FIDE Rescinds "En Passant" Rule

Mar 31, 2012, 9:16 PM |

In a surprising move, FIDE announced March 31,2012, that it has rescinded the "en Passant" rule and that this will take effect officially this May 10, 2012. This date as we all know coincides with official opening of the 2012 World Chess Championship in Moscow and has left the chess world stunned as it allows the competitors just over a month to adjust.

From the FIDE rules and regulations section 3.7.d " A pawn attacking a square crossed by an opponent's pawn which has advanced two squares in one move from its original square may capture this opponent's pawn as though the latter had been moved only one square. This capture is only legal on the move following this advance and is called an "en passant" capture." ...... we now find the brief statement "En Passant disallowed per FIDE decision of 05.10.2012 ."

FIDE spokesperson, Lirpa Sloof, released the following statement to the media; " We are aware that this decision may seem unreasonable to some, but it has not been arrived at without several months of discussion and debate. In fact the margin was only 85 to 73 in the voting of all member national chess federations. This is a necessary change in our continuing effort to improve our game". Further pressed for an explanation, Ms. Sloof responded, " much consideration was also given to removing "J'adoube" however we realize that progress can better be achieved incrementally and we were cognizant that there may have been an anti-French perception associated with that."

I have several problems with this so-called decision, they really think that this will improve "our" game! How can a vote of 85 to 73 be seen as "decisive"? Shouldn't there be at least a 66% majority? Is the game really getting that bad that a change is necessary? and is the "en passant" significant enough to make a difference? Why not eliminate the "two square advance" as well?

What next? Castling? The Queen's Gambit?

I say leave the rules as they are......