A long time ago I used to play OTB blitz chess at a chess club. We had club blitz tournaments [5 mins each with no increment because the clocks were old-school chess clocks]. I was new to blitz. I had a habit when taking off material, such as an exchange, of pressing my clock with my hands still on the board and being yet to take off the material. This ate into my opponent's time. One strong opponent who was an official chess arbiter once responded by pressing my own clock and saying "move on your own time".

I agree that my habit was wrong. I tried to stop doing it. Where in the FIDE laws of chess would it cover this habit?

2 Answers 2


It sounds like you were breaking the rules on several fronts.

According to the FIDE Laws of Chess:

6.2.3 A player must press his clock with the same hand with which he made his move. It is forbidden for a player to keep his finger on the clock or to ‘hover’ over it.

You would probably be punished under the illegal move rules:

7.5.2 If the player has moved a pawn to the furthest distant rank, pressed the clock, but not replaced the pawn with a new piece, the move is illegal. The pawn shall be replaced by a queen of the same colour as the pawn.

7.5.3 If the player presses the clock without making a move, it shall be considered and penalized as if an illegal move.

7.5.4 If a player uses two hands to make a single move (for example in case of castling, capturing or promotion) and pressed the clock, it shall be considered and penalized as if an illegal move.

7.5.5 After the action taken under Article 7.5.1, 7.5.2, 7.5.3 or 7.5.4 for the first completed illegal move by a player, the arbiter shall give two minutes extra time to his opponent; for the second completed illegal move by the same player the arbiter shall declare the game lost by this player. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.

It sounds like you were either moving with one hand and pressing the clock - 6.2.3 or using two hands to make the move - 7.5.4


Brian's fine answer already established you were breaching some rules, but here are some more basic FIDE rules:

4.6 [...] The move is then considered to have been made: a. in the case of a capture, when the captured piece has been removed from the chessboard and the player, having placed his own piece on its new square, has released this capturing piece from his hand

So you haven't finished making your move yet if you haven't removed the piece. And there is

6.7a. During the game each player, having made his move on the chessboard, shall stop his own clock and start his opponent’s clock.

(Emphasis mine) You can't stop your clock when your move isn't even made yet, of course.


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