FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DES ECHECS
Recognized by the International Olympic Committee
9 Syggrou Avenue, 11743 Athens, Greece
Tel : (30) 210-
Fax : (30) 210-
BASIC RULES OF PLAY
Article 1: The nature and objectives of the game of chess
The game of chess is played between two opponents who move their pieces on a square board called a ‘chessboard’. The player with the light-
The objective of each player is to place the opponent’s king ‘under attack’ in such a way that the opponent has no legal move. The player who achieves this goal is said to have ‘checkmated’ the opponent’s king and to have won the game. Leaving one’s own king under attack, exposing one’s own king to attack and also ’capturing’ the opponent’s king are not allowed. The opponent whose king has been checkmated has lost the game.
If the position is such that neither player can possibly checkmate the opponent’s king, the game is drawn (see Article 5.2 b).
Article 2: The initial position of the pieces on the chessboard
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 placed between the players in such a way that the near corner square to the right of the player is white.
At the beginning of the game one player has 16 light-
These pieces are as follows:
A white king, usually indicated by the symbol
A white queen, usually indicated by the symbol
Two white rooks, usually indicated by the symbol
Two white bishops, usually indicated by the symbol
Two white knights, usually indicated by the symbol
Eight white pawns, usually indicated by the symbol
A black king, usually indicated by the symbol
A black queen, usually indicated by the symbol
Two black rooks, usually indicated by the symbol
Two black bishops, usually indicated by the symbol
Two black knights, usually indicated by the symbol
Eight black pawns, usually indicated by the symbol
The initial position of the pieces on the chessboard is as follows:
The eight vertical columns of squares are called ‘files’. The eight horizontal rows of squares are called ‘ranks’. A straight line of squares of the same colour, running from one edge of the board to an adjacent edge, is called a ‘diagonal’.
Article 3: The moves of the pieces
It is not permitted to move a piece to a square occupied by a piece of the same colour. If a piece moves to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece the latter is captured and removed from the chessboard as part of the same move. A piece is said to attack an opponent’s piece if the piece could make a capture on that square according to the Articles 3.2 to 3.8.
A piece is considered to attack a square, even if such a piece is constrained from moving to that square because it would then leave or place the king of its own colour under attack.
The bishop may move to any square along a diagonal on which it stands.
The rook may move to any square along the file or the rank on which it stands.
The queen may move to any square along the file, the rank or a diagonal on which it stands.
When making these moves the bishop, rook or queen may not move over any intervening pieces.
The knight may move to one of the squares nearest to that on which it stands but not on the same rank, file or diagonal.
The pawn may move forward to the unoccupied square immediately in front of it on the same file, or
on its first move the pawn may move as in 3.7.a or alternatively it may advance two squares along the same file provided both squares are unoccupied, or
the pawn may move to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece, which is diagonally in front of it on an adjacent file, capturing that piece.
A pawn occupying a square on the same rank as and on an adjacent file to an opponent’s pawn which has just advanced two squares in one move from its original square may capture this opponent’s pawn as though the latter had been moved only one square. This capture is only legal on the move following this advance and is called an ‘en passant’ capture.
When a player, having the move, plays a pawn to the rank furthest from its starting position, he must exchange that pawn as part of the same move for a new queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same colour on the intended square of arrival. This is called the square of ‘promotion’. The player's choice is not restricted to pieces that have been captured previously. This exchange of a pawn for another piece is called promotion, and the effect of the new piece is immediate.
There are two different ways of moving the king:
a. by moving to any adjoining square
b. by ‘castling’. This is a move of the king and either rook of the same colour along the player’s first rank, counting as a single move of the king and executed as follows: the king is transferred from its original square two squares towards the rook on its original square, then that rook is transferred to the square the king has just crossed.
(1) The right to castle has been lost:
if the king has already moved, or
with a rook that has already moved.
(2) Castling is prevented temporarily:
if the square on which the king stands, or the square which it must cross, or the square which it is to occupy, is attacked by one or more of the opponent's pieces, or
if there is any piece between the king and the rook with which castling is to be effected.
The king is said to be 'in check' if it is attacked by one or more of the opponent's pieces, even if such pieces are constrained from moving to that square because they would then leave or place their own king in check. No piece can be moved that will either expose the king of the same colour to check or leave that king in check.
Article 4: The act of moving the pieces
Each move must be made with one hand only.
Provided that he first expresses his intention (for example by saying "j’adoube“ or “I adjust”), only the player having the move may adjust one or more pieces on their squares.
Except as provided in Article 4.2, if the player having the move deliberately touches on the chessboard:
one or more of his own pieces, he must move the first piece touched which can be moved
one or more of his opponent’s pieces, he must capture the first piece touched which can be captured
one piece of each colour, he must capture the opponent’s piece with his piece or, if this is illegal, move or capture the first piece touched which can be moved or captured. If it is unclear, whether the player’s own piece or his opponent’s was touched first, the player’s own piece shall be considered to have been touched before his opponent’s.
