World Blitz Chess
(All players are responsible for knowledge of these rules. Moves are not recorded.)
1. Each player must make all his moves in the time specified for the game. Time limits for WBCA events may be from 3 to 7 minutes, with the same amount of time allotted to each player. Time controls outside the 3-7 minute range will not be WBCA rated.
2. All clocks must have a special device, usually called a "flag," marking the end of the time control period. Either player may object to using a computer clock, provided they produce a clock with a standard face. In the event that both players prefer their own standard face clock, the player with Black will have the choice each game. [Editorial observation: the development and acceptance of reliable digital time-delay chess clocks since this revision of the rules has led to their becoming preferential over analog clocks.]
3. Before play begins, both players should inspect the position of the pieces and the setting of the clock, since once each side has made a move all claims are null and void.
4. Each player must push the clock with the same hand he uses to move his pieces. Also, when capturing, only one hand may be used. Exception: during castling a player may use both hands. The first infraction will get a warning, the second a one-minute penalty, and the third will result in loss of the game.
5. The arbiter should state at the start of the event the direction the clocks are to face, and the player with the Black pieces then decides which side he will play with that opponent.
6. Except for pushing the
clock, neither player should touch the clock except:
a) to straighten it,
b) if either player knocks over his clock his opponent gets one minute added to his clock,
c) if your opponent's clock does not tick you may push his side down and repunch your side; however, if this procedure is unsatisfactory, please call for a director,
d) each player must always be allowed to push the clock after their move is made; also, neither player should keep his hand on or hover over the clock.
7. Defining a win. A game
is won by the player:
a) who has mated his opponent's king
b) whose opponent resigns
c) whose opponent's flag falls first, at any time before the game is otherwise ended, provided he points it out and neutralizes the clock while his own flag is still up and that he has mating material
d) who after an opponent's illegal move takes the king or stops the clock
e) an illegal move doesn't negate a player's right to claim on time, provided he does so prior to his opponent's claim of illegal move; if the claims are simultaneous, the player who made the illegal move loses.
7a. Defining mating material.
Either two minor pieces (except K vs. K+N+N), a pawn or a rook will be sufficient mating material, provided it isn't a position where one could claim it to be a dead draw under section 8. No trick mates are allowed, which means either a lone knight or bishop is insufficient unless a forced win can be demonstrated within two minutes.
8. Defining a draw. A
game is a draw:
a) if one of the Kings is stalemated even if a fallen flag is claimed simultaneously
b) by agreement between the players during a game only
c) if the flag of one player falls after the flag of the other player has already fallen and a win has not been claimed unless either side mates before noticing both flags down
d) to claim a draw by perpetual check, a four-time repetition is necessary with the player counting 1, 2, 3, 4 out loud so as to make it quite clear and easier for the arbiters to assist; claimant should stop the clock after 4th repetition
e) if both players each have just one identical piece, either may claim a draw by stopping the clock if neither side can show a forced win within 2 minutes
f) if one player has insufficient mating material when his opponent's flag falls or makes an illegal move
g) in K+bishop vs. K+bishop of opposite colors, with only 1 pawn on the board, or with 2 pawns vs. 1 pawn in a clearly blockaded position, a draw can be claimed by stopping the clocks and summoning an arbiter, if neccessary, provided there is no forced win within 2 minutes
h) K+rook pawn vs. K can be claimed as a draw once the defender is on the rook file in front of the pawn; K+pawn vs. K can be claimed as a draw once the defender is immediately on the square directly in front of the pawn as long as it's not on the 7th rank
i) K+rook+rook pawn vs. K+rook is a draw if the pawn is blockaded by the king and there is no immediate win.
9. If a player accidentally displaces one or more pieces, he shall replace them on his own time. If it is necessary, his opponent may start the opponent's clock without making a move in order to make sure that the culprit uses his own time while replacing the pieces. If a player touches one piece and then moves another, his opponent can restart the player's clock and make him move the piece he touched. Finally, it is bad sportsmanship to knock over any pieces and then punch the clock. For a first offense the player will get a warning (unless he causes his opponent's flag to fall, in which case the offended player shall get 1 extra minute on his clock); for a second offense a 1 minute add-on will be imposed; for a third he shall forfeit the game. Thereafter, the arbiter may use any other penalties or expel a player from the event for repeated offenses.
10. In case of a dispute, either player may stop the clock while the arbiter is being summoned. In any unclear situation, the arbiter will consider the testimony of both players and any reliable witnesses before rendering a decision, which in all cases is final.
11. The arbiter shall not pick up the clock except in the case of a dispute when both players allow him to do so.
12. Spectators, and players in another game, are not to speak or otherwise interfere with a game in progress. If a spectator interferes in any way, such as calling attention to a flag fall or an illegal move, the arbiter may cancel the game and rule that a new game be played in its stead, and he may expel the offending party from the playing room. The arbiter should also be silent about illegal moves or flag falls (unless there are sufficient arbiters and they have agreed with players to call them before the event started) as this is entirely the responsibility of the players.
13. When a clearly drawn
position is reached, either player may stop the clock and appeal to the arbiter
for a draw under the provisions of rule #8.
a) if the arbiter allows a draw as in rule #8, the game is over
b) if the appeal is rejected, then a one minute penalty is imposed on the player who stopped the clock
14. A player who has played an illegal move must retract it and make a legal move on his own time. If no legal move exists with that piece then he may make any legal move. Illegal moves unnoticed by both players cannot be corrected afterwards, nor can they become the basis for making a claim, although a piece, once touched, must be moved. An illegal move is completed when the player neutralizes the clock, whereupon the opponent may claim a win, provided he has mating material.
15. A legal move is completed when the hand leaves the piece.
16. Moving the king next to another king is illegal; neither player can play king takes king. This cheap shot will not be tolerated! If it happens, stop the clock and claim a win because of an illegal move.
17. If the player promotes a pawn and leaves the pawn on the board, the opponent has the option of stopping the clocks while a replacement piece is found, up until the end of the game.
18. An arbiter may determine that a clock is defective and may change clocks at his discretion.
19. Before the tournament, the organizers should post at least 2 copies of the complete Blitz rules in the tournament area, unless there are less than 25 players, in which case 1 list will suffice. Posting 1 hour before play would be advisable.
20. If the king and queen are set up incorrectly, then castle short on the queen side and long on the kingside! Once each side has made a move, the incorrect setups stay unless both parties agree to restart.
21. Excessive banging of pieces or clock will not be tolerated!
22. Finally, in all World Blitz Chess Association tournaments, the decision of the arbiter is final. However, for future consideration, the WBCA will listen to any grievances or wrongdoings on the part of any arbiter or players.
Revised 12/17/99. Approved
by the advisory committee of Nick deFirmian, Max Dlugy,
Yasser Seirawan, Ron Henley, Danny Kopec, Joel Benjamin and Walter Browne.
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