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duncanbuckeridge 37 ( +1 | -1 )
Resignation etiquette When is it impolite to keep playing out a game from
a losing position. At what point does pressing on
become rude. It seems to me that if you are 2 or
more major pieces down and with no offsetting
initiative it is simply wasting time to continue. Is it
alright to ask opponents to please resign from such
games - I do when I am in that position?
winslow_hendershot 66 ( +1 | -1 )
This has been discussed before... I don't think anyone came to a definite conclusion on the matter. I think it is ok to ask your opponent to resign in a hopelessly lost position such as you described, as long as it is done politely and with good reason. For instance, there are only a limited number of games a non paying member can play at one time, or you want to start another game with them. However, there is no way to know what your opponent's reaction will be. There have been stories of people being offended and waiting for the last hour of the last day to make their moves, just to spite the opponent who is winning. Whatever you do, don't use the word twerp.
dorisia 111 ( +1 | -1 )
It depends I'd say it depends on the strength of the players. For a beginner, who has great difficulty in spotting simple mates in two moves, it may make sense to play a game to its very end.

But as soon as a player has advanced beyond this first stage of chess capability, nothing can be learnt from playing on till the bitter end; this would only result in losing their own valuable time and that of their opponent; it would therefore be rude.

The stronger a player is, the more rude it becomes not to resign in a completely lost position.

As to asking a player to resign, I don't think this is good etiquette; the winning player will have to endure the loss of valuable time and can later decide to avoid this opponent, if possible. On the other hand, it is not bad etiquette to announce mate in a number of moves, with or without giving the variations. Or perhaps, you may jokingly inform your opponent that you have three queens more, while in reality you are only two pieces up; I have never needed to apply this "tactic", but I don't think that such a gentle hint is too rude.
chessnovice 74 ( +1 | -1 )
... It all depends on how you ask. If you say, "I think you should resign", your opponent would get upset and surely not resign just to be spiteful.

On the other hand, I've had lost positions where my opponent has said. "It appears that now black's position is lost. Here is why, and maybe this move would have been preferable to avoid it." If I can't find a way to prove otherwise, and since my opponent has given some sort of assistance to understand why I lost, I gladly resign.

On the other hand, I prefer to play out games in its entirety. I've had opponents that resign prematurely, and the position could have gone either way. The checkmate is created for a reason - to achieve it. I'm always interested in what preference people have to finish their game.
indiana-jay 72 ( +1 | -1 )
Dorisia: "On the other hand, it is not bad etiquette to announce mate in a number of moves, with or without giving the variations"

There is a possibility that a player (after making his last move) knows that he will be checked mate in a few forced moves, but it is natural if he keeps silent hoping his opponent does not notice. So, announcing the forced combination is like saying "Look, I know it!". I did this 2 days ago. I also declined a draw offer (of a drawish game) until I know my opponent knows how to do a correct defense in less than 6 more moves. My opponent may be annoyed with this, but I know my rights.
mattafort 17 ( +1 | -1 )
to give opponent a hint To give my opponent a hint, I have used this comment:

"We can start another game, if you like.
You can have white this time."

It usually works!
bellepheron 9 ( +1 | -1 )
"Do you want to play this out, or should we start a new one?" is good, without being rude, too.
blatman 24 ( +1 | -1 )
OR... You should resign, sh**face!

It may not get the desired result, it is rude(so what), and it's crude, but it is theraputically cathartic and far better than reaching over the board and grasping the infuriating nark by the windpipe..or..?

The Great Blatman(steadfast in the face of adversity)
winslow_hendershot 24 ( +1 | -1 )
I just want to point out that Blatman was giving a purely hypothetical situation, and in no way were his remarks directed toward any particular individual. Therefore he should never be banned for saying that.

Good point, Winslow, I agree wholeheartedly.
justawful 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Whatever you do... don't use the word twerp. LMAO! Winslow.
stuka 38 ( +1 | -1 )
I think dorisia made a good point - those of us who don't have as much skill/experience tend to not know that certain arrangements are invariably fatal. If I AM doomed however, certain more polite methods of pointing it out are certainly appreciated - in fact, a more lengthy explanation would help me (and others) to better understand WHY we've lost, and improve our play.
drgandalf 71 ( +1 | -1 )
Players under 1300 should seldom resign. You have way too much to learn in the position, no matter how lost.