If a player having the move:
touches his king and rook he must castle on that side if it is legal to do so
deliberately touches a rook and then his king he is not allowed to castle on that side on that move and the situation shall be governed by Article 4.3.a
intending to castle, touches the king or king and rook at the same time, but castling on that side is illegal, the player must make another legal move with his king (which may include castling on the other side). If the king has no legal move, the player is free to make any legal move
promotes a pawn, the choice of the piece is finalised, when the piece has touched the square of promotion.
If none of the pieces touched can be moved or captured, the player may make any legal move.
The act of promotion may be performed in various ways:
1. the pawn does not have to be placed on the square of arrival,
2. removing the pawn and putting the new piece on the square of promotion may occur in any order.
If an opponent’s piece stands on the square of promotion, it must be captured.
When, as a legal move or part of a legal move, a piece has been released on a square, it cannot be moved to another square on this move. The move is then considered to have been made in the case of:
a capture, when the captured piece has been removed from the chessboard and the player, having placed his own piece on its new square, has released this capturing piece from his hand
castling, when the player's hand has released the rook on the square previously crossed by the king. When the player has released the king from his hand, the move is not yet made, but the player no longer has the right to make any move other than castling on that side, if this is legal. If castling on this side is illegal, the player must make another legal move with his king (which may include castling with the other rook). If the king has no legal move, the player is free to make any legal move.
promotion, when the player's hand has released the new piece on the square of promotion and the pawn has been removed from the board.
A player forfeits his right to claim against his opponent’s violation of Articles 4.1 – 4.7 once the player touches a piece with the intention of moving or capturing it.
If a player is unable to move the pieces, an assistant, who shall be acceptable to the arbiter, may be provided by the player to perform this operation.
Article 5: The completion of the game
The game is won by the player who has checkmated his opponent’s king. This immediately ends the game, provided that the move producing the checkmate position was in accordance with Article 3 and Articles 4.2 – 4.7.
The game is won by the player whose opponent declares he resigns. This immediately ends the game.
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 ‘stalemate’. This immediately ends the game, provided that the move producing the stalemate position was in accordance with Article 3 and Articles 4.2 – 4.7.
The game is drawn when a position has arisen in which neither player can checkmate the opponent’s king with any series of legal moves. The game is said to end in a ‘dead position’. This immediately ends the game, provided that the move producing the position was in accordance with Article 3 and Articles 4.2 – 4.7.
The game is drawn upon agreement between the two players during the game. This immediately ends the game.
The game may be drawn if any identical position is about to appear or has appeared on the chessboard at least three times. (See Article 9.2)
The game may be drawn if each player has made at least the last 50 moves without the movement of any pawn and without any capture. (See Article 9.3)
Article 6: The chess clock
‘Chess clock’ means a clock with two time displays, connected to each other in such a way that only one of them can run at one time.
‘Clock’ in the Laws of Chess, means one of the two time displays.
Each time display has a ‘flag’.
‘Flag fall’ means the expiration of the allotted time for a player.
During the game each player, having made his move on the chessboard, shall stop his own clock and start his opponent’s clock (that is to say, he shall press his clock). This “completes” the move. A move is also completed if:
(1) the move ends the game (see Articles 5.1.a, 5.2.a, 5.2.b, 5.2.c, 9.6a, 9.6b and 9.7), or
(2) the player has made his next move, in case his previous move was not completed.
A player must be allowed to stop his clock after making his move, even after the opponent has made his next move. The time between making the move on the chessboard and pressing the clock is regarded as part of the time allotted to the player.
A player must press his clock with the same hand with which he made his move.
It is forbidden for a player to keep his finger on the clock or to ‘hover’ over it.
The players must handle the chessclock properly. It is forbidden to press it forcibly, to pick it up, to press the clock before moving or to knock it over.
Improper clock handling shall be penalised in accordance with Article 12.9.
Only the player whose clock is running is allowed to adjust the pieces.
If a player is unable to use the clock, an assistant, who must be acceptable to the arbiter, may be provided by the player to perform this operation. His clock shall be adjusted by the arbiter in an equitable way. This adjustment of the clock shall not apply to the clock of a player with a disability.
When using a chessclock, each player must complete a minimum number of moves or all moves in an allotted period of time and/or may be allocated an additional amount of time with each move. All these must be specified in advance.
The time saved by a player during one period is added to his time available for the next period, where applicable.
In the time-
Provided the player presses his clock before the expiration of the fixed extra time, the main thinking time does not change, irrespective of the proportion of the fixed extra time used.
Immediately after a flag falls, the requirements of article 6.3 a. must be checked.
