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Touch Move/Illegal Move



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 6th 03, 04:30 AM
Dan Heisman
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Default Touch Move/Illegal Move

The following situation happened at our club tonight:

Situation: Rated game, G/70 with 5 second time delay. Player A has about 80 seconds left and player B over
20 minutes.

I was the Assistant TD and the head TD was watching the game.

Player B clearly touches a piece, then grabs another piece and makes a move and hits the clock.

Player A immediately stops the clock (before his five second delay finishes, thus not losing any time on the
clock) and claims illegal move, asking for two minutes.

Without saying what was the ruling, what should the TD do?

The head TD asked me to post the following two questions:

1) Isn't it illegal for a player to make a move after a touch move and also hit the clock? Should this not
be penalized beyond just forcing the player to make a legal move and possibly returning any used time on his
clock?

A similar question is: Shouldn't a touch move and then starting the opponent's clock be penalized more than
a touch move that someone catches this before he hits the clock?

2) What is the historical reason that players whose opponents make illegal moves in sudden death and hit the
clock get two minutes, but players whose opponents make touch move illegalities and hit the clock don't get
the two minutes, especially since the effect on a player in time trouble is approximately equivalent.

Another senior player asked me to post the following question. If allowing players to touch a piece and then
make another move and hit the clock does NOT get a two minute penalty like an illegal move, what prevents
the player from doing the following: A player in time trouble has three reasonable moves: He can retreat a
piece, sacrifice it, or make another reasonable move with another piece. In time trouble he deliberately
touches the piece he could sacrifice and then makes the reasonable move with the other piece. While the
opponent is stopping the clock and getting the TD to claim touch move (assuming he, when accused, says "I am
not sure what the penalty is - we had better get the TD"!), he continues to analyze the sacrifice. By the
time the TD forces him to make a move with the first touched piece, he has now decided whether to retreat
the piece or sacrifice it. If the opponent never calls touch move, he gets to play his third reasonable
move, all of this with no penalty.

Part of the above is why I asked the Rules Committee, I believe in vain, to define an illegal move for
Rulebook V. At the very least an illegal move should be one that either:

A) Moves a piece illegally, or
B) Creates an illegal position

However, there are lots of situations like the above where, according to my proposed definition, the move is
not illegal, but the action involved with moving the piece is. Obviously it is illegal to touch a piece and
move another one, but that is different than an "illegal move".

Regards,
Dan Heisman
USCF Sr TD
  #2  
Old August 6th 03, 08:24 AM
NoMoreChess
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Default Touch Move/Illegal Move


Having never played with these time controls, I nevertheless have a few
comments:



In view of the five-second delay, it is not clear that the player who
violated the touch-move rule intended to "cheat" his opponent out of precious
seconds, though he clearly hoped to get away with moving a different piece than
the one he originally touched. It's hard to believe he tried this with the
head TD watching. This is about as stupid as waking Bobby Fischer, who is fast
asleep at the board!



Also note that with these newfangled digital timeclocks, there is no chance
of a physical flag being jarred such as to fall prematurely, as might be the
intention of a player who deliberately makes an illegal move in order to "roll
the dice" with the opponent's hanging flag by giving the clock a good smack.


As to the scenario of a player who cleverly makes an illegal move so as to
gain time for deeper analysis while the TD is being summoned -- you cannot
prevent cheating altogether. You can make it somewhat more difficult, but
there will always be those who will go to any lengths to win -- including
bribery of false "witnesses," bold-faced lying, collusion, and so forth.



As to the attempt to redefine an illegal move -- sending it to committee, as
always, indicates that the fate is predetermined.
"If you want to destroy a man, teach him chess." If you want to destroy an
idea, send it to committee.





Without saying what was the ruling, what should the TD do?



Without having seen the various rules on this particular case: intervene
and insist that the offending player make a legal move with the first piece
touched, that can be legally moved or captured.
When Garry tries to deny that he actually touched the Knight, show him the
videotape and he will sing a different tune. "It all happenned so fast. I'm
only a 2800, and can hardly be expected to know which pieces my fingers are
touching at any given moment, since I'm looking twenty-three moves deep. You
try it, sometime! It's not easy, you know -- being a super-genius like me. Am
I my fingers' keeper?"






Obviously it is illegal to touch a piece and
move another one, but that is different than an "illegal move".



He said "illegal move," but he clearly *meant* "touch-move."

BTW, if the players in your chessclub cheat like this *when being observed
by TD's,* may I suggest carrying a big stick or a strong flyswatter, and making
it quite clear that the rules are not to be ignored!







  #3  
Old August 6th 03, 02:27 PM
Chris Merli
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Default Touch Move/Illegal Move


"Dan Heisman" wrote in message
...
The following situation happened at our club tonight:

Situation: Rated game, G/70 with 5 second time delay. Player A has about

80 seconds left and player B over
20 minutes.

