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This question is for aspiring rules lawyers.
The FIDE's new laws of chess, effective Jan. 1, 2018, patch ambiguities and other subtle problems. I like the new laws. When it comes to game mechanics, I hope that the new laws remain permanently, so may I now ask a totally pedantic technical question regarding a ridiculous but (as far as I know) legal situation?
Under the new laws, suppose that
- you have made 50 moves since the last pawn move or capture,
- I have made 49 moves since the last pawn move or capture, and
- it is my turn to move.
Suppose that my 50th move checkmates you. Ridiculously however, suppose that—simultaneous with my move—I claim a 50-move draw. Do I read the laws right: this game is a draw?
Before answering, you might compare law 9.3.1 against law 9.6.2. The new laws are more carefully worded than the old laws were, so I am unsure that the effect in question is a mere unintentional artifact of unfortunate wording. I suspect that the effect might be deliberate, rather.
Can you shed any light in the matter?
Of course, I am not asking why a checkmating player would choose to waive the checkmate in favor of a draw, but am only probing an odd corner of the laws' logic.
See also this related question and answer from before the recent changes in the laws.
It turns out that my question is a duplicate of the linked question, if you look at it the right way. Morever, an answer to the linked question quotes Geurt Gijssen, an authoritative source. Gijssen answers the question indirectly by answering the inverse question. If I read Gijssen correctly, then a player can indeed claim a 50-move draw while checkmating, and in that case the draw claim would take precedence.
One could question the relevance of Gijssen's comments, since Gijssen (if I recall) retired before the most recent revision cycle, except that the revision seems to come to address questions Gijssen himself had considered or raised.
This sort of question is interesting if one is, for example, programming a computer interface for online chess play, for the programmer must implement the law in question the one way or the other. Just leaving it ambiguous would probably not be a reasonable option in that context.
I also note that players reading the rule in this very question thread are reaching opposite conclusions regarding the rule's meaning in the present case. Academic questions like this can be significant from a rules-logical perspective (as anyone who has programmed game rules into a computer might verify), even if the situation the question targets might never arise during over-the-board play. No game rule wishes players to reach opposite conclusions regarding its meaning, does it?
Two computer programs with different understandings of the rules might deadlock, if set to play one another, for example.
The answers have been really interesting, at least to me.
An actual arbiter in this thread has now persuaded me to the opposite conclusion. He has persuaded me that the checkmate would take precedence, after all.
Unfortunately, one probably cannot but conclude that the rule is ambiguous in the sense that the rule evidently supports reasonable, experienced players to reach opposite conclusions regarding the rule's meaning in this instance.