Before the start of the game the arbiter shall decide where the chess clock is placed.
At the time determined for the start of the game White's clock is started.
The rules of a competition shall specify in advance a default time. Any player who arrives at the chessboard after the default time shall lose the game unless the arbiter decides otherwise.
If the rules of a competition specify that the default time is not zero and if neither player is present initially, White shall lose all the time that elapses until he arrives, unless the rules of the competition specify or the arbiter decides otherwise.
A flag is considered to have fallen when the arbiter observes the fact or when either player has made a valid claim to that effect.
Except where one of the Articles: 5.1.a, 5.1.b, 5.2.a, 5.2.b, 5.2.c applies, if a player does not complete the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, the game is lost by the player. However, the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.
Every indication given by the clocks is considered to be conclusive in the absence of any evident defect. A chess clock with an evident defect shall be replaced by the arbiter, who shall use his best judgment when determining the times to be shown on the replacement chess clock.
If during a game it is found that the setting of either or both clocks was incorrect, either player or the arbiter shall stop the clocks immediately. The arbiter shall install the correct setting and adjust the times and move counter, if necessary. He shall use his best judgement when determining the correct settings.
If both flags have fallen and it is impossible to establish which flag fell first then:
the game shall continue if it happens in any period of the game except the last period
the game is drawn if this occurs in the period of a game in which all remaining moves must be completed.
If the game needs to be interrupted, the arbiter shall stop the clocks.
A player may stop the clocks only in order to seek the arbiter’s assistance, for example when promotion has taken place and the piece required is not available.
The arbiter shall decide when the game restarts.
If a player stops the clocks in order to seek the arbiter’s assistance, the arbiter shall determine if the player had any valid reason for doing so. If the player had no valid reason for stopping the chess clock, the player shall be penalised in accordance with Article 12.9.
Screens, monitors, or demonstration boards showing the current position on the chessboard, the moves and the number of moves made/completed, and clocks which also show the number of moves, are allowed in the playing hall. However, the player may not make a claim relying solely on information shown in this manner.
Article 7: Irregularities
If an irregularity occurs and the pieces have to be restored to a previous position, the arbiter shall use his best judgement to determine the times to be shown on the chessclock. This includes the right not to change the clock times. He shall also, if necessary, adjust the clock’s move-
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.
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.
If a game has begun with colours reversed then it shall continue, unless the arbiter rules otherwise.
If a player displaces one or more pieces, he shall re-
If during a game it is found that an illegal move has been completed, the position immediately before the irregularity shall be reinstated. If the position immediately before the irregularity cannot be determined, the game shall continue from the last identifiable position prior to the irregularity. Articles 4.3 and 4.7 apply to the move replacing the illegal move. The game shall then continue from this reinstated position.
If the player has moved a pawn to the furthest distant rank, pressed the clock, but not replaced the pawn with a new piece, the move is illegal. The pawn shall be replaced by a queen of the same colour as the pawn.
After the action taken under Article 7.5.a, for the first completed illegal move by a player the arbiter shall give two minutes extra time to his opponent in each instance; for the second illegal move by the same player, the arbiter shall declare the game lost by this player. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.
If during a game it is found that any pieces has been displaced from it correct square, the position before the irregularity shall be re-
Article 8: The recording of the moves
In the course of play each player is required to record his own moves and those of his opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, in the algebraic notation (See Appendix C), on the scoresheet prescribed for the competition. It is forbidden to write the moves in advance, unless the player is claiming a draw according to Article 9.2 or 9.3 or adjourning a game according to Appendix E 1.a.
The scoresheet shall be used only for recording the moves, the times of the clocks, offers of a draw, matters relating to a claim and other relevant data.
A player may reply to his opponent’s move before recording it, if he so wishes. He must record his previous move before making another.
Both players must record the offer of a draw on the scoresheet with a symbol (=).
If a player is unable to keep score, an assistant, who must be acceptable to the arbiter, may be provided by the player to write the moves. His clock shall be adjusted by the arbiter in an equitable way. This adjustment of the clock shall not apply to a player with a disability.
The scoresheet shall be visible to the arbiter throughout the game.
The scoresheets are the property of the organisers of the event.
If a player has less than five minutes left on his clock at some stage in a period and does not have additional time of 30 seconds or more added with each move, then for the remainder of the period he is not obliged to meet the requirements of Article 8.1.
If neither player keeps score under Article 8.4, the arbiter or an assistant should try to be present and keep score. In this case, immediately after one flag has fallen, the arbiter shall stop the chessclock. Then both players shall update their scoresheets, using the arbiter’s or the opponent’s scoresheet.
If only one player has not kept score under Article 8.4, he must, as soon as either flag has fallen, update his scoresheet completely before moving a piece on the chessboard. Provided it is the player’s move, he may use his opponent’s scoresheet, but must return it before making a move.
