kxg6 mate.

Position 2

Black claims that, after taking the pawn on a3, he even has the better position, because he can capture the pawn on b7 as well.

1

Kxa3

(if 1

Ka5,

then 2.Rb4) 2.Rc3+

Ka2,

then 3.Rc2 and White wins easily) 3.Rc1!! a

(Black repeats his claim) 2

Ka4

(if 2

fantastic move, after which Black is lost, for

if 3

Rxb7,

then 4.Ra1+ Kb3 (or Kb4 or

Kb5) 5.Rb1+ and the black rook will be taken; after a king move on the a-file, again Ra1+, the king has to go to the b- file and White wins.

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From the Archives

From the Archives Position 3 After 1 caliming that White cannot make any progress. Let’s see

Position 3

After 1

caliming that White cannot make any progress. Let’s see what happened. 2.Re8 Rxh7 (forced) 3.Kg6 Rh5 (only move) 4.Re4+ and White wins.

Rh6,

Black claimed a draw,

move) 4.Re4+ and White wins. Rh6, Black claimed a draw, Position 4 Rxa4 1 and Black,

Position 4

Rxa4 1

and Black, who was short of time,

claimed a draw. The arbiter informed the players to play a few moves. And then an incredible thing happened. 2.Rb5 and suddenly there is a threat of mate on b8.

R7a5 2

is winning. If Black captures a rook, then the remaining white rook will mate the black

king. And after 3

3.Reb4!! and it is clear that White

Ka7 it is also over.

4.Rb7+ Ka8 (if 4 mate.

Ka6,

then 5.R4b6 mate) 5.Ra8+ Ka7 6.R4b7+ Ka6 7.Ra8

4 mate. Ka6, then 5.R4b6 mate) 5.Ra8+ Ka7 6.R4b7+ Ka6 7.Ra8 Position 5 White’s last move

Position 5

White’s last move was R3c8. Black saw that

Qxc8 1

would lose immediately to 2.Nb6+

and claimed a draw, but the arbiter refused.

Black played 2

resigned: 4

Qa5 2

Qxh4,

but after 3.Rc4+ he

Qxc4

5.Nb6+. By the way,

also loses after 3.Ra8 Qxa8 4.Nb6+.

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From the Archives

From the Archives Position 6 White’s last move was f7 and Black intended to resign, but
From the Archives Position 6 White’s last move was f7 and Black intended to resign, but

Position 6

White’s last move was f7 and Black intended to resign, but discovered the

fantastic move 1

2.fxe8Q or 2.fxe8R it is stalemate. Also

2.f8Q or 2.f8R, after 2

the same result. But 2.fxe8B wins, because Black will lose his knight.

Be8.

If White plays

Nd7+ 3.Nxd7 gives

Position 7

After 1

Black’s opinion White cannot win by normal

means. In fact, the last move is a blunder. 2.Rh8 and suddenly there is a mate threat – 3.Ra8. The next Black move is forced:

2

4.Na5 Kc3 5.Nc6, with the threat of 6.Ra3 mate, forces White to resign.

Rd4,

Black claims a draw. In

Ka2.

White plays 3.Ra8+, and 3

Kb3

Black claims a draw. In Ka2. White plays 3.Ra8+, and 3 Kb3 Position 8 After 1

Position 8

After 1

upon the forced sequence 2.f8Q+ Kxf8 3.Rc8+ Kg7 4.Rxh8 Kxh8 5.Kf7!!, he resigned.

Kg7

Black claimed a draw, but

Kxh8 5.Kf7!!, he resigned. Kg7 Black claimed a draw, but If Black takes 2 Kxg5, Position

If Black takes 2

Kxg5,

Position 9

Clearly, Black has only one move, 1

and this is what he played. He immediately

claimed a draw, pointing out that 2

guarantees at least a draw. But the arbiter

ordered the game to continue. He was not

convinced. 2.Nd8, threatening 2

3.Nf7 does not work. Black simply plays

simply 3

3.Nf7 mate finishes the game immediately. then 3.d8Q+ is decisive.

Ne5

Nf7

Nxd7

h4.

But 2.Ng5!! with the threat

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From the Archives

I hope the reader understands that these positions are not game fragments, but endgame studies. I had intended to prove that it is impossible in a very limited time to assess positions and that Article 10 of the Laws of Chess is very dangerous. In the meantime, I had the opportunity to show you some nice studies, which I found in some books and articles by Robert Timmer.

Now for some good news – The FIDE Executive Council decided in its meeting in Bled to accept my proposal, that the time limit in the Olympiad in Elista should be 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves, and finally 10 minutes for the remaining moves, with 30 seconds added after each move from the outset. This means Article 10 will not apply.

move from the outset. This means Article 10 will not apply. [ ChessCafe Home Page ]

Copyright 2006 CyberCafes, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

"The Chess Cafe®" is a registered trademark of Russell Enterprises, Inc.

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From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan Play through and download the games from ChessCa
From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan Play through and download the games from ChessCa
From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan Play through and download the games from ChessCa
From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan Play through and download the games from ChessCa

From the Archives

Hosted by

Mark Donlan

From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan Play through and download the games from ChessCa f
From the Archives Hosted by Mark Donlan Play through and download the games from ChessCa f

Play through and download the games from ChessCafe.com in the DGT Game Viewer.

From the Archives

Since it came online many years ago, ChessCafe.com has presented literally thousands of articles, reviews, columns and the like for the enjoyment of its worldwide readership. The good news is that almost all of this high quality material remains available in the Archives. The bad news is that this great collection of chess literature is now so large and extensive and growing each week that it is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate it effectively. We decided that the occasional selection from the archives posted publicly online might be a welcomed addition to the regular fare.

Watch for an item to be posted online periodically throughout each month. We will update the ChessCafe.com home page whenever there has been a newitem posted here. We hope you enjoy From the Archives

An Arbiter's Notebook, by Geurt Gijssen

More Rapid Rules

In this months column, I will be answering some questions submitted by ChessCafe.com readers

Question If a player seals a move that creates a third repetition of the position, does he claim the draw when the players meet later to resume the game or does he have to do it before he seals the move (thereby saving his opponent a trip and some headaches)? Brian Karen (United States)

Answer He has to do it before he seals his move. The reason is very simple. Article 9.2 says:

A 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 repetition of moves) is about to appear, if the player first writes his move on his score sheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move. If a player writes his move, seals the envelope and stops his clock, he has completed his move. And only the player who has the move can claim the draw.

There are arbiters who are of the opinion that it is also correct to write the claim on the score sheet, but I disagree. By stopping the clocks the move is completed with all its consequences.

Question In your answer to a question from Ramon Etxeberria, you note that, according to Article C3 of the Laws of Blitz games, an illegal move is completed once the opponents clock has been started. The opponent is then entitled to claim a win before making his own move,but that, once the opponent has made his own move, an illegal move cannot be corrected.

But is not the second part of this a foul rule? It means that a player can benefit from deliberately playing illegal moves. For example, let us imagine that I am in a dead lost position against you. However, I pick up my rook and remove your queen with a bang. You waste a second blinking because you had not thought your queen was under attack as indeed it was not my rook had been a knights move away. But time is of the essence in blitz; so you push a pawn to keep the game going. Ha! Ha! I tricked you. Great fun. But the game of chess isnt about tricking your opponent exactly that way. Or is it? John Burstow (Canada)

Answer No, no, Mr. Burstow, I do not push a pawn, but stop the clocks, summon the arbiter, request some witnesses to stay and then inform the arbiter how you were playing illegally, and claim the game. And if the arbiter agrees, I have great fun. If there are no witnesses, I have a problem. Also see my answer to Mr. Sangelangs question, below.

Question Having read the answer you gave to my previous question, I think that I did not ask it properly. My question was related to the answer you gave to Alvaro Faria Paz Pereira in your May column. There, he asked if a player with a bare king wins the game after an illegal move by his opponent. You answered citing article C4 of the FIDE Laws of Chess,

where it is stated that in order to win a player must have mating potential (I assume that the result is a draw?). In my example, what I wanted to point out was the fact that the reason why White did not have mating potential was Blacks illegal move, and therefore I was wondering whether, after a claim by White, article C4 was still applied or not. But I have some concerns about article 9.6 as well. It says, The game is drawn when a position is reached from which a checkmate cannot occur by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most unskilled play. This immediately ends the game.

the most unskilled play. This immediately ends the game. ” After 1 position is reached. I

After 1

position is reached. I assume that the positions described in 9.6 must appear as a consequence of legal moves as it is required to checkmate (article 5.1.a), however a clarification would be nice.

Ramon Etxeberria (Spain)

Bxe5

in the example you give, such a

Answer When a player has completed an illegal move in a blitz game, his opponent is then entitled to claim a win before making his own move. Of course, the opponent has to show to the arbiter what the illegal move is. This means he has to restore the position to what it was before the player completed the illegal move. And if the opponent in this restored position has mating potential, the game is won.

You are completely right with your second question. The position must appear as a consequence of legal moves. In the year 2000 the Rules Committee will have the possibility to make changes and I promise you that this will be added. By the way, in Article 5.1 it is written that checkmating an opponents king must be done with a legal move.

Question In a local tournament, Players A and B were playing a game with one hour per player for the whole game. At the time control, Player B (with black) lost on time. At that particular moment, Player A had only three seconds his clock. When Player A noticed that Player B was lost time, he claimed the game, but he was unable to stop the clocks at the time of the claim. (They were playing with a FIDE electronic chess clock). Player A didnt know how to stop the clocks. So, time runs off and Player A oversteps the time limit as well. At that moment, both clocks show 00:00. Player B then claimed a draw, because no one has time. The arbiter accepted the claim and gave both players half a point. The arbiter said that he had no choice, as FIDE rules do not allow the arbiter to announce that a player lost on time (in rapid chess).

Was this decision correct? The arbiter and other people saw that Player A had claimed the game with three seconds on his clock. This game gave us many weeks of endless discussions in the chess club. What do you think about it? Manuel Lopez Michelone (Mexico)

Answer According to article B6 of the rapid play rules, the arbiter shall refrain from signaling a flag fall. Article B8 says that, if both flags have fallen, the game is drawn. In the situation you described both flags have fallen and it means the game is drawn. I understand that in your opinion this is not reasonable. When you play with the DGT clock, it is absolutely clear which flag has fallen first. So, I can imagine that people will say: Why not to give the point to the player whose flag has fallen later. If all games were played with digital clocks, I would completely agree, but as long as this is not the case, it is impossible to make different rules for mechanical and digital clocks.

By the way, in normal games the rule is different. If it is completely clear that the flag of one player falls before the flag of his opponent without having completed the required number of moves, he loses the game.

Question Congratulations for your column; it is both instructive and interesting. I was playing in a sixty-minute knockout tournament and had a huge material advantage. My time was almost finished and my opponent was trying to win on time. There was no arbiter available for us at that moment. Suddenly I promoted a pawn to a queen with checkmate, but I could not find a queen to place on the board. So I said queen checkmate!At the same moment my flag fell and my opponent said that my time is over, so I should lose the game. The arbiter adjudicated the dispute and awarded the point to me, but another friend (also an arbiter) said that he would have decided the matter by giving the point to my opponent. Who is right? Lucianon dos Santos Fier (Brazil)

Answer Your friend is completely right. The game is lost for you, provided your opponent had mating potential. But you made a big mistake. When you promote a pawn to a queen and no queen is available, you should stop the clocks (yours and your opponents), summon the arbiter and seek the arbiters assistance. He has to give you a queen and then he would restart the game. The instant the queen is on the board, the game is over, because you have mated your opponent. It is not important, that your flag falls after two seconds.

Question Relating to the correct procedure for claiming the win described in your article The King En Prise, consider the following situation: Player A, whose opponent (Player B) has just left his king en prise or moved into a check on his last move, stops the clock to summon the arbiter. In the absence of witnesses and the score (record) of the game, Player B insists that it is now his turn to move and he is about to move his king out of check. How does the arbiter decide whose claim, A or Bs, to believe? Elmer D. Sangelang (Philippines)

Answer To be honest, I was afraid that someone might pose this question. I had the same question in mind. What can the arbiter do? In cases like this, there is no solution. There are other cases like this. For instance, a player plays Nb3-c6 mate. How can the opponent prove that the knight came from b3 and not from b4? Unfortunately, if one really wants to cheat an opponent, there will always be a way.

Dear readers, for my column next month, I am thinking about discussing the recording of moves. As an introduction, let me share with you a recent story:

During the last Dutch Championship there was a little incident. In the game Sokolov- Nijboer, Black wrote on his scoresheet 1-0and signed his scoresheet, all while his opponent was absent. The arbiter saw this and put the white king in the center of the board, but then, to the surprise of the arbiter, Nijboer informed him that he wanted to continue the game. This happened, but after one more move Nijboer resigned (again).

This same situation occurred in the game Kamsky-Judit Polgar, Buenos Aires, 1994. I was the arbiter. Kamsky wrote on his score sheet 0-1,signed it, but continued the game. Because of the fact that there was Zeitnot in some other games and Kamskys position was totally lost, I did nothing at that moment. I was sure that my intervention would cause an incident and some noise. After the game I gave Kamsky an official warning for his conduct. What is going on here? More next month

for his conduct. What is going on here? More next month [ ChessCafe Home Page ]

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An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

 
 

From the

Does Anyone Know the Score?

 
 

Archives

There are, from the point of arbitrating chess tournaments, some areas of concern: first of all rapid and blitz games and second the recording of moves

 

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in

"normal" games. Judging by the questions that I receive from ChessCafe.

by Sergei Tiviakov

 

Kyler Donlan

com visitors, you would think that people are only interested in rapid and blitz games. However, in this Arbiter's Notebook I would like to discuss the recording of chess moves keeping score.

 
 

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Article 8.1 of the Laws of Chess says: In the course of play each player is required to record his own moves and those of his opponents, move after move, as clearly as possible, in the algebraic notation, on the scoresheet prescribed for the competition.

 
   

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.

 
   

The offer of a draw must immediately be recorded on the scoresheet by both players.

The Ragozin Complex by Vladimir Barsky

   

If

a player due to physical or religious reasons, is unable to keep score, an

 
   

amount of time, decided by the arbiter, shall deducted from his allotted time at the beginning of the game.

 
   

The second, third and fourth paragraph of this Article have been in effect since 1 July 1997 and they are completely new.

 
   

The second paragraph says in fact that the player is allowed to write the moves as a pair. Until 1 July 1997 a player had to write his move after he had made his own, and after his opponent had made his move, the player had to write this move before making his own move. Many players were in the habit

 
 

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writing the moves as a pair, but in 1973 the Rules Committee declared:

 
 

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Technically speaking, this is a breach of the Laws of Chess. However, the arbiter should intervene only when the arrears in scorekeeping are more than one move for White and one move for Black.

1.d4 Beat the Guerrillas! by Valeri Bronznik

 

This interpretation caused a lot of confusion. I remember very well an incident in the World Youth Championship, at Duisburg in 1992. I gave someone permission to write the moves as a pair, but after of Ian Rogers, chief of the Australian delegation, protested, I was forced to announce

 
   

publicly that the players have to follow the letter of the Law and not the 1973 Interpretation. So, could the moves be written two at a time or not? It is still hard for me to believe that was almost twenty-five years before the Laws of Chess officially permitted a player to write the moves as a pair.

 

For several reasons, it is good that the offer of a draw must be recorded on the scoresheet. When a player has offered a draw there is now a proof of this

offer. Making draw offers also are part of the history of the game and history

offer. Making draw offers also are part of the history of the game and history should be recorded. But more and more I am starting to like Canadian Jonathan Berry's proposal to make an offer much clearer. He suggested that each of the players have a card; on this card would be written "0.5" and the player would show this card to his opponent when he offers a draw. In the Women's Candidates Tournament (Groningen 1997) Galliamova offered Peng

a draw, but Peng did not react; the game was continued and Peng lost. When

Galliamova asked her opponent why she did not accept her draw offer, Peng

replied that she did not know that Galliamova had offered a draw.

I remember the same thing happened in the game Korchnoi-Tal, Brussels

1988. Tal offered a draw and Korchnoi did not react. Tal repeated his offer several times and each time louder. Finally Korchnoi heard it and accepted.

The fourth paragraph of Article 8.1 may be quite useful, especially when

Jewish players have to play on the Sabbath. There are some players who will play on Sabbath but will not write down the moves. With this new provision,

it is possible to appoint an assistant, who will write the moves. A certain

amount of time will be deducted from the player's time. So, for example, if the first time control is 2 hours for 40 moves, normally 10 minutes will be deducted.

But as I later found out, there may still be some small problems. Suppose the Sabbath starts at 17.30 hrs and the game starts at 13 hrs with a time control of 40 moves in 2 hours, 20 moves in 1 hour and finally 30 minutes for the remaining moves. Then, in my opinion, it is better to require the player to write the moves during the first time period, appoint an assistant for the second and third periods, but then deduct 5 minutes from the beginning of the second time control. The Rules Committee did not consider this situation and the Rules Committee should, in my opinion, do something about it during the FIDE Congress in Elista.

Article 8.2 says:

The scoresheet shall be visible to the arbiter at all times.

A fair and simple provision, apparently, but the arbiter must be careful. There

are some players, for instance Hungarian Grandmaster Lajos Portisch and the late former world champion Tigran Petrosian, who write their move, start to think again and then make the move. In cases like these the player usually covers his intended move with a watch (Miles!), a pen or a pencil. I think the arbiter has to respect this habit and should not make any attempt to ascertain what the player has written on his scoresheet. Generally the arbiter must not disturb the player who is on move in any way. When I discuss Article 8.5 I will elaborate.

Article 8.3 says:

The scoresheets are the property of the organisers of the event.

In 1980, when I was an arbiter for the first time in a tournament with several

top players like Karpov, Timman, Larsen and so on, I collected the scoresheets and brought them to the press room. The press officer took these scoresheets, created the bulletin and threw them away. I was really astonished and could not believe that scoresheets written by the World Champion himself were tossed in the trash. But it really happened!

