Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: A Touching Case

Today’s ‘mini-game’ is another example of reinforcing Fischer’s sentence: “Chess demands total concentration”.

The game was played in 1889. The players were well-known masters of that time: Siegbert Tarrasch and Semion Alapin.

Despite it, Alapin resigned in only 6 moves!! Why? According to some sources, because of the case of touch-move rule.

Apparently, the case is that 5 d4 was so ubiquitous in the Petroff at that time that Alapin did not even think of the possibility of Tarrasch playing anything different. So he reached for the Bishop as he was going to play 5 … Be7 in reply to d4.

He also apparently did realize before actually moving the Bishop that Tarrasch had indeed only moved the Pawn one square, but because of the touch-move rule, there was nothing he could do for it and he was required to play 5 … Be7 for better or for worse.

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