The rule is to resign when the PLAYER has exhausted all chessic benefit from the position.

When two players agree to the terms of the chess game, each needs to respect the other as a fellow competitor. Each player has the absolute right to play on. He does not suffer from poor etiquette, if he still has something to learn.

However, when the losing player can not longer find any future benefit to his chess knowledge and skill by playing on, then he should resign.

As for the winner's etiquette, I agree with mattafort. Let's all be kind to others who share our interest in chess, even those who lose to us.



anaxagoras 12 ( +1 | -1 )
Here's a living example:
board #847298

Why, on why?
duncanbuckeridge 68 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks for all the advice - I am up against my
active game limit so I may try the polite approach in
one or two games - I am worried though that
someone would then play on purely from spite!! I
should also stress that I am not talking about asking
people to resign marginally losing positions. In one
game (I'm black - so I can't really offer the person
white next time as a peace offering!) I am a rook
plus three pawns and with a passed pawn in my
favour against a higher rated (1468) opponent and
still they play (slowly) on. Surely I can ask them
reasonably directly to please resign?! I know I would
in their place.
superblunder 41 ( +1 | -1 )
duncanbuckeridge You make it sound like you a few moves away from queening or mate, but I just looked at the game in question and although you have much more material, you are not even close to an endgame yet, there are still queens on the board and alot of other hevy pieces, and pawns...it is still a playable game in my opinion, maybe you will make a msitke and return some material or get checkmated.
ir0nh0rse 35 ( +1 | -1 )
Most of us make stupid mistakes, especialy in winning positions. A game is meant to be played to the end. I don't see anything wrong with playing, nore do I get upset when players keep playing when it is a clear loss for them. If I have have won the game then I have won the game, the seconds it takes to keep moving is trivial.
duncanbuckeridge 59 ( +1 | -1 )
superblunder My whole point was that I am not a few moves
away from mating - if I was I wouldn't be concerned
about the time taken to finish off the game. Re the
position though - next move queens either get
traded off or the white queen gets pushed into a
crumby position. What would stop me then marching
the pawn down the A file - would take some time
but hard (for me anyway!) to see how it can be
stopped. You must be a good counterattacker
(which judging from your rating you probably are) if
this is still a playable game for white in your opinion.
superblunder 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Well, you most likely will win... but my point was, it is not over, at your rating level you have to admit bludering away pieces in tactical pressure happens fairly often.

It even happens to me, hence the name!!
mate_you_in_fifty 40 ( +1 | -1 )
And there's always stalemate I bet that's why many beginners play on,even though they have only a king. And there's the juggernaut concept too(sac'ing your last piece to create a stalemate). Lots of possibilities to draw the game (even if improbable).
Ultimately it boils down to this fact-players who play the board will resign,players who play the opponent (most of us,I'd say!) will play on.
indiana-jay 95 ( +1 | -1 )
anaxagoras,
Don't know when the problem had really started, I think Black had not quickly anticipated the formation of White strong center pawns. May be it was because the e5 had not done earlier, the d6 pawn became helpless. In a cramped position where no pieces down, the effect of this weak pawn (or weak position in general) cannot be seen before a massive exchange takes place, unless the player has thought sufficient moves ahead for critical combinations.

After the exchanges took place, it could be a shocking thing for the loosing side to see something he never expected. I think that some people do really need some time to relief himself from this kind of shock before he can accept that he has lost the game (Man, now I'm an expert in Psychiatry!)

