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J’adoube is a French term used in chess to indicate that a player intends to adjust the position of a piece on the board without making a move. It’s commonly expressed as “I adjust” in English and is announced before the piece is touched.

Similar terms: touch-move rule, chess etiquette, illegal move, castling, check, en passant, chess notation, chess clock, FIDE laws, chess rules

So, what exactly is J’adoube?

J’adoube is a declaration used in chess to prevent misunderstandings about the player’s intentions when they touch a piece on the board.

According to chess rules, especially under the touch-move rule, if a player touches a piece when it is their turn, they must move or capture with that piece if legally possible. By saying “J’adoube,” a player indicates they are merely adjusting the piece’s position on its square and not attempting to make a move.

Why is J’adoube important?

The term is crucial for maintaining fair play and clarity in chess games, especially in formal and competitive settings. It helps to avoid disputes and penalties associated with unintentional or mistaken piece contacts.

Examples of J’adoube

During a game, a player notices that a pawn is not centered on its square. Before adjusting the pawn, the player says “J’adoube” to clearly communicate that the action is not an intended move.

How to use J’adoube

  1. Ensure it is your turn before touching any piece.
  2. Clearly say “J’adoube” or “I adjust” before touching the piece.
  3. Adjust the piece(s) gently and place it properly on its square.
  4. Avoid frequent adjustments as it may distract or annoy your opponent.

Famous examples of J’adoube

An example of J’adoube’s importance is seen in high-level chess tournaments, where players are very careful to declare adjustments to avoid potential disputes or accusations of illegal moves.

This practice highlights the professionalism and sportsmanship expected in competitive chess.

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