What they care is the quality of the music that we produce.
We can even play with only two fingers, as long as it sounds good.
My piano teacher, also a judge, told me that judges will count off for wrong fingering.
Absolutely wrong, except maybe for the rarest of exceptions, like if your fingering means you're "cheating" in some way.
There are a few instances in which a judge might take off for fingering choices. There are "cheat" fingering for some well known etudes such as Chopin 10 #1....
Exactly the first thing that popped into my mind.
I have a fingering where you never have to stretch more than a 7th.
Lostaccato: What do you mean by "wrong fingering" anyway??
And, I'm wondering if this is one of those instances, of which I'm sure there are more than we ever find out, where the teacher is being misquoted or taken badly out of context. Anyone else wondering if the teacher really said this incredibly stupid thing? I'd guess that he/she didn't. It's just too stupid.
Like, for example, I can imagine that a student used a particular bad fingering and the teacher said if you do that, you won't be able to play it musically and then you'll stink, and then you'll be 'counted off'....
But as presented? I'm very skeptical.