When fnishing the game becomes an objective, you will probably need a special skill other than openings, tactics or end-games...
bluebabygirl 54 ( +1 | -1 )
re- I usually resign in lost positions and I have had much practice in this but sometimes I play on in a vain useless hope of a miracle such as a- lightning striking my opponent just before mate b- his computer blows up creating a mushroom cloud from which he surely will not survive or c- his mommy or daddy or nanny or girlfriend tells him quit playing that GIRL just resign now thats an imperial order. So far none of these have happened but im ever ever so hopeful!!! yours bluebabygirl
invincible1 17 ( +1 | -1 )
everyone There has been a lot of discussion about this many many times before. Everyone has his/her own stand. Just remember to have respect for your opponent.
winslow_hendershot 26 ( +1 | -1 )
BBG Hmmmm, perhaps none of those things will likely happen. However, I can "arrange" for an "accident" to happen to any opponents you wish. I particularly like your idea of the exploding computer. That can easily be arranged. Just give me the nod. And the wink. *nod* ;)
peppe_l 25 ( +1 | -1 )
Basically It is all about skill level and time control. Resignation etiquette at 1300 level is completely different from resignation etiquette at 2300 level. Not surprisingly most problems occur in games where 2300 plays 1300 etc :-)
winslow_hendershot 6 ( +1 | -1 )
Right on, peppe!!! Care to play a game? I'll resign before move 3! heh heh
sirk 80 ( +1 | -1 )
Resignation It's interesting to hear the comments on this site as most of the players seem not at all connected with the world of OTB tournament chess, and peoples opinion's seem very strange to my OTB hardened beliefs.

From an OTB perspective it's considered rude to play on when a piece down with no compensation. In my OTB games, I've seen exactly 3 actual checkmates, two occured with one of the players in severe time trouble, in bad positions just making moves to stay alive. and the other was a 7 year old playing in an adult tournament who I suspect was not allowed to resign by his parents using the logic stated above.

Here on Gameknot 3/5 of my opponents have played to mate, sometimes when ridiculously down on material. (i.e. Rook and Queen) I'm new so maybe this ratio will drop as my rating rises.
mate_you_in_fifty 107 ( +1 | -1 )
Sirk Just curious,what did you mean by 'a piece down'? If it's a minor piece,then I would think it's premature to resign,especially if the pawn number/structure is equal for both sides. If it's a major piece,that's a different matter,but even then I personally wouldn't consider it rude to play on. After all,chess IS a game of blunders,some big and some small. Even GM's,in my opinions play chess hoping the opponent will blunder. Not something like hanging your queen but a small positional mistake. If someone made a mistake and then immediately resigned,*completely* expecting his opponent to permanently capitalize on that,then there's no fun in chess. How many casual players say,"oops,I have isolated doubled pawns,I'd better resign"? Sorry to ramble on:) I think every situation is different and the more endgame-like it is,the more likely that the player should resign. I also feel that it's better to be a minor piece down rather than two pawns down in the endgame.
ir0nh0rse 34 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree... I actualy like getting check-mated, and check-mating my opponent. A check-mate is the only perfect position in chess, it's a beautiful thing whether I'm winning or loosing. But I must admit I do resign in lost positions or from loosing a major piece because of pressure from people like you guys, j/k ;)
sirk 89 ( +1 | -1 )
MYIF... This is a legitimate point, and no absolute rule can be drawn. To me, a piece down in an uncomplicated position is safely resignable. However if the position is at all complicated, i.e. you have compensation, but not quite enough, then playing on is to be expected. Also playing on through "momentum," 5-10 more moves in a lost position, is understandable. It is difficult phsycologically to fight for 2 hrs then abrubrtly give up.

Among the people I play in OTB tournaments with, (1500-1800 USCF) a person who plays on in these situation is said to be "flag-dropping" or hoping their opponents will lose on time, this I assume would not apply to correspondence chess.

I would agree that practically it is better to be a piece down in a quiet middlegame then 2 pawns down in a K+P endgame, although in both situations I feel that the chances of a comeback are statistically insignificant among decent competition.
rayape 8 ( +1 | -1 )
it depends on the strength of the peices and your oppoments ability to play them
sirk 2 ( +1 | -1 )
doesn't everything:)
buddy2 57 ( +1 | -1 )
resignation If you have an overwhelming position, how much time does it take to choose a move? Would you ask someone to resign over the board? When you engage to play a game, there's a tacit understanding it'll go to mate or until your opponent chooses to resign. It's their call. Discussing the strength of opponents is pointless. If I were playing Kasparov and he was a pawn up would I resign? I might play just to see how the guy puts me away! How about this rule: The game is over when one of the players decides he has a winning position. Wouldn' that be lovely.
anaxagoras 12 ( +1 | -1 )
What's the point of coming up with criteria for a justified resignation when no one will abide by them anyway?
sirk 57 ( +1 | -1 )
Let's make this clear, I was talking about what I consider to be polite, it's certainly within the rules to play as long as you want. It's just annoying to have to play out an endgame with nothing but king, pawns and your extra piece. And I don't see what either side gains from this. If a person wants to know how I'm going to finish them off, they can ask me and I'll explain it much better (and faster) than my moves by themselves would.

