Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Penalty Shot

I recently ran across this at the blog of the Boylston Chess Club:
"At this point my opponent had 90 seconds left to finish the game, and I had 4 minutes. I claimed a draw before I made my next move, because no pieces or pawns had been exchanged for 50 moves. Dummy that I was, this claim had no validity because pawns had been moved. My opponent, an attorney, tried to counterclaim that I should be forfeited (I’m a chessplayer, not a legalist, and apparently people can be forfeited under USCF rules for making incorrect threefold repetition claims). The TD instead invoked the Continental Chess Association rules, and added two minutes to my opponent’s clock."
Well, the opponent was wrong. I can't say whether the TD was also misinformed, or just chose the simplest way to deal with an argumentative player. The standard penalty for an incorrect claim (and for nearly everything else) is to have two minutes added to your opponent's clock. The TD does have the right to impose harsher "non-standard penalties" in special cases, but this should be reserved for when a player is abusing the system. (One example might be a player making repeated baseless claims just to delay things. If the opponent has plenty of time, the added two minutes doesn't mean much.)

Click here for the rest of the story (and an interesting analysis of a Knight ending).

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