Imagine the following scenario:

I am playing as white and on my first move I:

  1. Touch my b1 knight without moving it or pressing the clock
  2. Move one of my opponents pieces
  3. Move one of my pieces (excluding my b1 Knight)
  4. Repeat 2-3 arbitrary number of times
  5. Once satisfied with seeing the line played out I return all piece back to their original positions
  6. Move my touched b1 knight to a3 or c3
  7. Press the clock

Have I broken any FIDE rules?

My instinct is that this is legal since:

7.5.1 An illegal move is completed once the player has pressed his/her clock.

  • 1
    Considering [this discussion] (chess.stackexchange.com/questions/5195/…) on what is and isn't a distraction, my guess is that behaviour could be considered quite distracting for your opponent.
    – emdio
    Commented Oct 8, 2023 at 5:12
  • During a game of chess you have no business handling the pieces in play or extending your hands over the board, except for the purpose of making your move or adjusting a piece on its square. If there's "nothing in the rules" that specifically prohibits the misbehavior you describe, neither is there a rule against mooning your opponent. The written rules can't cover everything.
    – bof
    Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 8:05
  • Furthermore, it probably won't be allowed because of the confusion/disagreements it may cause over what the actual position of the board is. Also if one player moves the pieces for visualisation then it will mess with the other player's visualisation which wouldn't be allowed for obvious reasons.
    – Ryley
    Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 14:24
  • Also, in a serious game, wouldn't this just help the opponent? They immediately see what your plan is, so they don't have to spend time trying to figure out what you're trying to do. However, I suppose they would need to spend time to see if you were trying to trick them into falling for some trap by pretending that there is a different line to follow. E.g. you could show that you are trying to win a minor piece, causing them to focus on dealing with that and possibly miss that your actual plan will win you a Queen.
    – Nelson O
    Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


The relevant § are the following:

§4 Touch-move: You must now move your Nb1 and (by §4.7) play it to the square you released it first, which makes the whole analyzing part by you a bit pointless.

§11.3.1 Surplus info: Analyzing a game surely counts as a source of "info" in the sense of this § (even if the § explicitely mentions analyzing on another board, but §0.2 Rule by analogy can be applied).

§11.5/11.1 Catch-them-all: A newbie I might let go with a stern warning under the assumption there was a severe misunderstanding of tournament rules. Anyone else will get the book thrown at with superluminal speed, for obvious trolling.

  • Just about the first point: a deep piece-moving analysis might help decide whether 1.Na3 or 1.Nc3 is the move you wanna play after having touched the Nb1 without having released it on another square. (and I'm getting ready to dodge the book)
    – Evargalo
    Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 6:53
  • @Evargalo: You are tempting me to do an xkcd-table-style cartoon: Things to do/not to do at the chess board with one/two hands. :-) Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 8:37
  • 1
    @Evargalo: Done. imgur.com/a/OjDFKEp (WARNING: While not exactly NSFW, bad taste childish humor. :-) Commented Oct 11, 2023 at 9:58

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