Not updating the scoresheet penalty

by Faisel
(Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

I participated in a classic tournament with FIDE rules. My opponent was behind on the clock so he wasn't writing the moves down. I asked the arbiter if that was a violation, but he gave my opponent my scoresheet to update his, this happened during his time of course. This incident occurred 3 times, my opponent had less than a minute, but he was missing 2 moves on his score sheet. The arbiter asked us to continue and ignore the missing moves. My opponent checkmated me, then the arbiter gave my opponent a new scoresheet and asked him to write down all the moves, using my scoresheet. We found out that he did not record 3 moves even after notifying him twice. The arbiter told me there's no penalty in the FIDE rules for my opponent's violations.

One more thing, my opponent wrote down a move before playing it, but scribbled it out and played a different move. I notified the arbiter of that as well.

My opponent was not given any penalty. He won the game.

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Apr 29, 2017
30 second Increment Decides it for me
by: Ken

Yeah that's right Faisel:


If a player has less than five minutes left on his clock at some stage in a period and does not have additional time of 30 seconds or more added with each move, then for the remainder of the period he is not obliged to meet the requirements of Article 8.1.

I actually saw this yesterday too but forgot to mention in my post. Since you guys were playing with a 30 second increment, I agree the arbiter should have obliged your opponent to keep his scoresheet complete and correct throughout the game. Since he did not do this you should have been declared the winner in my opinion. I'm sorry you didn't get the right decision. Best of luck in future tournaments.

Apr 29, 2017
by: Faisel

Thanks for the reply. However, article 8.4 states that he can continue without recording unless he has a time bonus for every move of 30 seconds or more, in our case, he did have that bonus with every move.

I'm not sure if he is allowed to record all the moves on a new scoresheet after the conclusion of the game! He had 3 missing moves, yet there was no penalty for him. At one stage he was down to 40 seconds to my 17 minutes, if only the arbiter inforced the rules, I would've won on time.

Apr 28, 2017
FIDE Article 8
by: Ken

Hi Faisel

Great to hear from you and great question. I had to consult the Official FIDE Rules to answer this one.

The relevant article to your question is Article 8 quoted below.

My interpretation is that 8.1 supports your contention that your opponent did not conduct himself according to the rules under normal conditions. 8.1.a says the moves must be recorded move by move and it is forbidden to record the move on the scoresheet in advance.

8.1.c states you can't move before recording your previous move. You mention that your opponent failed to record some moves at all during the game.

8.4 does provide a caveat however. It states that if a player has less than five minutes remaining then the laws in 8.1 do not apply. I think this is
why the arbiter did not impose 8.1 upon him. Personally I think that if any of the moves he did not record occurred while he had more than five minutes remaining then you have a case that he was in breach of the rules. If not, if he was low on time then I think 8.4 saves him.

8.7 states that at the end of the game both players sign the scoresheets. Then even if the scoresheet is incorrect, the result stands unless the arbiter says otherwise.

Finally on the scribbled out moves 8.1 says it is forbidden to write the move on the scoresheet before playing it so if he was doing this throughout the game then I think you have a case. Here is an interesting discussion on that issue. I have quoted the relevant article from FIDE just below:

Laws of Chess: For competitions starting from 1 July 2014 till 1 July 2017 -

Article 8: The recording of the moves

In the course of play each player is required to record his own moves and those of his opponent in the correct manner, move after move, as clearly and legibly as possible, in the algebraic notation (Appendix C), on the ‘scoresheet’ prescribed for the competition. It is forbidden to write the moves in advance, unless the player is claiming a draw according to Article 9.2, or 9.3 or adjourning a game according to Appendix E.1 a.
The scoresheet shall be used only for recording the moves, the times of the clocks, offers of a draw, matters relating to a claim and other relevant data.
A player may reply to his opponent’s move before recording it, if he so wishes. He must record his previous move before making another.
Both players must record the offer of a draw on the scoresheet with a symbol (=).
If a player is unable to keep score, an assistant, who must be acceptable to the arbiter, may be provided by the player to write the moves. His clock shall be adjusted by the arbiter in an equitable way. This adjustment of the clock shall not apply to a player with a disability.


The scoresheet shall be visible to the arbiter throughout the game.

The scoresheets are the property of the organiser of the competition.

If a player has less than five minutes left on his clock at some stage in a period and does not have additional time of 30 seconds or more added with each move, then for the remainder of the period he is not obliged to meet the requirements of Article 8.1.

If neither player keeps score under Article 8.4, the arbiter or an assistant should try to be present and keep score. In this case, immediately after a flag has fallenthe arbiter shall stop the chessclock. Then both players shall update their scoresheets, using the arbiter’s or the opponent’s scoresheet.
If only one player has not kept score under Article 8.4, he must, as soon as either flag has fallen, update his scoresheet completely before moving a piece on the chessboard. Provided it is that player’s move, he may use his opponent’s scoresheet, but must return it before making a move.
If no complete scoresheet is available, the players must reconstruct the game on a second chessboard under the control of the arbiter or an assistant. He shall first record the actual game position, clock times, whose clock was running and the number of moves made/completed, if this information is available, before reconstruction takes place.


If the scoresheets cannot be brought up to date showing that a player has overstepped the allotted time, the next move made shall be considered as the first of the following time period, unless there is evidence that more moves have been made or completed.

At the conclusion of the game both players shall sign both scoresheets, indicating the result of the game. Even if incorrect, this result shall stand, unless the arbiter decides otherwise.

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