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The Rules!

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You would think that most internationally ranked players (and arbiters!) would be familiar with the laws of chess. On the same day in the US Championship we had two cases to challenge this theory, both about the same rule. Most players know that to claim a draw on three-fold repetition of position you have to notify the arbiter of your intent to repeat the position for the third time and claim a draw. You do this before you make the move.

First it was FM Aaron Pixton to get a lesson on this rule he'll never forget. He was a pawn down against GM Serper and must have been delighted when Serper accidentally allowed a complicated repetition as they finished the first time control. Pixton made the move (42.Rf1) that repeated the position for the third time and then went to tell the arbiter. Ooops. The arbiters (Jonathan Berry and Carol Jarecki) ruled in favor of Pixton, awarding him a draw. Serper appealed and the committee was quickly assembled. They overruled the arbiters and the game continued. Serper won 20 moves later. A painful way to lose a half point for Pixton.

Left: Rulebook in hand, not Averbakh

Just in case anyone missed that one, a few hours later IM Hikaru Nakamura had been struggling for survival in a lost endgame against GM Yasser Seirawan. (Whose comments on the game were included in Black Belt #5 last night!) Nakamura claimed a much more obvious repetition draw, but also did so after making his move! After a brief discussion with arbiter Carol Jarecki, who brought the rulebook to the table, this claim was denied on the spot. This timedraw was agreed moments later, however. (From the way they played that endgame, maybe an Averbakh book would have been better.)

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on January 17, 2003 10:28 AM.

    The Saga Continues was the previous entry in this blog.

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