Draw offer and rules


Draw offer and rules

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Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-14)
Draw offer and rules

Hello all, I'd like your opinion on this case :

A player sent a message with his move in a chess game saying "I offer draw", but he forgot to check the draw box.

His opponent replies with his next move saying his opponent most probably forgot to check the box, but finally the first player plays a new move saying he is sorry but now prefers to continue the game.

What's your opinion on this ? Should the rules be changed to adjudicate the game as a draw (if the draw offer was clear enough) or should the draw checkbox preval in all cases and in this case should it be added in the rules also ?

Thanks for your comments on this.

Nick Burrows    (2009-04-14 04:31:04)
Draw offer

I think that the message i offer a draw is clearly stated and binding and should be in the rules.

However, the second player should send a message back saying 'i accept your draw, you didnt tick the box.'
Now the game is drawn.

The act of making a move in o.t.b chess signifies the refusal of a draw offer, so now the position the players have reached is not the position a draw was offered for.

Therefore i don't think a draw should be adjudicated, although perhaps the player who offered then refused, doesn't play 'in the spirit of the game'.

Don Groves    (2009-04-14 05:54:35)
draw offer

I agree with Nick. The second player sent a move which he should not do if he wants to accept the draw.

I also agree that the draw offer that was made should be binding just as if the box had been checked. If the second player accepts the draw he can check the box. If the first player then wants to continue, the referee should be called to adjudicate the draw.

William Taylor    (2009-04-14 14:35:59)
Draw offer

I agree with Don and Nick here.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-14 15:37:00)
Draw offer and rules

Very good point. I quite agree with this but it is now a bit complicated for players (more or less beginners) to know what to do in such a case. We can also imagine the case of a player saying "I resign" without checking the resign box.

FICGS rules are official (FIDE) chess rules when proper FICGS rules don't exist. It may apply there, but I feel we should clarify and why not change the rules to make it clearer & simpler.

Let's see what is your favourite proposal :

1) A draw offer sent in the message (draw box unchecked) should be considered as a real draw offer if the opponent called the referee to accept it and did not reply to the move.

2) A draw offer sent in the message (draw box unchecked) should be considered as a real draw offer if the opponent called the referee to accept it, even if he replied to the move.

3) A draw offer sent in the message (draw box unchecked) shouldn't be considered as a real draw offer because there shouldn't be such human decision in server chess and it could be ambiguous.

The proposition 2) may bring problems IMO, I think 3) is generally better in server chess (maybe even in OTB chess when the sheet in not signed, I suppose the case happened already) as there should be as few human decision as possible, 1) is more fair in a certain way though.

Nick Burrows    (2009-04-14 17:12:27)

If the player recieving the written draw offer replies with 'i accept the draw - please tick the box', does the software allow for the first player to offer the draw out of turn?

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-14 17:25:41)
draw out of turn

No it doesn't. In my opinion it shouldn't...

Nick Burrows    (2009-04-14 17:45:59)

The reason i ask is that this would give the players to capability to fix matters themselves without referee intervention, though i can see that it may cause more problems than it solves.

I think no.1 is the better ruling. On the rare occasion that this occurs, the player truly did offer a draw but simply didnt know the correct way to offer it. If his opponent consults the rules and calls the referee, the draw is binding, if he plays a move then the game continues...

Heinz-Georg Lehnhoff    (2009-04-14 20:20:57)
Draw offer

In my opinion only the marked check box should be a regular draw offer. There is also no way to accept a draw offer and finish a game by sending a message to your opponent.

Messages are nice, but should not have any influence on the game. And we should not misuse Thibault (the referee) to decide if our games are drawn.

William Taylor    (2009-04-14 20:26:59)
draw offer

Definitely not number 2. Either number 1 or 3 would be fine. Ideally a draw offer would be binding, but I can see that there could be problems if it's worded slightly strangely. For example, it might look like a clear draw offer but the person who wrote it might not speak English as their first language and might not have intended it as such. Perhaps number 1 would create more problems than it would solve.

