hovering chess pieces


I have some friends that pickup their pieces and hover them around the board in the air while they decide where to actually put them on a square. I searched the 5th edition USCF rulebook and do't even find a comment about it. this can't be accepted play. really irritating besides it leaves doubt where the piece originally came from.

Yeah, I recall a guy in Oklahoma who did that in a rated tournament game against a friend of mine about five years ago, and he got away with an illegal move. My friend was so distracted with this behavior that he didn’t catch the illegal move until later during a late night postmortem in his hotel room. He never addressed it to anyone since he won anyway, but, lesson learned—pay attention, and involve the tournament director if there is a problem. ......... Another behavior that is just as bad is the guy who places his piece on a new square, and the holds his finger on it for two minutes without punching his clock—like he scoping out the circumstances before settling on a different square. I never saw an adult do that, but I’ve seen young scholastic kids do it in adult events.

I would be surprised if there was any rule about that. Once you have touched a piece you have to play that piece. However, I don't think there is any rule about how long you take between picking up the piece and placing it on its destination square. There should not be doubt about where it came from if you are both concentrating on the game. If you are worried, record the moves of the game because then you can always prove where it came from.


I always record but it still makes it hard as you now have to watch where the piece came from carefully as it becomes easy to cheat and put it down on an illegal square


 You might have a case in an official game/tournament.

USCF Rules

20G - Annoying behavior prohibited. It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. A director, upon a complaint by the opponent, has discretion to determine whether any particular behavior is in violation of this rule and to impose penalties. 


FIDE Rules

12.6 It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. This includes unreasonable claims, unreasonable offers of a draw or the introduction of a source of noise into the playing area.


Of course that is in an official game, just a casual game? Pistols at 20 paces should decide it.


Lol. I'd miss at 20 paces. I'm 75 pct blind. Only point blank range would work.