Sunday, April 22, 2012

Example of an Appeal

The result of a game played at the Kingston Chess Club came into question and the result of the game was appealed.  All involved believe this appeal could also be a good learning experience for all chess players in the club.

The names of the players have been changed for privacy reasons.


At the point of the game in question Mr. White had approximately 7 minutes left on his clock and Mr. Black had 20 seconds remaining.  During the last 20 seconds of the game Mr. White continually checked Mr. Black until his time ran out.  It was Mr. Black’s contention that Mr. White made the decision to run his opponent out of time rather that take the time he had available and actually look for some way to defeat Mr. Black.  Mr. White denied this was the case.

The arbiter was called and decided in Mr. White’s favor. At this point Mr. Black informed the arbiter he would be appealing the decision.

Below you will see how the KCC runs an appeal so that you will understand what is involved if, in the future, one of you feels the arbiter has erred in his ruling between you and your opponent.


  1. An appeal is a disagreement on the interpretation of the rules.  It is not a personal attack on your opponent.
  2. It is up to the player filing the appeal to prove that what he is claiming is true.  Remember the arbiter has already ruled therefore the opponent does not have to prove anything.  For the player to win his appeal the Appeal Committee must find that the arbiter did not properly interpret the rule or rules in question.
  3. Make sure you know and understand the rules.  All chess rules must be followed precisely.
  4. All decisions from the Appeal Committee are final.



Find the chess game being appealed attached to this email.


At this time I wish to file a formal complaint against my opponent, Mr. White, with regard to the decision he made during his final six moves in round 3 of the Peter Sibbald Spring Open, played Monday 2nd April 2012.

It is my contention that my opponent noted that I had only 20 seconds left on my clock and proceeded to end the game with the intent of running me out of time by using continued checks.  This was his strategic plan; there was no thought out plan of attack with the end result being a mate or removal of sufficient material to preclude him from being mated.

The “Rules of Chess” is a standardized code used by all tournament directors.  These rules can be found on the CFC and FIDE sites.  Since there seems to be a problem at the CFC site I used the “Rules of Chess” found on the FIDE web page.

Rules of Chess

Article 10

10.2     If 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 clocks. (See Article 6.12.b)
a.            If the arbiter agrees the opponent is making no effort to win the game by normal means, or that it is not possible to win by normal means, then he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise he shall postpone his decision or reject the claim.

The moves that I question by my opponent start at move 39 and end at move 44.  At move 39 I had 20 seconds left on my clock and my opponent had 7 min 15 seconds. At the completion of move 44 I had run out of time and my opponent had 6 min 40 seconds left on his clock. He used a total of 35 seconds.

I noticed immediately he was moving and checking very quickly, keeping a watch on my remaining time.  I came to the conclusion around the ten-second mark that his intent was simply to run my clock down.  During the last ten seconds I made the decision to give him an opportunity to show me this was not the case.  As stated, my opponent had sufficient time on his clock to work out a mating plan or find a way to remove any opportunity for winning chances by myself.  At the one-second point, I had made my move (43) and while I was stopping my time, determined he was not making an effort to win by normal means and stated to my opponent quote “you are just using these checks to run me out of time. This game should be a draw” unquote.  I refer you to para 10.2 above. My opponent disagreed and played move 44.  I responded with move 44 and my time then elapsed. I once again stated the game should be considered drawn and explained the rule to my opponent.  My opponent did not believe such a rule existed and told me he would have to see it in writing before he would change his opinion. He further stated that part of the game of chess involved running your opponent out of time.

The arbiter was involved in a tight game himself so we waited until his game was finished and then brought our disagreement to him.  After listening to both of us he stated that he would have to review the rule I was using but at this time he would have to side with my opponent (refer above to para 10.2 subpar a.).  I immediately informed him I would be appealing this decision.

The argument to support my case uses the following logic: my opponent with over seven minutes on his clock chooses to play a game of speed chess, using continuous checks in order to run me out of time. On move 42 he started to call check but something caught his eye and he paused then said “wait that’s checkmate”, at which time I simply moved back out of check. This was not something he had thought out, it was a “checkmate” he had stumbled upon.  As stated above the game concluded with my opponent having used only 35 seconds of his remaining 7 minutes.  In my opinion if a player wants to ensure he makes the best moves possible in order to win his game he would be using more than 35 seconds to complete six moves.  Instead my opponent chose the easy route by using continuous checks until my time expired.  In my opinion this is the type of situation that Para 10.2 subpara a. was designed to deal with quote “If the arbiter agrees the opponent is making no effort to win the game by normal means… then he shall declare the game drawn” unquote.

As the three of you are now filling the role of arbiter, I respectfully request that you rule in my favor and change the result of this game from 1-0 for Mr. White to a ½ point draw for both of us.

Thank you, for your time in this matter.


Mr. Black


Thank you for your submission. We have received your PGN file, and deliberations have begun. We will contact you and Mr. White if additional information is required.

Seeing as the Easter weekend is approaching, and we do not have chess next week, we may take our time to go through your appeal. We appreciate your patience in this matter.

Thanks again.

Appeals Committee


Mr. Black (cc Mr. White)

After much deliberation, the committee has concluded that your appeal is without merit for the following reasons:
1 - you were unable to summon an arbiter to resolve the issue before your time ran out, and
2 - your opponents moves, although inaccurate, was not indicative of someone trying to run out the clock.

As a result, the final score of 1-0 for Mr. White will stand. A detailed explanation of our determination is included in the attached file.

We thank you for your submission.

Appeals Committee

1 comment:

  1. It sounds to me, without having seen the scoresheet, that Mr. White had a winning position at move 37, and that the committee made the correct decision.