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Jens Hohmeister vs Tena Frank
Hessen-ch MVT (1993), Bruchkoebel GER, rd 10
Englund Gambit Complex: General (A40)  ·  1/2-1/2


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Jul-15-04  acirce: <The shortest known stalemate, invented by Em. Lasker I believe: 1. c4 h5 2. h4 a5 3. Qa4 Ra6 4. Qxa5 Rah6 5. Qxc7 f6 6. Qxd7+ Kf7 7. Qxb7 Qd3 8. Qxb8 Qh7 9. Qxc8 Kg6 10. Qe6 1/2-1/2>

I think it was Loyd. That game was actually played in the Swedish Junior Championships in 1995 or so, so Hohmeister-Frank is not the shortest. I seem to remember though that the Swedish players were punished for that and both received 0 points for the game, any other Swede here who can confirm or deny?

Sep-14-04  mikhs: I don't see the point here. I think it's a waste of time both to compose this game and for us to look at it. Why is included in this database?
Sep-20-04  sneaky pete: The original game, as published (with DEEP notes!) by Loyd, was played in a dream between White "The Sacrifice" and Black "The Grandmaster" and runs a bit different:

1.d4 d6 2.Qd2 e5 3.a4 e4 4.Qf4 f5 5.h3 Be7 6.Qh2 Be6 7.Ra3 c5 8.Rg3 Qa5+ 9.Nd2 Bh4 10.f3 Bb3 11.d5 e3 12.c4 f4 and white, not noticing the stalemate and unable to find a move, lost on time. This raised the question, if one can lose by not making a move is there is no move to be made.

Oct-05-04  morphy234: this game HAD to be staged.
Oct-05-04  clocked: Another example:
Apr-12-05  RookFile: As I understood it, Sam Loyd tells
it as an epic battle he witnessed
between two champions, that went
as follows:

White: Patzer
Black: Duffer

1. e3 a5
2. Qh5 Ra6
3. Qxa5 h5
4. Qxc7 Rah6
5. h4 f6
6. Qxd7+ Kf7
7. Qxb7 Qd3
8. Qxb8 Qh7
9. Qxc8 Kg6
10. Qe6

In this position, while pondering
his move, duffer's flag fell. Should
he be credited with a loss?

Aug-11-05  Averageguy: If a player makes a move which makes the position Stalemate, but the opponent resigns before realising, is it a win or still a draw?
Oct-23-05  soberknight: <Averageguy> I hate to spoil the humor, but you ask a serious question which deserves a serious answer.

I am an avid reader of, which is the best source of high-caliber chess journalism anywhere on the Internet. One of my favorite columns is Guert Gijssen's "Arbiter's notebook." Although I have played only eight games in an informal league competition, and I never participated in a weekend tournament (and probably never will), I like to study the legal nuances of how a judge solves disputes that arise.

If a player resigns after stalemate has occurred on the board, the game is drawn, according to the following excerpt from Mr. Gijssen's May 2005 column (

"Question: Dear Mr. Gijssen, I would like to inform you about a situation that recently occurred during a rapid tournament in Brazil, as some of the international arbiters have differing opinions. It was Black’s move in the diagrammed position and Black resigned, but the arbiter overruled the resignation and decided the game was drawn because of stalemate.

"Was this decision correct? Can the arbiter even take such a decision without a claim from one of the players? What would happen in a “normal” game? Does the position on the board (stalemate) have priority over a resignation? Thank you very much for your attention. Best regards. Estevão Tavares Neto (Brazil)

"Answer: The following articles are essential to this situation:

"5.1.b. The game is won by the player whose opponent declares he resigns. This immediately ends the game.

"5.2.a. The game is drawn when the player to move has no legal move and his king is not in check. The game is said to end in ‘stalemate’. This immediately ends the game, provided that the move producing the stalemate position was legal.

"In this case there is no difference between a “normal” game, a rapid game, or a blitz game. Usually a player resigns when he has the move and in the situation you describe the stalemate is already established, so the game is over. Therefore, according to Article 5.2.a the game is drawn. It is irrelevant that a player resigned after the game was legally finished."

Mr. Gijssen implies correctly that if stalemate is inevitable but has not yet occurred on the board, such as after White's 44th move in J A Congdon vs E Delmar, 1880, a resignation would be valid. I do not know if this has ever occurred in practice.

Oct-23-05  soberknight: <iron maiden: If only all prearranged draws could be this beautiful...>

My favorite prearranged draw is the Recidivist Variation, which you can find on item 268 of Tim Krabbe's chess diary (, based on Adorjan vs Karpov, 1967.

Although it is superficially beautiful to see Black sacrifice his bishop and queen to achieve a perpetual check, a "favorite prearranged draw" is like a "favorite cockroach."