If the person doesn't know any better then I'm not so annoyed, it's still rude, but not their fault.
bluebabygirl 17 ( +1 | -1 )
to coolwinslow Target Invincible 1 .NOD-WINK,,NOD-WINK Coolwinslow make it look accidental. Hint I like mushrooms on a cloudy day!!! MAKE EM RAIN ..(your im not his accomplice) bluebabygirl
winslow_hendershot 71 ( +1 | -1 )
Oh no!! It had to be Vinnie, didn't it? Now my loyalties are tested to the fullest! Whatever shall I do now?

In the spirit of this thread, I will use proper etiquette. I resign from the world. I give up, world. You win. I thought I could take you, but it's all just too much! I can't live without my friend vinnie, and I can't disappoint Bluegirl babe. Woe is me!

This is a complete stranger now. I just walked by this computer to find a person named winslow (it says winslow on his nametag) lying on the ground in a pall of smoke vaguely resembling the shape of a mushroom. It appears he has been exploded by an unknown assassin. I hope nobody liked him, because he is gone now. I have his password, though, so I'll try to fill in for him as best I can.

Kindest Regards,
Puddin' Taine
bluebabygirl 44 ( +1 | -1 )
re just as long as he is as cool smart funny and interesting as coolwinslow bring him on!!!! Alas my friend coolwinslow has selfdestructed rather then do the terrible deed , my spy told me he would but stupid me never understands til its too too late . OH well my spy says he has an evil twin brother that will inherit his account and also tell us chicken jokes. I just hope he is half as cool as the dear departed . bye my friend - nod wink?????????yours BBG
bluebabygirl 4 ( +1 | -1 )
to evil twin got your inheritance yet??? And do you inherit his name too??? BBG
winslow_hendershot 17 ( +1 | -1 )
Wink Nod Most undoubtedly! Everything is in place and taken care of. The target is in my sights. Prepare to initiate launch. Countdown beginning! He has 2 hours to resign and then BLAMMO!!!
bluebabygirl 11 ( +1 | -1 )
to my accomplice extra WINK-NOD!!! job must look like accident or else I do not pay!!! and you can now resign that extra job! yours BBG
arathalion 76 ( +1 | -1 )
resignation While i fully understand how immensly annoying it can be for someone who is badly down and about to lose to not resign, i find that it is the end of games, even if you are doomed to lose, that i learn the most. if you practise this then you can get very good at end games, and often beat an opponent who is much better off than you, because when your enemy is almost dead, then your guard drops. There are many games that cannot be recovered in this manner, but for the few that can, it is worth it.
But what i find immensly irritating is when your enemy (who is about to lose) forces a stalemate, even if you are far ahead on material. this is why, against someone i do not know, i will resign if i get even a 3point peice down.
mate_you_in_fifty 17 ( +1 | -1 )
but:) Stalemates and 3-time repetitions are like a gift from the sky to the losing player. But I think stalemates can hardly ever be forced across more than 1 or 2 moves.
olympio 55 ( +1 | -1 )
it's up to the player.. i think if kasparov continued playing till the end of a game where you were clearly winning. it would be an obvious slap int he face. but on the internet? you can never know how amateurish your opponent is.. it may be in their best interest to continue the game.. though I am playing several games with 1800+ rated players at the moment that I am winning by a very huge margin to the point where I could blunder and still win easily and they are moving very slowly.. makes moving to a higher league difficult.
bluebabygirl 1 ( +1 | -1 )
to any yes i agree