Kamsky was, as far as I know, the only player who refused to give his scoresheet to the arbiter. I read that it happened that he even left the tournament hall with his own and his opponent's scoresheet during an Open tournament in Switzerland. Only after long discussions did he give the

scoresheets to the arbiter. Robert Hübner also once refused to give his original scoresheet to the arbiter. He wrote all the moves on another scoresheet and gave this "copy" to the arbiter. The arbiter did not accept this and insisted that Hübner should turn over the original. Hübner refused and the arbiter declared the game lost for Hübner. By the way, the real result was a draw. Personally, I do accept a copy from the player. I can imagine only one exception. In games

of great historical significance, for example games played for the world

championship, the scoresheets should go to the organiser.

The Articles 8.4 and 8.5 describe situations, which have to do with Zeitnot (time pressure). First of all I am very happy that Article 8.4 states, that in tournaments with the Fischer clock i.e., after each move thirty seconds are added Zeitnot does not technically occur. This means that the players are obliged to record the moves throughout the entire game. This is very clear to the players and very easy for the arbiter.

However, in tournaments with the "old" time limits we still have problems when a player has less than five minutes until the time control. In the last game of the match Kasparov-Karpov, Seville 1987, Karpov had, at move thirty-two, about two minutes for the remaining moves until time control; Kasparov had about eight minutes. Karpov stopped recording the moves. Kasparov did the same. I told Kasparov that he has to record the moves and he did so immediately.

Nine years later Helmut Pfleger interviewed Kasparov and I was present. When they discussed the Laws, Kasparov suddenly pointed at me and said to Pfleger: "You know, he forced me to write the moves and due to this action I almost lost the world championship title". I explained to him again that I had to do this according to the Laws of Chess as the same were in effect in 1987 and would do it again today. I have fought many years to change this Article, but every time I end up the loser. It means there are still situations in which opponents are playing under different conditions.

If only one player has an incomplete scoresheet and the time trouble is over, he must complete his scoresheet, using the arbiter's scoresheet and/or his opponent's. But as long the opponent has the move, an arbiter must not give his scoresheet to the other player. As we have seen before, it is possible that the opponent may have written his next move on the scoresheet and of course it would be very unfair in a situation like this to give the other player the scoresheet. By the way, when a player writes his next move on his scoresheet before making his move, he may change the move on his scoresheet. But if he does it too many times, the arbiter should give him a warning, because it is possible that he is only "checking" his next move. When he finishes "checking" this move, he writes the next move he wishes to "check"on his scoresheet, then the next move and so on and so forth. In my opinion, this constitutes the player using notes; this is forbidden.

As Chairman of the Rules Committee, I recently received a letter from grandmaster Vladimir Epishin. He wrote that he had been playing in the Chicago (USA) Open. At move forty, his opponent overstepped the time and under FIDE Laws of Chess the game was won for Epishin. However, under the USCF Rules, he had to produce a complete scoresheet, indicating that his opponent had actually overstepped the time limit. Unfortunately, Epishin had also been in Zeitnot and had an incomplete scoresheet. The arbiter did not accept Epishin's claim and informed him that he had to continue the game; of course, Epishin lost the game. Otherwise, there was not a problem.

Another case for the Rules Committee in Elista and probably also for the rating officer. Dear reader, rest assured I will keep you informed about the decisions of the Rules Committee.

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From the Archives

 
   

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An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

 
 

From the

Readers' Questions

 
 

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This month we shall look at some of the questions submitted by Chess Cafe readers concerning the Laws of Chess.

 

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Defences: 1 e4 by Andrew Greet

 

Mark Donlan

Question Dear Mr. Gijssen, First of all, congratulations for your column! My question is: Is it legal for one of the players to hide the scoresheet under the table, for example, if the opponent, in time trouble, is following the number of moves on this scoresheet? Thanks. David Borensztajn, Brazil

 
 

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Answer Article 8.2 says: The scoresheet shall be visible to the arbiter at all times. The way you set up your question, do you think the arbiter can see it? Of course not. But I understand your question. You would like to hide your scoresheet from your opponent. If you can find a way to hide the scoresheet for your opponent, still keeping it visible to the arbiter, it is OK.

 
   

Question Dear Mr Gijssen, I was wondering if the choice of writing an equal sign (=) to indicate a draw offer has been made, was the best. The problem is that in chess analysis (Informant notation), this sign indicates the position is equal. When I enter my games in a database, I don't want to include this equal

Giants of Innovation by Craig Pritchett

   

sign, since I'm analysing it at the same time, but I like to include the fact that

 
   

a

draw offer has been made (since it is part of the history of the game, as you

 
   

mentioned in your last column). I end up writing the full text "draw offer", which is a little painful. Now my question is: are there any projects to modify

 
   

one of these two signs? Best regards, Damien Andre, Belgium

 
   

Answer At this time there are no projects to modify either one of these two signs. I think your problem can be solved easily, when you enter a game into a database and a draw offer has been made. What do you think about "=?" or "DO"? If you have any another suggestion, please let me know. I intend to contact the editor of the Informant about this question.

 
 

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Question I play a bit of chess, but my main involvement is with junior chess.

I

have a ten-year-old boy who does pretty well at it. I was very interested in

would consider covering Article 12, The Conduct of the Players. Regards, R.

 

by David Vigorito

 

your column on Article 8 of the Laws of Chess, and was wondering if you

 
 

Edwin Phillips, South Africa

 
 

Answer It is my opinion that Article 12 can be applied in many situations that are not covered in other Articles. For instance, when a player writes his next

 
   

move on his scoresheet, before making the move and then he changes his intended move several times, the arbiter can step in and not allow this, based on Article 12.2, where it is written that it is forbidden to make use of any notes. And, Article 12.5 states that it is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever.

 

Question Dear Mr. Gijssen, When I started reading your article on keeping

score, I immediately had to think about one incident during my last tournament (First Saturday

score, I immediately had to think about one incident during my last tournament (First Saturday in Budapest). It relates to the habit of first writing down the move, covering it and then making it. Later on in your article you addressed this problem, too, (stating that even famous players as Portisch, Petrosian and Miles have done it), but I nevertheless would like to ask you a question.

As I said, I played in Budapest this April, and as usual I applied the procedure of first writing down my move before making it, which shortly distracts me from my previous "deep considerations" and brings me "back to earth", so that I now see the position with fresh eyes and am able to notice that I was just about to hang my Queen or commit some other gross blunder (which you sometimes fail to notice, when you are some moves deep into your variations

and have "lost contact with reality"

just written down my move and covered it with my pencil and was checking the position once again for blunders - the arbiter came up to me, took away my pencil and said to me "You can't do this, we are playing under FIDE rules here!" Of course I felt disturbed!

).

Then in one of the later rounds - I had

Now can an arbiter do this? If he forces me to show my scoresheet openly, this is certainly a big advantage for my opponent, who can start thinking on my time, as I most of the time don't need to change the move written down anymore. And also how then can I prevent an opponent, who is not keeping score in his Zeitnot, from using my scoresheet to find out whether forty moves are completed yet?

Another thought about whose property the scoresheets are: in most of the tournaments I've played in the last few years, they had scoresheets with a blueprint [a no-carbon-required duplicate] attached to it. After the game the arbiter would just collect both blueprints and the players could keep their original. I think this is a good idea! Don't you?

By the way, in case someone refuses to give his scoresheet to the arbiter and forfeits the game because of this (like what happened to Huebner), how would this game then be rated? After all, this has nothing to do with "chess strength", which the rating is supposed to measure, but only with "stupid politics". For the purposes of the Elo rating this game should still be considered as a draw or whatever the real result was! With best regards, Ulrich Schmidt, Germany

Answer I am very pleased with your e-mail, because it describes situations I was worried about when we made the new Laws of Chess. As I wrote in my previous Notebook, the arbiter must not disturb the player when he is thinking about his next move. In my opinion such an arbiter does not understand the spirit of the Laws of Chess, but sticks to the letter of it. Personally I have no problems when a player hides his scoresheet from the opponent, provided the arbiter can see it. (See my reply to David Borensztajn, above.)

The Laws state very clearly who is the owner of the original scoresheet. But as already noted, the arbiter and/or organiser should be flexible regarding the ownership. The problem is that some arbiters insist that the players have to turn over their scoresheets. If a player refuses to so this, the arbiter has the ability to forfeit the game pursuant to the Laws of Chess. The problem is that no definition of misconduct exists. And there is another problem. How to rate such a game.

For example, when the game is finished, the result of the game stands. Look at Article 5 of the Laws of Chess. But what happens if a player refuses to give up his scoresheet and the arbiter declares the game lost for him, although he was present when a stalemate situation arose? How should this game be regarded for the purposes of ratings? This is not covered by the Laws of Chess, but it should be covered in the Rating regulations. My suggestion is that for rating calculations it be counted as a draw, but for the tournament table as a win for one of the two players. I intend to discuss this case with the chairman of the rating Commission of FIDE.

Question Dear Mr Gijssen, Article 6.3 of the Laws of Chess states that " Immediately after a flag falls, the requirements of Article 8.1 must be

checked."

What must an Arbiter do if the player claiming the win on time has not complied with Art 8.1? Naturally his unfortunate opponent did not keep score due to Art 8.4 and the claimant cannot copy the moves from his opponent's scoresheet. Will such a player be penalised and if so, how?

Also, Is it possible to claim a draw in terms of Articles 9.2 and 9.3 in a Rapidplay tournament, where no score is kept? Riaan du Plessis, South Africa

Answer In the first version of the Laws of Chess, approved in Yerevan, September October 1996, there were some printing errors. One of these errors was made in Article 6.3. The correct text of Article 6.3 is: Each time display has a 'flag'. Immediately after a flag falls, the requirements of Article 6.2 must be checked.

Article 6.2 further states that when using a chess clock, each player must

make a certain number or all moves in an allotted period of time and /or may

Generally, the

arbiter has to check when a flag falls whether a player made the number of moves. How he shall check this, is not described in the Laws of Chess.

be allocated an additional amount of time after each move

Now back to your question. A player oversteps the time, the opponent claims a win, but is not able to produce a complete scoresheet. The procedure is the following one: under the supervision of the arbiter or an assistant, the players must reconstruct the game on a second board. If after this reconstruction it is clear that a player has overstepped the time limit, the game is lost. If the scoresheets cannot be brought up to date showing that a player has overstepped the allotted time, the next move shall be considered as the first of the following time period, unless there is evidence that more moves have been made. (Article 8.6)

As for your second question, Annex B of the Laws of Chess applies to Rapidplay. Articles B2 says: Play shall be governed by the FIDE Laws of Chess, except where they are overridden by the following Laws. As a matter of fact, in those Laws there is nothing about Articles 9.2 and 9.3 (Draw claims). This means a player can claim, but (!!) he has to prove that the claim is correct. If the arbiter watched the game and he is of the opinion that the claim is correct, then there is no problem. If there is another neutral reliable witness, the same result, but in all other cases I am afraid the claimant has problems.

Question Dear Mr. Gijssen, My question is about the way one must record his games. I like to annotate my scoresheet in Informator mode: without x in captures, or without + in checks. Some players draw little icons like the pieces (a rectangle for the rook for example) instead of letters. Is there a correct syntax or a problem in recording the moves a different way? Thank you very much. Luciano dos Santos Fier, Brazil

Answer Appendix E of the Laws of Chess is called Algebraic Notation and it says: FIDE recognises for its own tournaments and matches only one system of notation, the algebraic System, and recommends the use of this uniform chess notation also for chess literature and periodicals

The system you describe in your letter is an algebraic system and satisfies, in my opinion the requirements of the algebraic system.

Article E2 states that for the first letter of a piece, each player is free to use the first letter of the name which is commonly used in his country. In printed periodicals, the use of figurines for the pieces is recommended. As you can see, there is a certain freedom to indicate the pieces. The capture and check signs are not essential.

Question Dear Mr Gijssen, Here are two situations, which occurred, recently in Malaysian chess. I would like to have your comments on them.

Situation 1 There was a team match using a 90-minutes time control (play to

finish). In one of the games, both players were very short of time and they were blitzing. Player A's flag dropped and two or three seconds later, Player B noticed it. But as he was about to stop his clock, his own flag dropped. The arbiter saw everything and gave the win to Player B. How correct was this, and would the decision be any difference if no arbiter was present?

Situation 2 Another team event. One of the games ended but one of the players did not leave the roped-off playing arena. The arbiter asked him to leave but the player was very slow to leave. The arbiter got angry and now asked the player to leave the playing hall. The player left but stood in the doorway of the hall to watch. Now the arbiter became really angry and he disqualified the whole team. Was it justified? Was there any other measure he could have taken? I will really appreciate your opinion. Regards, SS Quah, Malaysia

Answer Situation 1: A 'game in 90' time control means the game is not a rapid game, but is conducted under the "normal" Laws of Chess. The provisions of Article 10: (Quickplay Finish) must be applied. Article 10.1 states that a 'quickplay finish' is the last phase of a game, when all the remaining moves must be made in a limited time. And, such is the case in 90- minutes games. What the arbiter has to do when a flag falls is described in several Articles:

Article 6.8: A flag is considered to have fallen when the arbiter observes the fact or when a valid claim to that effect has been made by either player.

In light of the above, it is clear that the arbiter was right when he gave the win to Player B. But what would have happened, if the arbiter had not seen Player A's flag fall but Player B's flag had also dropped?

Article 6.11 states: If both flags have fallen and it is impossible to establish which flag fell first, the game shall continue.

But this is impossible in a 90-minutes gam. Now we will look to Article 10.4, the Quickplay finish. It states: If both flags have fallen and it is impossible to establish which flag fell first the game is drawn.

By the way, if in such games DGT clocks are used - and this is not an endorsement of DGT clocks there are no problems, because the DGT clock indicates clearly which flag fell first. One final remark: the arbiter has no discretion in rapid and blitz games. If both flags are down, the game is a draw, even when the arbiter observed which flag fell first.

Situation 2: It is very difficult to answer questions like this one. I would want to get the arbiter's version of this matter also. Only when all the parties have had the opportunity to give their opinion is it probably possible to judge the situation. To be honest, it sounds to me that there was something else going on here. I find it hard to believe that the arbiter decided to exclude a whole team based on what you described.

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From the Archives

 
   

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An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

 
 

From the

Events in Elista

 
 

Archives

   
   

I was very honored when I received a fax with the message that I had been appointed as Chief Arbiter of the XXXIII Chess Olympiad in Elista. In 1996 I

   

was the Chief Arbiter of the match for the World Chess Championship

by Jan Timman

 

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between Anatoly Karpov and Gata Kamsky, also played in Elista, and I had only good memories about Elista and Kalmykia. The co-operation between the organizers and me was excellent and when I saw that the same people would be organizing the Olympiad, I was a happy man. Looking back on the Olympiad, I am still a happy man. The organizers were nice persons; the Kalmykians are very simpatico and co-operative and considered every foreigner as a friend. In this Notebook I would like to tell you something about this very remarkable Olympiad.

 
   

Immediately after a tournament in France, the Cancan tournament between Veterans and Ladies, I flew to Moscow. In Moscow, on September 22, Mr. Makropoulos called me. He told me that the first round probably would have to be postponed for two days, because the Chess Palace in Chess City was not ready. We discussed some options and we agreed to cut one round and one rest day. This meant, instead of fourteen rounds, we would play thirteen rounds.

The Kaufman Repertoire by Larry Kaufman

 

Play through and download the games from ChessCafe.com in the ChessBase Game Viewer.

On September 23 I arrived in Elista and I went immediately to Chess City. When I saw the building I felt desperate. It was, in my opinion, absolutely impossible to start on September 29, although everybody assured me that we would start on the 29th, instead of 27th. From this moment I visited Chess City very frequently to inspect and track the progress. In the meantime many teams arrived and went to their apartments and cottages in Chess City. The players also had their doubts about whether or not we would start on time. By the way, the players were not briefed about the postponement of the first round. They were walking around the Chess Palace wondering when it might start.

   

by Jeroen Bosch

 

Looking back, I can say that it was quite funny that the Kalmykian organizers were so sure that we would start on the 29th in the Chess Palace, but the non- Kalmykian organizers started to make an emergency scenario in case the building was not ready. I myself went to the Youth Palace, in which in 1996

 
   

the match Karpov-Kamsky had been played and calculated how many matches could be played in this building. Mr. Gelfer checked the number of matches that could be played in the living rooms (and not the kitchens, like some journalists reported) of the cottages. The final result of our calculations was that we could start the Olympiad in this way on September 29.

 
   

The opening ceremony was scheduled for September 26, at 7.00 p.m. During this ceremony, I informed the captains that on September 27, at 3.00 p.m., there would be a captains' meeting in the Youth Palace. The opening ceremony was really splendid.

 

At the captains' meeting almost all captains were present. Mr. Makropoulos, Deputy President of FIDE, explained the reason why the first round had to be postponed for two days. Due to the monetary crisis in Russia, which had commenced August 17, it was impossible to withdraw money from banks to pay the people who were working in Chess City. The organizers had lost three weeks and he asked the captains for their patience. I explained the alternatives and I must admit how surprised I was with the support we got from the captains. The alternative playing venues were not a problem at all, thirteen rounds instead of fourteen rounds were accepted and one rest day less was also agreed.

Another item in this meeting was Yom Kippur, a Jewish holy day. Back in Bled, during the meeting of the FIDE Central Committee it had been decided that the Israeli teams would be allowed to play on September 29, from 10.00 until 18.00 and on September 30 from 18.00. It was also decided that I should announce this at the captains meeting before the start of the Olympiad. There were no objections. The captains were very co-operative. In my opinion, we had gotten off to a good start

The Olympiad started in fact on September 29 at 10 a.m. in the Youth Palace with the matches Israel B-Venezuela in the men's competition and Azerbaijan B-Israel in the women's competition. The night before I had to inform the captains of these teams that they had to play the next morning instead of in the afternoon. The Venezuelan team was attending a party at the time and it was very difficult to find them. However, after the start of these two matches I went immediately to Chess City to see whether it was ready for play or not.

