[Retros] Illegal moves by grandmasters

Noam Elkies elkies at math.harvard.edu
Tue May 10 11:33:41 EDT 2011

Yefim Treger <tregeryefim at aol.com> writes:

> The whole idea of the iilegal move (from the games below) is at least

> strange (dubious, wrong) [...]

For what it's worth, when I posted it to this list I used the
Subject line "Illegal move at Dortmund?", suggesting that
the move's "illegality" is, well, questionable. It's certainly
not the same kind of disruptive illegality as castling with a
moved King or Rook, or moving a Bishop like a Knight; indeed
moves like Mamedyarov's are "illegal" precisely because they
cannot legally change the outcome of the game (well, not quite
precisely: if you have no choice but to give checkmate next move
then playing out the checkmate is still not "illegal" according
to the same rule). This kind of "illegality" is a fun addition
to the arsenal of a problemist, but doesn't change the outcome of
over-the-board games, as long as "dead" draws are still not
affected by the clock.


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