Wayne Lowrance    (2009-04-14 20:47:37)
draq offer

I like #3 best Wayne

Will Denayer    (2009-04-14 20:51:22)

I agree with Mr.Lehnhoff in this. The rule should be clear: if you want to offer a draw, you need to tick the box. That keeps everything very simple.

Daniel Parmet    (2009-04-14 20:57:20)

I agree with Nick and Don but only on proposal one that Thibault stated.

Scott Nichols    (2009-04-14 21:16:33)
Must check box

IMO the only acceptable draw offer is checking the box. A lot of ambiguous offers might be misconstrued a real offers, i.e. "this looks like a draw don't you think", "Can't see a win for either side, probably a draw." ----So IMO anything other than checking the box is simply conversation, IMO. :)

Mariusz Maciej Broniek    (2009-04-14 22:58:05)

Human factor always on the top!

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-15 00:11:37)
I vote for #3.

Rules should be to resolve things if a players is violating the spirit of the game severely. If opponents change their mind; IMO this does not fall in that category; it shows carelessness of draw-offering player.

Players who make draw offers should read the rules once more and make the offer clearly; then there is no problem.

Otherwise an opponent can actually change their mind... this is: more important than the fact of not-OTB: looong-time-controls. [One can imagine these time controls OTB also, 40 days/10 moves - in theory! ;)]

So, #3.

Michel van der Kemp    (2009-04-15 00:38:58)
Ticking box should be only valid way

I also think that checking the box is the only valid way to make a draw offer, written statement should not be accepted. At best it could be a possibility that if someone receives a written request for a draw offer, he could goto the referee (in this case Thibault), and ask how to do with an (invalid) draw offer.

I don't think Thibault should go through logs of games everytime (even if that can be automated), to see if a players have offered a draw.

Don Groves    (2009-04-15 01:54:27)
My choice is...

... option number 1.

If the player did not intend to make a draw offer, why did s/he say so in the message? To allow that player to change his mind after seeing the next move is a violation of chess ethics.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-17 01:19:40)
Draw offer and rules

"To allow that player to change his mind after seeing the next move is a violation of chess ethics" .. every violation of chess ethics do not end the game, actually this is an even more complex problem that we could discuss also.

In my opinion the case should be clearly explained in the rules & help section. Well you probably understood that I'm quite favourable to #3 but let's try to convince each other.

Don Groves    (2009-04-17 09:37:49)
Draw offers

I don't see anything ambiguous about sending "Draw offered" or equivalent words to the opponent. It's the same thing as saying those words over the board. The intent is clear and unambiguous.

What is ambiguous to me is allowing a player to send those words to an opponent and then claim later that they were not intended to offer a draw.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-17 20:16:45)
Draw offers

I'm not sure the site "allows" such a thing, rules allow or don't allow and ambiguous (obviously) rules should be changed. As it's been said, we might consider that the message field is independant from the draw and resign box. Any player may send a message offering a draw through other ways.

Does anyone know how this issue is ruled at ICCF & IECG ?

William Taylor    (2009-04-17 20:39:20)
Ambiguous draw offers

Don, 'Draw offered' or 'Would you like a draw?' might not be ambiguous, but how about any of the following: 'I guess it's just a draw after all.' 'Hmm, looks like I'll have to settle for a draw.' 'Well, looks like a draw then?' 'Draw' 'Any strangely-worded message that looks like it could be a draw offer but is written by somebody who doesn't speak very good English.' While my initial reaction was that such cases should be adjudicated, I now see that it could be problematic.

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-18 00:53:38)
Don, why is the tick box there, then?

Don (Groves), I don't see that someone who can clearly say 'I offer draw' can find ticking the 'draw offer' box *in addition* so difficult.

Some people are *not* courteous, (remember, we both had this common chess-opponent who just would not resign days after being checkmated; Thibault adjudicated both our games?) that's why I prefer unambiguous rules. I dont mean I prefer legalese everywhere; far from it; I just think that, say in the case under discussion, ticking the 'draw offer box' (in addition to courteous remarks on the position etc if any) is unambiguous and simple, so why make it complicated?

