# Draws, en passant, and the FIDE's 2014 rulebook revision

Effective July 2014, the FIDE has revised its Laws of Chess. Some questions occur regarding the revision, including one re draws and en passant.

``````[Title "Black to move"]
[FEN "1rb1kbnr/ppppqppp/6n1/4P3/8/1PN5/P1PP2PP/1RBQKBNR b kq - 0 1"]

1... d5 2. Ra1 Ra8 3. Rb1 Rb8 4. Ra1 Ra8 5. Rb1
``````

After Black pushes his queen pawn two squares, White could capture en passant, except that the capturer is pinned against its king. So instead (just to illustrate the point), our players start shuffling their rooks back and forth.

After 5. Rb1, can Black write 5... Rb8 on his scoresheet, stop the clocks, and claim draw by repetition?

Another way to ask the question: is the en passant position Black's move 1 introduces effectively an en passant position after all, according to the FIDE's revised Laws of Chess?

DISCUSSION AND REFERENCES

Laws of Chess, sect. 9.2:

The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by a player having the move, when the same position for at least the third time (not necessarily by a repetition of moves): (a) is about to appear, if he first writes his move, which cannot be changed, on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, or (b) has just appeared, and the player claiming the draw has the move. Positions are considered the same if and only if the same player has the move, pieces of the same kind and colour occupy the same squares and the possible moves of all the pieces of both players are the same. Thus positions are not the same if ... at the start of the sequence a pawn could have been captured en passant....

To me, this says that Black can indeed claim the draw mentioned above. However, decades of experience suggest that different players can understand the same rulebook language differently, especially in obscure cases like the present one. Is it possible to read this rule differently? One would like to be sure.

Related, earlier questions and answers on StackExchange, predating the FIDE's July 2014 revision, include this.

Further reading: Geurt Gijssen. Arbiter's Notebook.

• There is a problem with your example -- presumably, in the initial position both sides have not moved their king and queen's rook yet, and thus Rb1/Rb8 lose castling rights. And that makes the positions not the same. Aug 18 '14 at 8:32
• By the way, from here it looks like the passage in question didn't change in the new rules. Aug 18 '14 at 22:27
• @RemcoGerlich: Your observation is sharp. Example fixed. Thanks.
– thb
Aug 27 '14 at 10:33