Thursday 27 March 2014

A relaxing night of blitz

The ANU Masters event is have a break this week, so a couple of the participants decided to play the ANU Autumn Blitz instead. A good sized field of 27 players turned up, which made my job of arbiter a little more challenging. The tournament was won by Michael Kethro on 8/9, with a group of 4 players 1.5 points behind.
Of course blitz chess is pretty forgettable, apart from the final results, but it can be interesting from an arbiters point of view. I had a couple of interesting questions tonight, some involving the touch move rule.
One game was completed, when the winner asked me if you touch an opponents piece (first) and one of yours (which cannot capture it) , what should happen. I explained that you have to capture the opponents piece (with a legal move) as you touched that piece first. He then confessed to breaking that rule and was happy to have the result of the game reversed (as he played an illegal move by not capturing the piece). Weirdly I then received a related question a few rounds later. A different player asked me if you touch an opponents piece, and then one of your own, which cannot legally capture it, do you lose because you have to play an illegal move to fulfil the conditions of 'touch move'. I simply explained you can't be forced to play an illegal move, and you should instead capture the piece with another, legal, move. There was also a game where one player tried to resign, and the other player refused to accept it, but as they were brothers I assumed this was sibling rivalry rather than a misunderstanding of the rules. (I declared the game over btw)

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