Monday 23 October 2017

It's now two illegal moves for everything

Although the FIDE Laws of Chess are only supposed to be changed every 4 years, and only with the approval of a FIDE General Assembly, this rule seemed to go out the window a few years back, at least once the Presidential Board decided to have its less than timely say on these matters.
So it isn't a surprise that the Laws of Chess were amended at this years FIDE Congress, apparently to provide some clarity to the wording.
However at least one major change seems to have been made, concerning the handling of illegal moves. In the past the rate of play determined how many illegal moves lost a game (1 for blitz, 3 for standard). This was then altered to 2 for standard, and 1 for rapidplay and blitz. But there was always an underlying desire to make the Laws apply equally to all forms of competition chess, and this seems to have motivated the change.
Now 2 illegal moves lose across all forms of the game, including blitz (taking effect from 1 January 2018). For the first illegal move, the 'call the arbiter over' process applies, with a 2 minute time bonus being given to the non offending side. The 2nd illegal move loses (if claimed), subject to the usual caveats.
To be fair, I don't think this is a bad idea, although I can see arbiters being run off their feet at large blitz events. For rapidplay I think it is very sensible (and is actually the system I continue to use at Street Chess). If you want to check the minutes from the meeting where the decision was made, you can do so here.


Anonymous said...

What would be the correct ruling now?
Player A: Moves and hits the clock leaving his king on check
Player B: Captures Players A's king and hit the clock.

Under the old rules assuming Player A was able to construct a checkmate they would be awarded a win, but what now? Is player A punished for making the first illegal move and player B let off scot-free?

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Shaun Press said...

@Anonymous (btw please leave a name to guarantee an answer)

Under the new rules I would rule as follows (NB this is just my interpretation)

Assuming the arbiter is called over after Player B presses his clock, Player B has played an illegal move and Player A will receive 2 minutes (assuming that it is the first illegal move by B). Having pressed the clock, player B has also forfeited his right to claim A's illegal move (by completing his move), so Player A is not punished. But as the position on the board is illegal (with A's king in check), the position is restored to the position before A last moved, and the game continues.