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William Fuller vs Leonid Basin
"The Great Basin" (game of the day Oct-10-07)
Michigan Open (1992)  ·  Queen Pawn Game: Veresov Atack. Dutch System (A80)  ·  1/2-1/2
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: The FIDE rule may be in there for another reason. Say Black was a bit short of time, and 38.Rh8+ so upset him that he was unable to take the rook before his flag fell. The rule would prevent him from losing a position that could not possibly be lost over the board.

In reality, Basin was not in time pressure; see <Resignation Trap>'s kibitzing back on page one. It was a simple matter of carelessness in a position he had long since chalked up as a win in his mind.

Oct-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: Surely, it would be incorrect to say that 38...Kxh8 is an illegal move, because then rule 1.2 would kick in:

<1.2 The objective of each player is to place the opponent’s king ‘under attack’ in such a way that the opponent has no legal move. The player who achieves this goal is said to have ‘checkmated’ the opponent’s king and to have won the game. ...>

If 38...Kxh8 is not a legal move, then black, whose king is under attack, has no legal move, and has thus been checkmated. I think the draw rule mentioned earlier allows either player to claim a draw after 38.Rh8+, but it cannot prohibit 38...Kxh8.

Oct-26-09  jsheedy: 38. Rh8+ forces stalemate. Can't see anything better for White. 38. RxQ loses to the onslaught of Q-side pawns.
Oct-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <YouRang> Agreed - 38...Kxh8 is not an illegal move. If I have understood the rules correctly, it is not a move. The game ended "immediately" on 38. Rh8+. So any woodshifting after that is irrelevant, because the game is over.

I wonder ... if two amateurs carried on playing in a dead drawn KvK endgame and one eventually lost on time, would the arbiter declare the game a draw because it ended "immediately" when the KvK situation first arose?

It does seem like an odd little wrinkle that we appear to have uncovered, and not one that I was aware of before today.

Oct-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  fm avari viraf: When you think, you are totally lost then you must try for a stalemate but you will be cursed by your adversary if you succeed as in this game.
Oct-26-09  zanshin: Very amusing puzzle. I hope <CG> is setting up a theme for this week based on puzzles like this one.
Oct-26-09  I Like Fish: rook to...
h eight...
the solution is...
Oct-26-09  Smothered Mate: <Patriot>
You might have meant this, but the rule would be especially important if one player was low on time.

<Once>
Another puzzle that this make possible is


click for larger view

Who moved last?

Oct-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Smothered Mate> Ah, I think I see the point. It had to be White.

Obviously, either player's previous move was to capture a queen or rook, else the game would have already been declared a draw on the "no mate" rule. However, if Black had captured on h8, he would have had no other legal move but to produce the "no mate" position, and the game would have already been declared a draw. Hence, White must have moved last.

Oct-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: One little detail. White could also have captured a pawn on f6, but that doesn't affect the solution.
Oct-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <Once: <YouRang> Agreed - 38...Kxh8 is not an illegal move. If I have understood the rules correctly, it is not a move. The game ended "immediately" on 38. Rh8+. So any woodshifting after that is irrelevant, because the game is over.>

Possibly, although I don't think that the rules can assume competence on the part of the players to recognize that mate is impossible (see the bishop & pawns example given by <Smothered Mate> above).

It's fine to say that the game is over by application of this rule that says checkmate is impossible. But what if neither player recognizes this impossibility, and thus decide to play on?

IMO, it doesn't make sense to say that those further moves didn't really happen because the game, unbeknownst to the players, had ended.

In my view, that draw-rule only makes sense with the understanding that one of the players must claim it. Without this claim, the game can go on, and if a player forfeits or resigns, it counts.

Oct-26-09  WhiteRook48: 38 Rh8+ seriously what else??
Oct-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  gawain: Cute little stalemate. Who would have thought that Chessgames.com kibitzers would find so much to kibitz about in this position? Yet we have!
Oct-26-09  ycbaywtb: why wouldn't the Black Q move to g5 instead of capturing f2, not only to avoid the stalemate, but to continue pushing his pawns? also, Be4 check just before trading Queens would have prevented the stalemate
Oct-26-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  johnlspouge: < <Once> wrote: [snip] I wonder ... if two amateurs carried on playing in a dead drawn KvK endgame and one eventually lost on time, would the arbiter declare the game a draw because it ended "immediately" when the KvK situation first arose? [snip] >

Hi, <Once>. I love this sort of stuff. Let's carry the your question to its logical limits. What if two amateurs play a tournament game, and one inadvertently knocks the other's Q off the board, without either noticing? Can the arbiter come in later and do something? If so, what what about the clock time, which can be assumed irretrievable to the arbiter?

Basically, to what extent can an arbiter correct for the incompetence of the players? It seems most likely to me that one of the players must request arbitration.

Oct-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I have seen arbiters step in, even with situations more complicated than K vs. K. OK, not that much more complicated:


click for larger view

A couple of young players reached this position after White's 63rd move. Of course, it's a draw unless White does something stupid and loses the opposition.

Now, Black really wanted to win this game. We're talking life and death here. White, on the other hand, had apparently had K+P vs. K drummed into his head, as he knew how to draw it, and knew how very well. Unfortunately for White, he wasn't so learned in trivial matters like claiming a draw through triple repetition or 50 move rule.

So the players kept circling their kings around the pawn for about 103 additional moves. The scoresheets got a bit befuddled, but I think they were going into the 13th set of repetitions when the tournament director stepped in and declared the game a draw. This was probably a technically illegal decision, but even Black wasn't protesting too much by this time.

