Appeals Committee Rulings from Riyadh

January 5, 2017

FIDE has published signed Appeals Committee Rulings from 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Championships held in Riyadh (KSA).

They can be accessed at:

The two rulings:

Appeal of GM Alexander Grischuk against his loss to gm Shakriyar Mamedyarov.

This position arose in the game Grischuk - Mamedyarov after 61.Rb2, 63.Kg2, 65.Kg2 and 67.Rb2

After 67.Rb2 GM Grischuk claimed a draw. The arbiter went to check on the computer outside the playing hall. He incorrectly advised the players there had not been a three-fold repetition. The game continued and GM Mamedyarov won. After the game, GM Grischuk appealed the result.

Mr Vega and Mr Al Taher upheld GM Grischuk’s claim and agreed the game should be a draw because the laws of chess specify that if the position is repeated three times, the game is drawn. Therefore, the moves that followed 65.Kg2 should be disregarded and the game should be considered a draw as the computer record proves the position was repeated 3 times. Mr Pein acknowledged this, but felt that sporting considerations should take precedence. In his opinion the result of a game should not be changed after it has finished.

Effectively GM Grischuk had been given a free chance to either draw or even win the game, although had GM Grischuk won then GM Mamedyarov would also have been able to claim a draw.

Also Mr Pein felt GM Grischuk had made an error by not insisting that he have access to the computer records although of course he is entitled to expect an arbiter to be competent enough to make the right decision. Additionally, from a sporting point of view, Mr Pein felt mistakes by arbiters should be part of the game as they are in other sports and should not be corrected at the end of the game. The Appeals Committee recommends that all such claims should be verified by the players and the arbiters together in future.

The appeal was upheld by a 2-1 majority and the result is a draw.

Hisham Al Taher (Chairman), Jorge Vega, Malcolm Pein.


29th December 2017, Riyadh

Appeals Committee, 2017 King Salman World Blitz Chess Championship

Appeal of GM Ernesto Inarkiev against his loss against Magnus Carlsen

The game Carlsen-Inarkiev reached the following position after 27.Rxb7+

In this position, GM Inarkiev (Black) played 27...Ne3+, an illegal move as his king was in check. GM Carlsen did not notice and continued 28.Kd3. The arbiter was not present and therefore could not intervene. GM Inarkiev claimed that GM Carlsen’s 28.Kd3 was illegal and stopped the clock. The arbiter, citing Appendix A Article 4.2 asked GM Inarkiev to continue the game. GM Inarkiev refused and the game was awarded to Carlsen.

In Appendix A of the Rules of Chess Article 4.2 is as follows:

If the arbiter observes an illegal move has been completed, 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.

The Appeals Committee considered GM Inarkiev’s claim that GM Carlsen’s move 28.Kd3 was illegal.

The Appeals Committee decided that according to A4.2 above, the illegal move 27...Ne3+ should stand and the game should have continued and that the arbiter acted correctly.

Effectively what GM Inarkiev’s claim is that in the position after 27...Ne3+, GM Carlsen’s only legal move is to claim the game. While accepting that the precise sequence of events which occurred (the player claiming the game) is not specifically covered by A4.2, the committee felt the meaning of: ‘the game shall continue’ in A 4.2 means exactly that and that Carlsen’s move, which was legal under rules 3.1-3.9, was in accordance with the meaning and spirit of A4.2

Therefore, the appeal was rejected. The committee also decided that the appeal fee should be returned as the claim was not frivolous.

Jorge Vega (Acting Chairman), Malcolm Pein, Hisham Al Taher