If no complete scoresheet is available, the players must reconstruct the game on a second chessboard under the control of the arbiter or an assistant. He shall first record the actual game position, clock times, whose clock was running and the number of moves made/completed, if this information is available, before reconstruction takes place.
If the scoresheets cannot be brought up to date showing that a player has overstepped the allotted time, the next move made shall be considered as the first of the following time period, unless there is evidence that more moves have been made or completed.
At the conclusion of the game both players shall sign both scoresheets, indicating the result of the game. Even if incorrect, this result shall stand, unless the arbiter decides otherwise.
Article 9: The drawn game
The rules of a competition may specify that players cannot agree to a draw, whether in less than a specified number of moves or at all, without the consent of the arbiter.
However, if the rules of a competition allow a draw agreement the following shall apply:
A player wishing to offer a draw shall do so after having made a move on the chessboard and before pressing his clock. An offer at any other time during play is still valid but Article 11.5 must be considered. No conditions can be attached to the offer. In both cases the offer cannot be withdrawn and remains valid until the opponent accepts it, rejects it orally, rejects it by touching a piece with the intention of moving or capturing it, or the game is concluded in some other way.
The offer of a draw shall be noted by each player on his scoresheet with a symbol (=)
A claim of a draw under Article 9.2, 9.3 or 10.2 shall be considered to be an offer of a draw.
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):
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
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:
(1) at the start of the sequence a pawn could have been captured en passant.
(2) a king or rook had castling rights, but forfeited these after moving. The castling rights are lost only after the king or rook is moved.
The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, if:
he writes his move, which cannot be changed, on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, which shall result in the last 50 moves by each player having been made without the movement of any pawn and without any capture, or
the last 50 consecutive moves by each player have been completed without the movement of any pawn and without any capture.
If the player touches a piece as in Article 4.3, he loses the right to claim a draw under Article 9.2 or 9.3, on that move.
If a player claims a draw as in Article 9.2 or 9.3 he or the arbiter shall stop the chessclock (See Article 6.12a or 16.12b) He is not allowed to withdraw his claim.
If the claim is found to be correct, the game is immediately drawn.
If the claim is found to be incorrect, the arbiter shall add two minutes to the opponent’s remaining thinking time. Then the game shall continue. If the claim was based on an intended move, this move must be made in accordance with Articles 3 and 4.
If one or both of the following occur(s) then the game is drawn:
the same position has appeared, as in 9.2b, for at least five consecutive alternate moves by each player.
any consecutive series of 75 moves have been completed by each player without the movement of any pawn and without any capture. If the last move resulted in checkmate, that shall take precedence.
The game is drawn when a position is reached from which a checkmate cannot occur by any possible series of legal moves. This immediately ends the game, provided that the move producing this position was was in accordance with Article 3 and Articles 4.2 – 4.7.
Article 10: Points
Unless the rules of a competition specify otherwise, a player who wins his game, or wins by forfeit, scores one point (1), a player who loses his game, or forfeits, scores no points (0), and a player who draws his game scores a half point (½).
Article 11: The conduct of the players
The players shall take no action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute.
The ‘playing venue’ is defined as the ‘playing area’, rest rooms, toilets, refreshment area, area set aside for smoking and other places as designated by the arbiter. The playing area is defined as the place where the games of a competition are played.
Only with the permission of the arbiter can
a. a player leave the playing venue.
b. the player having the move be allowed to leave the playing area.
c. A person who is neither a player nor arbiter be allowed access to the playing area.
During play the players are forbidden to make use of any notes, sources of information or advice, or analyse on another chessboard
During play, a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone and/or other electronic means of communication in the playing venue. If it is evident that a player brought such a device into the playing venue, he shall lose the game. The opponent shall win.
The rules of a competition may specify a different, less severe, penalty. The arbiter may require the player to allow his clothes, bags or other items to be inspected, in private. The arbiter or a person authorised by the arbiter shall inspect the player and shall be of the same gender as the player. If a player refuses to cooperate with these obligations, the arbiter shall take measures in accordance with Article 12.9.
Smoking is permitted only in the section of the venue designated by the arbiter
Players who have finished their games shall be considered to be spectators.
The player having the move is not allowed to leave the playing area without permission of the arbiter.
It is forbidden to distract or annoy the opponent in any manner whatsoever. This includes unreasonable claims, unreasonable offers of a draw or the introduction of a source of noise into the playing area.
Infraction of any part of Articles 11.1-
Persistent refusal by a player to comply with the Laws of Chess shall be penalised by loss of the game. The arbiter shall decide the score of the opponent.
If both players are found guilty according to Article 11.7, the game shall be declared lost by both players.
A player shall have the right to request from the arbiter an explanation of particular pointsin the Laws of Chess.