There, it was as if I were witnessing a miracle. We certainly could play in the Chess Palace! Floor after floor had been finished by the contractors and it was amazing and inspiring to see how hard people were working to finish their job on time. None of the organizers and the staff went to sleep that night. Ben Bulsink, an employer of DGT, who was responsible for the computer boards and the electronic clocks, worked for thirty-five hours to install them. Eric Van der Schilden and his staff from the TASC Company started to install the network. So, at 15.15 we started the first round in the Chess Palace.

At first, it turned out to be impossible to use the electronic system, although a very well trained team managed to put all the games into the computer. But, from Round Three the whole system worked perfectly. This meant we could follow all games in the computer room on the fourth floor and if something irregular happened, it would be discovered immediately. The rounds finished about 10.00 p.m. and at 11.00 p.m. the file with all 328 games could be sent to the bulletin editor.

As in the World Championship Tournament in Groningen and Lausanne, the time limit was 40 moves in 1 hour and 40 minutes, then 20 moves in 50 minutes and 10 minutes for the remaining moves, with the addition of 30 seconds after each move the so called Fischer modus. Generally there were not many problems, but even so there were a few incidents worthy of mention. During the tournament it was discovered that the clock would not function properly if it had been installed in a peculiar way. It occasionally happened that the clock was not programmed correctly by the arbiter. Fortunately it was quite easy to correct. The big advantage was that claims based on Article 10 of the Laws of Chess were eliminated.

The games were played on four floors. On the fourth floor the matches 1-6 of the women's competition were played, on the third floor the matches 7-36 of the women's competition, on the second floor matches 1-42 of men's competition, while the balance of the men's teams, boards 43-55, took place on the first floor. In addition, the top matches in the men's competition were played in a separate room on the second floor.

It was not so easy to supervise all floors. From the first to the fourth floor there were seventy-two steps. Trust me on this. My room was on the fourth floor. The readers will understand that I lost several kilos, although I had no time for jogging.

In the building there were two main problems. First of all, as in all Olympiads, it was very noisy. In all the halls and rooms, except where the top matches of the women and men were played, there was a lot of noise, mainly produced by reserve players, captains and players who had finished their games. In the rooms of the top matches it was quiet, but very warm. I had to make a choice and this was in my modest opinion the best solution. I tried also to reduce the people who had access to the top matches. Policemen, translators and some arbiters had a hard job, but ultimately they survived. The decision to close the central staircase was a very good one.

In the sixth round the match USA-Georgia was scheduled. At 5.55 p.m. the U. S. captain Larry Christiansen came to me and informed me that Gulko would not press his clock after 6.30 for religious reasons. Gulko in fact was ready to give his opponent, Sturua, some compensation. I went to the Georgian captain, Mrs. Gurieli, and informed her. She was surprised and went to the first board player of the Georgians, Azmaiparashvili. His first reaction was to agree draws on all boards, but then he requested five minutes for deliberation. After these five minutes the Georgians agreed that a boy could press Gulko's clock with the proviso that Sturua should get two extra minutes. I agreed and the game continued.

In the next round Ukraine was the opponent of the USA. This time Larry informed me that Gulko could not press his clock until after 6.15 o'clock. Gulko agreed to play, while his time was reduced with ten minutes and ten minutes should be added to his opponent's time. Onischuk was his opponent. I went to the Ukrainian delegation and Onischuk agreed immediately to play under normal conditions: no compensation or reduction of time.

In the eleventh round England was America's opponent. David Norwood, the English captain, came to me and informed me that the English team had refused the request to allow someone else to press Gulko's clock. I informed Larry Christiansen and told him that I accepted the position of the English team. I did point out to Christiansen, however, that he could take an appeal and he was ready to do so. In the meantime I informed the chairman of the Appeals Committee, Mr. Campomanes, who was in an Asian continent meeting, that he could expect an appeal. He asked me what was going on and then gave his opinion that the Americans had no chance and might even have to pay a fine. When I mentioned this to Larry, he decided to take a path of lesser resistance and replace Gulko.

I can imagine that a reader might refer to the last paragraph of Article 8.1 and the Preface of the Laws of Chess:

If a player due to physical or religious reasons, is unable to keep score, an amount of time, decided by the arbiter, shall be deducted from his allotted time at the beginning of the game.

When cases are not precisely regulated by an Article of the Laws of Chess, it should be possible to reach a correct decision by studying analogous situations which are discussed in the Laws. I thought it over. And my conclusion was that pressing the clock (especially in the Fischer modus) is an essential part of the game itself. Writing the moves is not essential and can even be done from a reasonable distance. The person designated to press the clock always sits next to the player and in front of the opponent. This can be disturbing. Of course, if an opponent agrees under such circumstances, I have no objection.

During the Olympiad there was also the FIDE congress and three meetings of the Rules Committee. More about these meetings next month

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From the Archives

 
   

Since it came online in 1996, ChessCafe.com has published thousands of articles, reviews, and columns. This high quality material remains available in the ChessCafe.com Archives. However, we decided that the occasional selection from the archives might be a welcome addition to the regular fare. We hope you enjoy From the Archives

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An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

 
 

From the

More Events in Elista

 
 

Archives

   
   

In my previous Notebook I promised to tell more about the Olympiad in Elista. I have already mentioned something about the time limit and the use of the DGT clocks. In each round 328 games were played. This meant that we had to program 328 clocks every day. We played according to the Fischer

 

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modus, 40 moves in 100 minutes, and then 20 moves in 50 minutes and 10

 
   

minutes for the remaining moves, with an addition of 30 seconds after each move.

It would often happen that after about 6 hours playing time an arbiter, a captain or a player would come to me and inform me that the above mentioned 10 minutes for the third time control had not been added. This was easy to correct, but I was very unhappy that some of the arbiters made mistakes when programming the clock. And several times I even blamed them for this.

 
   

But, in round 5 the captain of the Portuguese team came to me and informed,

"We had report of a bug in the setting of the Fischer Tournament methods. It

   

that he had discovered several years ago that the DGT clock had a bug. I looked into this with some people from the DGT Company who were present

by Konstantin Sakaev

   

in Elista. They had to admit that he was completely right. I hope that arbiters will read the following paragraph very carefully, an official statement issued by DGT, on how to avoid this bug.

appears only in option 25 "Fischer" tournament Manual set, (Option 22 for DGT+) and only when the manual setting is skipped by pressing the Start/ Stop button.

 
 

Play through and download the games from ChessCafe.com in the ChessBase Game Viewer.

The following happens: When in option 25 ("Fischer" Tournament up to 4 periods) (option 22 for DGT+) the manual entry of the settings is skipped by

 
   

pressing the Start/Stop button at the first flashing digit, the setting of the third

 

and fourth period gets lost and is set to zero. Solution: When the above option is used with more than 2 periods, always step through all parameters by pressing OK for every figure."

by Cyrus Lakdawala

   

There were a few strange incidents. A few times a player stopped his own clock and started his opponents's clock, without making a move. There was one case when a member of the Brazilian women's team did this, because her opponent did not write down the moves. She wanted to force her opponent to write the moves on her own time. Her opponent did this, but then the problem arose that the clock had counted one move more than they actually had played. I do not remember how many times I told the players that in case of an incident to stop the clocks and to summon the arbiter. Especially with the Fischer control, it is a must.

 

I would like to tell you about the meetings of the Rules Committee

The first meeting of the Rules Committee started with a moment of silence in the memory of Carlos Falcon, who passed away. Carlos was a member of the Rules Committee and had acted as an arbiter and organiser of chess tournaments. He was my Deputy Arbiter in the Kasparov- Karpov Match, New York and Lyon 1990. I also worked with him in the World Cup Tournament, Barcelona 1989, which he organised. He was a very precise man, with a good eye for details and always very quiet. His tournament reports were masterpieces. In the last letter I received from him, he discussed some changes. Really I felt very sad, when Grandmaster Ljubojevic called me and informed me that Carlos had passed away.

The Dutch Chess Federation had submitted a question about capturing the king in blitz chess. Readers of The Chess Cafe will recall that I had already discussed in a previous Arbiter's Notebook what to do when the king is captured. The committee had a lengthy discussion about the matter and whether this should be considered to be an illegal move or not. There were different opinions in the Rules Committee and also different interpretations of this rule. The final conclusion was not to take any decision and not to change the rules or the wording of the rules before the year 2000.

Since there are no ratings for Blitz games so far, these decisions will still remain in the hands of the arbiter of each tournament, provided it is announced in advance what the rule in this specific tournament will be. The blitz rules, as published by FIDE, may be used as a guideline.

In my September column I answered a question of Mr. Damien Andre from

Belgium. He explained that he had some problems with the symbol "=" to indicate an offer of a draw, because in his analyses he likes to use the same symbol when the position is equal. I discussed this in the Rules Committee and the Committee decided to stay with the symbol, as it is easy to use some other symbol in the analyses. In the meantime I have spoken with the editor of "Chess Informant" about this and he promised to think about it.

Readers may remember the case of GM Epishin concerning the rating of a game when a ruling was made pursuant to USCF rules that conflicted with the FIDE Laws of Chess. The committee stated that this is not an issue for the Rules Committee, but for the Qualification Commission. I spoke with the Chairman of this Commission, who told me that it was impossible to rule on this in Elista, because he had not received all the details.

There had been an incident in the World Team Championship in Lucerne 1997 where a claim was made for a draw in a position that was not absolutely clear (King + Rook against King + Bishop). The Chief Arbiter of this event, Mr. Horst Metzing of Germany, had asked to have a list of positions that could be considered to be draws. The Rules Committee rejected the idea of creating such a list. How this and similar incidents have been solved could be published and circulated by FIDE in its Forum letters.

I would like to make an observation. Even when we have a lot of these cases, no compilation can be considered as the definitive list of drawn positions. Some arbiters will allow the claim, some will postpone the decision. The latter group likes to see what is going on the chessboard and based on this observation, make a decision. I repeat my advice: The arbiter should in 99%

of the cases postpone the decision. And as you know, even after a flag falls he

may still declare the game drawn.

A player has the right to claim a draw during the last phase of a game when

all remaining moves must be done in a limited time. But he may only claim, when he has less than 2 minutes on his clock. There was a proposal that a player may claim a draw even before there are less than 2 minutes left on his clock for the remaining moves, provided that he is then considered to have less than two minutes on the clock thereafter. The committee did not approve this proposal.

The same result happened with another proposal: The question whether a player whose opponent has made an illegal move should be penalized for not noticing the illegal move was not approved.

A proposal of IA Keles of Turkey was very interesting. It is an addition to the

Rules of Blitz games. If a player has less than one minute left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall stop the clocks and summon the arbiter. If the arbiter is satisfied that it his opponent cannot to win by normal means, then he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise the claimant loses the game. In the year 2000 the Rules Committee shall discuss this proposal.

After the Olympiad I was, of course, quite curious, what journalists would write about the Olympiad. Let me start by admitting that at the beginning of the Olympiad the situation for journalists was far from ideal. But after a few rounds they could reasonably do their job. The Chess Palace had a satisfactory pressroom and I understood that it was possible to transmit articles to the newspapers from here.

After a long discussion with the organizers the main concerns of the journalists were addressed. Generally the journalists who were present in

Elista wrote positively about the Olympiad, the organisers and the inhabitants

of Kalmykia. I have spoken with many players after the Olympiad as well,

and with only one exception, everyone was positive.

In my opinion it is quite remarkable that journalists, who were not present, but

followed the Olympiad at home on the Internet and I have the impression, that more and more chess journalists are doing their job in this way were quite negative about the Olympiad. The fact that journalists are following chess tournament via the Internet and not in person in the tournament hall is a cause for concern. I have already noticed more than once that incidents in the playing hall have not been properly reported in the newspapers.

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This article first appeared at ChessCafe.com in November 1998.

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An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

The Case of the Hidden Queen

In this Arbiter's Notebook I shall answer some interesting questions from readers.

Question: Dear Sir: In one of your recent "Arbiter's Notebook" Mr. Ulrich Schmidt, Germany stated the following: "As I said, I played in Budapest this April, and as usual I applied the procedure of first writing down my move before making it, which shortly distracts me from my previous 'deep considerati-

ons' and brings me 'back to earth', so that I now see the position with fresh eyes and am able to notice that I was just about to hang my Queen or commit some other gross blunder (which you sometimes fail to notice, when you are some moves deep into your variations and have 'lost contact with reality' Then in one of the later rounds - I had just written down my move and covered it with my pencil and was checking the position once again for blunders - the arbiter came up to me, took away my pencil and said to me 'You can't do this, we are playing under FIDE rules here!' Of course I felt disturbed!"

This seems to me to be a clear case of a player benefiting from keeping notes. His whole playing approach is built around the act of writing his move down. It seems to me that this is a clear case of violating not only the letter but also the spirit of the law about not being allowed to write notes. This is a case of writing down a "candidate move" since the player does not feel bound by the move written. I agree entirely with the arbiter. Am I missing something? J. Franklin Campbell, USA

Answer: As I have already mentioned in one of my previous Notebooks, it is not prohibited, before making a move, to write down the intended move. And I should repeat that if a player changes his written move several times during the game, the arbiter must step in. My personal experience is, that it happens very seldom, that a player changes his written move.

Question: Mr. Gijssen: Some other arbiters and I were at a Rapidplay (G/30) tournament when the following incident occurred. One player started with his king on d1 and queen on e1. Neither player noticed until after three moves had been played by each (both players were rated about 2100!), so the arbiter ruled that the game should continue (correctly, I hope you agree).

In the coffee room, a debate started and one arbiter speculated what would have happened if White had later wanted to castle. Would this be allowed? Our first thought was no, but on reading the Laws of Chess we found that they only refer to the

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king being on its original square and moving two squares towards the rook. In this case, the king's original square was d1, and it could be argued that castling on either side was okay.

Another arbiter objected that the diagrams made clear the king had to start on e1, but nowhere does it state that the diagrams form part of the Laws, and it could be argued they are only examples. After all, the diagram illustrating en passant is not meant to imply that the capture can only happen in the illustrated position only.

I suspect if the situation had actually arisen we would have

disallowed castling, as it is unlikely that that was what the Laws intended, but it does seem to be a small loophole. What do you think? John Richards, BCF Arbiter, England

Answer: I agree with you that this case is not covered in the Laws of Chess clearly. In Elista the IA Cengiz ™zdemir Keles made the following proposal as an addition to Article B4 of the Laws of Chess:

In case of reverse king and queen placement, the player can make short castling with the a-rook and long castling with the

h-rook. This proposal was not discussed in Elista, but I am sure,

it will be accepted in 2000, when the Laws of Chess may be

modified. In the meantime I have no objection to using this rule, provided it is announced before the tournament starts.

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: Two questions that arose after two separate incidents: one happened recently in a club tournament in Mexico City, and another at the annual Mexican Open a few years ago. None of them could be happily resolved by the arbiters.

The first incident was more or less as follows: A mutual time scramble was happening between a master from Argentina and

a Mexican FM; they were using an electronic (digital) clock.

Suddenly the Mexican's allotted time expired and the Argentine player shouted "time!" and attempted to stop the clocks the usual way but he couldn't (most electronic clocks are stopped some other way, by pressing a start-stop button). Then he called the arbiter (his clock was still running) and by the time the arbiter arrived, his own allotted time had expired as well. According to the rules, the arbiter declared that the game was drawn because any player who claims to have won by time must stop the clocks before making his claim to the arbiter. That draw was unfair, but was legal. What do you think? Is one supposed to know how to stop all sorts of clocks before entering a tournament?

The other incident makes one ashamed of the behaviour of some players: Again a mutual time scramble was happening during the last round of an open tournament. The winner would get a prize in cash and the loser nothing. It was a pawn ending

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where both players were rapidly advancing a passed pawn toward the eighth rank, but it was clear that the player with the black pieces would queen his pawn first (with check) and then would give a forced checkmate in four or five moves more.

But it happened that as both players were furiously advancing their respective passers, the one with the white pieces quietly grabbed the black queen from the edge of the table and hid it in his pocket! Thus, when Black got his pawn to the eighth rank he said "queen, check!" And after looking in vain for the black queen started checking his opponent's king with the pawn. White then claimed that it was illegal to use a pawn as though it were a queen, and demanded that the correct piece be used. Then Black (with his clock running) tried to look for the queen on the floor and under the table, but could not find one and, in the process, hit his head on the edge of the table.

He then decided to grab a black rook and placed it upside down, saying again "queen: check!" But once more his opponent refused to accept the move: "that's not a queen: if you want to promote a rook then you have to say it!" Black was of course very upset and angry and rose to look for the arbiter, but by the time the latter showed up Black's time had run out. (In the meantime, White quietly took the piece out of his pocket and was witty enough to hide it behind a cup). The arbiter declared that Black lost on time. Very unfair, don't you think? Is one supposed to go to a chess tournament with extra queens in his pocket in order to avoid such incidents? Gabriel Velasco, Mexico

Answer: The two cases are completely different, but in fact I can give the same answer. In both cases the player must stop the clocks. And with the DGT clock it is very simple. Press the start/stop button and the clocks do not run. In both cases the player shall summon the arbiter.

In case 1 the player should ask the arbiter to give him a queen; he may stop the clocks and summon the arbiter under Article 6.12(b), which says: "A player may stop the clocks in order to seek the arbiter's assistance. And if a queen is not available, he may ask the arbiter for his help."

In case 2 the situation is even clearer. Article B7 (Rapidplay and Blitz) says: "To claim a win on time, the claimant must stop both clocks and notify the arbiter. For the claim to be successful the claimant's flag must remain up and his opponent's flag down after the clocks have been stopped."

Finally, Article B8 says: "If both flags have fallen, the game is drawn."

Conclusion: it is very wise to ask the arbiter before the start of the tournament, how to stop the clocks. And my advice to the arbiters is: Please explain before the start of the tournament

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how and in which situations a player may stop the clocks.

