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The United Kingdom

Last week’s question: ‘Was it right of Nakamura to claim the full point in the game against Topalov?’ 69% said Yes, and 23% No. The only surprise to me is that ‘No’ received so many votes. In competitive blitz, illegal moves lose. And push-a-pawn-to-the-8th-and press-the-clock is a blatantly illegal move.

Clearly some feel that the rule is too harsh, but for blatantly illegal moves, it seems fair to me. I have more sympathy for what I might call ‘accidental illegal moves’. Example: you move a piece, press the clock, then the piece topples over because it was not placed exactly flat and steady on its base. This has been given as a loss in blitz. The innocent party has been disadvantaged, so a penalty is due. But a time penalty seems fairer than a default, for what seems to me to be clumsiness rather than intentional rule-breaking.

Poll-pawn8th

You may have noticed that last week the UK voted to leave the European Union. And many believe this makes it more likely that the UK might split up into its constituent countries. But in chess, and various other sports, the UK is already split, and competes as various teams. Why? Tradition or inertia. This is the way it has been, so it continues. For example, in September, Andrew, Colin and I will play for Scotland at the Olympiad in Baku.

At the chess Olympiad, do you think it is fair that England, Scotland and other British teams are allowed to compete individually?

I am aware that ‘national chess teams’ would not make the top million important Brexit-related topics, but we will keep this a chess blog.

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  1. Steven Gilmour
    June 28th, 2016 at 13:00 | #1

    I voted other. It isn’t fair, but lots of things aren’t fair and that isn’t enough reason to change it.

  2. Niall Doran
    June 28th, 2016 at 15:04 | #2

    For me it’s fair to allow them to do so, seeing as by playing as separate entities, they’ve less chance of winning anything. Although you could argue the opposite and say that more British players get to participate!

  3. Thomas
    June 28th, 2016 at 16:08 | #3

    No reason to change that in the last and final days of the UK.

  4. The Lurker
    June 28th, 2016 at 19:32 | #4

    @Thomas
    Last and final days of the UK? Nah. Happy Independence Day, UK.

  5. Nestor
    June 28th, 2016 at 20:20 | #5

    The UK is four nations (or three nations and part of a nation, if you prefer) which have agreed to share sovereignty. That does not preclude those nations choosing to represent themselves separately in other circumstances such as sports competitions, either individually or in other combinations (N Ireland and the Republic of Ireland field all-Ireland teams in some sports).

  6. Ray
    June 29th, 2016 at 05:54 | #6

    I voted ‘no’ (it’s obviously a historical mistake to allow this), but I agree with Thomas – it will only be a matter of time Scotland will become independent, and Northern Ireland will join Ireland. But who knows, in the not too distant future we will have a seperate team from the City State of London 🙂

  7. Fer
    June 29th, 2016 at 08:08 | #7

    This is an internal dicussion in UK, if they want to it this way and all are happy with it (england, scotland…,) , fine for me. What is clear is that they would have an stronger team playing together as uk.

  8. Cowe
    June 29th, 2016 at 10:54 | #8

    No. “One country, one team” is simple and fair. Regarding FIDE rules, it seems that any chess federation affiliated to FIDE can be be represented at Chess Olympiads. According to Wikipedia, the current list of non-countries federations is : Aruba, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Chinese Taipei, England, Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Jersey, Macau, Netherlands Antilles, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Scotland, US Virgin Islands, and Wales.

  9. Remco G
    June 29th, 2016 at 11:34 | #9

    @Cowe: and the IBCA, the International Braille Chess Association.

  10. Phille
    June 29th, 2016 at 13:40 | #10

    I think it’s absurdly unfair. Not just in chess, football as well. Same rules for everybody!

  11. June 29th, 2016 at 14:48 | #11

    Cowe :
    No. “One country, one team” is simple and fair. Regarding FIDE rules, it seems that any chess federation affiliated to FIDE can be be represented at Chess Olympiads. According to Wikipedia, the current list of non-countries federations is : Aruba, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Chinese Taipei, England, Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Jersey, Macau, Netherlands Antilles, Palestine, Puerto Rico, Scotland, US Virgin Islands, and Wales.

