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Draws harm neither player.
(when attempting to win on time an utterly drawn position)
Either you have money / fame (?) involved in the game, in which case, in my optinion, "the end justifies the means" and you can try to win at your leisure, either there is no stake and chess ethics plus comon sense should tell you that's tedious and stupid to go on. That's not the kind of win you are going to brag about anyway.
a) It's not your bloody forum. It's not even your thread, you just started it. You can try to guide the discussion, but I'm not sure where you even want it to go. Constructing ludicrous scenarios will not lead to valuable answers.
b) All I can find on the USCF rulebook is that it's very similar. It's not publicly available either, so I can't check whether it's different in this very specific point. Is it? Am I "totally out of line" assuming that a tournament called "World Open blitz" might follow the FIDE rules?
You could have been helpful by pointing out the crucial difference in the US rules that makes your scenario not totally ludicrous. It's not like I can check on my own, since the USCF doesn't publish its rulebook. I found bits and pieces, but nothing that would make your scenario plausible. US arbiters at a tournament of any kind of importance would still never look at a drawn bishop+wrong rook pawn ending and not rule it a draw due to, what was it, insufficient winning chances.
c)Like I said, under tournament conditions, any way to try to win that is covered by the rules is also right. But I won't waste anyone's time.
I'd have accepted the draw the moment my opponent stopped the clock to fetch the arbiter, because I generally assume the arbiter of an international tournament is not bloody stupid and will declare the wrong rook pawn ending a draw anyway.
But let's say I don't do that, even though I would, and the arbiter returns wearing completely fogged up glasses, clearly stoned out of his mind, and says "Nah, totally not a draw"... No, I give up. That's like a police officer pulling a gun on me asking for my wallet, or a server telling me to get my own bloody food, or a tour guide asking me for directions, or a pilot asking me how to fly a plane. I'm not equipped to imagine myself in such a situation.
I think I'd still accept the draw offer, because there's going to be all sorts of fuss even if I get the clearly undeserved win. I made my fatal mistake when I let my opponent trade down into the clearly drawn endgame.
I think in the USCF rulebook, the TD does not make any ruling unless asked. In this case, with opposite-colored bishops, you and I know it's a draw, but the TD cannot rule on this because there's other material on the board and as Ebulas said, the TD has to assume the worst. With 5 second delay though, presumably the two parties surely would reach a 3 move repetition or the 50 move rule though, without any time going off the clock.
The TD has to assume the worst in the case of time actually running out. That's a different case from stopping the clock when you run very low on time to claim a draw on insufficient winning chances, which includes positions in which a legal sequence of moves can lead to mate, but there is no forced win and the defense is trivial, such as king and two knights versus king. In FIDE and USCF (as far as I can see) alike, that's only possible in the last three (two in USCF apparently) minutes of the claimant's time, in a game with no increments (if there are increments, playing out trivial positions is trivial) that has already passed all time control stages. This rule exists precisely so that players who have achieved a hilariously drawn position don't have to lose because they cannot physically move fast enough to get over the 50 move limit. In FIDE rules, at least, the rule even applies to blitz play, but only if there there is one arbiter per game.
Precisely because there are rules in place designed to prevent you from winning solely based on the clock, I don't think there is a moral obligation to accept a draw if the position is drawn but your opponent is low on time. They can ask for arbitration, either on the grounds of FIDE 10.2 or the USCF rule 14(?) regarding "insufficient winning chances", so it's not like they're dependant on you accepting the offer to get the draw they deserve. On the other hand, if I know the result of the arbitration is going to be draw, I'll accept the draw offer as not to waste either of our times.
However, in FIDE rules, under certain blitz conditions the option to attain arbitration does not exist. To me, that means you can play the clock. In a tournament, every legal way to win is also moral.
I'm not sure about the rules at the most precise tier, but I always thought that an arbiter can only claim a position to be drawn when, even with absolute worst play from either side, nobody would win. In the case of Bishop + wrong rook pawn, if black played as badly as possible -- run his king away from the pawn -- white could queen the pawn and win. Therefore there isn't insufficient mating material.
The USCF rule in question is about "insufficient changes to win". Insufficient mating material doesn't have anything to do with draw claims or arbitration; it's when time runs out for one side and the other side only has a king and so on. At least in FIDE rules, "insufficient mating material" is not even mentioned. The only question that is asked there is "Is there a legal sequence of moves that can lead to mate". If there isn't for either side, the game is drawn period; if time for one side runs out and there isn't a legal sequence of moves that leads to mate for the other, the result is a draw instead of a win. You can still win on time with king and bishop, for instance, if the opponent has, say, a rook.
Don't you think that's a little lame? I do, namely because in the situation you were mentioning, black would be better off without a rook, instead having just king vs king and bishop.
I'm pretty sure the rule is slightly different, not only because of logic but because I have seen this before in blitz:
If your opponent can't possibly mate you with the material he has, then he can't win on time. Since the player with king and bishop doesn't have sufficient mating material, he can't win on time; only his opponent can (because king and rook is sufficient mating material)
Doesn't it seem more plausible that this would be the rule, rather than the one you brought up?