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: Let me first congratulate you for your excellent work. (and all the members in the staff of The Chess Cafe, too). I have a question related to the Laws of Chess. In the chapter dealing with quick play, there is an article stating that, when one of the players has less than two minutes left on his clock, he can ask the arbiter for a draw, and then, if the arbiter thinks that his opponent is not making any effort to win "by normal means" or that is not possible to win by normal means, then he shall declare the game drawn. My question is:

what is understood as "normal means". Is there any rule about what is normal means?

For instance, let us suppose that you are the player who makes the claim, and you are a piece ahead. However, both queens, the two rooks and a couple of other minor pieces are still on the board. Can your claim be refused in spite of your clear material advantage, due to the amount of material still present? Is it necessary to simplify the position in order to get a clearer scenario? It is understood that both kings are equally safe, so there is no clear compensation for the material. Does the concept "normal means" depend entirely on the arbiter's criteria, or is there a more objective valuation? Ernesto Pereda, Spain

Answer: First of all, one remark. You write "

about quickplay". I think, you mean "Quickplay finish". As you know, the quickplay finish is the last phase of a "normal game", when all remaining moves must be made in a limited time.

in the chapter

Your question is very interesting and difficult. The international arbiter Horst Metzing made a proposal to make a list of positions which arise in games and in which the arbiter decided to declare a draw. This proposal was rejected. According to the majority of the Rules Committee it is possible that in the same position one arbiter agrees to a draw and another arbiter decides to continue the game. And I think this is reasonable.

Horst Metzing himself gave an example. In an ending K+R versus K+B the player with the Bishop claimed a draw. Mr. Metzing decided that the game must be continued. This happened. In this continuation the claimant proved how to make a draw and she reached a position, which could not be won by her opponent. In other words, her opponent could not win "by normal means", but only on time, because the player understood perfectly how she had to handle this endgame. Mr Metzing agreed then that the game was a draw. In a complicated position, like the example given by you, the arbiter must always postpone his decision. I think that you are right when you state that it depends on the arbiter's criteria. And I have to repeat that, for professional chess, it is desirable to play using the Fischer modus. Then you never have these problems.

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By the way for Rapid and Blitz games these claims are not possible.

Question: Mr. Gijssen: In a recent tournament my opponent moved his king to a square, then, without releasing the piece, slid the King around to adjacent squares in order to examine the positions. When I questioned him on this after the game, he stated that it is allowed according to the FIDE rules, which only restrict movement of a piece that has been released. Is this a correct interpretation? Fred Brown, South Africa

Answer: This interpretation is not correct. I consider the case you described as one of disturbing the opponent. When a player moves a piece to a square, without releasing this piece, then discovers another square is a better one, I have no objection. But when he examines different positions moving this piece to different squares, the player is absolutely wrong.

Let me make an additional remark. Many times players have told me, that they were not disturbing their opponent, because their own clock was running and they were doing this on their own time. My standard answer has always been that there is no such thing as their own time. Even when one's own clock is running, the behaviour must be correct.

Question: Mr. Geurt Gijssen: Article 6.9 of the FIDE Laws says: "Except where Articles 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3 apply, if a player does not complete the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, the game is lost by the player. However, the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player by any possible series of legal moves (i.e. by the most unskilled counterplay)."

Now, suppose Player A has a King and a Knight and Player B has a King and a Rook. Then suddenly Player B's flag falls. From the resulting position it is possible to create a position in which Player B's King is checkmated (Player B: Kh8 and Rh7; Player A: Kf8 and Ng6). Does this mean that Player B should be declared as lost? The game should be a draw if he didn't have the Rook. Is there any different rule in rapid or blitz chess? T. Budiman, Indonesia

Answer: Yes, you are right. The game is lost for Player B. For Rapidplay the same rule applies. For Blitz games there is a difference. Article C4 of the Blitz rules says that in order to win, a player must have "mating potential". This is defined as adequate forces eventually to produce a position legally, possibly by "helpmate", where an opponent having the move cannot avoid being checkmated in one move. Thus two knights and a king against a lone king is insufficient, but a rook and king against a knight and a king is sufficient.

Question: Dear Geurt: In last year's Hoogovens Chess tournament a player made an illegal move after the first time

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control. The player had a won endgame, but only one minute left on his clock to actually win. His opponent had several minutes more to defend the position. Officially I was supposed to adjust the clock and add two more minutes to his opponent's time but in view of the time this would take (20 seconds as a rough estimate) I did NOT do this, thinking it was against the game's spirit. In my view only the offending party would benefit from the delay, as it would give him time to reconsider his winning plan. I did however note the offence mentally so I could declare the game lost for him if it was repeated twice more.

The chief arbiter reprimanded me for my actions, but a note was made in the arbiter's log of the tournament as to the strict way the rules obliged me to adjust the clock in this situation. More liberty for the arbiter to decide whether or not to do this was recommended. What are your views on this? Martin van Gils, KNSB National Arbiter, The Netherlands

Answer: I understand from the context that this incident happened in the last phase of the game, when the "Quickplay Finish" rules applied. I think that the chief arbiter who chided you is right. The rule is strict. In case of an illegal move, the opponent will be disturbed and you have to compensate him for this. Suppose that the opponent loses on time. He will blame you, for not giving him the two extra minutes.

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: With regard to the recent rule that draw offers must be recorded, would it not be acceptable to use "(1/2)" rather than an equal sign? The equal sign has traditionally been used as an evaluation, so perhaps it is the wrong tool for the job. Of course, some would wonder if it were necessary to specify the method of recording the draw offer so strictly. Raymond J. Stonkus, USA

Answer: The idea is not bad, but I am afraid that the problem will be that players consider "1/2" as the result of the game. Probably "1/2?" is a possibility. In November I wrote that I contacted the editor of Chess Informant about this. By the way, as far as I can see now, the rule does not work very well. Only very few players write this sign when they offer a draw.

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An Arbiter's Notebook Through the Eyes of a Spectator

by Geurt Gijssen.

It is very logical that arbiters and organisers would most of all like to please the players, especially in high category tournaments. I understand this, because they are the stars. And I know chess players also like this.

Recently I visited a tournament, not as an arbiter, but as a spectator. I did not go to the playing area, but followed the games from the gallery. There were no computer boards and no monitors on which spectators could follow the games. A boy who wrote the moves on a scoresheet moved the pieces on a big demonstration board. In this month's column I would like to share my observations at this tournament with the readers

When time trouble arose, the boy working the demonstration board was only able to write the moves down and did not move the pieces on the demonstration board. This may be understandable, but the public, perhaps with the exception of the spectators in the first row who could see the actual board on which a game was being played, could not see anything. And when the Zeitnot was over, the boy made the moves on the demonstration board so quickly that nobody could follow what had happened.

On another board, also in time trouble, the situation was apparently very interesting, so much so that a number of players, deputy arbiters and organisers were standing around the board and in front of the demonstration board. None of the spectators could see what was going on. Still, the spectators kept silent, were polite and accepted the situation.

Another example. Once again a situation with both players in time trouble. The arbiter went to the table, wrote some moves on his scoresheet, began to talk to both players and then went back to his table. The players started to talk to each other. The game had apparently ended, but with what result, no one knew.

There are tournaments where spectators have to buy admission tickets. It is my opinion that many people involved in the organising and running of tournaments do not realise the extent to which the paying spectators are ignored. I can understand that arbiters and organisers as chess lovers are interested in watching the games, especially in international tournaments, when compatriots are involved. What I see happening many times is that they get so involved following these games that they interfere with the viewing by the paying public. The spectators are left with no choice but to protest by hissing.

I am talking about arbiters, who know the Laws of Chess very

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well, who have a lot of respect for players, but who show disdain toward the spectators. For some reason, they do not understand that spectators are also an essential part of the chess scene.

There were other things I did not like. As I was entering the playing hall, I met two players of the main group (both were grandmasters), just outside of the playing hall. I asked them what the result of their game was, because I thought they had played each other. I was very surprised - and from a professional point of view as an arbiter - shocked that their games were still in progress. They were not playing each other, but were having an interesting conversation outside of the playing hall.

A few month ago I witnessed, in a women's tournament, one of

the participants talking with her trainer during the game. And not just a word or two. No, they were talking in the playing hall for at least five minutes. When I told the arbiter that this was in my opinion an impossible situation, he replied that he had already told to them several times not to talk with each other during the game, but as he told me, he could not stop them. I explained to him, that, even when they do not talk about the game, the situation is quite unpleasant for the opponent. Finally he went to the player and her trainer and told them to stop the conversation. Later I saw an interview with this referee, in which he repeated this story, complaining that I was a very strict person and, as far as he was concerned, as long as players do not complain everything is OK with him

I started my column with some remarks about the "rights" of the spectators. Recently I received an email from Charles Kennaugh, from the United Kingdom. He wrote:

Dear Mr Gijssen, Let me first congratulate you on your very interesting and informative column at The Chess Caf‚. I am a fairly regular

tournament player and I have a couple of queries and a couple

of points of view on which I'd be very interested in your

comments. All refer to normal tournament play with fixed time controls (e.g. 40 moves in 2 hours) and no element of quickplay finish.

What exactly is the role of a kibitzer? I think I am right in saying that if your flag falls before you have made the stipulated number of moves, you lose automatically without your opponent needing to claim. Normally the arbiter will intervene, but sometimes in large tournaments an arbiter may not be to hand.

What happens then if a kibitzer (who may or may not have an

interest in the outcome of the game) intervenes to point out that the flag has fallen? Some may consider this to be bad form, but

as far as I can see the player who has lost on time has no

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grounds to complain. Am I right? And does this also apply to illegal moves being pointed out by a kibitzer?

Thank you, Charles, for your email. Let us replace "kibitzer" by "spectator" in Mr. Kennaugh's inquiry and take it from there. In the Laws of Chess there is one Article that mentions spectators. It is Article 13.7:

Spectators and players in other games are not to speak about or otherwise interfere in a game. If necessary, the arbiter may expel offenders from the playing venue.

It is clear what the arbiter may do if a kibitzer acts as described in Mr. Kennaugh's email. But as a matter of fact, the die has already been cast. And to be honest, the instances he cites are not the worst. You know, when a player loses on time, the game is over and the intervention of a spectator does not change the result. An illegal move pointed out by a spectator also has no decisive consequences. But nevertheless, it is quite unpleasant when spectators intervene. The best course of conduct is for the spectator (kibitzer) to inform the arbiter. And then the arbiter can intervene in the game. (Mr. Kennaugh's other questions will be taken up by me in my February column.)

As already noted, there are worse situations. For instance, a spectator shouts in the playing hall: "Garry, play Ne4". What to do in this case? The only thing the arbiter can do is to expel the player from the playing hall. The next question is of course: Is the player allowed to play Ne4? I think so, because a player should never be penalized as a result of actions of spectators. Recently there was an incident in the Dutch team competition. The captain of a team told one of his players that he had completed 40 moves. The arbiter warned the captain and a member of the board of the Dutch Chess Federation ruled that the game was lost due to the intervention of the team captain. The Appeals Committee decided that the player should not be penalized because the captain made a mistake.

The same thing, more or less, also happened in the European Club Competition. Finally the Appeals Committee decided that the player was not to blame, but the team captain was penalized. He was banned from all official functions in the European Club Competition for two years.

Although from time to time captains cause problems, in the last Olympiad I must say the co-operation between arbiters and captains was wonderful. I have been present at several team competitions, but from the very beginning of the Olympiad in Elista, starting with the captains' meeting, the atmosphere was very relaxed.

Finally, I would like to mention a very special kind of spectator: the family. In youth tournaments parents many times

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create a lot of problems. I started my career as an arbiter in youth tournaments and could write a book about the bad behaviour of parents. Parents who promise their children money in case of a win, parents who tell their children moves, parents who blame other parents and so on. The best youth tournaments are the tournaments in which the parents are not present. I know I am exaggerating a little bit, but it was often no pleasure to be an arbiter in youth tournaments, due to the parents.

On the other hand, I must admit that the behaviour of chess players' wives or husbands is generally very correct. You see the tension on the faces of the accompanying persons, but they do not interfere at all. Next month, I shall again turn my attention to the many questions I have received from readers

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An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

Once again the Arbiter takes questions from Chess Caf‚ readers

Question: Dear Geurt: I believe you misread the situation posed in your (excellent) latest column:

"Now, suppose Player A has a King and a Knight and Player B has a King and a Rook. Then suddenly Player B's flag falls. From the resulting position it is possible to create a position in which Player B's King is checkmated (Player B: Kh8 and Rh7; Player A: Kf8 and Ng6). Does this mean that Player B should be declared as lost? The game should be a draw if he didn't have the Rook. Is there any different rule in rapid or blitz chess? T. Budiman, Indonesia

Answer: Yes, you are right. The game is lost for Player B. For Rapidplay the same rule applies. For Blitz games there is a difference. Article C4 of the Blitz rules says that in order to win, a player must have "mating potential". This is defined as forces adequate to eventually produce a legal position, possibly by "helpmate", where a player on move cannot avoid being checkmated the next move. Thus two knights and a king against a lone king is insufficient, but a rook and king against a knight and a king is sufficient.

Question: Obviously N+K v R+K is insufficient for white in normal play but black can be 'helpmated' in the position given. Also with 2 knights against a lone king, the lone king can be helpmated. I find the inclusion of 'possibly by helpmate' and 'cannot avoid being checkmated in 1 move' in the same sentence a little confusing. Nick Jones, UK

Answer: Dear Mr. Jones: I have reviewed my answer and I still believe I am right. Article 6.9 says:

If "

moves in the allotted time, the game is lost by the player. However, the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player by any possible series of legal moves (i.e. by the most unskilled counterplay)."

a player does not complete the prescribed number of

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: 1. After reading your reaction to Mr. Budiman's question concerning Article 6.9 of FIDE Laws, I decided to ask you your opinion about this: For example, in a Blitz game two knights against a lone King is a draw if the weaker side's flag falls as there isn't "mating potential" but in Rapid and "Classical" games, in the same situation, the stronger side wins as it is possible to "create" a mate.

Don't you think this is pretty illogical to assume worse play in rapid and classical games and better play in blitz games? Should not it be the other way around (mating potential enough

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to win in classical and rapid games and just the possibility to reach mate in blitz games)? One of my arguments for this statement is that mate may in fact be more likely with two knights vs. a king in a blitz game then in rapid and classical games, as one usually expects a higher level of play in rapid and classical game than in blitz games. Have you already discussed this matter in the Rules Committee? What is your opinion? Tomas Micanek, Czech Republic

Answer: This matter was not discussed in the Rules Committee. My personal opinion is that you make a valid point. At this time we cannot change the Laws of Chess, but I promise you it will be a point of discussion during the next meetings of the Rules Committee.

Also from Mr. Micanek: I also have suggestion about recording the draw offer on a scoresheet: As the evaluation mark "=" was used long time before 1997 FIDE Rules were released and as it is also difficult to change it in all previous databases, books etc., I think change should be done in the FIDE Rules. In the Czech Republic some people use "R" (as Remise) instead.

Answer: Your suggestion works perfectly in the Czech Republic, but not, for instance, in English speaking countries, where "R" is the symbol for Rook. But as a result of your letter it occurred to me that there might be a solution. A player may mark the symbol for a draw offer in his own language. So, for example, British and Americans can write a "D" (draw), Germans "R" and so on. The only problem, which remains, is how databases shall mark this. I contacted again the Editorial Board of Chess Informant and they promised me to reply as soon as possible.

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: It is unspecified in the rules whether or not a claim based on Article 10 can be withdrawn if the position on the chessboard has significantly changed since the claim was made. (The withdrawal of the claim without any significant change in the position should most likely be forbidden and treated as misconduct.) White makes a claim based on Article 10 and the game continues under the watchful eye of the arbiter. As the game goes on, black makes a blunder and white has a decisive superiority. White then informs the arbiter that he withdraws his claim. Is this allowed? As soon as white acquires a decisive superiority his claim becomes that the opponent cannot win by normal means. Should the arbiter declare the game drawn without giving a chance to the player to withdraw the claim? Pierre D‚nomm‚e, Quebec, Canada

Answer: This is, in my opinion, one of the main problems with Article 10. Before I answer your question, I would like to review the recent history of this Article. Since 1985 we have had so-called Quick Play (Guillotine) Finish Rules. In 1994 these Rules were used for the first time in a FIDE event (Olympiad, Moscow 1994). We also played according to these

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rules in Yerevan 1996, and in some other FIDE competitions

(e.g., zonal tournaments) as well. The main thrust of these rules

was:

"If the arbiter is satisfied that a player is making no effort to win the game by normal means, or that the game may not be won by normal means then he may declare the game drawn. This may still apply even though one player's flag has fallen."

I have always understood the meaning of this article is to

protect the player, who had a better, even superior position and is short of time. Until 1 July 1997 there was no possibility of claiming a draw. In the new Laws of Chess a player has to make a claim. And still I believe that the intention of this Article (now Article 10.2 of the Laws of Chess) is to protect the player who has a better position and has no time to bring his position to a good end.

As a matter of fact at this moment cases like these are not covered in the Laws of Chess. This means it is still up to the arbiter how to decide, but generally I should say, but not as Chairman of the rules Committee, a player who claims a draw, cannot win the game. I do not think that this principle is

unreasonable. I am collecting examples of cases of Article 10 in order to prepare a proposal to change or extend it. Withdrawing

a claim is, in my opinion, not possible.

Question: Dear Geurt: In a recent Blitz tournament, I started to play the move f2-f4, which was illegal, because the pawn was pinned against the king. I put the pawn on f4, but did not release it (nor did I activate my opponent's clock), then, realising my mistake, put it back on f2. My opponent immediately claimed a win, but I insisted on continuing the match. We agreed to get the opinion of our "tournament director" after the match, which would be lost for me if he were to decide that my f4 was a "real" illegal move. I later won on time, and the tournament director noted the win for me, saying that I could continue the match after the attempted f2-f4 and could move any piece, as the f-pawn had no legal move. Now my question is - you guessed it - how would you have ruled? Philippe Leick (South Africa)

Answer: Article C3 of the Blitz Games Laws says: "An illegal move is completed once the opponent's clock has been started. The opponent is then entitled to claim a win before making his own move. Once the opponent has made his own move, an illegal move cannot be corrected."

