Forum Archive : Rulings

Disputed roll

From:   Roland Scheicher
Date:   12 March 2004
Subject:   A rules question: when must I protest against an illegal move (if I want to)?

Imagine the following situation: My opponent threw 6-5 and he moved
his checkers, as if he had thrown 6-4. He picked up his dice (almost
immediately - at least less than a second) and I asked him to correct
the move. My opponent claimed that the throw had been 6-4 and said, if
the move had been illegal, I should have had to protest before his
picking up the dice.

What is the correct (tournament) procedure for situations like this?
When must I protest (if I do not want to condone the illegal play)?
If my opponent was right in his statement, how should I behave against
an opponent who is used to pick up his dice immediately?

I want to mention that my opponent was an honest player, and since it
was not at all a decisive throw, we could easily reach an agreement.
Nevertheless, we were both interested, if there exists a strict rule,
which clears such situations.

Kind regards


Gregg Cattanach  writes:

Technically, there is no way to protest the illegal move before your
opponent has picked up his dice because is turn isn't completed until he's
picked them up. However, if you see your opponent do something illegal
before he picks up his dice, you are free to bring his attention to it.
After your opponent has made his move AND picked up his dice, if it is
illegal AND you want him to do something legal instead, you tell him at that
point.  If there is a dispute about the actual number that was thrown, then
you probably have to call the director.  Any kibitzers present at the time
may be asked by the director about the number thrown.  This is one big
advantage of using clocks in tournament play because the dice are still on
the table when the person finishes his turn (by hitting the clock).

If your opponent makes an illegal play any you want it to stand as played,
you need not say anything at all.  Just roll your dice and continue the
game.  If you want to tell him, that's OK too, but by rolling you 'condone'
his illegal play and the game continues.

  US Rule:
  4.8  ILLEGAL MOVES. Upon drawing attention to an illegal move, player may
  condone it or demand that opponent legally replay the entire roll. Player
  condones a prior illegal move by rolling his own dice or turning the cube.

Gregg C.

Paul Epstein  writes:

In a no-witness situation, where the players have precise but
differing versions of what the numbers were, my opinion is that the
matter should be settled by a coin toss or some other 50/50 random
trial.  Is that ever done in practice?

Michael Plog  writes:

Yes.  In a situation where both players say different things and no
witness was around, each player is asked to roll one die.  The
decision goes to the higher die.  I have seen this in an ABT
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