The Stressful Rule on Touch-Move

The game of chess is a match of wit and skills. Most players take long to decide and strategize situations on the spot, and this is understandable. After all, the game is mostly about possibilities and reading the play of the opponent.

But sometimes, after a long pause of reflection, some players still reconsider a just-finished move and change it with another. This takes too much time and is sometimes unfair to the other player. Thus, the idea of the "Touch-Move" chess ruling.

The touch-move ruling says two things: the first piece we touch becomes the compulsory move we have to make, and the first square we land the piece on becomes the compulsory square we place a move on. When our turn comes and we touch a piece, we may take a moment to reflect about a strategy for it. But it should be the final piece we must make a move with at that turn. We may not change it with another piece for a more favorable move.

If we touch a piece and see too late that we don't have any meaningful move for it at the moment—or worse, that it has no move where it cannot be captured—we are under obligation to move it for that turn no matter the consequence. Similarly, if we have landed a piece on a square and suddenly realize the disadvantage of doing so, we can only watch in horror the consequence of our error.

Hence, with the touch-move chess ruling in operation, we have to be extra careful with the moves we make. We have to see the various aspects of a contemplated move—potentials and drawbacks—before we even touch a piece. In this ruling, we are allowed to take some time to decide. But the moment we touch a piece, all reflections and contemplations should cease, and just be ready to suffer or enjoy the result.

However, when a touch-move ruling is coupled with a time-limited chess game, the whole thing becomes a different ball game. We have to be extra quick-witted and at the same time make decisive moves. This is an excellent way to train our minds to be adroit in reading the plays of the enemy, always seeing the whole picture of the game, seeing possibilities and odds, and making final decisions maturely without second thoughts or regrets.

The touch-move chess ruling is an excellent way of making a game on a tight-aggressive mode. It will also train us to be quick-witted and play maturely in chess.