The first sentence would be applied to your case. And the situation is very clear. As long as a player has not stopped his own clock and started his opponent's, a player has the possibility to correct an illegal move. My conclusion: the tournament director was right.

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: My question is about one of my

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recent games. It was played in a Game/120 tournament. The game finished with my flag down but my opponent had only one knight and I had a pawn on h4. I claimed the draw for insufficient material basis and at first the arbiter agreed but later on he changed his decision. What do you think about this? IM Guil Russek, Mexico City

Answer: The final decision of the arbiter is right. I will explain to you why. First of all, there are positions that a Knight wins against an a- or h-pawn, but I understand that not all arbiters know this. But there is also another reason. In the first question in this month's column a case of knight against Rook was discussed and as you can read if the flag falls the player with the Knight wins. Well, although not likely, it is still possible the pawn might promote to a Rook. And then there are positions in which the player with the Knight can mate his opponent.

Question: I wondered if there is a codified set of rules, or guidelines for best practice for the conduct of simultaneous exhibitions? In my view there needs to be both a formal set of rules that experienced players will agree to abide by and play to, and a somewhat more relaxed set of guidelines for situations where those formal rules might be felt to be inappropriate. My remarks concentrate on the latter situation, but a statement of what the proper rules are would be appreciated, too.

I often give simuls in schools against children, who have no experience at any kind of playing under tournament conditions. These are the ones who only play in their school chess club and never go to tournaments. So it is not appropriate to be too strict in applying rules they won't probably know, too rigidly, as that would spoil the mood of the occasion, yet equally you do not want to encourage cheating.

Sadly, there are always one or two children, usually cocky boys, who are more motivated to win so as to achieve a respect amongst their friends they don't really deserve, than to win fairly.

These are the players who constantly fiddle with the pieces, trying out moves while you are at other boards (which I will tolerate, despite the risk they aren't then put back on the right squares) and then suddenly pounce on the simul-giver demanding that HE adhere to the touch-and-move rule they have been flouting themselves with carefree abandon, should he retract a blunder. Plainly such double standards are not acceptable and I have made it my practice to avoid the possibility arising by announcing the following guidelines: they only work if there isn't pressure to finish games quickly.

1. We will not play strict Touch and Move rules, as this can

lead to arguments.

2. If you are not ready to move when I arrive, say "Pass" and I

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move on. Or I waste time.

3. If you visibly hesitate when I arrive, I will immediately say,

"you're not ready" and move on. So as not to waste time. Make your move next time I come.

4. If you move decisively when I arrive, that is your move,

unless there is an obvious oversight in which case I will allow you to take it back and point out what you have not seen, and you may make another move instead, next time I

arrive. This is to ensure an interesting game is not spoiled by one poor move.

5. Given Rule 4, you may not retract your move once made,

unless I offer to let you do so.

6. As regards the simul-giver, once I have made a move at the

next board, I may not take a move back at your board. But

if I realise I have made an obvious blunder, before making my move on the next board, I may make a different move instead. This is to ensure the same outcome: that an interesting game is not spoiled by one poor move.

7. You will have to trust me to apply Rules 4 and 6 fairly.

8. The aim of these rules is that the winner has to meet

reasonable moves with better ones and it is a good game which either player could win rather than a one-sided battle, which is not much fun for you or for me. I want to work for my victory, not have it handed me on a plate, and so should you. It is much more satisfying that way.

I have two questions: is this felt to be an elegant solution of the problem of ensuring a good game and good sportsmanship without being too strict or too punitive? Do you know a better one? Bruce Birchall, London, England

Answer: First of all, I would like to thank you for your contribution to this column. I think it is very valuable. There are no specific rules for simuls. At this moment each organizer makes his own rules, many times in consultation with the simul-giver.

I agree completely with you that it is wise to have a formal set of rules and a flexible one. When Kasparov plays the Israeli

team, we need another set as when you play against your pupils. The flexible rules you described I like very much and I am ready to discuss them in the Rules Committee. For simuls with strict rules I like the following:

1. It is forbidden to analyse and to discuss the game with other

players and spectators.

2. At the moment the simul-giver appears at a board, the player

must make his move.

3. For the player, the rule of touch-move will apply

4. For the simul-giver the rule is: he may change his move

before he plays a move at the next board.

I await reactions from readers.

Question: Dear Mr Gijssen: (i) Some time ago in a mutual time scramble an opponent of mine made an illegal move (quite

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inadvertently I'm sure). I was so stunned by it (where on earth did that come from? I thought) that it took me some 10 seconds to realise that it was indeed an illegal move. What would have happened if my flag had fallen before I (or an arbiter) had noticed the illegal move and stopped the clock?

(ii) Some years ago playing a tournament in Bled, Slovenia, my opponent (a well known time-trouble addict!) had a technically won position but was in the most appalling time trouble needing to play some 20 moves in a minute. (I had plenty of time left.) He had quite understandably stopped writing his moves down in order to play more or less instantaneously. I had laid a small glass case across my scoresheet, which I often do, belonging to the school that writes the move down before playing. At this stage an arbiter intervened to remove the glass case insisting that my score sheet must remain visible to the arbiter at all times. I'm sure he was within his rights to do this, but is it also not the case that a player who is no longer writing the moves has no right to any guidance as to the number of moves played from either the arbiter or his opponent (or anybody else) and must play on until his flag falls and hope that he has made the required number of moves? In this case, my opponent (incidentally a very fair player) could ascertain exactly when 40 moves had been played from a casual look at my scoresheet. Your comments?

(iii) A perusal of your column indicates that a large number of disputes arise from illegal moves played in time trouble. In view of the suspicion of many that some of these illegal moves may actually be deliberate, would not the simplest solution be that illegal moves automatically lose in all forms of chess? Together with the introduction of Fischer clocks as standard, I think that would make an arbiter's life much easier. What do you think? Charles Kennaugh, UK

Answer: (i) Article 7.4 says: "If during a game it is found that

an illegal move has been made irregularity shall be re-instated

according to Article 6.13." Article 6.13 says: "If an irregularity occurs

use his best judgement to determine the times to be shown on the clocks."

the position before the The clock shall be adjusted

the arbiter shall

These two articles say very clearly what the arbiter has to do. There is only one problem. Article 7.4 says, that the irregularity must be found DURING THE GAME and I can imagine that the opponent will say that the game is over at the moment the player's flag fell. In my opinion this argument is not acceptable. I would like to refer to Article 5.1. It says:

"The game is won by the player who has checkmated his opponent's king with a LEGAL move." I would therefore say that if a player does not complete the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, the game is lost by the player,

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provided the last move of the opponent was a legal move.

(ii) This has already been discussed several times in my columns. The arbiter should not act this way.

(iii) I agree with you that your proposal makes the arbiter's life much easier. But I do not think it is a good proposal. I think the number of deliberately played illegal moves is very small. Only would seem that players do this deliberately only in Blitz games. But in Blitz the penalty is, if the opponent notices this, loss of the game.

Question: Dear Mr.Gijssen: I know that many players are not happy with the existing rating system and it is subject to improvement in many ways. However, one drawback is so obvious and easy to correct that it's very strange it has not been discussed by FIDE yet. The problem is that the existing Elo system doesn't consider the piece colours when estimating the expected results of players. For example, if two equally rated players are playing a match of 20 games and one of them has White in all games, the expected score of both is 10 points despite the obvious fact that the White player has a certain advantage (Megabase statistics show White 56-57%). Of course, such a match is just an abstraction but in team tournaments especially it happens quite often that some players have a very uneven combination of Whites and Blacks which do in fact have an impact on their rating. I spoke about this problem with some grandmasters and all of them agreed with my point of view. By the way, the mathematical model to avoid this nonsense is very easy and I can offer this to FIDE like some other improvements to the rating system if there is some chance that my suggestions would be taken seriously. It would be very interesting for me to know your opinion about this matter. Michael Waitz, Technical Director Grandmaster Chess School, St-Petersburg, Russia.

Answer: I spoke about this with Mr. Markkula from Finland. He is the Chairman of the Titles and Ratings Committee. And to be honest I was a little bit surprised by his answer. He told me that the statistics show this advantage of 56% only for the absolute top. Let us say the super grandmasters, but on a lower level White's advantage is not clear. The January 1999 FIDE shows more than 30000 names. Probably you can prove that Mr. Markkula's statement is wrong. In this case the discussion will be continued.

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: I read your column at The Chess Cafe and I like it very much. Keep up the good work. I'm only an arbiter in local tournaments. But situations/problems seem to look a lot alike at any level of play. There is a rule I have some difficulty understanding and I'd like you to comment on it please.

I'm talking about the rule that states that you cannot

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"pre-determine" the result of a game before it starts. Meaning that as we see sometimes in Swiss tournaments you cannot set the outcome of a game with your opponent before the start of the game - for money purposes for instance. I understand that and fully agree with it. However there's always those draws in a few moves. A national arbiter here in Quebec wrote a document about the interpretation arbiters should have about this rule. In his interpretation, even draws in 2 moves should be accepted by the arbiter of a tournament. Mainly because, according to him, the rule applies only for PRE-determined issues of a game and not on what is happening DURING the game.

As I understand that here in Quebec we are kind of isolated from the rest of the world (chesswise) and that we don't have any chess players that can live from money they can get in tournaments or matches I can deal with giving latitude to the players (mainly during the last round of a tournament). However it's still unclear to me what the arbiter should or can do in such situations. Does he have any alternative?

Let me quickly report on something that happened here in 1998. In a provincial tournament in May, two international masters and one fide master were the clear favourites for the prizes in their section. The Swiss tournament had 5 rounds. In the third round one of the international master and the fide masters agreed to a draw in 6 moves. As the arbiter of the section I accepted the draw but asked the two players to play a little more if possible in the next rounds. In the 4th round the other international master and the fide master agreed to a draw in 12 moves. In the 5th round, the 2 international masters agreed to a draw in 18 moves (with no real play in my judgement). And naturally they divided the first 3 prizes among themselves.

Is there anything I should have done to prevent this? Make them continue to play their game? Just accept the results as they are presented to me? Is there any rule against this kind of "chess playing"? Should there be any? Serge Archambault, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Answer: I am aware of this practice, but it is very difficult to do much about it. The only thing I can recommend is that organizers publish a list of players who make these quick draws frequently. I know that many organizers invite players who like to fight. A list of players who arrange quick draws can be very useful for organizers.

Question: Dear Mr Gijssen: I have several questions in relation to Chess Rules: (i) What happens if, in a blitz and/or rapid game, where players are not required to keep the score, an illegal position arises? Example: It's player A's turn and they find out A has two light-squared bishops, and there have been no promotions. Both players agree in that everything was OK at

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the beginning of the game. As in blitz and rapid chess rules this case is not covered, we read "normal" chess rules and find that (Article 7.4) "the position before the irregularity shall be re-installed" or if it cannot be, "the game shall continue from the last identifiable position prior to the irregularity". Shall we go back then to the beginning of the game, or go on playing, or play a new game? Shouldn't it be specified in blitz and rapid chess rules?

(ii) In a blitz game, player A gets a pawn to the eighth rank but cannot find a queen so he takes a rook and puts it upside down and says "Queen!" His opponent B does not say anything, but when the first player moves his "queen", he claims a victory arguing that A has moved his rook as if it were a queen, and that is illegal. What happens here?

(iii) In a rapid play game both flags fall. According to B8 the

game is drawn. But can the arbiter stop the game to signal that the flags have fallen? B6 says, "the flag is considered to have fallen when a valid claim to that effect has been made by a player. The arbiter shall refrain from signalling a flag fall" What if players don't summon the arbiter and go on playing indefinitely?

(iv) A player having less than two minutes claims a draw

arguing that his opponent cannot win by "normal means". The arbiter decides to postpone his answer. Then, the non-claimant's flag falls. What is the result of the game? When does the arbiter declare the game is drawn? (a) When the player whose flag has fallen in trying to (or is able to) win; (b) When the player whose flag has fallen is no trying to (or is unable to) win; or (c) In every case.

I think it should be drawn when the position is drawn (i.e., as in "b") and that would be the result if the claimant's flag had fallen. What is your opinion?

(v) Finally, I would like to note something. In your answer to Ernesto Pereda about claims for a draw when your opponent cannot win "by normal means" you wrote, "By the way for Rapid and Blitz games these claims are not possible". Well, it is clear for Blitz games, specified in Article C5, but in Rapid games Rules article B5 allows an arbiter to "make a ruling according to either Article 4 or Article 10, only if requested by one or both players". This means that such a claim is possible. Arturo Gonzalez Pruneda, Spain

Answer: (i) In a rapid game the "normal" Laws will apply. It means that we have to go back to the situation in which the illegal move was played. I understand very well that this is almost impossible, as there is no scoresheet available. I understand also that the timetable of a tournament does not give one the possibility to play another game. The only practical solution is, in my opinion, to continue the game.

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By the way, Article 4 of the Laws of Rapidplay says: "Once each player has made three moves, no claim can be made regarding incorrect piece placement, orientation of the board and clock setting." This article is a deviation of the "normal" Laws of Chess. The reason for this deviation is the schedule of the tournament.

In a Blitz game the situation is different. Article 3 of the Blitz Game Rules says:

"Once the opponent has made his own move, an illegal move cannot be corrected." It means the game will be continued, although there was an illegal move. Therefore a game with two bishops of the same colour without promotion is possible.

(ii) I repeat what I already wrote in previous columns. If a player needs a queen after the promotion of a pawn, and a queen is not available, he may stop the clocks and asks for the arbiter's assistance. This applies for normal, rapid and blitz games.

(iii) Article B8 of the Laws of Rapidplay says:

"If both flags have fallen, the game is drawn." This Article says clearly, that the game is over. The arbiter shall interfere and announce the draw. The case when an arbiter is not present and the players continue the game after both flags have fallen, is in my opinion not likely. The total available time for the round is over and it is quite normal that the arbiter tends to the games that are still in progress. If the arbiter does not show up and the game has a result other than a draw (checkmate or a player resigns), this result stands.

(iv) I have discussed this case already in this column. It is not

covered in the Laws of Chess. Generally the claimant does not deserve to win the game.

(v) You are right. It is possible to claim a draw according to Article 10 in a rapid game.

Question: Mr Gijssen: The new layout of the Laws of Chess gave me some searching to do.

The rule regarding the late arrival of a player was clearly marked in the section of the completed game (Art 10 in the

1993

Laws). Now I find the Section Chess Clock (Art 6 in the

1997

version). Should Art 6.6 not be moved to Art 5 because

that Rule has nothing to do with the chess clock but only with the real time from the start of the game? Albert Van Camp, Belgium

Answer: The Articles 1 - 5 cover the general Rules of Play. The Articles 6 - 14 cover the Tournament Rules. It is the opinion of the Rules Committee that the late arrival of a player belongs

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with the tournament rules.

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Arbiters Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

New York 1924: The Arbiters View

This month marks the 75th Anniversary of the New York 1924 Tournament. I would like to discuss some issues from this tournament from an arbiters point of view.

I. The drawing of lots

From the beginning of my career as an arbiter, I remember very well complaints from players in Swiss tournaments, players who had to play black for a second time in a row. I told them always that at the end of the tournament the colour balance would be +1 or 1, but they insisted that they deserved to have colours alternate. Even when I explained how the pairings were made, it did not help. Of course, today everyone understands that the pairings are made by the arbiter with the help of a computer.

In a round robin tournament it is much easier. We have the Berger tables and they show clearly the pairings for each round. And they are made in such a way that almost every player alternates colours.

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I was very surprised when I read what happened in the New York 1924 tournament.

I was very surprised when I read what happened in the New York 1924 tournament. At the start of the tournament there was a normal drawing of lots. This resulted in the following draw:

1. Marshall, 2. Yates, 3. Janowsky, 4. Tartakower, 5. Bogoljubow, 6.

Capablanca, 7. Alekhine, 8. Réti, 9. Maróczy, 10. Dr. Lasker, 11. Edward Lasker.

But according to the American Chess Bulletin, these numbers, aside from their usefulness for the purpose of pairing, meant nothing in particular, except that they determined the colours of the pieces for the first half of the tournament. In the second half of course, the colours were reversed. Prior to the meeting, however, it had been decided not to follow the sequence of rounds as worked out, but to select each day by lot, fifteen minutes before the time to start play, the number of the rounds thus drawn for the round of that day. In this way, the players, as well as the public, were kept in the dark about the identity of the opponent until almost the last minute before sitting down at the board. This procedure was maintained for all of twenty-two rounds of the tournament.

When we compare the Berger tables with the actual draw, we see that the round order was:

First half: 8, 4, 5, 1, 2, 9, 7, 3, 10, 6, and 11. Second half: 12, 14, 15, 19, 17, 22, 16, 20, 18, 13, and 21.

The consequences for the players are shown in the following table:

Player

1. Marshall

2. Yates

3. Janowsky

4. Tartakower

5. Bogoljubow

6. Capablanca

7. Alekhine

8. Réti

9. Maróczy

10. Dr. Lasker

11. Edw. Lasker

Player

1. Marshall

2. Yates

First Half

w w b f w b b b w w b

w w b w b b b f w w b

w b f w b b b w w w b

w b w w b b f w w b b

b b w w b f w w w b b b b w w b w w w b b f

b b w b f w w w b b w

b f w b w w w b b b w

b w b b w w w b b f w

f w b b w w b b b w w

w w b b w b b b f w w

Second Half

f w b b b w w w w b b

b f b b b w w w w w b

4.

