Building on this question about tournament etiquette: What is the etiquette (or tournament rule) for the act of capturing a piece?

Suppose I want to capture a piece but am not sure which of my pieces I'd like to capture with. Is it legal to remove the opponent's piece from the board, then think for 15 minutes before completing the move (i.e., placing my chosen piece on the square previously occupied by the enemy) and pressing the clock?

I know it's probably disconcerting to my opponent (and not good etiquette). I wouldn't do this intentionally. At this point I'm just asking about legality.


Your opponent has the right to view the board also when it is your turn. If you did this and your opponent complained to the arbiter after a minute or two you would face sanctions. Probably just a warning for a first offence, then a time penalty and if you continue repeating the tactic eventually you would forfeit the game. This loss would be graded as such.

  • I understand it is not fair play, but are you citing/paraphrasing the actual rules? Thank you for your comment. – pgblu Dec 17 '16 at 21:09
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    @pgblu FIDE Laws of Chess - "Article 11.5 It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever." Your suggested action sounds as if it is specifically aimed at disobeying this law. If you behaved like that in a tournament where I was the arbiter I would punish you accordingly. – Brian Towers Dec 17 '16 at 22:21
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    Fair enough! For the record, I was certainly not planning on pulling this trick myself, and if someone did it to me, I would likely report them. – pgblu Dec 19 '16 at 12:20
  • @pgblu If somebody does this to you you would also be within your rights to replace the missing piece if your opponent hasn't completed his move in a reasonable time, say 10 or 20 seconds. – Brian Towers Dec 19 '16 at 19:32

I don't think it is regulated how much time you can spend performing a move. In this sense it is legal, but might still violate some general fair play rules.

In any case you'd lose 15 minutes on the clock. Is it worth it?

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    In this hypothetical situation, I would be using the 15 minutes (or whatever) to think about what I am going to do. – pgblu Dec 17 '16 at 21:08

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