Incorrect chess board rotation

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
Robert Page
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Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Robert Page » Thu Oct 05, 2023 7:06 am

I have a question for Kevin Thurlow or any other arbiters out there. Last night I played a club championship game and opened 1.e4 to which my opponent replied 1...d6. He then said 'Oh, can we re-start the game?' More than a little surprised, I declined. He then said, 'But the board's the wrong way round.' The white square was on the right but where my KR should have been on h1, instead it was a8. This did not bother me as I seldom look at the board notation anyway. However, my opponent must have intended playing the French, I think, saw the e-file and played 1...e3 then realised that the two pawns played were not on the same file! I agreed that we could rotate the board correctly but that we should play the same moves so his opening move should remain 1....d6. This we did but I could tell that he was not happy, it clearly played on his mind and he went on to play badly and lose quickly.

After the game I apologised because I seemed to remember there was a rule that said if the board was incorrectly set at the start of the game, it could be re-started providing only a certain number of moves had been made. This now played on my mind so when I returned home I checked the FIDE rules and found this:

7.1 a. If during a game it is found that the initial position of the pieces was incorrect, the
game shall be cancelled and a new game played.
b. If during a game it is found that the chessboard has been placed contrary to Article
2.1, the game continues but the position reached must be transferred to a correctly
placed chessboard.

Article 2.1 refers to the white square being on the players' right but does not specify board notation. My question is: did I do the right thing and was the correct procedure followed? If this happened in a tournament and I called the arbiter over, what would be the decision?

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Oct 05, 2023 7:48 am

My decision as the arbiter would be "the moves 1.e4 d6 stand; I am happy to transfer the position to one where the notation is correct".

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Oct 05, 2023 8:20 am

I agree with Jack. What does the opponent do if he encounters an old unlabelled board?

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Oct 05, 2023 9:19 am

Uses his or her pen to write the numbers and letters on the side of the board, obviously! </sarcasm> :D

(This does not work for old wooden boards.)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 05, 2023 9:44 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 9:19 am
Uses his or her pen to write the numbers and letters on the side of the board, obviously!
Boards lent out for junior events have been known to come back so inscribed.

A member of a visiting team once brought his own board in case the home club boards didn't have the a-h, 1-8 markings.

Brendan O'Gorman
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Thu Oct 05, 2023 10:26 am

"sportsmanship", the quality of showing fairness, respect, and generosity toward the opposing team or player and for the sport itself when competing. (Cambidge Dictionary)

Nick Burrows
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Nick Burrows » Thu Oct 05, 2023 10:52 am

Brendan O'Gorman wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 10:26 am
"sportsmanship", the quality of showing fairness, respect, and generosity toward the opposing team or player and for the sport itself when competing. (Cambidge Dictionary)
vs being excessively concerned with minor details or rules; overscrupulous.

Andy McCulloch
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Andy McCulloch » Thu Oct 05, 2023 12:25 pm

Sadly I remember when a DGT board was vandalised in that manner.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Thu Oct 05, 2023 12:37 pm

"Sadly I remember when a DGT board was vandalised in that manner."

Yes, me too - I thought the culprit came close to being punched...

NickFaulks
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Oct 05, 2023 1:03 pm

Andy McCulloch wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2023 12:25 pm
Sadly I remember when a DGT board was vandalised in that manner.
I have seen this done by a member of an Olympiad team, using a penknife.

By the way, OP was clearly within his rights and there was nothing for an arbiter to do, but I still think it was a bit mean.
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Mike Gunn
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Mike Gunn » Fri Oct 06, 2023 8:59 am

The position of the square a1 is defined by where the player with the white pieces is sitting, not any notation marked on the board. There was no need to rotate the board by 180 degrees and reset the pieces. However, it would be a friendly/ sporting thing to do if the other player was relying on the notation marked on the board.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Oct 06, 2023 10:35 am

"However, it would be a friendly/ sporting thing to do if the other player was relying on the notation marked on the board."

You could be more unfriendly and accuse him of using notes...

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Fri Oct 06, 2023 1:01 pm

Mike Gunn wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 8:59 am
The position of the square a1 is defined by where the player with the white pieces is sitting, not any notation marked on the board. There was no need to rotate the board by 180 degrees and reset the pieces. However, it would be a friendly/ sporting thing to do if the other player was relying on the notation marked on the board.
Rotation by 90 degrees, not 180 degrees.

It is not needed, but having once played some casual games with the board set wrongly, it can be disorientating!

Other ways to get that feeling of disorientation:

(1) Play a game with the king and queen the wrong way round, but have Black move first (think about this).
(2) Play a game with both armies the same colour. This is actually possible, but very confusing.
(3) Play a game with 32 pawns on the board (probably best to have different colours) and try and remember which pieces represent the queen and king and bishop and rook and knight and so on.

If you write down the right notation, the game is still valid. You may have to run screaming through the woods to clear your head afterwards... Do not under any circumstances explain to spectators what you and your opponent are doing.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Oct 06, 2023 3:10 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 1:01 pm
Mike Gunn wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 8:59 am
The position of the square a1 is defined by where the player with the white pieces is sitting, not any notation marked on the board. There was no need to rotate the board by 180 degrees and reset the pieces. However, it would be a friendly/ sporting thing to do if the other player was relying on the notation marked on the board.
Rotation by 90 degrees, not 180 degrees.
No, 180. Rotation by 90 degrees would be needed to correct a board set up with a1 as a white square.

Mike Gunn
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Re: Incorrect chess board rotation

Post by Mike Gunn » Fri Oct 06, 2023 5:22 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2023 3:10 pm
No, 180. Rotation by 90 degrees would be needed to correct a board set up with a1 as a white square.
Jack, the OP says my white rook was on h8 rather than a1 so 180 degrees in this case. The board was set up correctly, just the marked on notation (a-h, and 1-8) was wrong.

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