Without it, a player can seemingly go on repeating (and gaining ten-second bonuses) as long as they feel like it, or at least until an arbiter feels constrained to step in... As things stand, it is not clear (a) how many times a player can repeat until the opponent can claim he is making no effort; (b) on what basis the arbiter makes a ruling; and (c) whether any existing law of chess is applicable at all.Perhaps the most ludicrous thing of all is that the technology to solve the problem has been around for years, and is used in online chess.This game was played with highly sophisticated technology being deployed to record the moves via the board and video cameras – and, of course, had a large sum of money riding on it, not to mention a vast watching audience online, with the reasonable expectation of having a game that would not be interrupted by player claims or arbiter interventions.
In these circumstances there are three interested parties: the two players and the audience.
The audience wants to see a game played in accordance with the normal rules of chess (as far as possible), with no interruptions.
But Nigel did – watch the video and you can see him looking round meaningfully at the arbiter and quietly uttering the word ‘draw’ as Vitiugov played Qh5 check for the first time and he replied Ke7. Simon was fair-minded and gave credit where credit was due, dubbing the St Petersburg grandmaster “the Iceman” – a very apt nickname. ) and here he might have prolonged the game and, with a bit of luck, saved it had he played 102...
This position arose after an astonishing 102 moves, with both players eventually reduced to only 10-15 seconds for each move. Bxh3 103 Qxh3 Qe1 , etc, but instead he made it easy for White with 102... White replied 103 f5 , discovering a check against the black king and shielding the h-pawn from an attack on the h7 square. Kc6 104 Qc3 , covering the h8 square, whereupon Black resigned since he can no longer prevent the advance of the h-pawn to queen in two more moves.
Law nine, governing draws, talks in terms of players writing draw claims on score sheets – inapplicable in the circumstances of a rapidplay game.
In this respect the rules have failed to keep up with the times and don’t meet the requirements of high-profile competitions.
A law for a blitz or rapidplay game played with suitable technology could then be introduced to allow an arbiter to declare the game a draw at the point when the repetition occurs.
Nice and simple – everyone, including the arbiter, knows exactly where they stand, and nobody has to make Solomon-like decisions.
Vitiugov went out on a limb with his clock and his queen.