Unless the rules of the competition specify otherwise, a player may appeal against any decision of the arbiter, even if the player has signed the scoresheet (see Article 8.7).
Article 12: The role of the Arbiter (See Preface)
The arbiter shall see that the Laws of Chess are strictly observed.
The arbiter shall
a) ensure fair play.
b) act in the best interest of the competition.
c) ensure that a good playing environment is maintained.
d) ensure that the players are not disturbed.
e) supervise the progress of the competition.
f) take special measures in the interests of disabled players and those who need medical attention.
The arbiter shall observe the games, especially when the players are short of time, enforce decisions he has made and impose penalties on players where appropriate.
The arbiter may appoint assistants to observe games, for example when several players are short of time.
The arbiter may award either or both players additional time in the event of external disturbance of the game.
The arbiter must not intervene in a game except in cases described by the Laws of Chess. He shall not indicate the number of moves made, except in applying Article 8.5, when at least one flag has fallen. The arbiter shall refrain from informing a player that his opponent has completed a move or that the player has not pressed his clock.
If someone observes an irregularity, he may inform only the arbiter. Players in other games are not to speak about or otherwise interfere in a game. Spectators are not allowed to interfere in a game. The arbiter may expel offenders from the playing venue.
Unless authorised by the arbiter, it is forbidden for anybody to use a mobile phone or any kind of communication device in the playing venue or any contiguous area designated by the arbiter.
Options available to the arbiter concerning penalties:
b. increasing the remaining time of the opponent
c. reducing the remaining time of the offending player
d. increasing the points scored in the game by the opponent to the maximum available for that game
e. reducing the points scored in the game by the offending person
f. declaring the game to be lost by the offending player (the arbiter shall also decide the opponent’s score)
g. a fine announced in advance
h. expulsion from the competition.
Appendix A. Rapidplay
A.1 A ‘Rapidplay’ game is one where either all the moves must be completed in a fixed time of more than 10 minutes but less than 60 minutes for each player; or the time allotted plus 60 times any increment is of more than 10 minutes but less than 60 minutes for each player.
A.2 Players do not need to record the moves.
A.3 The Competition Rules shall apply if
a. one arbiter supervises at most three games and
b. each game is recorded by the arbiter or his assistant and, if possible, by electronic means.
A.4 Otherwise the following apply:
a. From the initial position, once ten moves have been completed by each player,
(1) no change can be made to the clock setting, unless the schedule of the event would be adversely affected.
(2) no claim can be made regarding incorrect set-
b. An illegal move is completed once the player has pressed his clock. If the arbiter observes this he shall declare the game lost by the player, provided the opponent has not made his next move. If the arbiter does not intervene, the opponent is entitled to claim a win, provided the opponent has not made his next move.
However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves. If the opponent does not claim and the arbiter does not intervene, the illegal move shall stand and the game shall continue. Once the opponent has made his next move, an illegal move cannot be corrected unless this is agreed by the players without intervention of the arbiter.
c. To claim a win on time, the claimant must stop the chessclock and notify the arbiter. For the claim to be successful, the claimant must have time remaining on his own clock after the chessclock has been stopped. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the claimant cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.
d. If the arbiter observes both kings are in check, or a pawn on the rank furthest from its starting position, he shall wait until the next move is completed. Then, if the illegal position is still on the board, he shall declare the game drawn.
Appendix B. Blitz
B.1 A ‘blitz’ game’ is one where all the moves must be completed in a fixed time of 10 minutes or less for each player; or the allotted time plus 60 times any increment is 10 minutes or less.
B.2 The penalties mentioned in Articles 7 and 9 of the Competition Rules shall be one minute instead of two minutes.
B.3 The Competition Rules shall apply if
a. one arbiter supervises one game and
b. each game is recorded by the arbiter or his assistant and, if possible, by electronic means.
B.4 Otherwise, play shall be governed by the Rapidplay Laws as in Article A.4.
B.5 The Rules for a competition shall specify whether Article B.3 or Article.B.4 shall apply for the entire event.
Appendix C. Algebraic notation
FIDE recognises for its own tournaments and matches only one system of notation, the Algebraic System, and recommends the use of this uniform chess notation also for chess literature and periodicals. Scoresheets using a notation system other than algebraic may not be used as evidence in cases where normally the scoresheet of a player is used for that purpose. An arbiter who observes that a player is using a notation system other than the algebraic should warn the player of this requirement.
Description of the Algebraic System
C.1 In this description, ‘piece’ means a piece other than a pawn.
C.2 Each piece is indicated by an abbreviation. In the English language it is the first letter, a capital letter, of its name. Example: K=king, Q=queen, R=rook, B=bishop, N=knight. (N is used for a knight, in order to avoid ambiguity.)
C.3 For the abbreviation of the name of the pieces, each player is free to use the name which is commonly used in his country. Examples: F = fou (French for bishop), L = loper (Dutch for bishop). In printed periodicals, the use of figurines recommended.