I was the Assistant TD and the head TD was watching the game.

Player B clearly touches a piece, then grabs another piece and makes a

move and hits the clock.

Player A immediately stops the clock (before his five second delay

finishes, thus not losing any time on the
clock) and claims illegal move, asking for two minutes.

Without saying what was the ruling, what should the TD do?


First remember that sudden death time pressure occurs when either player has
less than 5 minutes left in a sudden death time control. Despite the 5
second delay this is defined as a sudden death time control and it is under
5 minutes each. (5B)(11D1)
Second the touch move rule applies to the player having to make a move with
the piece he touched. After touching a piece, moving any other piece
constitues an illegal move. (10B)
The correct ruling is that player B is awarded two minutes on his clock and
the position is reset to before the illegal move then player A must move the
piece originally touched.


The head TD asked me to post the following two questions:

1) Isn't it illegal for a player to make a move after a touch move and

also hit the clock? Should this not
be penalized beyond just forcing the player to make a legal move and

possibly returning any used time on his
clock?


If it is not a sudden death time pressure situation there is no penalty.
However if the director feels that player did it intentionally he can impose
a penalty (11J)


A similar question is: Shouldn't a touch move and then starting the

opponent's clock be penalized more than
a touch move that someone catches this before he hits the clock?


It seems this is only the case in sudden death time pressure. However Illeg
al moves as a whole are only usually punished in sudden death time pressure.


2) What is the historical reason that players whose opponents make illegal

moves in sudden death and hit the
clock get two minutes, but players whose opponents make touch move

illegalities and hit the clock don't get
the two minutes, especially since the effect on a player in time trouble

is approximately equivalent.

I am not sure where this idea appears in the rules. Could you provide the
rule citation?


Another senior player asked me to post the following question. If allowing

players to touch a piece and then
make another move and hit the clock does NOT get a two minute penalty like

an illegal move, what prevents
the player from doing the following: A player in time trouble has three

reasonable moves: He can retreat a
piece, sacrifice it, or make another reasonable move with another piece.

In time trouble he deliberately
touches the piece he could sacrifice and then makes the reasonable move

with the other piece. While the
opponent is stopping the clock and getting the TD to claim touch move

(assuming he, when accused, says "I am
not sure what the penalty is - we had better get the TD"!), he continues

to analyze the sacrifice. By the
time the TD forces him to make a move with the first touched piece, he has

now decided whether to retreat
the piece or sacrifice it. If the opponent never calls touch move, he gets

to play his third reasonable
move, all of this with no penalty.

Part of the above is why I asked the Rules Committee, I believe in vain,

to define an illegal move for
Rulebook V. At the very least an illegal move should be one that either:

A) Moves a piece illegally, or
B) Creates an illegal position

However, there are lots of situations like the above where, according to

my proposed definition, the move is
not illegal, but the action involved with moving the piece is. Obviously

it is illegal to touch a piece and
move another one, but that is different than an "illegal move".

Regards,
Dan Heisman
USCF Sr TD



  #4  
Old August 7th 03, 02:09 AM
GrantPerks
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Default Touch Move/Illegal Move


Chris/Dan,

Perhaps it is just a nuance, but in my misunderstanding of the rules, a "touch
move" violation is not an illegal move. Therefore, there is no mandated 2
minute penalty either in time pressure or sudden death time control. But, a TD
has the option of adding time back to the clock of the opponent.

Somewhat related, when I have arbitrated over a touch move violation, I do not
instruct the player to make a legal move with the touched piece. I feel it is
up to the opponent at that time to call a touch move violation. Personally, I
have found many cases where the first piece touched is the best piece to move.
Thus, I would not want a TD to force my opponent to make the best move.

Also, the two minute penalty comes to play during sudden death time control,
not just sudden death time pressure.(11D).

Grant Perks
  #5  
Old August 7th 03, 11:20 AM
GrantPerks
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Default Touch Move/Illegal Move


Giving some thought about it, an illegal move is any move which is made
contrary to the laws of chess. Touching a piece and then moving another one
is
illegal. So why no 2 minutes?

John Fernandez



Some players in time pressure will pick up a piece prior to their opponent
presses the clock and might actually place the piece prior to the punch of the
clock. Thus, the opponent has not completed his move but only determined the
move. Is this also an "illegal move" or just an inappropriate behavior? Under a
broad definition, the resulting position seems to me to be illegal until the
clock is punched.

While time penalties might be appropriate in this and the other cases
mentioned, I don't find them to fall under section 11, Illegal Positions, as
the resulting position was not illegal, just the process of the piece
placement.

Grant Perks

  #6  
Old August 7th 03, 03:54 PM
Fifiela
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Default Touch Move/Illegal Move

Giving some thought about it, an illegal move is any move which is made
contrary to the laws of chess. Touching a piece and then moving another one is
illegal. So why no 2 minutes?

It's two minutes added to the opponents clock.
 




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