If only people were all showed a certain minimum level of niceness; if only people didn't retract verbal draw offers (without draw box ticked) on ficgs; if only people didn't kill; if only people didn't run concentration / extermination camps, if only people didn't drop nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and so on - it would be a much more beautiful world. But sadly, things are not so...

Nick Burrows    (2009-04-18 01:47:36)
tick box

For what it's worth as i think we lost ;-( I'm with Don.

The tick box is there to be ticked! This is how most people, correctly will offer the draw.

However, should a verbal draw offer be binding? is an additional question. To add this to the rules is not complicated.

Don Groves    (2009-04-18 04:24:35)
Draw offers

I agree with you, Nick. And, yes, I think verbal draw offers (or resignations) should also be binding, just as they are over the board.

I also recognize the other arguments and yield to Thibault's judgment.

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2009-04-18 17:36:57)
Draws and more draws ...

I can see the points, a verbal draw should be binding, but, because there is only one Thibault, we do not have many referees to solve disputes, so, checking the box offers no ambiguity, no misunderstandings and no human interventions, so Thibault can sleep longer.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-18 22:33:10)

Rodolfo, the point mustn't be the number of referees, actually this case may happen once a year, so this is not the problem. In one of the very first discussions in this forum while building most of the current rules, it has been said that human decision should be as rare as possible in server chess and I was (and I'm still) ok with that, every rule here follow this way, however I can't totally disagree with Don so I'm still trying to find a decisive argument to choose the right way.

Once more, does anyone know how this issue is ruled at ICCF or IECG ?

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-18 23:17:19)
Don+Rodolfo, what about verbal *moves* ?

By the same logic, what is wrong with my saying 'my next move will be Ne4' and helpfully putting a link in the message to a diagram of the resulting position?

after all, you get clock time for free, because you are thinking on my time!

Would you consider *that* binding? If so, would it be 'binding' for you to do the right thing i.e. request Thib to add time to my clock and subtract it from yours? [if Thib. doesnt, at least you tried..)] ;)

Extending the logic - start a game here but make moves informally by email, AFTER the game is over then for ficgs's record we repeat those moves on the ficgs board [which is still at starting pos.] --- how much of that is 'binding'?

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-18 23:22:12)
actually, there is a rule to cover this!

Quoting Last para of rule 11.2 - "The rules assume that FICGS referees have the necessary competence, sound judgement and absolute objectivity. Too detailed a rule might deprive the arbiter of his freedom of judgement and thus prevent him from finding the solution to a problem dictated by fairness, logic and special factors. FICGS appeals to all its members to accept this view."

Translation: Thibault's decision is final. ;)

Nick Burrows    (2009-04-19 02:26:02)
verbal draw offer.

On the IECG a verbal draw offer is not binding.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-19 03:46:53)

Thanks Nick ! Normajean has a point on the verbal moves. About rule 11.2 and this issue, the aim is not for me to force a decision, not even to take the good decision as I'm not sure in this case, it is only to build accurate & understandable rules so that every player know what to do without having to ask.

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-19 04:41:26)
But thibault, you already have them!

Thibault, you say: About rule 11.2 and this issue, the aim is [...] only to build accurate & understandable rules.

But, on this issue, you already *have* a very easily understandable rule - tick draw offer box and make move and send it (for making draw offer). That is very accurate and easy, isn't it. So what is the problem?

And in general, for rules of games, [except in mathematics :)] it is understood that what is not mentioned is not true (if the situation is such that this is expected by common use of language). For example, about move of the knight, we say that it moves fom one end to the diagonally opposite end of a 2x3 rectangle, and can jump over pieces while doing so. Since nothing else is mentioned about knight moves, it is understood that the knight cannot move legally except in this way. [In mathematics, we would have to explicitly say: 'the knight moves in the above way AND IN NO OTHER WAY.']