Tartakower

b b w b w w b w f w b

5. Bogoljubow

6. Capablanca

7. Alekhine

8. Réti

9. Maróczy

10. Dr. Lasker

11. Edw. Lasker

b b w w w w b f b w b

b b w w w f b b b w w

w b w w w b b b b f w

w w f w w b b b b b w

w w b w f b w b b b w

w w b f b b w b w b w

w b b b b w w w w b f

Each player had white five times and black five times each half.

However, look what happened to Réti. He played in the second half all his games with black in five consecutive games. I cannot believe he was very happy with this. It is, of course, possible to generate a lot of statistics. Without getting too bogged down in them, let us take a quick look:

five whites in a row: Yates.

five blacks in a row: Yates (with a free day after the second Black game)

five blacks in a row: Réti.

four whites in a row: Marshall, Bogoljubow, Dr. Lasker, Ed. Lasker.

four blacks in a row: Tartakower, Ed. Lasker.

Except for the 11th and 22nd rounds, none of the players could prepare anything for the free day, because they only knew they would be free fifteen minutes before the start of the round. In my opinion, this is a very inconvenient situation.

II. The draw rule

I have obtained a copy of the supplementary code of rules in effect for the tournament. Article 18 of this code states:

No player shall offer a draw to his opponent and all such offers shall be made through one of the Tournament Directors. No draw may be agreed upon between players before the 45th move, unless with the consent of one of the Tournament Directors.

When I read this provision, Article 10 of the current Laws of Chess came immediately to mind. And the reader knows how many columns have already been devoted to this Article. I checked in the tournament book how many games were drawn before move 45. I counted twenty such games. Three games were drawn after 46 moves. I also counted how many times each player was involved in a draw with less than 45 moves. Here is the list:

 

# of quick draws

with white

with black

Tartakower

7

2

5

Capablanca

6

2

4

Maróczy

6

1

5

Alekhine

6

3

3

Marshall

4

4

0

Ed Lasker

3

1

2

Dr. Lasker

3

3

0

Janowsky

2

2

0

Yates

2

1

1

Réti

1

1

0

Bogoljubow

0

0

0

Capablanca was involved in the two shortest draws of the tournament:

Alekhine-Capablanca, Round 12

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Qb3 Bc8 7. Nf3

e6 8. Bd3 Nc6 9. 0-0 Bd7 10. Bd2 Qb6 11. Qd1 Bd6 12. Rc1 0-0 13. Na4 Qd8 14. Nc5 Bxc5 15. Rxc5 Ne4 16. Bxe4 dxe4 17. Ne5 Nxe5 18 dxe5 ½-½

I can understand how neither of the Tournament Directors dared to force the players to continue the game.

Janowsky-Capablanca, Round 1

1.

d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 0-0 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Rc1 c6

8.

Bd3 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nd5 10. h4 f6 11. Bf4 Nxf4 12. exf4 Nb6 13. Bb3

Nd5 14. g3 Qe8 15. Qd3 Qh5 16. Bd1 Bb4 17. 0-0 Bxc3 18. bxc3 Nxf4

19. gxf4 Qg4 20 Kh1 Qh3 21 Kg1 Qg4 ½-½

III. The Emanuel Lasker affair regarding the game Capablanca-Em. Lasker (Round 14)

a. In the winter/spring of 1927 a tournament committee was organizing

the New York 1927 Tournament. And suddenly there was an incident. Apart from other subjects, like financial matters, Lasker wrote in the

American Chess Journal:

Reacting on an article in the New York Times of January 16, 1927, in which Mr.

Lederer told why Lasker will not play in the New York 1927 tournament, Lasker wrote:

Concerning the clock incident, Mr. Lederer explained, What happened is that Lasker forgot to stop his clock after one of his moves. The time was running against it and he did not notice it. I reached over and stopped his clock.

Under the current rules it is the responsibility of the players to stop the clocks. I myself had the situation arise in the second game of the 1987 Kasparov-Karpov match in Seville. Kasparov did not stop his clock and did not start his opponents clock. I noticed this, but pursuant to the Laws of Chess, I was forbidden to notify Kasparov. After about 3 minutes Kasparov discovered that his clock was still running and pressed his clock.

b. Later Lederer wrote, according to Lasker:

The clock in question was in perfect order and what actually occurred was that Mr. Lasker did not properly push the lever of his clock with the result that for about eight minutes both, his and his opponents, clock were running simultaneously. Although it is a well established rule in Tournament play that every player has to watch his own clock Mr. Lasker not only failed to push his lever but did not even notice that his clock had not stopped running. Contrary to his statement the incident was noticed not by Lasker but by an onlooker who drew the writers attention to the clock. The writer then pushed the lever for Mr. Lasker thereby protecting his interests.

If Lasker is quoting Lederer correctly, I (G.G.) do not understand Lederers actions. First he states that the player himself had to watch his clock, meaning that it is the players responsibility and then he says that he, Lederer, after a remark by one of the spectators, pushed the lever. Very strange behaviour.

c. Lasker, again quoting Lederer:

At adjournment time Mr. Lasker and the writer by adding the time registered on both clocks found that Mr. Lasker had lost about eight

minutes of his time.

It is clear that two clocks were running simultaneously, a clear defect of the clock and that it happened during eight minutes. It is common practice today for the arbiter to make a correction; today these eight minutes would be given back to the player, when it is clear that his clock was still running after he had pressed the lever.

d. Finally Dr. Lasker wrote:

Since my opponents clock ran, I did push the lever properly; a chess clock, the two sides of which can run simultaneously, is defective. A chess clock must be so constructed that only one of its sides runs, else it is no good. What happened was that I noticed after my 30th move, when according to our time piece the total time consumed was nearly four hours (the time limit was 30 moves in 2 hours G.G.) that the expected signal for adjournment was not given; I looked round, saw all the masters in deep thought and discovered that we had played only about three hours and three quarters (probably according to the wall clock or his watch G.G.). Hence I concluded that one of the two sides (or both sides G.G.) of the timing piece was too quick and after having made my 31st move, at adjournment time, asked Mr. Lederer to test the two sides. We tested and found that each side of the clock ran right; and he informed me that he thought that the two sides had run simultaneously.

e. Lasker concluded with the following remarks:

With all of this, apart from losing approximately a quarter of an hour of the time allotted for reflection, I lost about twenty minutes of the time allotted me for dinner, repose, etc. This was a heavy handicap, which showed on the 37th move. I had then about twenty minutes for nine moves, moved hastily and excitedly and blundered.

But even if I had not blundered, it was careless to a fault to hand out a defective clock, for the most important encounter of the Tournament [Standings after round 13: Dr. Lasker 9.5, Réti 8, Capablanca 7.5 G.G.]

Onlookers thought so too, who informed me that they have noticed the defect of the clock, but had been unable to interfere because they looked for Mr. Lederer in vain.

Some final observations

1. In the introduction of the tournament book Lederer wrote: I will

content myself by saying that the competition proceeded very smoothly, without any unpleasant incident whatever, and that the conduct of all connected with it was most sportsmanlike. It is a great satisfaction to me to be able to say that the members of the board of referees were not called upon to officiate throughout the tournament, and that the trifling incidents, which arose, were easily settled by the tournament directors.

2. In the tournament book published by Hermann Helms I could not find

any word about the incident.

3. The third brilliancy prize was awarded to Capablanca for his game

against Dr. Lasker.

4. My main source was #581 of the Russell Collection.

I was happy to write this article, but I am also aware there has not been enough time to investigate the Capablanca Dr. Lasker affair sufficiently. When I have time I will consider more sources for another article

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An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

Time Scrambles

In this column I would like to answer some questions from readers and also relate some anecdotes about the Karpov-Piket match recently played in Monaco.

Question: Mr Gijssen: Thank you for the opportunity to participate in suggested rule changes, in a positive way.

1. I would like to propose moving Article 10.3 into 7.4; at this

moment Article 10.3 applies only to quickplay but it should apply not only for the quickplay finish of the game but for all phases of the game. To avoid that Article 7.4 will be too long, I suggest that Article 10.3 in a new version will be Article 7.5.

2. Delete Article 11: This is the same idea as the Kashdan system

of promoting aggressive play. Deleting Article 11 would allow experimenting with other systems while allowing scoring to continue 1, 2, 0. Testing would be interesting just as we have shortened game time with shorter controls. This would allow the benefits of a fighting tournament. The public likes and wants aggressive play! Last round draws to split the money would have to be considered. Top players agreeing to draw to fight weaker ones or to gang up on players from other countries as Fischer complained would not be as enticing. This also forces a player to decide on a more aggressive line versus a drawish variation. People like to have a winner and a contest decided than a draw. Good draws will always happen; agreed draws will be less. In other sports a win and a draw count more than two draws!

3. Articles 9.2, 9.3, and 9.4: "Having the move" presently, means

whose clock is running, but if it is felt it would be clear this way, OK. See Geurt's reply on an illegal move corrected by the arbiter who does not have to wait for the player to complete the move by pressing his clock. This would maintain a consistent approach and thinking if it is not changed. I have also witnessed a player making a blunder with plenty of time left and just sit there waiting for time to run out. This is controversial, but when clearly not in the best sportsmanship manner, would allow the arbiter to ask the player what is he waiting for and imply he should press the clock to continue

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the game. When there are two rounds in a day, this would keep a player from delaying a round by not pressing his clock. I have talked about these changes with players, federation officials and people who come to watch and all like the possibilities. Sincerely, Frankie Torregrosa, Puerto Rico

Answer: 1. I agree completely with you that Article 10.2 must be moved to Article 7. This means that the player who makes an illegal move will be penalized. In case a player makes an illegal move for the third time, the arbiter shall declare the game lost by the player who played incorrectly. I have already mentioned several times in my columns that this should be changed during the FIDE Congress in 2000.

2. The text of Article 11.1 is: "A player who wins his game scores one point (1), a player who loses his game scores no points (0) and a player who his game scores a half point". Frankie's proposal is to delete this article and perhaps award 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 for a loss. In some sports they are already working according to this system, for instance in soccer. I am not sure that this change will lead to more fighting chess, but I think we have to consider another problem: how to calculate the ratings. Apart from that, the problem can be solved in a very easy way and I have the impression that many organisers may have already found this solution: do not invite players who do not show fighting spirit. There is also another way to solve the problem of quick draws. I know a tournament in which players who won a game received $400 per game, drew a game $150, and lost, $75. I can assure you that the players really fought in this tournament.

3. Pressing the clock is still the responsibility of each player. I was told that in the 1951 Botvinnik-Bronstein, Botvinnik took the position before the start of the match that the arbiter should inform the player when he failed to press the clock. In the last Amber tournament GM Loek Van Wely informed his opponent GM Boris Gelfand that he forgot to press his clock. Very fair behaviour. The problem with the Laws of Chess is that they always describe an ideal situation: one game, two players and an arbiter. The Laws do not say how to solve problems in tournaments of 200 players and only 4 or 5 arbiters. In principle, I agree that the arbiter should inform a player that he made a move without pressing the clock,

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but I see practical problems in big tournaments. On the other hand, in games applying the Fischer modus there is a need to press the clock, because after the clock has been pressed, time will be added.

Question: Dear Geurt: One of your articles at The Chess Cafe contains an answer to a reader's query which puzzles me. You state the purpose of Article 10 is to protect the player with the better position. I don't think this is true. If he claims a draw, then the player with an inferior position will accept the draw or gamble on a gross blunder being made.

The purpose is to protect the player with the inferior position who has little time left, but who may have a totally drawn position. A good example might be bare king against king and two knights. You have only seconds left. Of course it would be possible to lose. You should claim a draw and I am certain both you and I would award it a draw.

We did discuss the matter of a different rule for blitz chess from Article 10. If you remember, we were extremely unclear about whether to include Article 10 for blitz. Eventually we decided against interference. Then we introduced C4 as an amelioration of the problem. We accept that a player can play on with king and rook against king and rook, although no doubt we dislike it. I think C4 might eventually appear in the standard Laws, but I don't think the world was ready in 1996. I thought the same of 6.9 and 9. 6. but have been proven wrong I am moving towards 10.2(d) If the opponent subsequently wished to accept the draw effectively offered by the player when claiming a draw, then he may do so, provided the game is still in progress.

If the player wishes to withdraw his claim of a draw, he may do so before stopping his clock. The opponent shall then be awarded an extra two (perhaps five?) minutes thinking time. This is just the rough idea. The final wording needs cleaning up.

Your series is excellent. Stewart Reuben, London (UK)

Answer: It is possible to have a very long discussion about who is protected by Article 10.2. Let us read again the relevant part of Article 10.2: "If the player has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall stop the

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clocks and summon the arbiter. (a). If the arbiter is satisfied the opponent is making no effort to win the game by normal means, or that it is impossible to win by normal means, then he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise he shall postpone his decision."

This article says, in my opinion, that the player who is short of time will be protected. And I am still wondering whether it is correct to protect a player who has an inferior position. Your suggestion to add the above mentioned article 10.2d to the Laws of Chess is very interesting and I would like to discuss this in the Rules Committee.

Question: Mr. Gijssen Thank you for a very interesting and educational column. I occasionally direct some fairly small (40-50 players) scholastic events. Recently the following event occurred: White made a move, which placed Black in stalemate. Black, unaware either that the position was a stalemate or ignorant of the stalemate rule, looked at the board, shrugged, and resigned. White reported that he had won the game. Some time later, but before the next round was paired, Black's father (who as it turns out is also the coach for Black's school team) came to me and told what happened. After gathering together both players and their coaches, I determined that the above scenario is what actually happened. I scored the game as a draw, based on the idea that at the point in time the stalemate occurred, the game ended, and therefore Black's subsequent resignation was irrelevant, since it occurred after the end of the game. I disregarded the fact that the actual events were reported by Black's father and coach, feeling that it was most important to get the correct result. Was I correct in my handling of this event, or how should I have handled it? Regards, David Surratt, Walla Walla (USA)

Answer: Article 5.2 says: "The game is drawn when the player to move has no legal move and his king is not in check. The game is said to end in 'stalemate'. This immediately end the game"

This last sentence means that nothing that happens after the stalemate is relevant. The game is over and a draw. Your decision was completely correct.

From February 21 to March 2 there was in Monaco an 8-game match between Anatoly Karpov and Jeroen Piket. All games were drawn. I can imagine that many chess players thought it was a very

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boring match: only draws. But I can assure them it was one of the most exciting matches I ever arbitrated. By move 30, White would have an advantage, but when Zeitnot ended, an equal position had arisen. The most piquant game was probably game 7.

White: J. Piket Black: A. Karpov 1 d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3 Bb7 5. Nc3 d5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. Bd2 Nd7 8. Qc2 Be7 9. e4 Nxc3 10. Bxc3 0-0 11. 0-0-0 Qc8 12. h4 Rd8 13. Rh3 Nf8 14. h5 c5 15. Rg3 cxd4 16. Nxd4 Bf6 17. Nb5 Rxd1+ 18. Qxd1 Qc5 19. Qg4 Bxc3 20. Nxc3 Qd4 21. Qf4 Rc8 22. Bd3 Nd7 23. h6 g6 24. Bc2 Qe5 25. Qd2 Nf6 26. Rd3 Kf8 27. f3 g5 28. Kb1 Ke7 29. Ba4 Bc6

At this moment Piket had 3 minutes and Karpov 44 seconds left on the clock.

30.

Bxc6 Rxc6 31. Rd8 a6 32. Ra8 Rd6 33. Qe2 b5 34. Qe3 Nd7

35.

Ra7 Kf6 36. g3 Kg6 37. f4 Qd4 38. Qe1 (See Diagram)

Piket had at this moment 1 minute and Karpov 2 seconds. It is clear that Karpov wins the

game by taking the rook on a7, but he played the 'short' move

Qd3. 38

game he told that he had seen 38 overstep the time by making this 'long' move.

Immediately after the

Qxa7,

but he was very afraid to

Qd3+ 38

39. Ka1 Qd4 40. Rc7 Qd3 41. e5 Rd4 (See Diagram)

What happened at this time is for me still a mystery. I watched Karpov's clock, saw his flag falling, said immediately "STOP", the players stopped playing, but I discovered that Piket had made the last move but his clock was running. What had happened is probably that at the moment I said:"STOP", Karpov had pressed the clock and Piket made his 42nd move at that very moment. This move was a blunder, because 42. Rc8 wins immediately.

42. fxg5 b4 43. axb4 Rxb4 44. Qf2 Kxg5 45. Qxf7 Ra4+ 46. Nxa4

Qd1+ 47. Ka2 Qxa4+ 48. Kb1 Qe4+ 49. Rc2 Qe1+. Draw.

After the game I had a very interesting discussion with Karpov. I told him, that he had lost the game if Piket's move fxg5 had been the 41st move instead of the 42nd. Karpov agreed that in this situation he would not have completed his 40th move, but, according to Karpov, Piket lost the right to claim a win by making his next move. I disagreed with him, but his opinion is very interesting.

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In Yerevan 1996 we discussed who is responsible for calling a flag fall. The player or the arbiter. It was decided that in "normal" games the arbiter should call it, but in rapid and blitz games it is the exclusive responsibility of the players.

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An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

All the King's Horses

From the 2nd until the 9th of May there was a very interesting tournament in Arnhem (Netherlands). It was a double round robin tournament and the participants were Korchnoy, Sadler, Nijboer and Xie Jun. For several reasons, I will remember this tournament for a very long time.

There were 12 games in this tournament and there were only 3 draws. I think that 75% of the games being decided is really remarkable. I will also remember that Korchnoy did not draw at all; he won four games and analysed these games very extensively with his opponents, but he disappeared immediately after his two lost games (Sadler and Xie Jun beat him).

But strangely enough one of the three drawn games was probably

the most interesting one. I refer to the game Nijboer-Sadler, played

in the fifth

following position appeared on the board (See Diagram):

After 63

White: Ka5; pawn - f4 Black: Kc5, Nb6, Nf5

Nxb6

the

Players familiar with endgame study literature will recognise immediately one of the positions described by Troitzky and Ch‚ron. Donner Also wrote about this ending; you may find his lengthy article in "The King".

