Saturday, 15 February 2014

It's just not cricket!

I had a couple of minor disputes that needed handling at Street Chess today. One involved a spectator (in fact another player) pointing out 'flag fall' in a game, which was then complicated by the fact that the other player left his own clock running, so by the time I reached the board, both flags were down, and a third (or fourth party) has even begun to set the pieces up again. "Draw" was the only word I could utter when faced with such chaos.
The other involved that old bug bear of players moving before their opponent has pressed the clock. "It's just not cricket!" exclaimed one player when he found his opponent doing this. Unfortunately for the player we were following the Laws of Chess meaning that there is nothing explicitly stopping a player from doing this (NB It has been discussed at some length by the FIDE Rules Commission, without coming up with any radical new proposal). My advice was to simply press the clock anyway, (a) forcing the opponent to press his own clock as he should and (b) possibly encouraging the opponent to play a second move in a row, when of course something illegal has occurred.

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