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83 votes
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Arbiter ignored cheating, and I signed the scoresheet. Did I lose my right to object?

According to the 2017 version of the Laws of Chess, rule 11.10 says: Unless the regulations of an event specify otherwise, a player may appeal against any decision of the arbiter, even if the ...
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81 votes

Why is this a checkmate?

To get out of check, the king needs to move to a square that isn't attacked by any opposing pieces, or you need to capture/block attacking pieces such that the king is no longer under attack on its ...
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  • 1,022
69 votes
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Why is it illegal to castle with both hands?

The official procedure to castle is (Schiller 2003:19–20 from Wikipedia): first move the king with one hand and then move the rook with the same hand. By using both hands the player can save time, ...
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  • 806
60 votes
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When (if ever) was it a rule that pawn promotion was optional?

Dummy Pawns Today, it is little known that for forty years at the height of the British Empire, dummy pawns were the scourge of tournament play, and even grandmasters ran scared. (Possible ...
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  • 9,408
60 votes

Why is it illegal to castle with both hands?

Disclaimer: this is probably not the answer, but it makes for interesting thinking. This reminds me of a string bet in poker. String bets are illegal, because they can be used to gain information – “...
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57 votes
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Is rotating a pawn so that it faces a different direction and then moves in that direction technically permitted according to the 2018 FIDE Laws?

This sort of thing is what the Preface of the Laws of Chess is for: PREFACE The Laws of Chess cannot cover all possible situations that may arise during a game, nor can they regulate all ...
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49 votes

Must one say "queen check" before capturing a queen?

The official FIDE laws of chess do not know about a queen check. Announcing a "queen check“ might even be considered a case of "to distract or annoy the opponent“ (11.5). Even announcing a &...
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46 votes
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When en passant is the only legal move

You are right, this is nonsense. From the FIDE laws of chess, article 5: The game is drawn when the player to move has no legal move and his king is not in check. The game is said to end in ‘...
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46 votes
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Game ended with a handshake

From my experience (small to medium central European Opens), offering a handshake without words is a commonly accepted form of resignation. The handshake is not part of any official rules. However, ...
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  • 5,774
42 votes
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Why can't the king castle in this position?

Executive summary: Black actually can castle, but if he does castle he will lose the knight and the game (due to material loss). Detailed answer: Black and White have equal material. The black ...
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  • 1,010
39 votes

Can a player in check win, by checkmating the opponent, while not getting themselves out of check?

For this kind of question, if you have doubts, just play chess with the goal of capturing the enemy king. The first player to capture the enemy king wins. This isn't the official rule, but it's ...
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  • 21.7k
37 votes

Why does a touched piece not have to move in online play?

I think the reason becomes more apparent when you consider why the rule is in place for OTB games - an opponent constantly moving their hands around the board and moving the pieces around can be very ...
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  • 3,186
37 votes

When (if ever) was it a rule that pawn promotion was optional?

Edward Winter cites Owen J. Clarkin (Ottawa, Canada) who quotes from The Modern Chess Instructor by W. Steinitz (New York, 1889) which in turn cites this example from Lowenthal's Book of the London ...
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  • 5,570
37 votes
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When was it possible for a player's king to be attacked by 3 of the opponent's pieces?

In my thread on the English Chess Forum, which seemed to make the world go crazy on the subject, I gave all the major and minor events in the history of the “legal” triple check that my extensive ...
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37 votes

Can a player in check win, by checkmating the opponent, while not getting themselves out of check?

According the FIDE LAWS of CHESS: 3.9.2 No piece can be moved that will either expose the king of the same colour to check or leave that king in check. So as @djnavas points out, if you are in check ...
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  • 483
36 votes
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When capturing en passant, is a position possible such that there is a pin over the square of the taken pawn, rather than the taking pawn?

Really interesting question. I think the following shows that such a situation is sort of possible, depending on how you define the pin. [StartFlipped "0"] [FEN "7k/4p3/8/2KP3r/8/8/8/8 ...
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  • 7,388
35 votes
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En Passant Checkmate

It is not checkmate if the other player has any legal move that gets them out of check. Capturing the checking piece is one such way; whether the capture is en passant or not is irrelevant for the ...
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  • 10.2k
35 votes

Is there a specific penalty for intentionally damaging chess pieces or the board?

First of all I would consider the Preface: The Laws of Chess cannot cover all possible situations that may arise during a game, nor can they regulate all administrative questions. Where cases ...
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  • 10.2k
35 votes
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Running out of time before playing a forced move that would draw the game

In the final position where white's only legal move is Kxg8 leaving bare kings the position is a draw if white's flag falls before playing the move. The FIDE Laws of Chess are quite explicit: 6.9 ...
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  • 75.7k
34 votes

Why is it illegal to castle with both hands?

I know in general the rules say the hand you move your piece with has to be the one that hits the clock. If you castled with two hands which one would you use to hit the clock? This might be part of ...
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  • 1,142
34 votes
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Should a player be forced to move a piece that he has picked up after a spectator knocked it off the board?

I am not an arbiter, but here's what the rules say: Rule 4.3 (emphasis added) if the player having the move touches on the chessboard, with the intention of moving or capturing I think it should ...
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  • 10.2k
33 votes
Accepted

Can a player resign after checkmating their opponent?

No, this is not possible. for example move the piece, don't press the clock and then resign? In particular, that loophole is explicitly covered by the rules: 6.2.1 During the game each player, ...
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  • 23.9k
32 votes
Accepted

If I touch a piece with my forearm by accident, can my opponent call touch-move?

According to the 2018 FIDE Laws of Chess (emphasis mine): 4.2.1 Only the player having the move may adjust one or more pieces on their squares, provided that he first expresses his intention (for ...
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  • 15.2k
32 votes

Wrongly placed chessboard - what happens?

It's wrong because the rules say so: 2.1 The chessboard is composed of an 8 x 8 grid of 64 equal squares alternately light (the ‘white’ squares) and dark (the ‘black’ squares). The chessboard is ...
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  • 23.9k
31 votes

Why is it illegal to castle with both hands?

Chess rules are all about sequence. If you use two hands, you don't know which happened first. So you always use one hand. First, you make your move, then you hit the clock. As others have pointed ...
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31 votes
Accepted

Are banter blitz players who draw arrows on the board during the game breaking the FIDE Laws of Chess?

I agree that it would break the FIDE rules against note taking, but this is not a FIDE tournament; it is online blitz on Lichess, so FIDE rules need not apply. You'd have to look at the Lichess terms ...
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  • 10.2k
31 votes

Must one say "queen check" before capturing a queen?

No. Some people think it is polite to say 'gardez' to alert a player that the Q can be taken. But no rule says you have to say check nor gardez and in serious games with good players it is not done. ...
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30 votes
Accepted

Why did I lose on time with three pawns versus a knight? Shouldn't it be a draw?

Draw with insufficient material is covered in article 9.6: The game is drawn when a position is reached from which a checkmate cannot occur by any possible series of legal moves, even with the most ...
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  • 1,547
29 votes
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The illegal moves in Carlsen-Inarkiev

What rules (if any) cover a situation like this? 3.10.2 of the FIDE Laws of Chess defines when a move is illegal - 3.10.2 A move is illegal when it fails to meet the relevant requirements of ...
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  • 75.7k
29 votes

Why did I lose on time with three pawns versus a knight? Shouldn't it be a draw?

Worst-case scenario: Upgraded all your pawns to knights Your king is at Ka8 Your knights surround your king, so at Nb8, Na7 and Nb7 Opposition knight is at Nc7# - checkmate! So it is indeed possible ...
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