Apropos illegal castling

by ChessBase
4/16/2019 – In the third round of the Women's European Championship, an unusual incident involving illegal castling occurred in the game Gevorgyan vs Cornette, causing a stir. Although rare, this type of offence is not completely new, not even within official FIDE tournaments. We recall a famous case from 1995.

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At the Women's European Championship in Antalya an unusual rule violation caused a stir. Maria Gevorgyan won her match against Deimante Cornette in the third round, but only after she castled illegally. The white queen's rook had been moved from a1 to b1 and later back to a1, but in a critical moment, long castling was a useful defensive resource...if only it were allowed. Both players were unaware of the rule violation during the game and it continued normally. Only after the end of the game was the error noticed, although it was apparent that something had gone wrong when the live game transmission on the Internet abruptly froze. (Online chess game viewers are aware of the rules of chess.)

Of course, this is not the first time something like this has happened. The Swiss IM Beat Züger pointed out that, for example, at the 1995 zonal tournament in Ptuj, a town in northeastern Slovenia, there was a similar incident.

Stefan Kindermann played in the second round against Viktor Korchnoi. In mutual time-trouble Kortschnoj castled kingside on move 26, though he had moved the rook before and had then played it back to its original square.


A spectator noticed the error but did not dare to interfere. After the blitz-phase came to an end, though only after 47 moves, an arbiter reconstructed the game with the help of a computer. This also led to the discovery of the breach of rules. Now, as Züger, who was present back then and followed the events live, reports, things became rather chaotic. Finally, the players agreed to a draw to end the confusion.

At the end of the tournament both players were in the table above.


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