Sunday, 27 November 2011

Further adventures in Rule 10.2

While the use of increments in serious chess tournaments has cut down the number of draw claims by 'insufficient losing changes', in more casual events they still crop up. I had an interesting case at Street Chess today. The position on the board (accurate as far as my memory allows) was reached with White having about 2 minutes on the clock and Black having about 5 minutes. White had previously offered a draw but Black decided to play on for a while, given the advantage on the clock. Barring any real stupidity the position is a draw, with White simply moving the bishop between b4 and d6. However rather than doing this as quickly as possible, as a simple way of showing Black that further play was pointless, White took between 5 and 10 seconds over every move. Not only that, but he was also made the king move in the direction of the kingside pawns. Eventually Black called me over and asked if it would be 'unsporting to win on time in this position'. (White at no stage tried to claim a draw btw). I said it was up to him, and he offered a draw to White (who would have had less than 30s on the clock) which was accepted.
After the game I suggested that if White had wanted to claim a draw under 10.2 he would do well to try and move a little bit faster than he did in the game, and to try and not give the impression he was playing for two results by lunging towards his opponents pawns.
The point being, if this had been a game where White had claimed a draw under 10.2, but had moved as slowly as he did (more than 5 seconds per move) I would have had no problems in disallowing the claim, even if the position had not substantially changed after White lost on time.

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