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FIDE has released its latest version of the Laws of Chess - FIDE Laws of Chess taking effect from 1 January 2023.

What are the main differences from the previous version(Laws of Chess: For competitions starting from 1 January 2018 till 31 December 2022)?

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There are three main differences:

  1. FIDE has finally adopted inclusive pronouns. "He" is replaced by "He/She". "Him" is replaced by "Him/Her", etc.
  2. The normal time penalty for illegal moves has been changed for rapid to bring it into line with blitz. It is now 1 minute instead of 2 minutes. The penalty for standard remains at 2 minutes.
  3. Recording the moves on a 'FIDE certified electronic scoresheet' has been introduced as an alternative to writing the moves on a paper scoresheet. The word 'record' is now also used instead of 'write'. e.g.

Article 8: The recording of the moves

8.1 How the moves shall be recorded:

8.1.1 In the course of play each player is required to record his/her own moves and those of his/her opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, in one of the following ways:

8.1.1.1 by writing in the algebraic notation (Appendix C), on the paper ‘scoresheet’ prescribed for the competition.

8.1.1.2 by entering moves on the FIDE certified ‘electronic scoresheet’ prescribed for the competition.

There are additional minor typographical and grammatical corrections that don't affect the rules in any meaningful way.

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The answer by @Brian Towers is correct, in their news statement FIDE highlighted the same points. Moroever, they released a “comprehensive table showing all changes and corrections“.

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  • Can anyone explain their highlighting? In many cases (9.2.1.1) there seems to be several changes (he/she and electronic scorecard) that are not noted and then 'move, which cannot be changed,' is in red for an unknown reason. Jan 5, 2023 at 7:51
  • I assume it is just a mistake.
    – Keba
    Jan 5, 2023 at 8:13
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In addition to the answer given by Brian Towers, I found a few smaller points and clarifications that may affect gameplay or tournament organisation (some of these aren't even mentioned in the changes document!):

  • Usage of "stop the chessclock" is largely replaced with "pause the chessclock" (perhaps to prevent confused players from resetting the clock to zero?).

  • Articles 9.2.1 (formerly 9.2.1.1) and 9.3.1 (claiming draws under threefold repetition or 50-moves by announcing the move you're about to make) have had their wording updated to clarify that it is the announced move that cannot be changed, not the electronic scoresheet that cannot be changed.

  • Brian correctly mentions that penalties for illegal moves and incorrect draw claims during Rapid Chess games are now one minute instead of two minutes. However, these penalties under Blitz Chess are now two minutes instead of one minute, if the Competitive Rules of Play are used. (I thought this might have been a mistake, but they explicitly acknowledge this as "repealed" in the changes table.)

  • The allowance of a player to ask the arbiter for a copy of the scoresheet up to five times per game is now a requirement for a Blitz game to run under the Competitive Rules of Play rather than the Rapid Chess Laws.

  • An Introduction has been added to the Guidelines that clarifies that the Guidelines are not considered part of the FIDE Laws. (I assume this means that FIDE-sanctioned events are free, though strongly not recommended, to ignore these rules or implement different rules in the cases of game adjournment, Chess960, or quickplay finishes.)

Other than that, many of the changes are small spelling/grammar/numbering/wording fixes. Some sub-articles have been given titles. The "Competition Rules" are now called the "Competitive Rules of Play".

There are also a few minor errors I found:

  • Articles 6.10.2 and Guidelines I.1.1 still use the wording "stop the chessclock", which may cause confused players to reset the chessclock to zero when notifying the arbiter of incorrect clock settings or when adjourning a game. (Not fully sure if it is intended that the chessclock be reset to zero in these cases, but I doubt it is.)

  • Article A.2, still uses the wording "write the moves", which might suggest that players can only ask the arbiter for a paper scoresheet to write the moves on, and not an electronic scoresheet to record the rules on. (Again, not fully sure if this is intended, but I doubt it is.)

  • Article C.10.1.3 was erroneously renumbered to C.10.1.2, so there are now two Articles numbered C.10.1.2.

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