Let me ask you a question: If it takes you six minutes to reach a drawn position against your opponent, and it takes him forty minutes to reach this same position, who played better? He ended up with a position no worse than yours, but perhaps that was only because he took the luxury of thinking longer than you did. With this in mind, is that claim on time (or attempt to time out the opponent, punishing him for taking too much time) looking quite as trivial?
I don't know if the above is "common sense," by your definition, but it's some sort of sense, in any event.
I screwed up anyway because there is no mate against rook and king with a bishop. I forgot that while the rook can hem its own king into the corner, it will always be able to interpose against the bishop check. It is possible against a knight, though, not to mention pawns. You can't generalize it either way, because there are plenty of quite beautiful puzzles around where the forced mating solution involves sacrificing all pieces and delivering mate with the sole remaining knight or bishop. And such mates do occur in actual games as well. It would be more than a little lame to have these suddenly drawn because such a position fulfills the requirement of having "insufficient mating material".
Unless you're down to just a king, whether or not you have "insufficient mating material" depends completely on the position. That's why the FIDE rules do not know the term, it only asks whether there is a legal sequence of moves that leads to mate. I don't know what the USCF rulebook says because those in the fortunate position of owning it haven't provided me with the relevant text.
By the way, if it turns out that none of the US participants in this thread own the USCF rulebook nor have access to it (I assume if they had, they'd have cited it by now), that seems to me a much more pressing issue than anything else in this thread. How is such a crucial document to any chess player in the States not available online? I can look up the rules of any sport that interests me, no problem. I can get the FIDE rules or even the German translated version, no biggie. Just not the USCF rules. If I were an US chess player, I'd consider that a little lame.
By the way, I find it contradictory that you object to someone winning on time because the other guy actually run out of time, but in the very next post argue that if one player has reached an equal position having spent 40 minutes and the other six, one of them somehow deserves a chance to win on time. I'd say that if two players reach a drawn and equal position, the one who has black must've played better to do it, so if anything, shouldn't black win in such a case? How much "minutes" is having black worth?
An equal position is just a position like any other. (A "drawn" position, technically, is only one where mate isn't legally possible for either side.) There are rules that state how a draw can come about from it. Knowing these rules, and knowing them precisely, seems to me much more important than anything else.
I will mainly address your first paragraph.
It appears your method of argument is to present an alternative interpretation of "who should win" -- "how can we distinguish who deserves to win a game -- is time more important or is color more important for instance" -- Fair enough -- that would imply that it's not clear we can agree on who deserves the win the most.
I counter by saying that we already have an unambiguous way to determine this! When your clock runs out, nobody cares about someone's arbitrary view of who "deserves" to win -- it has been objectively determined, since one of the win/lose conditions (time) that both sides have agreed to, has occurred.
The reason why we have these objective determining factors is so that the winner isn't open to arbitrary interpretation. An example of this would be, after losing a game, saying something like "I deserved to win -- even though I lost, that was just because of one blunder. For the other forty five moves, I totally outplayed you." But of course, the game ended in checkmate -- you can't argue against that.
What if we made the winner of a chess game debatable? Perhaps checkmate would be only one criteria for determining a winner of the game. But of course, then everyone would have their own way of interpreting the situation to suit their wants, just like in my example.
So you see the need for objective rules that can't be argued against, hopefully. The clock is one of them, because of the philosophy mentioned in my previous post.
Is it really worth it to get arbiters to make judgment calls like that? If he is asked if a player must accept a draw, then he has to interpret the philosophy of time in his own specific way. Then another player can counter by giving his own interpretation.
Because it avoids judgment calls and interpretations, I think it's simpler to have everyone accept the rules for what they are, and adapt to them as best as they can; a player is fully culpable for their clock, no matter the position, yes, but then, both players play with the same disadvantage, so it's hard to complain. This approach avoids having to answer the question "How much 'minutes' is having black worth?"
I apologize for the rather verbose response. It's admittedly not concise, but hopefully the key points have been evinced somewhere.
lol, I had never considered the rook hemming in the king -- your king and bishop vs king and rook situation was actually quite clever then! I guess it doesn't quite work out though?
It is impossible to create a set of rules that satisfies every situation. Unless the rules have been created by infallible beings intervention will be necessary.
A set of rules is only good enough to handle black and white situations. Some problems are far too complex for a list of do's and don'ts and following such an idea is always going to punish people that didn't deserve to be punished.
You are arguing that the rules should dictate who should win which is sensible. But everyone else is simply arguing over the moral issues involved. In my experience the only players that tend to ignore this are the ones that only care about winning (or not losing) and completely ignore the social aspect of the game. Anyone that does that is obviously going to get pointed out because they have forgotten that it's just one insignificant game in life.
People are entitled to this idea, but in a world where people tend to care about each other, such an idea is going to be frowned upon.
You're right that it can't solve every problem. But I think it's simpler than making everything a matter of interpretation as I said. Making things a matter of interpretation can create more problems.