C.4 Pawns are not indicated by their first letter, but are recognised by the absence of such a letter. Examples: the moves are written e5, d4, a5, not pe5, Pd4, pa5.
C.5 The eight files (from left to right for White and from right to left for Black) are indicated by the small letters, a, b, c, d, e, f, g and h, respectively.
C.6 The eight ranks (from bottom to top for White and from top to bottom for Black) are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, respectively. Consequently, in the initial position the white pieces and pawns are placed on the first and second ranks; the black pieces and pawns on the eighth and seventh ranks.
C.7 As a consequence of the previous rules, each of the sixty-
C.8 Each move of a piece is indicated by a) the abbreviation of the name of the piece in question and b) the square of arrival. There is no hyphen between a) and b). Examples:
Be5, Nf3, Rd1.
In the case of pawns, only the square of arrival is indicated. Examples: e5, d4, a5.
C.9 When a piece makes a capture, an x may be inserted between a) the abbreviation of the name of the piece in question and b) the square of arrival. Examples: Bxe5, Nxf3, Rxd1, see also C10.
When a pawn makes a capture, the file of departure must be indicated, then an x may be inserted, then the square of arrival. Examples: dxe5, gxf3, axb5. In the case of an ‘en passant’ capture, ‘e.p.’ may be appended to the notation. Example: exd6 e.p.
C.10 If two identical pieces can move to the same square, the piece that is moved is indicated as follows:
1. If both pieces are on the same rank: by a) the abbreviation of the name of the piece, b) the file of departure, and c) the square of arrival.
2. If both pieces are on the same file: by a) the abbreviation of the name of the piece, b) the rank of the square of departure, and c) the square of arrival. If the pieces are on different ranks and files, method 1 is preferred.
a. There are two knights, on the squares g1 and e1, and one of them moves to the square f3: either Ngf3 or Nef3, as the case may be.
b. There are two knights, on the squares g5 and g1, and one of them moves to the square f3: either N5f3 or N1f3, as the case may be.
c. There are two knights, on the squares h2 and d4, and one of them moves to the square f3: either Nhf3 or Ndf3, as the case may be.
d. If a capture takes place on the square f3, the notation of the previous examples is still applicable, but an x may be inserted: 1) either Ngxf3 or Nexf3, 2) either N5xf3 or N1xf3, 3) either Nhxf3 or Ndxf3, as the case may be.
C.11 In the case of the promotion of a pawn, the actual pawn move is indicated, followed immediately by the abbreviation of the new piece. Examples: d8Q, exf8N, b1B, g1R.
C.12 The offer of a draw shall be marked as (=).
x = captures
+ = check
++ or # = checkmate
e.p. = captures ‘en passant’
The last four are optional.
1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 exd4 4. e5 Ne4 5. Qxd4 d5 6. exd6 e.p. Nxd6 7. Bg5 Nc6 8. Qe3+ Be7 9. Nbd2 0-
Or: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d4 ed4 4. e5 Ne4 5. Qd4 d5 6. ed6 Nd6 7. Bg5 Nc6 8. Qe3 Be7 9 Nbd2 0-
Appendix G. Quickplay Finishes
G.1 A ‘quickplay finish’ is the phase of a game when all the remaining moves must be completed in a finite time.
G.2 Before the start of an event it shall be announced whether this Appendix shall apply or not.
G.3. This Appendix shall only apply to standard play and rapidplay games without increment and not to blitz games.
G.4 If the player having the move has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may request that a time delay or cumulative time of an extra five seconds be introduced for both players, if possible. This constitutes the offer of a draw. If refused, and the arbiter agrees to the request, the clocks shall then be set with the extra time; the opponent shall be awarded two extra minutes and the game shall continue.
G.5 If Article G.4 does not apply and the player having the move has less than two minutes left on his clock, he may claim a draw before his flag falls. He shall summon the arbiter and may stop the chessclock (see Article 6.12 b). He may claim on the basis that his opponent cannot win by normal means, and/or that his opponent has been making no effort to win by normal means
a. If the arbiter agrees that the opponent cannot win by normal means, or that the opponent has been making no effort to win the game by normal means, he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise he shall postpone his decision or reject the claim.
b. If the arbiter postpones his decision, the opponent may be awarded two extra minutes and the game shall continue, if possible, in the presence of an arbiter. The arbiter shall declare the final result later in the game or as soon as possible after the flag of either player has fallen. He shall declare the game drawn if he agrees that the opponent of the player whose flag has fallen cannot win by normal means, or that he was not making sufficient attempts to win by normal means. c. If the arbiter has rejected the claim, the opponent shall be awarded two extra minutes.
