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Alexander Moiseenko vs David Navara
World Cup (2011), Khanty-Mansiysk RUS, rd 3, Sep-04
Queen's Indian Defense: Fianchetto. Nimzowitsch Variation Timman's Line (E15)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Sep-04-11  SuperPatzer77: <alexmagnus: The game was drawn. Navara made some touch-move mistake around move 40, Moiseenko allowed to take back. Navara, when reached winning position, decided not to win ("guilty") and offered draw.>

<alexmagnus> I saw the game on video - David Navara actually played 114...Kc6 (not 114...Ke5) - it should have been a win for Black.


Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: He played Kc6 and offered draw, that is.
Sep-04-11  BUNA: <GBKnight: If that is true then I take off my hat to Navara.>

I will join you.
But it is true. GM Shipov, who is commenting the event, spoke to Moiseenko afterwards. And there the explanation emerged, that <alexmagnus> cited.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <alexmagnus: The game was drawn. Navara made some touch-move mistake around move 40, Moiseenko allowed to take back. *** >

I would be curious to know the particulars. Perhaps on his 39th turn, Navara initially picked up the wrong White h-pawn (the one on h4) when he obviously intended the capture <39. ... Bxh2+> (as was actually played ). Whatever the touch-move slip, it was gracious of Moiseenko not to enforce it, so the overall course of the game reflects well on the sportsmanship of both players.

Sep-04-11  polarmis: Yep, here's what Shipov said:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Peligroso Patzer: <GBKnight: *** Perhaps [Navara] could have saved his energy and offered the draw at move 40 though.>

At move 40, Moiseenko would presumably have declined the draw offer (especially since, given Navara's propensity for extreme sportsmanship, Moiseenko might have guessed he would have another chance to accept a split point if the further course of the game went in Navara's favor). After <114. ... Kc6>, Navara's draw proposal was an offer Moiseenko couldn't refuse.

BTW, Navara's account, as set forth in a very awkward translation at page 29 of this thread: World Cup (2011) raises some question whether Moiseenko actually "pardoned" an infraction he could have made the basis for a claim (as per Shipov's account at WhyChess).

Sep-04-11  fgh: Here is my translation of Navara's official statement (instead of the previously posted one done by Google Translate):

<Good evening to all,

you are probably wondering, why I offered a draw. The reason is that, while my opponent was pressed for time, I accidentally touched two pieces at approximately the same time when executing a move (I moved my bishop and grazed my king). My opponent asked me to move my king, which would lead me to give up. I replied that I do not know which piece out of the two I touched first, but it was obvious in any case that I was not planning to move my king and that I was executing a bishop move. After making my move I did not manage to press the clock [in time] because of my opponent's protest, so I subsequently stopped it, but in such an unfortunate way that the arbiters had to re-start it. Then we kept playing, but I was already pretty nervous. Prior to my opponent's second time pressure I did not manage to get to the bathroom in time, so I could not focus on the game, which is why I played the queen versus rook ending so badly. (I admit it was not the only reason.) Finally, at the verge of winning, I offered a draw to my opponent, as I did not want the match to be decided by such a mad game or a protest without a body of evidence. Therefore I have to play a tiebreak tomorrow. I will have the white pieces in the first game. Please, do not be angry with me, but I seriously do not know what I should have done. My opponent is a polite person, but here this sort of disagreement simply took place and I do not even know who was formally right. I did not want people to say that I advanced unfairly. Thank you for your understanding.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: Navara's scruples are to be respected. I hope <I did not manage to get to the bathroom on time> didn't lead to anything too unpleasant. One wouldn't want to see chessplayers dealing with this problem the way they do in some other sports, eg professional cycling. A bicycle is two wheels connected by a damp patch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: A curious episode. I take it that the incident occurred at move 35...Bd6, when the King and Bishop were adjacent.

But the video does not record it as far as I can see, as it picks up the game right at 35...Bd6 and through the time control. See around 16:14:00

Moiseenko raises his hand, but does not seem to say anything.

Navara had the chance to concede a draw many times during the Queen versus Rook ending, one golden opportunity was after 104 Rb7!

click for larger view

when 104...Qxb7 stalemate.

But Navara offered a draw only when he had demonstrated he could win with mate.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: People who know David Navara well cannot be much surprised by his decision to offer draw in this game. I remember his game with Andrei Kovalev in Pardubice 2006 where he offered draw in clearly won position because he believed that something he had done during the game disturbed his opponent and caused him to make a mistake. (See discussion at David Navara for more details as well as the score of the game which is not in the's database.) And there are some other games where he did it too, for example in I Balinov vs Navara, 2003.
Sep-04-11  notyetagm: Moiseenko should resign the match tomorrow, if he has any character.

Navara did *not* need to be "pardoned" for accidentally touching his king earlier and so should have won the game with a clear conscience.

