ECU: What should the arbiter do?

by ChessBase
3/8/2021 – This position occurred in a standard game in the presence of the arbiter. Black played 46...Rc1+, but failed to press his clock on time. White claimed a win. Does he get it? What do the FIDE rules decree? IA Prodromos Gerontopoulos tells us the answer. In addition the February issue of the ECU E-Magazine gives us four fun problems to solve.

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Forced moves in arbiter practice

By IA Prodromos Gerontopoulos (GRE)

In a standard game (90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an addition of 30 seconds per move starting from move one), the following position (diagram 1) occurred in the presence of the arbiter after white's 46th move.


The player with the black pieces played 46...Rc1+ but his flag fell before he had the chance to stop his time. The player with the white pieces immediately called the arbiter and claimed a win. What should the arbiter's decision be?


In this position all moves are forced. Thus, if Black’s flag had not fallen, the sequence of moves would have been: 47.QxRc1 QxQc1 48.KxQc1, leading to a stalemate position. Taking into consideration article 5 (completion of a game) and in particular point 5.2.2 which states: "The game is drawn when a position has arisen in which neither player can checkmate the opponent’s king with any series of legal moves. The game is said to end in a ‘dead position’." This immediately ends the game, provided that the move producing the position was in accordance with Article 3 and Articles 4.2 – 4.7.’’ (FIDE Laws of Chess, 2018, 5.2.2)

The correct decision on the part of the arbiter would be to declare the game drawn.

Fun problems to solve

For this edition of the ECU E-Magazine we prepared for you four positions where White mates in three moves! You can move the pieces in the following diagrams – Black will play defensive moves and only stop if it is mate. Have fun!


Puzzle 1: 1.Qxg7+ Kxg7 2.Nf5+ Kg8 3.Nh6#
Puzzle 2: 1.Nxa7+ Bxa7 2.Qxc6+ bxc6 3.Ba6#
Puzzle 3: 1.Rh8+ Kxh8 2.Qh1+ Kg8 3.Qh7#
Puzzle 4: 1.Qxf7+ Nxf7 2.Nf6+ gxf6 3.Bxf7#

Source: ECU E-MAGAZINE February 2021

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