G.6 The following shall apply when the competition is not supervised by an arbiter:
a. A player may claim a draw when he has less than two minutes left on his clock andbefore his flag falls. This concludes the game.
He may claim on the basis:
(1) that his opponent cannot win by normal means, and/or
(2) that his opponent has been making no effort to win by normal means.
In (1) the player must write down the final position and his opponent must verify it.
In (2) the player must write down the final position and submit an up-
b. The claim shall be referred to the designated arbiter.
Glossary of terms in the Laws of Chess
The number after the term refers to the first time it appears in the Laws.
adjourn: 8.1. Instead of playing the game in one session it is temporarily halted and then continued at a later time.
algebraic notation: 8.1. Recording the moves using a-
analyse: 11.3. Where one or more players make moves on a board to try to determine what is the best continuation.
appeal: 11.10. Normally a player has the right to appeal against a decision of the arbiter or organiser.
arbiter: Preface. The person(s) responsible for ensuring that the rules of a competition are followed.
arbiter’s discretion: There are approximately 39 instances in the Laws where the arbiter must use his judgement.
assistant: 8.1. A person who may help the smooth running of the competition in various ways.
attack: 3.1. A piece is said to attack an opponent’s piece if the player’s piece can make a capture on that square.
black: 2.1. 1. There are 16 dark-
blitz: B. A game where each player’s thinking time is 10 minutes or less.
board: 2.4. Short for chessboard.
Bronstein mode: 6.3b. See delay mode.
capture: 3.1. Where a piece is moved from its square to a square occupied by an opponent’s piece, the latter is removed from the board. See also 3.7d. In notation x.
castling: 3.8b. A move of the king towards a rook. See the article. In notation 0-
cellphone: See mobile phone.
check: 3.9. Where a king is attacked by one or more of the opponent’s pieces. In notation +.
checkmate: 1.2. Where the king is attacked and cannot parry the threat. In notation ++ or #.
chessboard: 1.1. The 8x8 grid as in 2.1.
chessclock: 6.1. A clock with two time displays connected to each other.
chess set: The 32 pieces on the chessboard.
Chess960: A variant of chess where the back-
claim: 6.8. The player may make a claim to the arbiter under various circumstances.
clock: 6.1. One of the two time displays.
completed move: 6.2a. Where a player has made his move and then pressed his clock.
contiguous area: 12.8. An area touching but not actually part of the playing venue. For example, the area set aside for spectators.
cumulative (Fischer) mode: Where a player receives an extra amount of time (often 30 seconds) prior to each move.
dead position: 5.2b. Where neither player can mate the opponent’s king with any series of legal moves.
default time: 6.7. The specified time a player may be late without being forfeited.
delay (Bronstein) mode: 6.3b. Both players receive an allotted ‘main thinking time’. Each player also receives a ‘fixed extra time’ with every move. The countdown of the main thinking time only commences after the fixed extra time has expired. Provided the player presses his clock before the expiration of the fixed extra time, the main thinking time does not change, irrespective of the proportion of the fixed extra time used.
demonstration board: 6.13. A display of the position on the board where the pieces are moved by hand.
diagonal: 2.4. A straight line of squares of the same colour, running from one edge of the board to an adjacent edge.
disability: 6.2e. A condition, such as a physical or mental handicap, that results in partial or complete loss of a person's ability to perform certain chess activities.
draw: 5.2. Where the game is concluded with neither side winning.
draw offer: 9.1.b. Where a player may offer a draw to the opponent. This is indicated on the scoresheet with the symbol (=).
en passant: 3.7d. See that article for an explanation. In notation e.p.
exchange: 1. 3.7e. Where a pawn is promoted. Or 2.Where a player captures a piece of the same value as his own and this piece is recaptured. Or 3. Where one player has lost a rook and the other has lost a bishop or knight.
explanation: 11.9. A player is entitled to have a Law explained.
fair play: 12.2a. Whether justice has been done has sometimes to be considered when an arbiter finds that the Laws are inadequate.
file: 2.4. A vertical column of eight squares on the chessboard.
Fischer mode: See cumulative mode.
flag: 6.1. The device that displays when a time period has expired.
forfeit: 4.8.1. To lose the right to make a claim or move. Or 2. To lose a game because of an infringement of the Laws.
handicap: See disability.