Nijboer took a second scoresheet and wrote "114". Sadler came to me and asked me how many moves he has for this ending. I informed him that he had 50 moves.

The literature indicates that this ending is won when the pawn is blocked on one of the following squares: a5, b3, c4, d5, e5, f4, g3, h5. So one of the conditions to win this ending is already fulfilled. The "only" problem is to mate the white king within 50 moves.

I am not a strong chess player, but I understood that the initial position was very good for white, because the white king is already at the edge of the board. In the game continuation, Black forced the white king to a8 (very good), then to h8 (not good) and finally to h2 (but too late).

After 113

Ne3 the position was (See Diagram):

White:

Kh2; pawn - f4

Black:

Kf3, Ne3, Nf2

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After 113

Ne3 Nijboer informed me that he intended to play 114

Kf1 and that he was claiming draw. He wrote this move on his scoresheet. Of course, I agreed and Sadler also agreed, but

according to Article 9.3(b) of the Laws of Chess White could

already claim the draw after 113 next move.

Ne3, without announcing his

The text of Article 9.3(b) is: The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, if the last 50 consecutive moves have been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without the capture of any piece.

Recently I received several letters on the same subject.

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: Let me first congratulate you on your unique and highly interesting column! I am curious about the current status of the rule that stated "if 50 consecutive moves occur without a capture or pawn move, the game is drawn". I believe computer analysis has shown that endgames previously thought drawn are now known to be winning, e.g.:

(a) R + B vs. R Win in 56 moves at most. (b) B + N vs. N Win,

there is no fortress defence as thought earlier.

My source for (a) and (b) is Jon Speelman's book "Endgame Preparation", (1989 reprint). He says that in both the above positions, the attacker has 100 moves to win.

I would be grateful if you could clarify the rule. Also, has any win been found in the ending 2 knights versus lone king? Santhosh Matthew (India)

Answer: In the FIDE Laws of Chess, published in 1984 and 1988, you will find that the 50-move rule is extended to 75 moves for the following positions:

(a) King + Rook + Bishop against King + Rook; (b) King + 2

Knights against King + pawn; (c) King + Queen + pawn one square from promotion against King + Queen; (d) King + Queen against

King + 2 Knights; (e) King + Queen against King + 2 Bishops; and

(f) King + 2 Bishops against King + Knight

In 1992 during the FIDE Congress in Manila the Rules Committee suggested establishing one rule for all endings: 50 moves. The General Assembly of FIDE approved this. The same happened in 1996 during the congress in Yerevan.

I would like to mention that the Laws of Chess apply to over-the- board-play. This means, for instance, that study composers may ignore the 50-move rule.

Concerning your last question, it is still impossible to mate a King with two lone Knights. By the way, there is a nice story about this ending. In the Zurich 1953 Candidates tournament this ending

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appeared on the board in the game Kotov - Najdorf. After move 50 the following position arose (See Diagram:

White:

Kf4, Nf4, Ng6

Black:

Ke6

"Now Kotov maliciously announced that he intended to play on, to see whether Najdorf might blunder into being mated inside fifty moves. Najdorf complained wildly to the tournament committee against the idea of a Grandmaster being subjected to such an

indignity; and finally Kotov agreed to the draw

World Championship Candidates' Tournament, published by Chess, Sutton Coldfield, England, 1953/54). Another version says that Kotov informed Najdorf that a Russian chessplayer had found a way to win this ending. Najdorf was shocked, but then Kotov told him that he was joking.

!

(B.H. Wood, The

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: A question about the 50-move rule - When assembling a collection of games with knight + bishop vs. bare king endings, I found the following curious game: Milos Jirovsky (2435) - Stefan Neidig (2260) Pardubice Open 1998 1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. d4 Nbd7 7. Qc2 c5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nc3 Nxc3 10. bxc3 cxd4 11. cxd4 Nb6 12. Bd2 Bd7 13. Ba5 Bc6 14. e3 Bd6 15. Rfc1 Rc8 16. Qe2 Bc7 17. Rab1 Be4 18. Rb5 Bc6 19. Rbc5 Qe7 20. Qe1 Bd6 21. R5c2 Ba3

22. Bxb6 axb6 23. Ra1 Ba4 24. Rxc8 Rxc8 25. Ne5 Bc2 26. Qe2

Qc7 27. Qb5 f6 28. Nd7 Qc3 29. Rf1 Bd3 30. Qxb6 Bxf1 31.

Qxe6+ Kh8 32. Bxf1 Qc6 33. Qf7 Rd8 34. Bh3 Qd6 35. Qb3 b6

36.

Qb5 g6 37. Qb3 Kg7 38. Qa4 Bb2 39. Qa7 Kh6 40. Nxb6 Bxd4

41.

exd4 Qxd4 42. a4 Qc5 43. Bd7 f5 44. Qa6 f4 45. Qb5 Qd4 46.

h4 fxg3 47. Qg5+ Kg7 48. Qe7+ Kh6 49. Qe3+ Qxe3 50. fxe3 Kh5

51. a5 Rb8 52. e4 Rb7 53. e5 Ra7 54. e6 Rxa5 55. e7 Re5 56.

e8=Q Rxe8 57. Bxe8 Kxh4 58. Kg2 Kg4 59. Nd5 Kf5 60. Kxg3 Ke5 61. Ne3 h5 62. Kh4 Kf4 63. Nd5+ Ke5 64. Ne7 g5+ 65. Kxg5 h4 66. Ng6+ Ke4 67. Bd7 h3 68. Bxh3 (See Diagram)

68 Kd4 69. Kf4 Kd5 70. Bf5 Kd4 71. Ne7 Kc4 72. Ke5 Kc3 73.

Kd5 Kb3 74. Kd4 Kb4 75. Be6 Kb5 76. Bd5 Kb6 77. Kc4 Kc7 78.

Kc5 Kd7 79. Nf5 Ke8 80. Kd6 Kf8 81. Ke6 Kg8 82. Kf6+ Kf8 83. Bc6 Kg8 84. Ne7+ Kf8 85. Ng6+ Kg8 86. Bd5+ Kh7 87. Bc4 Kh6

88.

Bg8 Kh5 89. Ne5 Kh4 90. Kf5 Kg3 91. Bb3 Kf2 92. Kf4 Ke2

93.

Ke4 Kd2 94. Kd4 Kc1 95. Kc3 Kb1 96. Nf3 Kc1 97. Nd4 Kb1

98.

Nc2 Kc1 99. Ba2 Kd1 100. Nd4 Ke1 101. Kd3 Kf2 102. Bf7

Kg3 103. Ke4 Kg4 104. Ne6 Kg3 105. Bh5 Kf2 106. Kf4 Kg2 107. Ng5 Kf2 108. Bf3 Kf1 109. Ke3 Ke1 110. Ne6 Kf1 111. Nf4 Ke1 112. Nd3+ Kf1 113. Kf4 Kg1 114. Kg3 Kf1 115. Bg4 Kg1 116. Be2 Kh1 117. Nf4 Kg1 118. Nh3+ Kh1 119. Bf3# «-« Most fascinating is the fact that the game ended with 119. Bf3 checkmate, but nevertheless the score was «-« !

This might be because of the 50-move rule: at move 68 - Bxh3 - the last pawn was captured. The move 119. Bf3# is the 51st after that! Now my question: I suppose that 119.Bf3# was actually played on the board. Is it legal for the checkmated player to claim

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"post mortem" a draw according to the 50-move rule? Dr. Guenther Ossimitz (Austria)

Answer: What really happened here is a mystery to me. But let us have a look at the game. At White's 68th move the last capture was made. Black's 68th move is the first move we have to take into account when applying the 50-move rule. After White's 118th move both players had completed 50 moves without moving a pawn or capturing a piece. At that moment Black, who has the move, may have claimed a draw pursuant to Article 9.3b. There was also another way to claim for the same result: He may stop the clocks, write on his scoresheet Kh1, declare to the arbiter that he intends to make this move, which results in the last 50 moves having been made by each player without the movement of a pawn and without the capture of any piece.

The player who has the move may claim the draw. Article 9.4 is also relevant. It states that if the player makes a move without having claimed the draw, he loses the claim, as in Article 9.2 and 9.3, on that move.

It is clear that claiming a draw afterwards is not possible. What

probably happened is the following: The game was played on an electronic board and before the arbiter could interfere, White played 119 Bh3. The computer registered this move and it was also published in the bulletin. Therefore, when in a tournament where the games are played on electronic boards, the players have to leave the final position on the board. Otherwise it is very difficult to find out what the real moves are.

Question: Mr. Gijssen: The FIDE laws allow for an extension to the 50-move rule provided that a list of special situations is

announced at the beginning of the tournament. Would you use such

a list or stick rigorously to a 50-move maximum (the basic rule)?

Where can I find such a list of special situations? Michel Arsenault (Canada)

Answer: Such a list existed until 1992. The consequence is that each arbiter has to stick to a maximum of 50 moves.

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An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

The Right Hand

In this Arbiter's Notebook I will again answer questions from readers of The Chess Caf‚.

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: What happens in the following case? Player A offers a draw to player B. Before player B can accept the offer his flag falls and player A claims a win. However, player B says that the draw offer is still valid and accepts the draw. Is this game a draw or a win for A? Dennis Breuker (The Netherlands)

Answer: The game is a win for player A. Article 6.9 says: "If a player does not complete the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, the game is lost by the player. However the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most unskilled counterplay."

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: I write to congratulate you for your excellent column, maybe the only place where chess arbiters can share our opinions, and get a fresh update of the discussions of the rules committee.

My suggestion is making a condensed table of the rules that includes the most practical rules in each time control. We can use it for easy reference, and even distribute it to the players, as there is a dismal lack of knowledge of the rules, even among very experienced players. In my opinion, such table should include 4 columns 1. Normal and Fischer clock; 2. Quickplay finish; 3. Rapidplay; and 4. Blitz.

The issues suggested are: 1. Time allotted; 2. Three repetitions of a position; 3. 50 moves without movement of pawn nor capture; 4. Illegal move; 5. Arbiter should interfere to point a flag fallen; 6. Minimum material to claim a win in time; 7. Possibility of claiming draw for a player short in time with winning position (example: a full piece ahead in the middlegame); and 8. Possibility of claiming a draw for a player short in time in a clearly drawn position. (Any other suggestions?)

With this table, most of the doubts could be easily answered, and the players soon will get a better understanding of the rules. Besides, this could point up some of the inconsistencies of the current chess rules. In my opinion, there are two clear ones:

1. The "minimum material" to win on time is far more liberal in slower time controls than in fast ones. In my opinion, the rule used in blitz (possibility of forcing mate in the next move) is the best for all the tournaments. 2. The player can claim a draw for issues numbers 7 and 8 (above), in quickplay finish and Rapidplay, but

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not in blitz. This should be corrected in the next rules. The proposal of IA Keles looks like a good practical possibility, even though I would like one only rule for quickplay finish, Rapidplay and blitz. Still, I think Keles' proposal is better suited to the dynamic of the blitz tournaments.

If you can post that table (and even including in the preface to the rules), it would be a great help. IA Eduardo Sauceda (Mexico)

Answer: Your idea is very good. I intend to make such a table and, after it has been approved by the Rules Committee, I will publish it.

Question: Thank you for your most excellent column - a must for all organisers and players. I played in a Rapidplay tournament this last weekend and was involved in two incidents in successive rounds. In round 3, I was winning, as white, a bishop v knight ending. (See Diagram)

White: Kh5, Bd3; pawns - a4, g4 Black: Kc5, Ne5; pawns - a5, b6

Black had stopped the clocks with 2 minutes left and claimed a draw. The game continued, all the time White was playing for a win and indeed was winning, the winning procedure being to keep

the bishop on the f1-a6 diagonal, push the g-pawn, and force Black to sacrifice the Knight. Black had the very bare minimum of time left here, but White made the incredible error 1 Bc2? Black then

played 1

pawn on b5 and the Black flag fell. If he had had time to play

another move, he would undoubtedly have played 3

draw ensues. However White has mating material on the board.

Nxg4

2. Kxg4 b5 and claimed a draw. White took the

Kxb5 and a

For me what was significant was that all of the time I had playing for a win, at no stage were moves repeated (in retrospect this might have been an easier option in view of Black chronic time shortage, though 1. Bf1 might have induced resignation). So because White makes one slack move, Black gets a draw; what is to stop Black making one too - however unlikely? The TD was very poor (this was agreed upon by most players) and seemed incapable of making a decision. Unfortunately other players became involved, which the TD should not have allowed, and certainly a lot of bad feeling was aroused (but not between the two players themselves). The TD ruled a draw.

In the next round a mutual time scramble occurred. My flag fell, my opponent had a little time left when a schoolboy spectator pointed out that I had lost on time. I was very annoyed and stated that I was not prepared to accept a loss as my opponent's flag might have fallen. My opponent suggested that both players be given two extra minutes. The TD, in his wisdom, awarded me a zero! I later discovered that this same TD had, the week before, awarded a draw to a two-fold repetition! He is apparently a qualified TD but is short on experience. Was I unlucky, stupid or should I have had

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more points from this unfortunate double? Laurence Ball (South Africa)

Answer: Let us analyse what happened in the third-round game. First of all, one of the players stopped the clocks and claimed a draw, apparently using Article 10 of the Laws of Chess. A player

has the right to claim such a draw, also in rapid games, but this is a very clear case where the arbiter should postpone his decision. I understand that the arbiter ordered the game to continue. This was

a correct decision. The game continued and then we had the

following position: White: Kg4, Bc2, pawn b5 Black: Kc5, pawn a5. Black has the move and at this moment his flag fell. After Kxb5 the position is a draw. I myself would also have declared the game a draw. The arbiter's decision was completely correct.

The incident in the fourth round is also interesting. Signalling a flag fall is the responsibility of the player. Even the arbiter shall refrain from it. Unfortunately an innocent (?) schoolboy pointed out that your flag had fallen and your opponent claimed a win. I understand that you were very annoyed, because the game is a draw when your opponent's flag has fallen as well. If there was enough time for another game, my decision would have been to play another game, even with less time on the clocks for both players. If this is impossible - and in rapid tournaments this is often the case - I do not see another decision other than that which the TD made. I agree with his decision, although I must say that I can see how this made you feel very unhappy.

Question: Dear Mr Gijssen: Thank you for your outstanding Chess Caf‚ column and especially your attempts to inform arbiters of the many pitfalls of Rule 10.2. On Stewart Reuben's comments about who the rule is meant to protect, I have had some players with clearly won positions forced to claim draws under Rule 10.2 after their opponents (who were in win-or-nothing positions in the event) refused draw offers. If the arbiter defers his decision and the claimant's flag later falls, what (apart from the final position and the game up to then) do you think the arbiter should take into account in making a final decision?

Firstly, should the claimant be allowed to say why his opponent couldn't win the final position by "normal means"? I am wary of this because any analysis the claimant presents might have been done after flag fall. Secondly, is it fair to take the claimant's playing strength into account? In a club event there was a claim by White (with 40 seconds left), to move, in this position (See Diagram):

White: Kf1, Ba3 Black: Kh3; pawns - f3, g3.

I knew, even before White claimed, that after 1.Bd6, Black could

make no progress. Even after 1. Bc5 White can still force a draw. Doubting that White would see 1. Bd6, I deferred my decision and White played 1. Kg1 f2+ 2. Kf1 g2+ 3.Kxf2 Kh2 4.Bd6+ Kh1 0-1.

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But what if White had claimed earlier and his flag had then fallen in the starting position above? Should such positions be ruled drawn in GM tournaments where players would (hopefully) draw routinely, but not in much lower level chess where many players would lose whatever their time situation? Kevin Bonham (Australia)

Answer: Let me digress briefly. I remember the Olympiad in Yerevan 1996 very well. The time limit in this Olympiad was 40 moves in 2 hours, then 20 moves in 1 hour and finally 30 minutes for the remaining moves. In the third phase of the game we used an Article like Article 10 of the current rules. Every time there was a claim for a draw, GM Yuri Averbakh, probably the greatest expert of endgames - and a good friend of mine - had to rush over and to decide whether it was a draw or not. He took a chair, sat down, investigated the position, did not move any piece and after several minutes he said: "Draw". In almost all cases his decision was accepted. To be honest, I was surprised and I disagreed, as there were several positions in which both players could make a lot of mistakes and the final result in this cases should not have been a draw. What I want to say is, as long there are still possibilities to make blunders, the arbiter should not declare the game draw.

Now to your question: If the starting position you described above was the position at the moment of the flag fall, I would not declare the game a draw, unless the situation on the board had not changed during the last, let us say, 15 moves. The level of the players is not important, but the moves, made before the flag has fallen, are the first criterion.

Question: I played in a non-USCF sponsored league in New York. We had a dispute a few weeks ago: A teammate stopped recording his game as the game got interesting. He had recorded about 16 moves and then 16 moves later he had checkmated his opponent. The game was not even close to the time limit. His opponent claimed that the game was invalid. My teammate said he was just "caught up" in the game. What would you rule in this matter? Thomas Sroczynski (USA)

Answer: Checkmate finishes a game. This means the result stands. But I would like to make several observations. First of all, the opponent should, during the game, go to the arbiter and should demand that the arbiter require the player to record the moves. Secondly, the arbiter also did not do his job. Article 13.1 says that the arbiter shall see that the Laws of Chess are strictly observed; one of the Laws is that the players must record the moves. In this context I would like to mention Article 8.2: The scoresheet shall be visible to the arbiter at all times.

Question: I have a question that perhaps you can answer for me. A friend of mine and I were playing a series of 3-minute games against each other. In one game I got ahead and was one move away from mating with 2 seconds to show on my clock. When my friend pushed the clock, I completed the mating move and then the

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clock ran out. My friend said that he won because the clock ran out. I said I won because I completed the move with one second left on the clock and the mate makes the clock immaterial. If this had occurred in a tournament, what would have been the ruling? Jose Olivera Jr. [COUNTRY??]

