chessbase india logo

The castling rule was broken, but no one noticed!

by Sagar Shah - 14/04/2019

When a beginner learns the rules of chess, he/she is first taught how the pieces move. Once that is out of the way, two special moves are taught - En passant and Castling. You would of course imagine a WIM with a rating of 2256 to know all about it. When WIM Maria Gevorgyan touched her king and long castled in the third round of the European Women's Individual Championship currently in progress in Turkey, it was an illegal move. The live broadcasts stopped at that point, but no one noticed at the venue. Not her opponent Deimante Cornette, who is an IM with a rating of 2464, nor the arbiters. It was a unique case and the game ended as a win for the player who made the illegal move! Know more.

The biggest women's event in Europe, European Women's Individual Championship is currently taking place in Antalya, Turkey. Some of the best European woman players have gathered together to fight for the top prize of 10,000 euros and also the 14 qualifying spots for the next Women's World Cup. Something quite unbelievable happened in round three. It was the game between WIM Maria Gevorgyan of Armenia and Deimante Cornette of Lithuania.

Player with the white pieces was WIM Maria Gevorgyan rated 2256

Black was IM Deimante Cornette, rated 2464

Here are the initial moves:

Gevorgyan vs Cornette

Black has just played her queen to d7 and is threatening to pick up the d2 pawn. Maria touched her king and castled long! Seems fine right?

Just that, on move number 14 White had already moved the rook to b1!

On move 15 Black had moved her bishop to f5 attacking the rook on b1

Maria moved it to a1

And on move 23, White decided to 0-0-0!

Although the live broadcast stopped at this point, no one really picked up this mistake - not Maria, nor her opponent, and not even the arbiters! The game continued for over 80 moves...

...And White managed to win the game!

In the above position when the illegal move was made, Black already has a lot of compensation and is better. The funny thing is that even after 0-0-0 Black has a clear advantage, but White fought hard and went on to win the game!


Guess what? If Black had noticed that 0-0-0 was an illegal move, she would have won the game! How? Well, by the touch to move rule, White has touched the king in this position:

The only legal move for the king is Kd1, when Qxd2 is checkmate!

Are there any other cases like this that come to your mind, when one of the players made an illegal move and went on to win the game? If yes, please let us know in the comments section below!

Contact Us