Don Groves    (2009-04-19 08:08:48)
Verbal moves are impossible

Sorry, Normajean, but in order to send anything, including a message, you must press the "Send" button. If there is no move in the "Move" box, the send will be rejected. Good try though ;-)

Conditional moves are already forbidden by FICGS, so that doesn't work either.

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-19 23:35:17)
Don, please to read my post again :)

it is all in the title... (*this* one, I mean)

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-20 14:10:03)
Draw offers

Well, if the rules were clear enough, this discussion wouldn't have happened, I presume. Finally I'll just make clearer than only the tick boxes should be taken in account. One rule more will be better than nothing in this case.

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-26 17:51:27)
to Don: re courtesy(contd.)

This is a continuation - to be precise, completion - of the post of mine earlier in this thread; the post titled 'Don, why is the tick box there, then?'.

I said in that post 'Some people are *not* courteous': and something stirred in my memory and I remember it now so It has to be said.

In the international chat box some months ago, I posted something about Goerge Orwell fighting in the Spanish civil-war - the anti-fascist-Iberian-uprising part of it, to wit - as part of P.O.U.M. - a marxist but independent-of-moscow (and soon crushed by Moscow) party which co-operated closely with the anarchists (CNT-FAI)(Confederación Nacional del Trabajo - Federación Anarquista Ibérica).

Well I only reached as far as the P.O.U.M. when *you* (Don Groves) interrupted by posting (in the international chat box) "what are you smoking, Normajean?"

Now, Mr Groves, I leave it to you to decide whether it is not *extremely* discourteous, not to say downright bloody rude, to innuendo that someone who [in fact] posted something above your intellectual level is therefore not making sense and is in fact on street drugs.

What I smoke or not smoke is my bloody business; the point here is that you are free to take the view find that all string-theory papers (just visit http://arxiv.org/) and so on are nonsense and therfore the authors and the referees are all on street drugs; and Hawkins and Penrose are, and Einstein was, on street drugs likewise (for it is commonly cranky *engineers* who tend to equate general relativity with its weak-field-limit/approximation);


Since I haven't yet heard anything from you that has a hint of a modicum of apology for that *insulting* (or, on the least worst construction, extremely *partonising*) remark of yours; so:

People playing chess against you would be well advised to have clear rather than informal rules, because the evidence suggests that you are part of the 'be-gratuitously-rude' club.

In my opinion.

Thank you for reading this.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-26 18:25:36)

Hi Normajean,

As for me (and my extremely weak english), I'm not sure if all this is off-topic or not but most probably I could have said that myself, only meaning that your verve is really impressive on any subject (that's why I asked you for the quotes file), not a mockery. I hope you did not take it bad.

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-26 21:40:27)
Thibault, of course not! :)

I was happy, in fact! :) And thank you for your appreciation!

As far as the previous post is concerned, it is to remind Don Groves [he is 70 years old and probably doesnt realise when he is insulting / being patronising to people.

That's why if you think it is inappropriate, I request that you wait till Mr Don Groves reads it [or mail it to Mr Don Groves] before you delete that post (and this one)...

But Thib, even if you have to delete the posts, keep the first line of this post, please? - The line about my happiness and my gratitude to you! I am human after all and *need* some appreciation!

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-26 22:30:43)
re thib: from my other-thread post

from my post on the *other* 'draw offer' thread: (Thib youmised that one I think :))

<<Thib, you can read the great *french* mathematician A. Grothendieck's seminal algebraic-geometry work EGA - it is in french, of course ;)>>

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-26 23:20:26)
I mean...

I meant that I do not think that "what are you smoking ?" is insulting, at least when it's said to you (in that context, because of your verve compared to most people) - it is really familiar though. If Don does not realise when he's insulting by saying this, I'm not sure that everyone realise he/she's insulted when he/she's told that.

As for Grothendieck, I prefer not to look at his works until I have a broadband connection, it may take too much time. (33 kbps here, yes!)

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-27 00:09:24)
Thib, the point is:

There are two points, actually:

1. I don't really know him. It wouldn't be at all insulting if a face-to-face friend of some duration said it.

2. Don Groves is obviously the square-hat type, definitely not the hippie type; very likely disapproves of street drugs; he probably even goes to church regularly or something; quotes regularly from the bible; and so on.

