So, two cases. Player A (A) and Player B (B)

Case 1

B touches a piece. A sees it. B plays something else. A complains to arbiter that B didn't play the touched piece. Arbiter didn't see that B touched the piece.

Case 2

B didn't violate any touch move rule. A complains to arbiter that B touched a piece and didn't move

So in case 1 A is telling the truth and B can deny it. In case 2 A is lying.

In these situations whose side does arbiter take? Assuming there are no 3rd party witnesses. How does the arbiter know who is lying and who is telling the truth?

1 Answer 1


How do arbiters handle touch move complains where players deny?

There is a very simple principle arbiters follow: "Claims must be supported by evidence"

So, for instance, if you claim a draw by 3-fold repetition it is not enough for you to make a claim. You must also provide evidence via your scoresheet for it to be considered.

Hence in both cases the arbiter has no evidence that a piece was touched and will rule that the player on move is free to make any legal move. The incident may give the arbiter reason to watch that board more closely in future.

  • 2
    btw what kind of "evidence"? lets say i was playing on the next board. would the arbiter ask me if such a thing happened?
    – cmgchess
    Sep 19, 2023 at 3:46
  • 1
    @cmgchess : yes, the arbiter may inquire about possible witnesses.
    – Evargalo
    Sep 19, 2023 at 6:28
  • 2
    @Evargalo: ...who, as chance wants, all are from the same chess club. Both opponents are technically not lying, as the hand was in Heisenberg distance from the piece and both observed their version of the incident. It's your decision now. Sigh. Noone claimed being arbiter is all gloor und skubbets (William Tenn)...that's why you are payed for it :-) Sep 19, 2023 at 7:40

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