Thursday, June 05, 2008

Making Moves

Here is Gijssen, again, on Article 6.8 in the latest edition of An Arbiter's Notebook for Chess Cafe.

I have mentioned several times that the phrase “made a move” in Article 1.1 is confusing. It is possible to speak of “completing a move” only after the term “chess clock” is introduced, and this happens in Article 6. But this does not provide a sufficient answer to your question: Do you consider the fact that a player may make a move only after the opponent has completed his move (meaning made his move and pressed the clock) as a misinterpretation? My answer is: Yes. This is based on Article 6.8: A player must always be allowed to stop his clock.

In my opinion, this part of Article 6.8 only makes sense if a player makes a move before the opponent has pressed his clock. It means that even when a player is not on move, he is allowed to press the clock in the given situation. The following argument may not be very strong, but suppose a player can only move after the opponent has pressed the clock. Can you imagine how many quarrels we would have in Blitz and Rapid games? And in this case there is no difference between “normal,” Rapid and Blitz games.


Daniel said...

Gijssen is now officially the worst Arbiter ever.

Ambiguity in wording is irrelevant, it is the intent of the rule that matters. Clearly the intention is you can't move on your opponents turn. You can't use ambiguous wording to try to legalize something illegal... what is the point of trying to say there are 'turns to move' if someone can move on your turn. It is like saying you play a game of Risk where two people attack at the same time. Oh I thought it was my turn to attack during your attack...

Obviously the intention is you cannot touch a piece, have pieces wobbling, misplaced, on the ground or otherwise have your hands even hovering on the board until your opponent has HIT his or her clock. Once the clock is touched you may begin your meddling.

The only reason he or anyone else is confused on this issue is because the internet concept of premove has made the idea of premove appealling to many who wish to see it OTB. The internet is not an official OTB tournament. There is a key difference these premovers are forgetting... online server settings allow servers to set a minimum amount of time lost every move regardless of your premove (most servers use .1 seconds though many have debated whether it should be higher than this). Under Gijessen's flawed argument someone could move 1000 moves without losing even a TENTH of a second because chess clocks are not programmed with a minimum loss in mind the way servers are.

The final flaw in his dumb logic is just because we won't always have a spectating TD or instant replay to enforce such a rule means it shouldn't exist? That is like telling the government not to make murder illegal because there won't always be someone present to determine if it was indeed murder, suicide, selfdense etc. Ridiculous. Pure Ridiculous.

Kevin Bonham said...

I've disagreed with Gijssen a number of times, and there are certainly times he is clearly wrong and others when his reasoning, or at least his explanation, seems quite peculiar.

This, however, isn't one of them.

Indeed, to Daniel's argument "Clearly the intention is you can't move on your opponents turn" I would say that Gijssen has in no way disagreed with that in the quote given. What Gijssen is talking about is the case where someone has "had their turn" (in the sense that they have played their move and taken their hand off it) but has not yet pressed the clock.

I also don't see how Gijssen's comments have anything to do with the online "premove" issue. What he is talking about is debunking the idea that you are not allowed to move *after* your opponent has taken their hand off the piece but *before* the opponent has pressed the clock.

This is not a new matter. It has been an issue in blitz especially for decades and experienced arbiters are well familiar with the fact that you can move after the other person has moved but before they have pressed the clock.

However the Krush-Zatonskih playoff has suddenly resulted in bulletin boards and forums being flooded with people who wrongly argue that Zatonskih behaved illegally by moving before Krush pressed her clock, but who have actually never bothered studying the Laws in question (whether FIDE or in that case USCF) and the history of their interpretation.

Gijssen is discussing the laws of chess as they apply to "over the board play" (as stated even before the preface thereof!). What ramifications his views might have to online settings where such Laws do not apply and players have no clocks to press is irrelevant. Indeed, the very existence of premove options on online servers (with or without minimum time delay) is at variance with the OTB laws.

If anything is "Ridiculous. Pure [???] Ridiculous." here, it's using an argument based on ramifications for online play to attack Gijssen over his interpretation of laws that specifically do not apply to mouse-clicking races thinly disguised as chess games. Especially so when there are plenty of *genuine* Gijssen errors and mysteries to have a go at! :)

Anonymous said...

gjiassen is not a great arbiter only has elitist rank


Daniel said...

I never mention the Krush/Anna scneario because I find both of them guilty of breaking this rule. I also find your law inherently flawed as I have been and have watched several people been completely forfeited out of tournaments over the same thing in question. For me this is the first time ever having seen this law been interpretly wrongly. Of course your move does not end until the clock is hit. This is without question. If your opponent forgets to hit the clock you can either remind them or let time run. You *CANNOT* move. Your turn does not begin until the clock has been hit regardless if they have touched a piece and taken it to a new square.

I mentioned the premove even though Gijssen hasn't because the scenario's logic is relevant and can be the *only* place and *only* reason that such people could argue for moving on your opponent's time.

Anonymous said...

Gijssen's comments are merely meretricious trash. I recommend you ignore him, since most chess players know by now that his opinions regarding chess are completely worthless.

Kevin Bonham said...

Daniel, I'd be interested to know which tournaments (and where) you had seen people "forfeited" out of for "breaking" the rules in question. The arbiters in question were either incompetent or else playing under a different code to FIDE laws.

Obviously it is not "without question" that your "move" does not "end" until the clock is hit - indeed, not only is it questionable and being questioned but it is in fact inaccurate. There are two different concepts of "ending" a move, namely "making" and "completing" it. The second happens when the clock is hit, the first happens when you release the piece.

Article 1.1 of the FIDE laws states that "A player is said to 'have the move', when his opponent's move has been 'made'". Article 4.6 states "When, as a legal move or part of a legal move, a piece has been released on a square, it cannot then be moved to another square. The move is considered to have been made when all the relevant requirements of Article 3 have been fulfilled."

Article 3 nowhere mentions the clocks, which are not introduced til article 6. From this it follows that once you have taken the hand off your piece and your move is legal, then your move is made, and therefore your opponent has the move, *whether you have yet pressed your clock or not*.

So your irrelevant diversions about online premoves are clearly not the only reason someone could argue as Gijssen and I am doing in this case - indeed, as I already mentioned, this issue was being discussed before online chess even existed.

If you think that if your opponent forgets to press the clock then you have to sit there and wait for them to remember, then feel free to show me exactly where in the Laws of Chess such a requirement is *explicitly* stated, especially given that the above proves that it is your turn once the opponent has released their hand from a legal move.

anonymous: I find Gijssen's opinions vary greatly in their reliability, and I am often disappointed when a person of his standing in the arbiting community comes up with interpretations that are clearly not right. But just because he is clearly wrong on some things does not mean he should be assumed wrong on all. Nor does it mean that his opinions should not be discussed - especially given the prominence of the person holding them and the potential for his interpretations (right or wrong) to impact on major events.