Now what type he is is *his* business not mine; my point of view is that coming from *his* type; "what are you smoking?" is insulting.

To sum up: basically, since I dont know him; *and* he is the 70-year old generation, *and* he has given no prior evidence there is no prior evidence that he approves of street-drugs; so he has no business asking me "what are you smoking", and it is in fact an insult to me to do so.

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-27 00:17:39)
Thib; Grothendieck and vietnam..

Thib, at least, look up Grothendieck's solidarity with Vietnam: he first presented the new foundations of algebraic geometry (which later formed his book EGA) at a seminar in the jungles near Hanoi when the USA was saturation-bombing Hanoi (the guerrillas has shifted the university to the jungles for the seminar for Grothendieck's safely; Grothendieck did not want it but it was argued it that because of his presence the University might be "accidentally" targetted by the USA which might result in deaths of lots of people, not only him.)

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-27 14:29:37)

Once more, I do not know you well of course, but I could have said it also *because* IMHO there's no need of great reasonings to make one's own idea about you by reading this forum, your verve helps a lot and you said many things about yourself.

As far as I know Don (mostly through this forum - noone knows how you actually know him [point 1, btw "I don't really know him" and "Don Groves is obviously..." is quite ambitious :)]), you're totally wrong in your point 2, of course I may be wrong myself but by reading his posts in this forum, I have a very different idea.

Finally everyone makes his own opinion, no matter, but whatever this sentence was familiar or insulting, noone but yourself can approve or disapprove here so I don't see the point to respond in this thread indeed, a private discussion would have been ok to disentangle all this, I suppose :)

Don Groves    (2009-04-27 22:41:14)

I don't recall saying anything like "What are you smoking, Normajean?" and, had I done so, it would certainly have had a winking smiley attached to it. I have always shown nothing but respect for you in the forum and chat. There must be some misunderstanding here...

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-28 09:12:25)
to Don:Ah well, if you dont recall it...

Mr Groves,
So you don't recall it; and then there is the fact that I thought *all* the chat-posts were available for recall if one clicked 'more messages' at the bottom of the chat column, but I saw that there was a cutoff there so unless *someone else* remembers or unless Thibault has the archives, I am in the unenviable position of not being able to prove it...

My memory says there was in fact no emoticon with your comment. But my present higher-than-the-usually-high blood-pressure plus a colitis-attack I am down with, means that I cannot be sure of that...

However, in my experience, my hypertension and the occasional colitis attack doesn't trigger the confabulation of a whole sentence like "what are you smoking"?

In view of the other interactions between you and me here I will let bygones be bygones; and I still would even were that chat-post still available...

However, I try to avoid *unnecessary* stress and complications in my life; so henceforth for my own protection I prefer to keep a safe distace from you, at least for a certain indeterminate cooling-off period. Thats fair enough, I think.

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-28 09:34:38)
To Thib: the purpose of my point 2

Thib, of course you are right when you say that I am *wrong* about point 2 [of to be precise, there is *no* evidence for my point 2]; but:

The point of my point 2 was the english proverb 'What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander'.

That is, if someone asks "what are you smoking" he is asssuming that I am smoking something the smoking of which is generally socially disapproved. If that is fair, the it is fair for *me* to make assumptions, however unfounded, about that person; specially since I was careful to make those assumptions which are in fact generally (if in my opinion regrettably) socially *approved* !

Finally, you (Thib.) did not as a matter of fact say it; and if you had, I would hardly have noticed or minded; because you are young and *provenly* liberal. It would *not* be an insult if *you* had said it.

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-28 09:39:17)
and can we apply a closure now?

And can we apply closure to this affray now? This is my final post on the subject: you people can go ahead and have the last word or words: I will not respond to them. All this is giving me the sort of headache which risks worsening my colitis.

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-28 09:55:31)
Actually, Don did *not* say it...