As far as morals go, I don't think there is anything wrong with it. My point is that there are two important things in a chess game -- playing good moves; and playing good moves without taking forever. I think the clock is as important as having a strong position -- if you have a strong position but not the time, then that means you did something right (played good moves) but something wrong as well (not quickly enough). So I think the rules make sense in that way. Flagging someone is addressing the second principle -- I may respect that my opponent achieved a drawn position, but what I wouldn't respect is the way he did it -- by using more time than I did. It would be my responsibility to punish him for it by trying to flag him.
Calling flagging immoral is almost like calling a person who wins because of a blunder, even after getting outplayed, immoral -- winning like that is within the rules, and although some rules, like stalemate, might be annoying, it's simpler to be responsible for the rules, and accept that sometimes you might not lose the way you wanted to, perhaps.
I will concede that some of the rules conjure prettier wins than others! But does that mean more legitimate wins? Nah...
I agree with this idea but again it is not always black and white.
Flagging in a position with numerous pieces on the board is normal but flagging someone in a K+R v K+R is not. In the former you are both playing chess and one is trying to beat the other. In the other, you are just moving the pieces as fast as you can. That is not chess.
That is why insufficient material is a draw and why K+R v K+R is deemed a draw: in those positons is it virtually impossible for one side to win with chess skill and so the game simply ends. If I wanted to fling my arms around I'd play on the Wii and not a chessboard.
What about when people repeat moves only to make the time control, or in order to increase their time via increment? Are those anti-thought moves not chess?
To let everyone know, I am researching the strong opposition to draws a great percentage of the chess community has displayed. I would like some input about why you like/dislike draws.
Some questions to consider include:
Question 1: I would report it to the TD. It is against the rules of Chess to agree on the outcome without playing the game. Furthermore, I came to play Chess.
Question 2: If he's 200 points lower than me, he's about 650. Unless the mate in 5 is from a queen against a lone king, he won't see it. Play on.
Slightly more serious answer: If I'm playing someone and I think he can win, but I'm not sure that he knows how to do it, it would depend on other factors. How would it affect my standing in the tournament and my prize opportunity? Do I need a win, or is a draw good enough? If a draw is good enough, accept the draw as a "bird in the hand".
(My answers assume OTB play. In online play, I would accept the draw in scenario 1, just because that would be the only way to end the game immediately without resigning, and I wouldn't want to play anyone who was doing weird stuff like that. As for number 2, play on, because there's nothing to lose.
Increasing the time control keeps them in the game so I don't see anything wrong with it. It is done for psychological reasons as well.
But there is no future in a K+R v K+R ending.
I'm still not seeing the distinction. Both are practical methods that are more concerned with the clock than the best move.
King and rook vs king and rook is pretty easy to draw for most, but it may not be impossible to mess it up depending on who you are. Sure, you might have a hard time imagining botching it because you can use the technique of "moving back and forth," but as simple of a drawing technique it is, it still counts as a technique. King and rook vs King is easy for me now, and I could point to an "obvious" strategy to win it, but if you asked me four years ago, it wouldn't be. My point is that no matter how obvious you think a position is, you are still playing chess when you play it; further, there should be no objective determination of what an "easy" position is because what you consider easy depends on your own disposition and it's different for everyone. Who are you to say that there is no life in K+R vs K+R? You might think that, but it's not illegal to try to come up with a strategy anyway, and enjoy doing it.
It would be natural, if you had say 15 seconds left, and flagged that K+R vs K+R, to get annoyed. But that's just an excuse for not managing your time well -- if you know that you can't physically make 50 moves with 15 seconds, try not to get down to 15 seconds in a 0 increment game!
Watch good blitz players. They get good positions, but they don't let others flag them because they always leave themselves with enough time. Others are only good at the former, and are not as good at blitz. Allowing flagging rewards the players who are able to do both; not flagging rewards the player who is only able to do one.
One method is used to continue a playable game - the other is not. K+R v K+R is a dead draw. It is almost impossible to checkmate your opponent here and so there's no reason to play it anymore. This is also the reason for the insufficient material rule. The main goal of the game is to checkmate the opponent.
Since neither player can force that outcome a draw is the only alternative.
What you are proposing has nothing to do with the rules of chess.
"One method is used to continue a playable game - the other is not. K+R v K+R is a dead draw. It is almost impossible to checkmate your opponent here and so there's no reason to play it anymore."
The fundamental problem here is that this is your opinion. Again, I will ask you: Who are you to say that there is no life in a K+R vs K+R position? When you say "playable game," it all depends on what you consider playable -- but that varies from person to person.
The next hurdle here is to come to an agreement on the value of time -- I think you said that checkmate is more important, but the way clocks are used, the clock is exactly as important, as a time-out produces the same result as being checkmated. As for why that rule is in place -- in order to make sure the amount of time being used is kept track of. I understand your concern, but it would be inconsistent to randomly bend the rule because a position looks "obviously drawn" -- that would lead to the problem mentioned in the first paragraph.
In a K+R v K+R endgame a mate cannot be forced so the only alternative is a draw.
In a K+R+P v K+R the game could continue because the pawn can promote. Then you have to wait for the 50 move rule.
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