    As pointed out above, the U.S. does it too. So does Israel.

  12. Cowe
    June 29th, 2016 at 15:12 | #12

    How come the Manx didn’t grow their own federation ? they’re neither part of England, nor United Kingdom, nor European Union.

  13. Phille
    July 1st, 2016 at 09:03 | #13

    @Nestor
    And Germany consists of 16 nations which have agreed to share sovereignty (and in that case the term “agreed” is much more accurate than for the UK). Should they all be allowed to send their own national team to international competitions? Europe is full of formerly independent nations that are now part of one country.

  14. Thomas
    July 1st, 2016 at 09:24 | #14

    Germany consists of 16 nations? Wie bitte?

  15. k.r.
    July 1st, 2016 at 11:27 | #15

    @Steven Gilmour

    This kind of thinking would leave us in middle age, 95% of population wouldnt have right to vote and only rich people would have opportunity to read and write.

  16. Cowe
    July 1st, 2016 at 11:28 | #16

    in UN terminology, the 16 Länder are constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Some federated “Sovereign States” recognizing their entities as “States” include Brasil, India, Mexico, USA and more. Wikipedia has nice entries on sovereign states and federations.

  17. The Lurker
    July 1st, 2016 at 16:05 | #17

    @k.r.
    There is a difference between unfairness and injustice. I think maybe that’s what Steven was going for.

    @Ray
    I think Brexit was the smartest thing the UK has done in a long time. I hope, for the sake of the UK, that they can make it stick. Maybe it would be good for England and Wales if Scotland and Northern Ireland left as well. Scotland wants to be more socialist, and so is an albatross. And Northern Ireland is, well, Ireland. (I have Irish blood, so I can say that.) Maybe it’s time they finally extricate themselves from Ireland.

    And Londonistan leaving, maybe not so bad either, except for giving up so much of your cultural inheritance. But then, in a way, you’ve already done that. Too bad the British didn’t listen to Enoch Powell when they had the chance…

  18. KSR
    July 4th, 2016 at 10:22 | #18

    @The Lurker Shame on you to invoke the name of Enoch Powell. Your views are more worthy of a crude Daily Mail blog. Absolutely disgusting and very telling.

    For the sake of balance, let me reassure any Europeans looking at this blog that a substantial proportion of British people favour remaining in Europe. However, people harking back to racist bigots from the 70’s have sabotaged any sensible debate.

    Yes I agree that the question of “national chess teams” would not make the top million important Brexit-related topics.

  19. The Lurker
    July 6th, 2016 at 01:18 | #19

    @KSR
    Typical. You call for “sensible debate” (which apparently means the terms of the debate must be such that the outcome is predetermined in your favor), but there is no actual debate whatsoever on your part, sensible or otherwise; only name-calling.

    “[I]f by being conscious of differences between nations some of which coincide with race then we are all racialists, I would have thought, but if by being a racialist means despising someone of a different race or believing one race is superior to another race then the answer is emphatically no.”
    -Enoch Powell, on being asked if he were a “racialist”.

    But apparently he was wrong. Some recoil so at thinking themselves racialists, or having others think them such, that they are willing to ignore the “differences between nations” (or rather cultures), even if it means turning a blind eye to things like the Rotherham rape gangs and child sex-trafficking. I suspect a great number of Indian widows are thankful that when sati was abolished, the British had more cultural confidence, and were not so willing to write their lives off to a cowardly relativism.

  20. john lee
    July 6th, 2016 at 14:16 | #20

    what the rule for standard time control if you promote a pawn and don’t replace it with a queen before hitting the clock?

  21. Cowe
    July 6th, 2016 at 15:41 | #21

    (replaced with a piece)
    then an illegal move was completed, and FIDE rule 7.5.1 applies:
    […] If during a game it is found that an illegal move has been completed, the position immediately before the irregularity shall be reinstated.

    a full promotion move consists of taking the pawn on the 7th rank and replacing it with a piece on the eigth rank. It is not necessary to push the pawn on the 8th. If the needed piece is not available, the player can stop the clock, call the arbiter etc. If the pawn was touched, it must be played.

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