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Taking my 8 yr old to first tournament in a few weeks and havent played any rated games myself in many years so forget some stuff, hope you can help. Thanks in advance!
(1) touch move/clock move: Assume its touch move in scholastic chess, just like in adult chess? If you move a piece and take your hand off it, but dont hit the clock, are you obligated to move to that specific square, or just to move that piece?
(2) is it permissible for parents to remind kids to hit clock?
(3) what do you do if you see your kid or the opponent make an illegal move and neither kid spots it?
(4) is it ok to tell your kid, 5 minutes left or something like that?
(1) Yes, generally speaking most all tournaments are touch move. If you move a piece and release the piece on the new square then that move must stay if it is a legal move.
(2) No, there cannot be any interference during a tournament game. However, you can always remind your child before or after a tournament game about hitting the clock.
(3) I believe you cannot intervene and the game must continue on. However, you can get the attention of the tournament director and let them know about this.
(4) No, there cannot be any outside assistance given to any player during a tournament game. This can be considered cheating.
For the official rules of chess (USCF) please see http://main.uschess.org/content/blogcategory/131/369/
During the 2009 Washington State Elementary Chess Championship, which I ran, a kindergarten parent who was able to stand in the wide opening to the playing hall where he could see his child told me that he had film of his son's opponent making two consecutive moves. His son was looking away at the time.
I reminded the parent that according to USCF rules, it is entirely the player's responsibility to report such infractions to a judge. Without the player requesting assistance, I was powerless to intervene.
I might also note that at scholastic tournaments in the US, illegal moves are appallingly common. If rules encouraged intervention without request for a player, we would need far more judges, and they would demand compensation fro the additional stress. Tournaments would cost more, fewer kids would participate, but perhaps the level of competition would be higher.
By FIDE rules, the arbiter can only intervene at the request of one of the players. So illegal moves must be claimed by one of the players. Even if one of the kids' flag has fell, you can't intervene. The opponent must notice it.
You may find this useful.
Thanks all. I have concluded that I should have her play in the unrated section the first time. That way, no one can get to bent out of shape if I point at the clock or something. Either that or wait another month until the new chess clock comes and she can practice with it.
as a scholastic chess coach, I've run into a lot of interesting situations.
I suggest that you consider doing this with your child:
a. have her record the moves when playing at home with you. that way, she gets used to recording the moves and it becomes a bit 'automatic' - to write it down immediately after making the move, writing down your move before thinking about it.
b. while playing that game that she records, enforce touch move. other times, don't enforce touch move.
c. to 'even things up' since your skill is presumably greater than hers - give yourself handicaps suitable to equalize things a bit - such as 'remove your queen before starting'.... or even more material if you beat her without your queen.
d. to remove her stress on the use of a clock, get a clock and play her - give her 20 minutes, give yourself 3 minutes. Her objective is: she learns to remember the clock and to press it right after completing her moves, as well as recording the moves for both of you. the result on the board matters not at all. she gets a suitable 'reward' of some sort from you, for not making any mistakes on recording the moves - regardless of who wins on the board or on the clock.
(( hint: you can lose on the clock, or make horrendous blunders by moving too fast, allowing her to win on the board, as well as remember to record the moves and press her clock button, and use touch move. BE the Punching Bag for her.))
I had a 10 yr old student whose stress went sky high over touch move, recording the moves, and using a clock, and when someone brought out a clock, he would start to cry... This exercise - played out a couple times - got him over it completely so he relaxed and enjoys the speed games now.
old chess coach.
That seems like very good advice, RetGuvvie.
I am a little surprised that everybody seems to agree that illegal moves can only be taken back after a claim. I don't know the USCF rules (quite ridiculously, it appears you can only see them by buying the book. Knowledge of the rules of competition is restricted to those who are willing to pay extra for it, how's that for a rip-off), but under FIDE rules, the position before an illegal move must be reinstated, no matter when or by whom the irregularity was noticed (for the FIDE rules, available for free on the net,as they should be, look here). That only is in games with regular time controls or rapid or blitz games with adequate supervision. In rapid games without adequate supervision, article A.4c applies:
An illegal move is completed once the opponent's clock has been started. The opponent is then entitled to claim that the player completed an illegal move before the claimant has made his move. Only after such a claim, shall the arbiter make a ruling. However, if both Kings are in check or the promotion of a pawn is not completed, the arbiter shall intervene, if possible.
In Blitz games without adequate supervision article B.3c applies instead:
An illegal move is completed once the opponent’s clock has been started. The opponent is entitled to claim a win before he has made his own move. However, if the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves, then the claimant is entitled to claim a draw before he has made his own move. Once the opponent has made his own move, an illegal move cannot be corrected unless mutually agreed without intervention of an arbiter.
About question 2 and 4, that isn't allowed, but the problem is of course the player didn't do anything wrong, only a spectator. I think the spectator can be removed from the venue though.
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