Forum Archive : Etiquette

Moving hit checker first

From:   Timothy Chow
Date:   11 October 2009
Subject:   May I put a checker on the bar before moving my own?
Forum: Forums

Is it acceptable (according to the rules that most people play by), if I
make a move that hits, to pick up the hit checker first and put it on the
bar before I move my own checker?

Neil Kazaross  writes:

Please don't, or at least don't do this very often.

Daniel Murphy  writes:

Rule 4.3 says: "MOVING. A player shall move the checkers in an unambiguous
manner, using only one hand."

Unambiguous: clear, having no uncertainty or ambiguity, in a manner which
leaves no doubt. Rule 4.3 sets a high standard. In my experience, a player
who "makes a habit" (as I said) of moving my checkers without moving his is
among those that we're going to have a disagreement with, eventually.

Jason Lee asks:

> What, precisely, is your objection to this method of moving checkers?

(1) If you haven't moved your checker yet, what did you hit my checker

(2) I'm going to avoid disputes about where checkers were by insisting that
moves be done as clearly as they need to be to be clear. It's not
sufficient that the final position be legal. I want no disputes about where
my checker was, if opponent (a) lets a long time pass between picking up my
checker and moving his, or (b) ends up making some other move that doesn't
even legally hit my checker. I've experienced both (a) and (b).

Richard Munitz  writes:

I think that the relevant US rule here is the following:

    4.3 MOVING. A player shall move the checkers in an unambiguous manner,
    using only one hand.

This rule implies to me that there is more that matters when making the
move than simply where the checkers have wound up at the moment when the
dice are lifted. Any action moving the checkers that can cause confusion as
to what is being done should be avoided.

In this case, the rules are pretty clear that an opponent's checker is hit
when the player's checker touches down on it. Clearly it cannot have been
hit if none of the player's checkers have been moved.

However, in practice, I think I would be generally tolerant of this kind of
thing in certain situations. The situation where I think it is most
acceptable is when a checker is on the bar and is going to enter on top of
the blot. It is clear to all that the checker on the bar must be the first
checker moving and particularly if the hit is forced, I see no ambiguity

I would also be tolerant of this kind of play if the hitting checker is
going to be left on the point the blot was occupying. Placing it on the bar
first is then more a matter of making room on the point for the hitting
checker. In all cases, I'd expect the hitting checker to be placed on the
point without delay.
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