• Last updated on 9/7/12, 3:36 AM.

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The 'touch-move' rule is [particularly] used in live 'face-to-face'-type (OTB [Over The Board]) tournament- and/or match-format play.  Its use is less common in most formats of internet-chess.  It most likely evolved not only from 'formal'- or serious-level game play involving high stakes, but more due in part towards the deterrence for 'analysing [positions] over the board' during actual game play.  The ruling stipulates: If a player intentionally [or unintentionally] touches a piece when it is their turn to move, they must move or capture that piece, only if it is legal to do so.  Once a player has released one's hand from the piece that was touched/moved, the player may not retract that move back - the move [or capture] must be made, if possible.  There is no penalty incurred if the piece touched/moved cannot be realized.  A player may not touch any piece on the board if it is not their turn to move - otherwise doing so may incur a penalty from the tournament director. 

The only other exception to this rule is if the player is adjusting a piece.  Piece adjustment is the right for a player [on the move] to correct the placement of any piece[s] 'in doubt' of their current game position over the course of play.  A player may 'adjust' [at will] any number [and colour] of pieces not centered on their designated squares.  When a player adjusts they must clearly say "I'll adjust" [or "j'adoube"] before actually touching the piece, then places [adjusts] the piece back to its original game position.  After all satisfaction of piece adjustment, the player then makes their move [of any piece - adjusted or not] accordingly.


  • 8 years ago · Quote · #1


    Nice to know

  • 7 years ago · Quote · #2


    I have lost because of thisFrown...

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #3


    CrySame here...

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #4


    good information
  • 6 years ago · Quote · #5


    info here is just of amateur player standard.More  scientific explanation required.

                                     Anyway it is good...

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #6


    useful informations 4 future masters
  • 6 years ago · Quote · #7


  • 4 years ago · Quote · #8


    my father uses this when he's loosing and he make's up a few of his own rule's lol

  • 4 years ago · Quote · #9


    Try this...










  • 3 years ago · Quote · #10


    This article offers speculation concerning historical origins. That is pure laziness when the history is known. Please consult the texts of Lucena, Ruy Lopez, Greco, and other writers 1497-1800. The rule was well-established when these authors wrote, and they all discuss it.

    After doing your homework, please rewrite this article.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #11


    what if the person you are playing is about to castle and they touch their rook first? would that be "touch piece" therefore they would not be able to catsle with that rook?

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #12


    @ Ziryab:

    So do you actually believe everything you read, then?

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #13


    @ ernestovega97:

    Yes, that's right.  Under the 'touch-move' rule, if a player intending to [legally] castle, touches their rook first, they may not only castle, but they must then move (and possibly capture with) that 'touched' rook (if legally possible), providing their opponent immediately points out the 'touch-move' ruling, and before subsequently moving/replying [or 'touching'] themselves.  If the 'touched' rook cannot legally move [or capture], then the pointed-out 'touch-move' ruling penalty is annulled; the player 'touching' being free to [legally] move [or capture/castle] normally with any other piece.

    Note that should a player intending to castle touches both their king and rook 'simultaneously' (i.e. with either/both hands), it is assumed to be under 'normal etiquette' of practice to communicate the intention of castling to one's opponent; however, in individual games of 'serious' tournament/match-type events, there have been past occurrences of 'bending the [touch-move] rules' where one's opponent made [successful] attempts in claiming [with the TD] for 'which hand touched what first[?]' towards castling in this 'two-handed' fashion.

    The most proper [or correct] way to safely ensure castling 'professionally' within such events is thus via one hand: grasping the king with one hand first, then with the same hand, touching and grasping the rook to castle, placing either piece then on their respective squares with the same hand.  However, in my opinion, it would just seem to make more sense if all governing chess bodies stipulated the proviso for a universal castling law, where the verbal announcement of it would suffice in lieu for any perceived potential error.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #14


    bobbavich wrote:

    my father uses this when he's loosing and he make's up a few of his own rule's lol

    Don't we all[?]! ...

    The above ruling [or law] only suggests 'fairness' in play, really, but in all actuality, it often now leads but to heated arguments between the players, TDs, including spectators alike within major tournament events.  And so personally, I think our current 'touch-[and]-move' law could use a revamping.

    Regardless of the fact that I reinstated the above article 'here', I think the rule basically 'sucks' myself; I truly believe it needs a good overhauling.  Although I myself have never encountered any serious abuses/arguments in 'OTB'-tourney game play over its [intended] use, I can recall witnessing at least one [recent] account of it where the TD had to step in to resolve such an instance between two opposing players amidst their game:

    Unable to come to terms towards absolving the issue [themselves] regarding the particular player who [upon his move] purportedly touched his [own] queen (I just happened to be observing their game/argument amongst my own game, right next over beside them on my table), the poor kid [who touched his own queen] - who was not only in fact winning, but clearly - was forced under the TD's 'judgemental' verdict in having to move [and subsequently lose] his queen, now at a clear disadvantage to his opponent, and so resigned (but not without crying, first[!] ... ).

    It was quite sad, really, not just in the instance that he [the kid] lost/played a well-fought game against a much older and stronger kid/opponent, but that the ['touch-move'] ruling's [unfortunate] intervention ('there', and perhaps elsewhere) only transpired into the biased 'judge' that it is; i.e. in only pillaging good chess games! -such that 'it' ('this' rule's/law's example) was surely apparent enough in that the older kid (who only knew he was losing) 'only' wanted to extract (or, perhaps 'bend') as much of the game's rules/laws towards any kind of advantage he could get at.

    Now before I get into any argument [myself] over this 'touch [and] move' rule's 'deconstruction', first we should - or have to, per se - re-examine the above game's scenario; re: the TD's 'judgemental' verdict, apropos of going 'over and above' the law's 'point' ...

    First off - and I believe it's stated within the rule's laws[?] - before finalizing a[ny] decision based upon the rule's use (within a given 'tournament'-type event), the TD (in the aforementioned scenario 'there', or anywhere) should have summoned any [player]-witness[es] upon determining his 'truth' (and I speak 'truth') to the matter - regardless of face-value to the fact of [any] expressed testimony

    [note: this article needs further completion]

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