USCF tourney question

If I’m playing a game and I make a move and don’t hit my clock, is my opponent allowed to hit my clock for me or make a move?



Depending on?

Your opponent may move even if you haven’t hit the clock. I’ve done that in the past when I didn’t notice my opponent didn’t punch the clock. The move is over after the player touches his piece, moves it to another square, and lets go of it. I don’t know why anyone would hit his opponent’s clock for him, but it is frequent the case that he will advise his opponent that he has not punched his clock. I’ve also done that and considerate players have done that for me.

I have usually seen the other option… In high school, we used to sit there and pretend to be looking all over the board as if deep in thought. Usually after a few minutes, the other guy would realize we were just burning off his precious time and hit the clock. The only exception was when those old mechanical clocks were not fully pushed down, and both clocks were stopped at once. Why give the other guy free time to think? It may sound mean, but when you have too many such “oops” moments you learn to NOT forget to puch the clock.

I have no idea what the exact rules are, but I would suspect the rules are designed to prevent you from gaining an advantage. Being a good sportsman should not be against the rules. The only danger is if your opponent does not notice and then punches the time back to himself (if the clock works that way - most don’t); that would be your fault, and should be your penalty. Hence the best course is to let everyone do their proper job. Advise him instead of touching something is equally sportsmanlike and also teaches him not to forget.

Advising your opponent is the best (or better[?]) option. You should be a good sport in all competition, including chess. Moreover, you should treat your opponent as you would expect to be treated. You learn not to forget as easily when your opponent reminds you. After not playing tournament chess for years, I entered a chess tourney (years ago) and just forgot to punch my clock once. Once reminded, I did not forget again.

Okay, imagine this scenario. My opponent has offered (or forced) the exchange of queens. I remove his queen from the board, but hesitate to put my queen in that spot. By touching his queen, that forces me to play QxQ, so there is only one legal move I can play. Am I allowed to let a significant amount of time go by before I place my queen on that spot and hit my clock?

By touching his queen, you are not forced to capture it with your queen unless that is the only piece that can capture it. Assuming that is the case, you are not forced to hit your clock. You can just sit there and let your clock run out and lose the game on time. You can also resign, which would save time. Why you would want to do that is beyond reason unless you wish to lose that game in order to get a better pair up the rest of the tourney. I’ve known players who would intentionally lose a game or draw a game against a weaker player in order to get a better pair up the rest of the tourney and win a class prize.

Yes, this is absolutely legal. The whole touch-move rule exists so that I can’t move the pieces around, check the combinations, see that it doesn’t work, and then reset the pieces to make a different move. It doesn’t exist just to force you to make a move immediately after you touch the piece. I can’t just go “Aha! Touch move! You have to move now!”
I can think of one nefarious purpose for this. Let’s say that your opponent has less than one minute on his clock and just after you remove his queen, he says “Man, I’ve REALLY got to pee!” and starts doing a shuffle at the board. You can wait for him to leave the room before completing your move and hope he flags before making it back! MUAHAHAH!

What I want to do is enter the North American Open and play in the open section. I’ll probably get matched against a very strong GM and try to get into the position which I described. Some other players may stroll by to see how my game is going. They will see that it is my move (because my time is running) and I appear to be up a queen against a very strong Grand Master. Perhaps someone will come by and take a picture. I may not actually win the game, but that will be ok…

What the GM would do (and, using the Swiss sytem, you probably won’t get matched against a GM - let alone a strong GM - unless you, yourself has a fairly high rating) would be the same thing I would do: not wait for you to punch your clock, but move himself. He does not have to wait for your clock punching. The move was completed when you took his Queen.

I might add that if the GM’s move is so obvious, as to take your Q, he isn’t going to spend any more than a second in making his move. What makes you think he’s going to sit there waiting for you to punch your clock? He doesn’t need any additional time to waste on you. And if he did need more time, he probably would remind you to punch your clock.

You didn’t read the scenario correctly. I would take his queen off of the board, making QxQ the only legal move, but I wouldn’t put my queen on that spot yet. I would take some time. Also, using the swiss system, I would likely get a strong GM on round 1 (or maybe round 2 if I took a half point bye).

Who your first opponent would be depends upon the number of entrants and your rating. A strong GM is not likely to participate in a small tourney since the prize money would not be enough, unless it is not an open by a tourney by invitation. You may get a lesser rated GM. I’ve been paired with GM’s before in tourneys (actually winning one), but not a strong GM.

If it means so much for your ego for others to think you are beating a GM, go for it. It would be much better to spend your energies actually beating him.

This was your initial scenario. You then amended it. When you take your opponent’s Q off the board, the move is not complete until you replace it with something (your Q in this case). Then you changed the scenario.

If I play in the open section of the North American Open (or any CCA tourn for that matter), I am likely to play the top player on round one. They have a much better rating than I do.

I didn’t change the scenario, I only offered one. The first question was not a scenario. Let’s not quibble over these details, would I be able to take a significant amount of time off of the clock before I moved my queen to that spot, or would the TM make me put his queen back on the board until I was done with the move?

Only if you are the top player of your half of the draw.

The GM cannot force you to put his Q back. He might call the tournament director, explain to him what you are doing, and the TD may request you make the forced move (since you touched his Q). If you refuse to comply, the TD may impose such sanctions as he deems appropriate.

Alexander Shabalov’s rating is 2569. Mine is 1701. He would likely be the top seeded player while I would likely be the bottom seeded player. If that were the case, we would face off in round one.

The Swiss sytem works like this: The players are listed from top to bottom according to rating. This list is cut in half. The top player of the top half (Shabalov) would play the top player of the second half. If you were the bottom seeded player, you would not play him, but there are usually players lower rated than yours. Yours may be high enough to be the top of the second half. After the first round, the players are listed according to the points they have won, with the same number of points listed according to rating, and that list is cut in half again. That continues until the end of the match.