In a blitz game, my opponent displaced 3 pieces upon capturing. He arranged 2 correctly but could not figure the position of the third piece. Am I obligated to say the position of the 3rd piece when he asks?

  • 2
    Your opponent can ask the arbiter if present (§7.3); if none is present, it's a free-for-all anyway. Personally I wouldn't even think about "obligated" and tell him. Oct 22, 2022 at 13:57
  • 4
    If your opponent makes a good faith effort to put them back correctly, why wouldn't you tell them? Seems like it would be rather bad form (i.e. unsporting) to withhold if it was an accident and they are making a good faith effort to fix. Oct 22, 2022 at 21:57

2 Answers 2


There is nothing in the rules which says you have to tell your opponent the correct position of the piece. However, if you think about it for even just a few seconds the drawback of not saying should become obvious.

Let's go through it.

  1. Your opponent asks you where the piece should go and you either say you don't know or just ignore them.
  2. Your opponent thinks "OK, he has no clue" and then puts the piece back in a losing position for you.
  3. Suddenly you come to life. "No! No!", you say. "It goes here!"
  4. Opponent calls the arbiter. Explains that 2 seconds earlier you had no clue but now you "know" where the piece was. Says you were right first time and you are just trying to avoid what was already a lost position for you.
  5. Regardless of the arbiter's decision you have lost credibility with the arbiter who is now less likely to believe you the next time you are involved in a dispute.

Here's the quote from FIDE rules:

If a player displaces one or more pieces, he shall re-establish the correct position on his own time. If necessary, either the player or his opponent shall stop the clocks and ask for the arbiter’s assistance. The arbiter may penalise the player who displaced the pieces.

So, but the rules of chess, it would be their responsibility to restore correct position and you are under no obligation to help them. If they did it wrong, you should stop the clock and call the arbiter; the arbiter may penalize your opponent e.g. by adding you time.

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