From the chat archives :

devassal thibault : :o) .... Hi Francisco & all ! (2008-12-05 00:05:41)

gramajo francisco : hey Yates... are you smoking something? (2008-12-04 23:45:49)

yates normajean : may be call it the P.O.U.M opening? (2008-12-04 23:17:54)


Now the topic can be closed, I think :)

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-28 12:22:12)
oh my god! I have gone senile?

Don, what can I say? Just want to sink into the ground and disappear - my heartfelt apologies....

All right, so I am now *provenly* the fool <hiding face in hands> :(

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-28 12:26:47)
shame on me!

You can all [except gramajo] say it - I deserve it! :-(

Rodolfo d Ettorre    (2009-04-28 14:50:51)
Smoke !!!

Hi, I do not smoke, but in a shop I bought a pair of pants made of hemp, very nice, the texture very similar to another natural fibre, linen.

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-28 15:45:15)
Rodolfo I feel so guitty..

Please do not mock me - or *do* mock me - I deserve mockery...

Don Groves    (2009-04-29 00:03:49)

You don't deserve mockery any more than I do for my senior moment of thinking that a move had not been sent with a draw offer. Let's just write it off to failing memories and let it rest there, bygone.

Don Groves    (2009-04-29 00:08:34)
And I should add...

... that I don't disapprove of street drugs (pot anyway), I'm not a church-goer (though I am spiritual), and am considered a liberal by friends and family (but not a flaming one) ;-)

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-29 01:11:05)
I was horrible, pl. forgive if possible

I can't believe I wrote all those horrible things... I'd rather be a kind idiot than an intelligent but arrogant rude person. I dont know what came over me..

I'll make no excuses... I'll try to be a better person...

Until then, I don't deserve anyone's friendship.

I will confess that I am considered *sometimes* rude and arrogant by old friends - they say I have improved but have I? Behind the anonymity of the internet am I still the same?

I'll assume that I am, and I will really improve. You people will see the change; it would be too presumptuous of me at present to promise anything; after what I did..

PS: I, too, am not religious but I am spiritual - in fact I have more than once used that exact phrasing to describe myself, though not here before..

Don Groves    (2009-04-29 01:17:07)

I have done much the same at times so it's not my place to throw stones, Normajean. As far as I'm concerned, it's forgiven and forgotten. I know you will have a harder time forgiving yourself, and I know that from bitter experience also.

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-29 01:20:23)
Don, that is very graceful of you...

have nothing more to say at present - having difficulty living with this...

Nick Burrows    (2009-04-29 01:20:44)
All you need is

Maybe you two can share a joint sometime? ;-))

Scott Nichols    (2009-04-29 04:06:05)
Lesson learned by all.

Nick always has a good answer. I liked his answer in the team chess debates and here also. But hats off to King Thibault. Are you a counselor in the real world Thib? You could charge big bucks for your sage advice. Unless of course FICGS has made you independently wealthy. :)

Don Groves    (2009-04-29 06:39:20)
You're right, Nick.

All we need is weed. Maybe that's what John Lennon meant to write but figured it wouldn't get published ;-)

Thibault de Vassal    (2009-04-29 11:29:03)
No need of weed :)

Thanks Nick, believe me reality is a much harder world :)

Normajean, don't blame yourself too much, such confusion may happen to everyone...

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-29 13:48:23)
Nick Burrows, great idea!

"Maybe you two can share a joint sometime? ;-))" - yes, that works.

Thib is a real sage; truly said Scott!

And Don,I agree "all we need is weed" - as long as it is not jimsonweed (Datura) - I tried it three times and I think that is two times more than one should in a lifetime... oh I dont know, some people *can* handle it, so who am I to advise them ? [in case any datura-veteran happens to read this]

Nick Burrows    (2009-04-29 17:26:16)
Carlos Castanaeda

If it's a Jimson Weed joint that you share, instead of the 'teachings of Don Juan' - it can be the teachings of Don Groves!

Normajean Yates    (2009-04-30 00:34:12)
To nick burrows :-;)

I have exhausted what I had to say in the title :)