Ivanchuk: "I have a question"

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Question IvanchukAt the end of the last press conference on Sunday in Le??n, when press officer Leontxo Garcia asked if there were any more questions, it was Vassily Ivanchuk who said: "I have a question." In the second blitz game the players had reached the famous Rook and Knight versus Rook ending, which Carlsen tried in vain to win, for 53 moves. Ivanchuk asked why the arbiter did not interfere.

In the second blitz of final of the Ciudad de Le??n, Ivanchuk and Carlsen reached the ending Rook and Knight versus Rook (which is theoretically drawn, but can be tricky - Kasparov once beat Polgar in it), with Carlsen trying to win it with the black pieces. Black took the last pawn on move 47 and so on move 97, fifty moves had been played without the movement of any pawn and without any capture.

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As it was a blitz game (5 minutes + 3 seconds increment), naturally the players did not record the moves, and having made no progress, exactly at move 100, Carlsen offered the draw. At the press conference Ivanchuk asked about the specific rules in such a situation. Why didn't the arbiter interfere, like at the Amber tournament? Can a player claim, even if he didn't write down the moves? Can he use the monitor for this?

As the blitz rules don't say anything about the fifty move rule, the general Laws of Chess apply.

5.2e The game may be drawn if each player has made at least the last 50 consecutive moves without the movement of any pawn and without any capture. (See Article 9.3)

9.3 The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, if

1. he writes his move on his scoresheet, and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move which shall result in the last 50 moves having been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without any capture, or 2. the last 50 consecutive moves have been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without any capture.


The correct interpretation (and we got this confirmed by Geurt Gijssen) is that a player should claim himself, and the arbiter should not interfere. (Unfortunately there was no way for Ivanchuk to know whether the 50 had been reached or not.)

The player doesn't need to prove whether he's right; stating that "fifty moves have been played without the movement of any pawn and without any capture" should be enough. It's up to the arbiter to check if he's right or not, using the screen, a PGN file or, preferably, his own notebook.

And, a little addendum by Gijssen, for if Ivanchuk is reading this: at the Amber tournament the arbiter tells the players when they can claim. It's up to the players whether they claim or not.
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