Forum Archive : Tournaments

Clock rules--Illegal move

From:   Brendan Burgess
Date:   15 February 2000
Subject:   Clock rules question
Google:   gyhq4.11149$

If my opponent makes an illegal move, I assume that I pause the clock to
point it out. I can then decide whether or not I want him to correct the
play. I will be using the paused time to think about my decision.

Last night, I made an illegal move and my opponent just restarted my clock
and told me to play the move legally. Could I have claimed that by starting
my clock he had condoned my move and then finished his move. If so, I could
roll and play my next move.


Gregg Cattanach  writes:

No.  If he verbally informs you to correct your move and the restarts your
clock, his hitting the clock doesn't mean he forfeits his roll and move.
You must make a legal move, then hit your clock, and the game proceeds
normally.  You shouldn't get to stop the clock to think up a legal move.
What else should he do, but turn your time back on?

Also, deciding whether to condone or make him re-do an illegal move is not
one of the valid reasons for stopping the clock.  The only valid reasons

a) to start a new game
b) to offer a concession
c) to announce intention to take a break in the match
d) to retrieve fallen dice
e) to contest an opponent's action
f) to summon Director.

I don't believe (e) includes condoning or re-doing an illegal move.

Michael Crane  writes:

According to Biba Clock Rules (and those used in the USA via Bill Davis)
Rule 4.0 Stopping The Clock states, "..... e) to contest an opponent's
action or to summon the Director."

If you are contesting an action and it is under discussion then both clocks
should be stopped and the discussion continued to a conclusion. However, if
it is, as stated by Brendan, an illegal move, then Brendan's opponent
didn't need to discuss it but simply ask Brendan to replay it legally and
in Brendan's time. You cannot pause the clock to think about an opponent's
illegal play - this thinking about it is done in your time.

Brendan's opponent didn't condone the illegal play by starting Brendan's
clock (thus 'ending' his own move) but exercised his right to have the move

As one of the busiest tournament directors in the world I am wholly for the
use of clocks. They are a great tool to ensure the smooth running and
timely ending of matches and tournaments. At Biba tournaments they are used
as a 'persuader inasmuch as I trawl the playing areas checking the scores
at set times and issue warnings that if the points scored don't reach a
certain level by my return (15 minutes later) then the remaining segment of
the match will continue with clocks. I find that does the trick most of the
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