Oct-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <YouRang: In my view, that draw-rule only makes sense with the understanding that one of the players must claim it. Without this claim, the game can go on, and if a player forfeits or resigns, it counts.>

I find myself in an awkward situation. My gut feeling is that you are right, or that you ought to be right. But the rules seem pretty clear. The bit about the game ending immediately doesn't allow for flexibility.

Interestingly (well, I find it interesting), several of the other types of draw rely on a correct claim being made - eg rule 9.2 (threefold repetition) and 9.3 (50 move rule). But the checkmate isn't possible rule (9.6) doesn't have this clause.

There's more - rule 7.4 states that after any illegal move being discovered, the position before the illegal move shall be reinstately.

Rule 9.5 allows a player to stop the clocks to claim a draw under threefold repetition or the 50 move rule, but this doesn't seem to allow the clocks to be stopped for a "checkmate isn't possible" draw.

12.8 states that "Persistent refusal by a player to comply with the Laws of Chess shall be penalised by loss of the game. The arbiter shall decide the score of the opponent."

13.1 says that "The arbiter shall see that the Laws of Chess are strictly observed."

So here's a hypothetical situation based on a strict interpretation of the laws. A game reaches a theoeretically drawn position because checkmate is no longer possible for either side. Player A says "it's a draw", but player B disagrees and wants to play on. Player A is not allowed to stop the clocks, so he has to continue playing or look for the arbiter while his clock is running.

Let's say that player A continues under protest. When the arbiter finally notices what is happening, he can either rewind the game back to the first unwinabble position and declare it drawn. Or he can penalise the player who refused the draw by declaring that he has lost because he didn't strictly observe the laws of chess.

I reckon that the laws may need tweaking here!

Oct-27-09  dannygjk: I doubt that an arbiter can arbitrarily, *dodging flying chess pieces*, step in and declare a position drawn, unless it is impossible for one of the players to lose. Even then, the arbiter better be 100% sure! Imagine an arbiter mistakenly declaring a game drawn, then the winner gambling away the prize money. Next day someone shows that it was possible for a win to occur, uh oh...
Oct-27-09  Kasputin: Oh no! what did I start? I made a innocent reply to the statement that black would not be allowed to take the h8 rook.

Let's think about a real game situation. In a real game both players would see that the move Rh8+ results in a stalemate and most likely they would agree to a draw. But if black really wanted to take the white rook, would a white player really refuse?

Would the white player call an arbiter over or look up the FIDE rules?

There is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law and following the rules is important of course, but this is an academic discussion.

I am not saying don't have the discussion, I am just saying for all practical purposes, it doesn't make any real difference.

Another example:

If I were playing in a tournament and after a game told a friend that I was happy with my last game because I managed to get perpetual check even though I was down in terms of material, would my friend turn to me and say "actually there is no official perpetual check rule, please restate what you just said so that it is clear to me the exact circumstances in which you managed to draw your game."

Oct-27-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Kasputin: Oh no! what did I start?>

You do yourself down, my friend!

In the context of the puzzle position, you are exactly right; the discussion is entirely academic. Both players would see that the game was drawn and shake on a draw - one happily and one a little sheepishly.

But imagine this ... you are deep into a difficult endgame with virtually no time left on your clock. Your opponent plays a move which leaves him with K + 2N versus your lone king. And before you can do anything, offer a draw, make a move, anything, your flag falls.

Result? A draw. As soon as you reach a position where checkmate is impossible by any sequence of moves, the game is immediately drawn.

Okay, so it won't happen very often, but I for one am glad that I know it now. And very grateful to you for starting us off on the discussion, even if it was a bit longer than it needed to be! (For which, apologies).

Oct-27-09  dannygjk: Wait a minute <Once>. You are saying that if KNN vs k is reached it's an auto draw according to the rules? Since it is possible for the lone king side to lose, then logically all book draws must be declared auto draws. I hope that this is not so. My feeling is that if it is possible for one player to <lose>, then that player should have to play it out if the opponent wishes.
Oct-28-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <dannygjk> You are right - K+2N is not an auto draw because the losing side can self mate. I should have used K+N v K for the example, because there is no way that a mate can happen even with worst play.
Oct-28-09  dannygjk: ok thanks :)
Nov-02-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  OBIT: Hmm, the fact that an automatic draw cannot be claimed if a checkmate can occur by some series of legal moves leads to some weird conclusions. For example, K+B vs K+B is an automatic draw only if the bishops are the same color. With opposite-colored bishops, mating positions are possible; for example, WK on a1, WB on a2, BK on c2, BB on c3. If I'm down to, say, 10 seconds on my clock, it seems like I should be able to claim a draw by saying, "Look, I am not going to move my king into a corner."
May-07-11  meppi: i was once playing in a tournament where i had a losing position but managed to swindle a "perpetual check net" the opponents king had around 5 different roads (2 sometimes 3 squares to go to each road) but i could always force the opponent king back with queen and horse.

yet my opponent kept on playing on and on. i kept on saying 3 fold repetition. 3 fold repetition. 3 fold repetition. every 3 moves. but my opponent kept on saying no it is not the same position! this continued for a long time i called arbiter (more like retired school teacher patzer) who looked at the position and said for us to play on!!! but this is very bad for me because i had much less time left and would eventually lose on time

i promptly just resign, stood up to shake hands and said: "He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious."

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