FIDE Online Arena Welcomes Pre-move
Is there a place for pre-move on the FIDE Online Arena, the official gaming platform where players can play for an online rating recognized by FIDE? (Spoiler — yes, and it’s available now!)
Quick background: pre-move is an option to make a move before your opponent makes theirs, and it’s usually done in time trouble or if the opponent’s next move is obvious. Your pre-move is then carried out automatically after your opponent has made their move. In some cases (for example, if your move is rendered illegal for any reason), the pre-move is canceled and you have to make a new move.
Pre-move is a useful way to play in time trouble, but can lead to a blunder if your opponent makes an unexpected move (or somehow tricks you into making a bad pre-move!). On FOA, you can make just one pre-move at a time.
Obviously, there is no pre-move in over-the-board chess. In fact, you cannot even touch a piece unless you make a move with that exact piece (watch Hikaru Nakamura losing a game in the Candidates Tournament because of this rule!). So, why then is pre-move available on the official online gaming platform?
Well, it’s completely legal, according to the FIDE online chess regulations adapted earlier this year by the chess governing body: “… Pre-move: player enters his/her move before his/her opponent made his/her own move. The move is automatically executed on the board as an immediate response to the opponent’s move”.
Both FIDE officials and chess professionals alike concede that online chess is a little different from the over-the-board experience (it requires its own regulations, after all), and pre-move is now a standard feature in online gaming.