Saturday, March 13, 2010


The Controversial
Date:1 February 2010
Place:Datuk Arthur Tan Chess Centre
Tournament: Fun Blitz

It is the final round of the blitz tournament called Fun Blitz. On 1st board, Justin Ong is facing Mok Tze Meng. Since the prizes are only for the top three finishers, stakes are high and loser of this game mean that he will not be among the prize winner. Winner of these game can expect to be the champion and pocket RM500 for 3 hours work.

So the game begin and in the opening Justin seems to be holding the advantage but later Mok managed to break through on the queenside (typical of Mok's Modern Defence modus operandi). Both players are now short of time, very short of time indeed and Mok's (claimed) played his rook to D1, Justin captured Mok's rook that he (claimed) believed is at D2. Mok protest to Justin and want to claim a win since Justin's move is illegal, Justin argued that Mok's move his rook to D2 and during the heat of the arguments, Mok's flag fell (ofcourse there is no flag since they are using digital clock, sorry! could not help it! :-))

Najib, the TD seems unsure in handling the red faced Mok and stony immovable Justin, he called Hamid Majid and after listening to both sides story, HM declared the game as draw.

Is his decision correct? Let's analyse.

The Facts
  1. Mok claimed that Justin's make an illegal move.
  2. Mok's flag fell.
  3. Justin claimed he is not making an illegal move.
  4. Justin's however did not claimed a win eventhough Mok's flag fell.
  5. Arbiter cannot ascertain who actually make the illegal move.

The Investigation.

I cannot find any clause that explain on claiming a win when flag fell.

The nearest that i can find is FIDE Law of Chess (blitz) B.3 c that mentioned "...The opponent is entitled to claim a win before he has made his own move."...Hardly help.

I also looks at any clause that mentioned whether arbiter can used his discretion or judgement. Cannot find any. However, most of the clause on claim came up with the word "...before his flag fell."

Therefore i guess Mok's win claim after his flag fell does not carry any weight.

But why draw and not a win for Justin? That only Mr Hamid can answer.

The Verdict

I might be wrong but i think Justin deserved a win here due to the one undeniable and undisputable facts that Mok's flag fell when he claimed for a win. Others are "my words against your words"


  1. Since it is a situation where it's one person word against another, the arbiter should try to get any of the bystander to collaborate what was the actual move played. The next option is to allow the game to continue, but since the last two moves are disputed this is not possible either. Arbiter cannot award a win on time to Justin (player himself must claim and he did not). I think draw is the best solution here.

  2. Thanks Jimmy for the opinion and for visiting my blog