'His Pawn Cheated And Killed My Pawn!'
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'His Pawn Cheated And Killed My Pawn!'

erik
erik
Jun 20, 2018, 12:00 AM |
325 | Fun & Trivia

Every day at Chess.com we get a lot of suggestions, feedback and bug reports—and we really appreciate it!

One of the most common bug reports looks something like this: 

In my game, I moved my pawn to h4 and somehow his pawn from g4 managed to kill it and jump to h3. Smells suspiciously like hacking.

Or...

During my last game, I moved the pawn forward double space. Which places it beyond the enemy's pawn reach. But his pawn illegally cheated and killed my pawn. Hit replay and you will be able to see the move wasn't legal and caused my king to be threatened. As a consequence, I withdrew from the game. I'm not going to be playing if the opponent is allow to cheat. Fix the game so it doesn't happen again.

Or, here's another good one...

Recently, I have had 4 incidents where I have moved a pawn up two squares from its starting position, and it shows as such if I go back one move using the arrows, only for it to be taken as if I had only moved it up one square. So the game history will show the pawn on the square two up, e.g. a7 to a5, but in the actual gameplay, it will be taken as if I had moved it to a6. This is usually in the endgame, where pawn to queen promotion is at stake. It's a glitch and is annoying the $%&# out of me as I'm losing close games because of this bug.

Of all of them we've ever received, this player was the most apologetic and humble:

I'm awful so please ignore how badly I'm playing, but whenever I move c7 to c5, the d5 pawn takes as if my pawn was on c6, which is super strange. You can see it in the game log. Unless I'm missing something, that makes no sense.


One Weird Pawn Trick

For those of you who know what is going on, it's pretty funny. 

For those of you who DON'T know, that is called "en passant." 

It is the weirdest rule in chess. Basically, it's the French word for "in passing," which explains that if you try to move two squares past your opponent's pawn, he or she is given one chance on the next move to capture that pawn "in passing." You can only do it immediately on the next move.

Editor's Update: Our own IM Danny Rensch discusses this topic with his friend, James Montemagno in Episode #73 of their "Coffeehouse Blunders" podcast here (go to minute 17:28 mark):

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Why was this rule added? Wikipedia explains:

Allowing the en passant capture, together with the introduction of the two-square first move for pawns, was one of the last major rule changes in European chess, and occurred between 1200 and 1600... In most places the en passant rule was adopted at the same time as allowing the pawn to move two squares on its first move, but it was not universally accepted until the Italian rules were changed in 1880. The motivation for en passant was to prevent the newly added two-square first move for pawns from allowing a pawn to evade capture by an enemy pawn.

How to En Passant

If you don't know the rule, you can understand why it would feel frustrating. Many people write in reacting to the injustice of it! But their reactions vary dramatically. 

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Outrage

This is a reasonable feeling when you see something unfair, like that guy sprinting up the airplane from row 31 trying to get off the airplane first. 

Here are some outraged reactions we've received:

  • In this outlay here, if I play c4, the computer moves dxc3. This is not a move...if I had played c3, then the computer can of course take my pawn with dxc3. Please fix this bug as it is literally infuriating.
  • How can this black pawn hit my d4 white pawn by moving to d3. That is impossible!
  • I moved my black pawn to h7. Then opponent's pawn got my pawn which just moved to h5, by moving to h6. I refuse to play the game, or lose any more points from this game.
  • WHY IS WHITE PAWN ABLE TO TAKE BLACK PAWN ON BLACK SQUARE??????
  • You can see step 19...I moved my pawn to f5 but then in the next move my opponent moves his pawn from e5 to f5, killing my pawn...which was never on f5 to begin with!!!

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Hackers!

My favorite reactions are where they think it is hacking or cheating... even that the computer can "cheat"! 

  • I do not know if it's a server issue, or if the guy is hacking. But they managed to take my e pawn even though they were next to it. The outcome was that I still won.
  • I'd like to report someone in the case that he cheated. I don't know is this is a valid move, but the user, in a chess game, playing with the black pieces, made a move with his pawn in the twentieth turn from a4 to b3, even though I had one pawn in a3 and another one in b4, in his move he ate my pawn that was in b4. Can you please tell me if that's fair play?
  • How can I limit the cheating by the computer, it's been 5 in the month? The tactic is their pons move vertically to take mine when their side by side. Its always when I'm having a pretty good game with it finally.
  • The black pawn is cheating... 14.f4 exf3
  • I suspect that my opponent in this game cheated...but to give him the benefit of the doubt I will report it as a bug ..........please look over this game and the move I made which was c5 and he captured my pawn dxc6...that capture was supposed to be an impossible capture on his part, how he achieved this I do not know....or perhaps it truly was a bug in the system.