Answer: First, please allow me to correct you on one point. You

wrote that you completed your move. The definition of completing

a move is: you make the move, you stop your clock and you start

your opponent's clock. You mean that you made your move, this move mated your opponent's king and you did not press the clock. In this situation the clock is indeed immaterial, because a checkmate finishes the game immediately. The same is also the case when stalemate occurs.

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: I would like to know about the FIDE laws concerning rapid chess - one hour per person per game. How many rounds can be organized in a day? How do you think this kind of tournament should be organized? Abdul Karim (Pakistan)

Answer: From 1 January 1999 FIDE established FIDE Rapid

Rating Regulations. These regulations were sent to the federations.

I quote from these regulations:

1. For a game to be rated each player must have 15 to 59 minutes

in which to complete all the moves. 2. Alternatively a rate of play such as: all the moves in 10 minutes but each time a player makes

a move an additional 10 seconds is added to the clock time. In

principal, the initial time plus the add-on time for 60 moves must be at least 15 minutes. 3. The most usual rates of play are: all the moves in 25 or 30 minutes; or, all the moves in 20 or 25 minutes, adding on 10 or 20 seconds each time a move is made. 4. The FIDE Laws of Chess Annex B. 5. Smoking is banned. 6. Amount of chess permitted per day: a total playing time of no more than 12 hours. 7. Duration: A period not greater than 30 days, unless agreed beforehand with the administrator. 8. Unplayed games are not counted.

You will find the answer to your question in No. 6.

Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen: In a University blitz tournament I witnessed the following incident: Player A used his right hand to capture player B's piece, put his (A's) piece with his right hand to the destination square but at the same time removed the captured piece with his left hand. Then he pressed the clock with his right hand. (So he only used his left hand to remove the captured piece, but did everything else with his right hand). Player B told him:

"This is not allowed, don't do this again". Later player A did the same thing a second time and was again blamed in the same way by player B. When player B's position was hopeless some moves later, player A again used his left hand to remove a captured piece. Player B stopped the clock and replied: "Now the game is lost for you. I have told you twice not to do this." And he insisted to get

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the full point for his (according to the position lost) game. Player A replied: "No, this is not correct. If I have done anything wrong, then the arbiter can only add a minute to my opponent's clock (to compensate him for the loss of time by my behaviour) or reduce my time by a minute. In both cases this will be by far enough to deliver checkmate." Player B insisted on getting the full point straight away, put the pieces together and said: "There is no further discussion".

Now my questions: 1) Is one really not allowed to use the non-clock hand to remove captured pieces? I remember seeing even some grandmasters blitzing and doing this. Article 4.1 says:

"Each move must be made with one hand only." So does this apply also to removing the captured piece or only to the piece that is moved to another square? 2) If it is not allowed, what is the punishment in a blitz tournament for this? Was player B right to claim a win after three of these incidents? Or was player A right with the time punishments and the game should go on? Or what else? Achim Engelhart (Germany)

Answer: You have already quoted Article 4.1: Each move must be made with one hand only. I would also like to call your attention to Article 6.7b: A player must stop his clock with the same hand as that with which he made his move. These two Articles are very clear. Even castling must now be done with one hand.

About the punishment, it is the arbiter, not the player who decides.

It is up to the arbiter which kind of penalty he will impose. Article

13.4 says: Penalties open to the arbiter include: a) a warning b) increasing the remaining time of the opponent c) reducing the remaining time of the offending player d) declaring the game to be lost e) expulsion from the event. In the example you described, I would increase the remaining time of the opponent and reduce the remaining time of the offending player, if there is a claim from one of the players.

Question: Dear Mr Gijssen: According to the new laws of chess

after an illegal move by the opponent in a blitz game one can claim

a win. Why is it no longer allowed to hit the king; this law had

worked well for many years? What happens if the player does hit the king? R. Coenjaerts (The Netherlands)

Answer: Please refer to the very first Arbiter's Notebook for the answer to this question.

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An Arbiter's Notebook by Geurt Gijssen

J'adoube

Question Dear Mr Gijssen: My question is if it is possible to readjust the pieces, even using j'adoube, when your opponent is thinking? Is there a penalty for a player who keeps adjusting the pieces a lot of times, with the clear intent to disturb his opponent? David Borensztajn (Brazil)

Answer Let me quote Article 4.2: "Provided that he first expresses his intention (e.g. by saying "j'adoube"), the player having the move may adjust one or more pieces on their squares." One thing is already very clear: A player may adjust the pieces only when it is his move. When a player adjusts the pieces on his opponent's time, the arbiter has to penalise the player. The penalty depends how serious the disturbance is. Normally I would compensate the player who was disturbed.

The penalties are described in Article 13.4 of the Laws of Chess:

(a) warning; (b) increasing the remaining time of the disturbed player; (c) reducing the remaining time of the offending player; (d) declaring the game to be lost; and (e) expulsion of the offending player from the tournament. But in my opinion this is not the end of the story. Even when a player adjusts the pieces "on his own time" frequently, I might also consider this disturbing the opponent and proceed as mentioned above.

Question Dear Geurt: I wonder if you could clarify the rules relating to pawn promotion in the common case that a player, short of time in a blitz finish, does not physically replace his pawn, on its arrival at the eighth rank, with the piece of his choice, but instead says "queen" and continues to play. This can obviously get very confusing, with the "queen" moving all round the board, but it is nevertheless common practice. Is it acceptable within the rules, and can the other player object to the practice and insist on the correct procedure? If so, how would one do so? Ed Horton (United Kingdom)

Answer Article 6.12.b is valid for blitz games also: "A player may stop the clocks in order to seek the arbiter's assistance." I reiterate what I have previously written: if a queen is not available, apply his Article. See also my answer to question 6 of this column.

Pierre Denommee, (Canada) submitted a large group of very interesting questions and observations. Although somewhat unusual, the rest of the questions in this month's column are from him. In my opinion, they are very useful for and should be considered in whole or in part by the next FIDE congress. In that regard, I would like to encourage every chess player and arbiter to send his remarks about the Laws of Chess to me at The Chess Cafe.

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Question Dear Mr. Gijssen: Article 4.4 (c) looks strange. If a player, intending to castle, touches the king or king and a rook at the same time, but castling on that side is illegal, the player must choose either to castle on the other side, provided that castling on that side is legal, or to move his king. If the king has no legal move, the player is free to make any legal move.

All moves are supposed to be made with one hand, so if a player touches both king and rook at the same time by using a single hand he is spreading his fingers, something which I have never seen in real life.

Answer I understand your remark, but I think you have to consider the text of this Article from the perspective of the history of the Laws of Chess. Before 1997, the Laws said that castling may be done with two hands. And, although it is now forbidden to do this with both hands, there are still some players who continue to do this. So that a player who does this will not be required to move his rook, the Rules Committee decided to implement this article.

Question Article 5.2 says: "The game is drawn when the player to move has no legal move and his king is not in check. The game is said to end in 'stalemate'. This immediately ends the game."

The stalemating move does not need to be legal; this is incorrect as the move immediately ends the game making it impossible to make an illegal move claim because such claim must be made during a game. (This one is already in The Chess Cafe Arbiter's Notebook Archives.)

Article 9.6 says: "The game is drawn when a position is reached from which a checkmate cannot occur by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most unskilled play. This immediately ends the game."

Same problem - if there is a black queen on h8, a black king on a8, a white knight on a1 and a white king on h1. Instead of resigning white simply play Nxh8!! and the game is automatically drawn. It is too late to claim the illegal move.

In both cases I would not allow the draw, but a player in love with the letter of the law might make an appeal hoping to find an appeal committee that share its feeling toward the letter of the law. The laws of chess should be modified to specify that the last move of a game must be legal, if it is not, the opponent should be given a sufficient amount of time for making a claim.

Answer You are right. By the way, the Rules Committee recognised the problem in case of checkmate. Article 5.1 a) says:

"The game is won by the player who has checkmated his opponent's king with a legal move. This immediately ends the game."

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Under the old Laws there was a very well known example: 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Qxf7 mate. Checkmate immediately ends the game. I

agree with you; in Articles 5.2 and 5.4 we have to add: " legal move."

with a

Question In the case of a promotion, if the piece is not immediately available the player must stop the clocks and summon the arbiter. It is not specified where the arbiter should place the piece that he gives to the player. I have heard of one case in which the arbiter removed the pawn and put the new queen directly on the promotion square before restarting the clocks; the player then punched his clock having only one second left. It was clear that if the arbiter had placed the queen on the table and did not remove the pawn, as many other arbiters do, the player's flag would have

fallen before the player had the time to put the queen on the board.

It is also unclear whether or not the player has the right to remove

the pawn after stopping both clocks.

There is nothing in the Laws that prevents a player from placing

the queen on the board before the arbiter restarts the clocks. When

a player has two seconds on his clock and the promotion is on the

40th move, the exact distance from the promotion square to the position where the arbiter has placed the queen becomes crucial if the arbiter is quick to restart the clocks. I think that instead of being left to the discretion of the arbiter, the procedure should be standardised because it can have a direct impact on the result of a game. I suggest adding an article 6.12 (d): When the game is interrupted (both clocks stopped), no legal move or portion of legal move can be done by either player. I also suggest that the player should remove the pawn before stopping the clocks and that the queen should always be put on the promotion square because this prevent players with fast hands from gaining an undeserved advantage.

Answer In my opinion the correct procedure is: 1.The player plays the pawn to the last rank and, if the desired piece is not available, he stops the clocks. 2.He summons the arbiter and informs him about the piece he needs. 3.The arbiter gives the piece to the player and the player himself places the piece on the board. 4.The arbiter starts the clock.

I would like to make two additional remarks: 1. In top-level

tournaments and matches it is normal that spare queens are on the playing table from the start of the round. 2. When I, as an arbiter, see that a pawn is on the penultimate rank and a queen is not available on this board, I stay around this board with a queen in my pocket. I do not place this queen on the table, but wait until the player asks for it. 3. Article 6.12 c) says: "The arbiter shall decide when the game is to be restarted." Neither the player himself or the opponent decides this; it means that usually the arbiter shall start the clock after an interruption. But I am not sure that this or another procedure will be a part of the Laws of Chess (see Preface to the Laws of Chess).

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Question Article 6.13 says: "If an irregularity occurs and/or the pieces have to be restored to a previous position, the arbiter shall use his best judgement to determine the times to be shown on the clocks." I suggest adding that the arbiter should also readjust the clock's move counter, if the operation is possible for the clock used in the competition.

Answer I agree.

Question Article 7.3 says: "If a player displaces one or more pieces, he shall re-establish the correct position on his own time. If necessary the opponent has the right to restart the player's clock without making a move in order to make sure the player re-establishes the correct position on his own time."

This article looks troublesome to me because when the opponent's clock is restarted a move will be wrongly added by the clock's internal move-counter. The game will require an interruption for clock reprogramming, possibly at a very bad moment during a time-pressure situation. This may look like a minor nuisance as the game could continue anyway because the move-counter is not official and cannot be used to support a claim, but it is a major problem because the extra time of the next time control will be added one move too soon, possibly preventing a player from overstepping the time limit. Another annoying problem is that 30 seconds will be added to the clocks of both players as a result of this procedure. Under article 7.4 the arbiter has the right to readjust the clocks when pieces have been accidentally displaced but this causes another problem: a player in time-pressure might be tempted to deliberately displace some pieces (it would be very hard to prove the unethical intent); if the clock are not readjusted (a violation of Article 13.1) he has unfairly gained 30 seconds (and one move because the move counter has been fooled); if they are adjusted, the arbiter will probably take more than 30 seconds to make the adjustment, a time during which the guilty player will continue to think about his next move. I think that a time penalty should be included in the laws to discourage such behaviour. There is a penalty in article 10 for illegal moves during quickplay finish, but nothing for accidentally displacing pieces. Before the advent of move-counting clocks it was a great idea to restart the opponent's clock without making a move because this could be done without calling an arbiter. Actually it might be better to remove this article and force the player to call an arbiter.

Answer Article 10.3 about penalties in case of an illegal move is now part of Article 10 (Quickplay Finish). It means that only in the last phase of game is there a penalty for an illegal move. I can assure the readers that at the FIDE Congress in 2000, Article 10.3 will be moved to Article 7. This means, if during the game an illegal move will be notified, and it does not matter in which phase of the game, the player, who made this illegal move, will be penalized. Furthermore, if the Arbiter believes that this is being done intentionally, he can impose additional penalties, including expulsion for the event.

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I agree with you that Article 7.3 must be changed. There could be a big problem, particularly when the game is played in Fischer modus. Your observations are correct.

The following situation arose during the World Championship knockout tournament in Groningen, 1997. In the game Akopian-Luther Akopian played 39.d7-d8 and pressed his clock. Luther pressed also his clock and then an arbiter stopped the clocks. To correct everything (times on both clocks and the number of moves), two arbiters needed about 4 minutes. This is the reason that one of the regulations of the World Championships in Las Vegas is that the player, in the event something occurs as described in your question, the player has to stop the clocks and summon the arbiter. It is also my opinion that the same procedure must be followed in all type of games. It is very dangerous to be your own arbiter.

Question Article 9.5 says: "If a player claims a draw as in Article 9.2 or 9.3 he shall immediately stop both clocks. He is not allowed to withdraw his claim. (a) If the claim is found to be correct the game is immediately drawn. (b) If the claim is found to be incorrect, the arbiter shall deduct half of the claimant's remaining time up to a maximum of three minutes and add three minutes to the opponent's remaining time. Then the game shall continue and the intended move must be made."

This article is troublesome because at the local level not every player uses a digital clock; the majority still uses analogue clocks. Removing half the time of a player when there is less then one minute left cannot be done accurately on most mechanical clocks. I do not like the idea of different rules for different types of clocks, but an alternate penalty for old clocks would be very useful as I do not see how to apply this rule fairly with mechanical clocks when there is only a few seconds left.

Answer I agree with you that it is very difficult to adjust mechanical clocks in some situations, especially with only a few seconds on the clock. I think it is reasonable not to adjust the clock of the player who claimed wrongly if case he has less than one minute. By the way, in that event, the opponent is compensated by getting three more minutes.

Question This question is related to Article 10. There is a big difference between a game played with a DGT clock and another one played with an older clock. What is the difference? The DGT clock keeps on adding time after each move. At the local level it may takes years before all analogue clocks disappear from the tournament rooms. I propose to add one more option in Article 10 that is to be used only when the game is played with a clock that has no time increment capability.

Simply add 5 minutes to the clock of both players and ask the players to play ten more moves, this is what the DGT does: 10x30

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seconds is 5 minutes. Any player who fails to play his ten moves loses on time when his flag falls. More periods of 5 minutes may be added if the position can be won by normal means and if at least one of the players is still trying to win by normal means.

Answer First, please note that in games with the Fischer modus

(after each move some time is added) Article 10 does not applied.

It is clear that the Article 10 situation is a bit sticky. When we

drafted this Article we knew that we would have problems and we intend to address these problems in 2000. But, first we would like to see how things are going. My personal opinion is that on Grandmaster and Master levels there are not too many problems. Having in mind the Olympiads in Moscow 1994 and Yerevan 1996, I think, we had about 10 incidents associated with this Article. I consider your suggestion very useful and I hope that more arbiters will give their view on this Article. It would not be appropriate to publish all proposals, but I would like to be able to use them when the Rules Committee will propose some changes.

Question Article 12.2 says: "During play the players are forbidden to make use of any notes, sources of information, advice, or to analyse on another chessboard."

Computers are certainly a source of information; therefore I would modify this article to explicitly forbid the use of a computer during the game.

Answer In my opinion, the current Laws state that it is forbidden to use computers.

Question Article 13.1 says: "The arbiter shall see that the Laws of Chess are strictly observed."

When the arbiter witnesses an infraction he may have discretion over the penalty but he has no discretion about intervening in the game, unless such an intervention is explicitly forbidden (calling touch piece in Rapidplay for example). In Canadian football it is possible to decline a penalty and it is sometimes better to do so. If during a game a player under extreme time pressure makes a move using both hands, the arbiter must stop the game otherwise the Laws of Chess would not be strictly observed. While the arbiter

explains the infraction and imposes a penalty, the guilty player will have some time to think about the move; this time is unfairly gained by the player's own infraction. Noticing that the offending player has only three seconds left on his clock for playing the last move of the time control, the opponent informs the arbiter that he declines the penalty and wants to continue the game immediately. Pushing the idea to the extreme, during a quickplay finish white plays an illegal move after which there is a forced mate for black; black declines the penalty and takes the mate. There is nothing in the Laws about declining a penalty if a player thinks that it would be advantageous. Under the Laws of Chess is it possible to decline

a penalty?

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Answer Many infractions occur particularly in time trouble. And I do see many of them. But I have to confess that it happens quite often that I do not interfere. When I have the feeling that a player is more disturbed by my intervention than the infraction of his opponent, I do, at that very moment, nothing. Even using your example: if a player plays with two hands and the opponent is not disturbed, I let them play. After the game I speak to the offending player, explain to him what was wrong and if there is a real reason for this, I give him a warning. This has to do with the behaviour of the players. An illegal move is something else. When I see an illegal move, I have to step in. I think it should not be up to the player whether his opponent would be corrected or not. The arbiter has to take a decision.

Question Article B5 of Rapidplay says: "The arbiter shall make a ruling according to Articles 4 and 10, only if requested to do so by one or both players."

Article 4 is about two-handed play and the touched piece rule. There is nothing in the article about illegal positions. My question is: should the arbiter signal an illegal move in Rapidplay? The previous laws did explicitly forbid the arbiter from reporting an illegal move in these cases.

Answer Article B2 of Rapidplay says: "Play shall be governed by the Laws of Chess, except where they are overridden by the following Laws." You pointed out that nothing is written about illegal moves. This means we have to apply the "normal" Laws of Chess. The arbiter has to interfere in case of an illegal move.

Question Appendix D has to do with Quickplay finishes where no arbiter is present in the venue