Monday, December 24, 2007

Checkmate or Lost on Time? (Updated 24 December 2007)!

I recall one of my blitz game against “retired” local chess player Julian Navaratnam in National Blitz Championship held at Armcorp Mall ,Petaling Jaya in 12th April 1998 . The tournament were held by the Selangor Chess Association (CAS) in between with the Resorts World Asian Cities Championship held in Genting Highlands from 8-15th April 1998. 12 April 1998 were the rest day for the Asian Cities Championship so many foreign players went to Amcorp Mall to play the blitz events.

FM Zhang Penxiang from China won that events. Among the winners is 2nd. Zan Win Lay (Myanmar), 3rd. FM Wang Rui (China), 4th. Aung Myo Hlaing (Myanmar), 5th. Myint Han (Myanmar),6th. Naing Lim Aung (Myanmar), 7th. Darren Yong (Malaysia), 8th. Law Zhe Kang (Malaysia), 9th. Maung Maung Lwin (Myanmar).......yours truly:) 16th. Hairul Abdul Hamid (Malaysia)!.....source Malay Mail, 17 April 1998

In one of the round, I played black against Julian. He played 1.e4 and I replied with 1…e5 2. Nf3 d6- Philidor Defense. Those days, Philidor Defense (diagram left) have served me well and gave many good result to me especially in blitz. I even beat Lim Yee Weng (now Fide Master) in 1999 Klang Parade blitz tournaments using the same opening. the winner of that events is 1st. Fikrul Saifuddin, 2nd. Julian Navaratnam, 3rd. Ng ee Vern, 4th. Mohd Saprin Sabri and 5th...yours truly.... Hairul Abdul Hamid :) .

However In my game with Julian, i had a very difficult time at the early stage of the game. I carelessly lost a piece in the middle game but manage to get two pawn as a compensation-not enough though. Without doubt, with best play the position is winning for white but in blitz anything can happen! Julian confidently use his extra material to delivered checkmate to my king’s but I stubbornly defense and “steal” time to slow and steady promote my passed pawn on the queen side.

Suddenly Julian found that his checkmate is going nowhere whereas my passed pawn on the queen side is unstoppable! In a terrible time trouble I managed to promote my passed pawn and take turn to checkmate Julian

Julian knows he will lose the game and starts pressing the clock without releasing his hand from the button . This made me a little bit angry because with analog clock I can’t press the button if my opponent didn’t release his hand from the clock button’s.

Just a split second before I delivered the final move (checkmate!) my flag drop and Julian stop the clock and claim I lost on time. I disagree because the position is checkmate. We later decided to call the arbiter to settle the argument. The arbiter listen to our claims and decided that I won the game because the final position is checkmate. Julian professionally accept the decision.Julian professionally accept the desicions.

Recently I found an article from famous arbiter Geurt Gijssen (photo down left) in regarding the rules.

Question Dear Mr. Gijssen, I have two questions for you.

1) In a 5-minute game, Player A made his move, but did not even have time to press his clock before Player B delivered a checkmate. Thereafter, Player A realized that Player B had overstepped the time limit at least one move before the checkmate. Player A claimed a win on time, while Player B claimed a win on checkmate. Who is correct in your opinion?

Answer 1) I refer to Article B7 of the Rapid Rules, which also apply for Blitz games:

The flag is considered to have fallen when a player has made a valid claim to that effect. The arbiter shall refrain from signaling a flag fall.

The question is: is the claim valid after the flag has fallen? The answer is: No. As you can see, the arbiter should not intervene when a player oversteps the time. This means that the game continues, even after a flag fall. Therefore, the game finished the moment Player B checkmated Player A’s king.


edfong said...

Good post. I think a lot of players do not know the rules or their rights very well. These kind of posts helps the practical player a lot. I shall also post on rules in my blog when I can.

Chee Meng said...

Checkmate ends the game , so subsequent flag claim is irrelevant :)