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Fix It!

Some people just DEMAND to have this addressed:

  • Hi guys! look at this game at 21/22 move. How it can be? How can white pawn take black pawn? It’s bug or cheat? Fix it please - it’s not first time happens.
  • The pawn marked moved diagonally across an empty space between two pawns and took pawn it was behind. It don't believe it can do that. Fix it.
  • The opponent took my pawn at c3 when I moved it to c4. Big time glitch. Must be fixed.

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ESL

Some of the best ones are interesting because people are either using online translators or are not sure how to say it in English. I have HUGE respect for anyone engaging in a second language, so I'm not trying to tease anyone. But it does create some cute phrases in English!

  • Sometimes, when I play with the pawn and walk two spaces, the other player sees the pawn as it walked just one space and then strikes my pawn.
  • I moved my Pawn 2 houses forward, and even like that he could capture it.
  • Anytime I move my ponds up 2 spaces, my opponent views it as 1 space and takes my pond. This is extremely frustrating. It happened over 5 games now.
  • The program took my move but my opponent could move something that doesn't exist. Do everybody know how can I ask to change the mistake. Thank you. I play blacks. 37.f4 f5+ 38.exf6
  • In the match versus user, at the 14th white's move there is a BUG. The white pawn in C5 eat black pawn in B5.
  • Hi, I played with user. I move with my pawn from f7 to f5 while he kill my pawn on f6 (which I did move there). Attach the move table! (please see 20 and 21)
  • Move before he eats my pawn with his f4 pawn.. glitch.
  • I moved my pawn from c7 to c5, and an opposing pawn from b5 "cut" my pawn in c5 and moved diagonally to c6. Kindly look into the issue.

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Bugs

Others think it is simply a bug. 

  • White pawn, F2 moves to F4; Black pawn E4 takes pawn. BUG!
  • Hi, I moved my pawn to b4 with my other pawn already at a3. His pawn was at a4 and it jumped over to b3 thus taking my pawn out. Is this a bug or is this a rule that I don't know about?
  • I moved my pawn on position e4. My opponent took my pawn by moving his pawn from d4 to e3! This is a huge bug and is unacceptable!
  • Twice in the last game I had my pawns were executed by a glitch. First one was ( f5 16. exf6 ). My move was the blue arrow, followed by my opponents move in red resulting in my losing my pawn. How is that even possible??
  • In this position, the black pawn at the E4 position is able to take on the F3 square when I move my white pawn at F2 to F4 and it will take my white pawn at F4. Just a bug I came across.
  • There appears to be a glitch in my game. I moved a pawn to f4 and on the next move my opponent removed that pawn as if it was on f3.
  • 11th move, he moved diagonal up and my pawn behind where he landed was taken. Glitch.
  • I moved pawn to c4 and it is documented in the list and it shows as my move on the board... However, then somehow, my opponent was able to take this pawn from c3, which is not where I moved the pawn??? I have never seen a glitch like this and now the game is not correct because b4 should not have been able to take c4... Please help correct this issue. Thanks for your help!
  • Moved b2 pawn to b4, and somehow the a4 pawn 'took' it on b3, not certain how but very weird bug.
  • I have an issue in my game. I made a move with my pawn (h7->h5). My opponent had a pawn on g5. I think that it is a bug that my opponent was able to capture my pawn.
  • [BUG] If white pawn moves A2->A4, black pawn on B4 x A3 is a valid move, despite the fact that white pawn is now on A4, not A3.
  • There is a bug in this software I moved pawn to c4 to cover my bishop on d5 but black pawn took from d4 to c3.

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Angles

Trying to describe it visually is always helpful!

  • You call this a fair game????? The pawns always attack at the wrong angles. Then you take my points. Cheaters!!!
  • e5 pawn takes sideways?
  • White pawn moves to C4 threatening the Black Queen. Then then the computer moves Black pawn (D4) LEFT, and takes White pawn at C4. Wrong!
  • Pawn took piece horizontal to it.
  • A pawn took another pawn that was on the space next the opposing pawn, very weird.
  • The pawns can sometimes jumps in weird ways to benefit my opponent it happen twice in a row in my 5 min tourney not once twice with two different players.