Sep-05-11  romison:
Sep-05-11  SimonWebbsTiger: FM Steve Giddins mentions on his chess blog the following


The main point is that 23dxc5 is prevented, and so Black must capture on e5. But after either capture, eg. 23fxe5, there follows 24.Nd7! The black queen and rook on b8 are both attacked, and 24Qxc4 allows 25.N(either) x e5+, forking king and queen. Instead, Black must surrender the exchange.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <tamar> At 15h:15m:09s et seq. you can see David grabbing Ph2 first and then a backward arm movement lifting Bd6 and put it on square h2. I also note three arbitors/spectators? at their table.

A few seconds later, another shot - 5 people around. Moiseenko plays Kf1 and it seems that he talks something.

But the incident happend a few move earlier...

Sep-05-11  WiseWizard: Salute.
Premium Chessgames Member
  vonKrolock: After <35.♕e2>

click for larger view <"This is the critical position. David Navara reached for the bishop but bumped the king with his hand. His opponent pointed this out, and that according to the touch-move rule he was bound to move the king. However, doing so would have allowed Rxe7, winning a piece. <<"I realised that my opponent had made a mistake and accidentally touched the piece, as it is not possible that a player of his strength could have blundered so badly. This is the reason I did not insist on his move with the king.">>>

Sep-05-11  pulsar: Navara is a class act, and, as <Honza> noted, known for his mild manners and respect to his opponents. Way to go, David!
Sep-05-11  Marmot PFL: <polarmis> I have a hard time buying that story. What if white had just resigned (as most players would)? Can't offer a draw then.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tamar: <whiteshark> I noticed the same thing. There was hardly any clamor after 35...Bd6

From the video evidence, admittedly unclear, Moiseenko made a brief protest after the touch move incident, but let it pass.

Then there was a gathering of the arbiters more for the time control than the incident, and Navara may have taken their presence as for something he had done.

Overall, it was a common time trouble
confusion, handled perfectly respectably by both players.

Sep-05-11  gauer: Interesting that many times, the diagonally line-moving ♗ most often seems to be a culprit of touch-move, as in other (alleged) situations like Chigorin vs Steinitz, 1892 that appear to be similar. If a player is asked to move/capture a ♖, ♘, ♙, ♔, or ♕ to the favour of another line mover, one would wonder what the relative frequency (taken 2 types of pieces at a time) would be for the multiple brushed pieces.

Wasn't it common in some circles of the circa pre-1850s that a move completed illegally or extra pieces touched deliberately could sometimes be called such that: (i) the arbiter would set up the previous legal position again, possibly also assign a time penalty, & (ii) give the opponent the option of asking the offender to either: play a (legal) King move instead, or, play a legal move of any touched piece if possible?

It would make for a bit of an interesting history lesson to hear about how the rule was abolished, & if the unwritten rule was also used in shatranj, chaturnaga or (possibly? see ashtapada) related dice games (6 sides to a die could correspond to which type of piece to move by means of a roll - such a type of die with chess piece markings would be neat to collect).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: It's those tall hats they wear!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: The tighter the mitre ... the greater the temptation to touch?
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <Quote of the Day

<" No chess grandmaster is normal; they only differ in the extent of their madness." >>

-- Korchnoi

Sep-10-11  Karpova: David Navara describes what happened to

After 35.Qe2

click for larger view

David Navara: <The critical moment arose on the 35th move. My opponent was in a time trouble and I wanted to play the move 35...Be7-d6, which I therefore executed. Unfortunately, while making this move, I incidentally touched my king with my thumb and it started to rock a bit. I do not know which piece I touched first, but I really had no intention to play with my king, and touched it only when executing my intended move. My opponent noticed the movement of the king and asked me to play with it. I replied that I had no idea which piece I had touch first, and that I definitely wanted to play with my bishop. Then the arbiter came over. He supported my opinion, but I am not sure how much he had seen, and therefore do not consider this especially relevant. Anyway, my opponent agreed to continue the game, and I am thankful to him for this.

Incidentally I had executed my move 35...Bd6 and my clock was still running during the controversy, therefore I stopped it with the middle button while discussing with my opponent and with the arbiter. When play resumed I tried to start it again, using the same button, but it refused to run, even though the remaining time stayed displayed. I admit that this might have been caused by my handling of the clock. I told the arbiters the time consumption at the moment and watched the other games while they were setting the clock.

After the game continued I achieved a decisive advantage, but I terribly misplayed the endgame K+Q vs K+R. At the end I was lucky to achieve a completely winning position, but I decided to offer a draw. By doing this, I did not concede that I had been at fault on move 35. I just admitted that I do not know which piece I touched first and what the correct result should be. I wanted the match to be decided on the board, not in the appeals committee or by such a crazy game.

I should also note that none of us acted with an ill will. My opponent had seen my king rocking and it was logical to ask me to play with it. This was just an unfortunate incident which can happen from time to time.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <pulsar: Navara is a class act....>

I'll sign that.

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