Oct-26-05  Averageguy: <soberknight>Thanks for that, and don't worry about "spoiling the humor" it was a serious question that might have come across as a joke. Thanks again.
Oct-30-05  soberknight: Regarding my previous comment about Congdon v. Delmar, I've considered that the game might be drawn after all, and I emailed the question to Mr. Gijssen. We'll see if he responds in next month's column.
Mar-20-06  capanegra: A few years ago, I found a game played by E. Schildberg and G. Studier in 1915, with an artistic double-stalemate final position:

1.e4 d5 2.e5 d4 3.c3 f6 4.Qf3 Kf7 5.Qxb7 Qd5 6.Kd1 Qxg2 7.Kc2 Qxf1 8.Qxc8 Qxg1 9.Qxb8 Rxb8 10.Rxg1 Rb3 11.Rb6 Ra3 12.Rh6 gxh6 13.bxa3 Kg7 14.Kb2 d3 15.e6 a5 16.h4 a4 17.h5 c5 18.f4 c4 19.f5 ½ - ½

click for larger view

Jan-16-07  Tactic101: This has got to have been pre-arranged. Pretty nifty though how they managed to pull this one off.
Jan-16-07  Tactic101: I wonder, these guys were both GMs or at least IMs, right? Did they have nothing to fight for or did they need only a draw for their purposes? If the latter, they must have had some good sense of humour. It is certainly more interesting than those draws we hear of all the time where they make only a few moves and sign the peace treaty. Wonder what the tournament organisers would have said if they realised that two players were cheating.
Apr-01-07  Manic: Tim Krabbe writes that this stalemate was not Loyd's idea but rather someone named Wheeler and that Loyd produced a slightly altered version as a spoof.

<1.a4 c5 2.d4 d6 3.Qd2 e5 4.Qf4 e4 5.h3 Be7 6.Qh2 Bh4 7.Ra3 Be6 8.Rg3 Bb3 9.Nd2 Qa5 10.d5 e3 11.c4 f5 12.f3 f4

It is almost always given as a composition by Loyd, but in fact it is by Wheeler, Sunny South, 1887, as I found out in Edward Winter's Chess Notes. Almost twenty years later, Sam Loyd published a version of this game (1.d4 d6 2.Qd2 e5 3.a4 e4 4.Qf4 f5 5.h3 Be7 6.Qh2 Be6 7.Ra3 c5 8.Rg3 Qa5+ 9.Nd2 Bh4 10.f3 Bb3 11.d5 e3 12.c4 f4 stalemate) in the popular Lasker's Chess Magazine, as a spoof of Steinitz' analyses. That version became famous.>

Nov-07-07  Ragh: This is not a chess game, but a piece of art. Carefully constructed and very creative!
Mar-18-08  porgue: black could have pissed white off by playing <10. ...Qxg3+!!>
Jan-24-09  WhiteRook48: wow, GMs convincing to stalemate. What a laugh
Jan-31-09  WhiteRook48: Black had many ways to win this game
Mar-06-09  WhiteRook48: 2 Qd2?!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Landman: I've not heard of an example where one player reneged on a pre-arranged draw, but that must've happened somewhere. The closest I recall was Miles vs Christiansen, 1987 in which Miles must've been a little tempted to play 6.Qe2
May-07-12  Amarande: <Landman> Edward Lasker relates a tale in "Chess for Fun & Chess for Blood" about just such a case.

The tale is told on page 193 (Dover edition) of that book but briefly, it took place in an international tournament where apparently the organisers frowned upon agreed draws in the early game (i.e., the first 30 moves or so). Therefore, the players concerned decided to agree to take the first possible opportunity for a plausible repetition of moves; however, one player discovered just before the draw would have occurred, that if he changed the order of these moves (B moves involving 3 different squares per player) without the opponent doing the same, they had a win, and did exactly this.

Lasker did not name the players or tournament involved (except that it was "an international tournament"), and so I am not entirely sure what game this was, or if it is in the chessgames database (as the book was published in 1942, though, it is certainly earlier than that); the only game I can think of that involved a broken series of repeated B moves that would otherwise have led to a draw is the famous game between Reti and Alekhine at Baden-Baden 1925 but that does not match the anecdote at all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Landman> Horowitz IIRC referred to a case where the players agreed to play 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.Ng1 Ng8 and keep repeating those moves - a rather obvious agreed draw, I should say. Black reneged, playing 2...e5! instead, and won.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eggman: This reminds me of a psychology study I participated in at the University of Toronto back in the '90s. I sat in front of a computer and was shown the first 20 moves of an incomplete game and then the board was set up again and I was asked to reproduce from memory what I had just seen. No problem, of course. After a session of several such games I was then shown games in which the moves were randomly generated by a computer, and was then asked to reproduce those games. I knew this would be harder of course, but I vastly underestimated the difference. To my astonishment I was often unable to recall even White's first move. The randomly-generated games were just so confusing and completely alien. This game reminds me of that experience. Not quite the same, of course, because there is a method to the madness, here. But it casts me back, nonetheless.
Premium Chessgames Member
  JohnBulten: Winter is correct that C.H. Wheeler (American) created this shortest capture-free stalemate and Loyd popularized it.

The resignation rule described is also correct but there is one more subtlety. Although a resignation is possible when stalemate is inevitable but not complete, per 5.2.2 a resignation is not possible when impossibility of checkmate is inevitable but not complete. If your only legal move leads to a dead position, it is also a dead position before your move and your move technically should not be made. An arbiter can rule this draw without a claim no matter how many moves away an inevitable dead position exists.

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