I adjust: See j’adoube.
illegal: 3.10a. A position or move that is impossible because of the Laws of Chess.
impairment: See disability.
increment: 6.1. An amount of time (from 2 to 60 seconds) added from the start before each move for the player. This can be in either delay or cumulative mode.
intervene: 12.7. To involve oneself in something that is happening in order to affect the outcome.
j’adoube: 4.2. Giving notice that the player wishes to adjust a piece, but does not necessarily intend to move it.
kingside: 3.8a. The vertical half of the board on which the king stands at the start of the game.
legal move: See Article 3.10a.
made: 1.1. A move is said to have been ‘made’ when the piece has been moved to its new square, the hand has quit the piece, and the captured piece, if any, has been removed from the board.
mate: Abbreviation of checkmate.
minor piece. Bishop or knight.
mobile phone: 11.3b. Cellphone.
monitor: 6.13. An electronic display of the position on the board.
move: 1.1. 1. 40 moves in 90 minutes, refers to 40 moves by each player. Or 2. having the move refers to the player’s right to play next. Or 3. White’s best move refers to the single move by White.
normal means: G.5. Playing in a positive manner to try to win; or, having a position such that there is a realistic chance of winning the game other than just flag-
organiser. 8.3. The person responsible for the venue, dates, prize money, invitations, format of the competition and so on.
penalties: 12.3. The arbiter may apply penalties as listed in 12.9 in ascending order of severity.
piece: 2. 1. One of the 32 figurines on the board. Or 2. A queen, rook, bishop or knight.
playing area: 11.2. The place where the games of a competition are played.
playing venue: 11.2. The only place to which the players have access during play.
points: 10. Normally a player scores 1 point for a win, ½ point for a draw, 0 for a loss. An alternative is 3 for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss.
press the clock: 6.2a. The act of pushing the button or lever on a chess clock which stops the player’s clock and starts that of his opponent.
promotion: 3.7e. Where a pawn reaches the eighth rank and is replaced by a new queen, rook, bishop or knight of the same colour.
queen: As in queen a pawn, meaning to promote a pawn to a queen.
queenside: 3.8a. The vertical half of the board on which the queen stands at the start of the game.
quickplay finish: G. The last part of a game where a player must complete an unlimited number of moves in a finite time.
rank: 2.4. A horizontal row of eight squares on the chessboard.
rapidplay: A. A game where each player’s thinking time is more than 10 minutes, but less than 60.
repetition: 5.2.d. 1. A player may claim a draw if the same position occurs three times. 2. A game is drawn if the same position occurs five times.
resigns: 5.1b. Where a player gives up, rather than play on until mated.
rest rooms: 11.2. Toilets, also the room set aside in World Championships where the players can relax.
result: 8.7. Usually the result is 1-
rules of the competition: 6.7a. At various points in the Laws there are options. The competition rules must state which have been chosen.
sealed move: E. Where a game is adjourned the player seals his next move in an envelope.
scoresheet: 8.1. A paper sheet with spaces for writing the moves. This can also be electronic.
screen: 6.13. An electronic display of the position on the board.
spectators: 11.4. People other than arbiters or players viewing the games. This includes players after their games have been concluded.
standard play: G3. A game where each player’s thinking time is at least 60 minutes.
stalemate: 5.2a. Where the player has no legal move and his king is not in check.
square of promotion: 3.7e. The square a pawn lands on when it reached the eighth rank.
supervise: 12.2e. Inspect or control.
time control: 1. The regulation about the time the player is allotted. For example, 40 moves in 90 minutes, all the moves in 30 minutes, plus 30 seconds cumulatively from move 1. Or 2. A player is said ‘to have reached the time control’, if, for example he has completed the 40 moves in less than 90 minutes.
time period: 8.6. A part of the game where the players must complete a number of moves or all the moves in a certain time.
touch move: 4.3. If a player touches a piece with the intention of moving it, he is obliged to move it.
vertical: 2.4. The 8th rank is often thought as the highest area on a chessboard. Thus each file is referred to as ‘vertical’.
white: 2.2. 1. There are 16 light-
zero tolerance: (6.7b). Where a player must arrive at the chessboard before the start of the session.
THE LAWS OF CHESS
FIDE Laws of Chess cover over-
The Laws of Chess have two parts: 1. Basic Rules of Play and 2. Competition Rules.
The English text is the authentic version of the Laws of Chess (which was adopted at the 84th FIDE Congress at Tallinn (Estonia) coming into force on 1 July 2014.
In these Laws the words ‘he’, ‘him’, and ‘his’ shall be considered to include ‘she’ and ‘her’.
The Laws of Chess cannot cover all possible situations that may arise during a game, nor can they regulate all administrative questions. Where cases are not precisely regulated by an Article of the Laws, it should be possible to reach a correct decision by studying analogous situations which are regulated in the Laws. The Laws assume that arbiters have the necessary competence, sound judgement and absolute objectivity. Too detailed a rule might deprive the arbiter of his freedom of judgement and thus prevent him from finding a solution to a problem dictated by fairness, logic and special factors. FIDE appeals to all chess players and federations to accept this view.
A necessary condition for a game to be rated by FIDE is that it shall be played according to the FIDE Laws of Chess.
It is recommended that competitive games not rated by FIDE be played according to the FIDE Laws of Chess.
Member federations may ask FIDE to give a ruling on matters relating to the Laws of Chess.
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