Detailed Example

Many people just give examples so we can figure it out. How they describe it is fascinating!

  • I moved a pawn from f7 to f5 (I'm black) then white made a capture move with a pawn that was at e5 moving to f6. There was no pawn there, but my pawn that had been at f5 disappeared (was captured). The log shows that I moved from f5 to f7, so it wasn't just a visual bug. My move occurs at line 17, then the bug (I think) occurs at line 18.
  • As you can imagine, I was quite surprised when I saw this illegal move take place and my pawn was suddenly gone. Referencing move #19, pawn moved from c3 to c4. Black pawn from b4 to c3, somehow taking my pawn. I messaged the player to see if they noticed that move taking place, but did not receive any response.
  • The enemy pawn went this direction in ONE move and killed my white pawn. I have it captured as a movie clip if you want to see more details.
  • In the attached images it shows me moving pawn forward to but he still takes me as though I've only moved forward one?
  • Playing game and my pawn is d4 his pawn is e4 and he has moved his e4 pawn to d3 not taking anything and my pawn at d4 has disappeared without being taken??
  • Any time I have a pawn on a start position and try and move it 2 spaces and thus bypass a take opportunity for the other player they are able to take my pawn as though I only move 1 space. This is extremely frustrating when trying to set up defensive pawn walls because I go from a good position to being absolutely exposed.
  • Playing as white, I used my next move to push my pawn up to c4, however my opponent somehow 'took' my pawn by moving dxc3, even though my pawn shouldn't have been there! I went on to lose the game, as I was at a severe disadvantage after this.
  • Hello, how it is this possible, I've moved pawn to F5, and after this he took it from e5->f6 ?!?
  • I moved my pawn to c4 and my opponent took this pawn with his pawn as if it was placed on c3.
  • I am playing a game. I made a move pawn to d5, the next move my opponent struck that pawn at d4... How come? I have screenshots of the episode.
  • Against the computer, I moved my pawn two steps ahead, the black pawn still captured my pawn which was to the left of the black pawn.
  • White pawn from a5 hits and moves to b6 while white pawn is on b5 not on b6!
  • I move the pawn too f5 but white took the pawn on f6.
  • I move my pawn forward two and the black pawn takes it somehow!
  • I have seen this before. I move my pawn two squares (c4) and yet somehow the opponent is able to capture as if I had played only one (c3).
  • There's a black pawn on h4 thats able to take my white pawn after I move it from g2 to g4.
  • A few games now I have had this issue happen where I move two squares with my pawn during the late game and it seem to only register as one for my opponent. On my log it says that I moved to the square I wanted but for my opponent it seems to show I only moved one square which allowed them to capture. I probably wouldn't have changed the outcome of this game but it is very frustrating.
  • The black pawn made the move from g4 to h3 without anything present at h3. Check step 32.
  • I did f5, and then my opponent eat the pawn in f6, which would be in f5. 
  • I took blacks, I moved my pawn from 2c to 4c but the opponent pawn which was in 4d killed my pawn which is in 4c. I got video for that move but no option here to upload.
  • I moved my pawn to F5, (purple arrow), and my opponent captured it by moving his pawn to F6 (blue arrow). How is this possible?
  • I am playing and I moved him into checkmate by moving to f5 but its showing pawn he's taken my pawn exf6.

Still Confused?

As you can tell, some players are still confused about en passant— and rightfully so! It does seem to break the other rules of chess, and nobody likes exceptions (except when they're favorable). 

Finally, here are two of my very favorites.

This person wanted to make sure we knew which piece was having issues:

I MOVED A PAWN NEXT TO ANOTHER PAWN AND THAT PAWN TOOK MY PAWN WHEN MY PAWN WAS NEXT TO IT.

And this guy was kind enough to suggest how to fix it in the code:

Black pawn takes white pawn, but white pawn is not actually present so it should not be allowed (right?). First time I've seen this, I guess it's rare. Best guess is you programmed a pawn double move as two single moves but forgot to clear some board state.

Thank you to everyone who comes to Chess.com to play...and report glitches!

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