View Poll Results: All other things being equal (middlegame, no compensation) about when do you give up?

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  • Two pawns down

    5 6.49%
  • Piece down

    16 20.78%
  • Rook down

    14 18.18%
  • Queen down

    6 7.79%
  • Opponent has several pieces, you only have pawns

    5 6.49%
  • Only when mate is imminent

    18 23.38%
  • Always play on til mated

    13 16.88%
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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    When to (and not to!) resign

    In the recent Tas Open I won a game from queen for rook down (I swindled and recovered another rook and although I then blundered into a lost position, the swindle had soaked up enough of my opponent's time that I won on time). In the middlegame I had seriously considered resigning and only did not do so because I could give up queen for rook rather than go a piece down with a still terminally cramped position.

    This was the second time I had won queen for rook down. In the 1997 Tas Open I was rook up vs Reg Harvey and wondering why he had not resigned as his position had no merit, when I suddenly hung my queen to a backwards knight capture. I considered resigning on the spot but decided that since he had not resigned I should not do so either. I fought back to recover a piece, which put me worse but at least well and truly in the game, and eventually managed to win.

    In one of my fairly early tournament games, my opponent, rated about 1400, resigned in a position which I much later found to my surprise had been a forced win for him.

    All the above counts against resigning - but equally I think it's artless and annoying that some decent players play on in absolutely hopeless positions such as are seen in beginner games, and then tritely resign when mate is one or two moves away. I believe if you are going to keep your opponent waiting you should at least allow them to end the game by mate. Why give up one move before, it seems to defeat the purpose.

    I'd be interested to hear others' opinions on when to resign, stories about premature resignations or times when you were just about to resign but pressed on and won, etc. Or has anyone here actually resigned a won game?

    Over to you.

  2. #2
    CC resident nutcase Trent Parker's Avatar
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    Well.... It sort of depends with me. If i am peed off that i have blundered i generally play right to mate or when it is clear my opponent knows the mating procedure. I have pulled a rabbit out of a hat on occasions and ended up with a draw from a lost position due to stalemate+rook checks on opponents king....
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  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    my answer would be- when i can exactly see how I am going to lose ie i cant stop a passed pawn from queening and I am know that my opponent has seen the same winning method and is displaying it.

  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray
    my answer would be- when i can exactly see how I am going to lose ie i cant stop a passed pawn from queening and I am know that my opponent has seen the same winning method and is displaying it.
    I was down and out against a 2000 player in a friendly the other day, many pieces behind and him coming in for the final suffocation and realising I should not be wasting his time.

    My kind was isolated and exposed. But played on and got beautiful counter play to win.

    I have seen a junior do exactly the same, with one rook wiped out about 20 points of material to win.

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    For me it depends ... on the position, on who my opponent is, how I am feeling, etc.
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  6. #6
    CC FIDE Master
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    I resign when I can no longer see any possiblities. This can be just before mate or can be when I'm just a pawn down and know (in my own mind) that I have nothing.
    A long time ago I was in a game where I was actually a queen up on a much stronger player (800 points difference) and I had him in very bad time trouble. I could not understand why he played on, he confused me even more when he resigned straight after making the time control. When I asked him why, he explained, to my surprise, that for about ten moves he had a mate in one if I made the wrong move, as soon as the mate was no longer a possiblity (which was the same time as he nade the time control), he resigned.
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  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster arosar's Avatar
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    A mate of mine plays on by simply not moving! What happens is, he has the move but can't avoid being mated on his opponent's next move. What he does is just sit there til his friggin' clock winds down to near zero.

    Perhaps this should be in Arbiter's corner, but if I were the opponent, could I simply rock up to the arbiter and say, "look, he can't avoid being mated and is just pissing me off by not resigning. Can you force him to?"

    AR

  8. #8
    CC International Master Bereaved's Avatar
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    Who wins when we resign?

    Hi everybody,

    I have had similiar discussions as this with any number of people with one player asking me in the capacity of arbiter whether he could suggest that his opponent resign...I also know someone who recently when a piece and more than one pawn up for nothing in an ending where his opponent had only a king put out his hand for his opponent to resign?!

    In any case, I do think that this is a variable one, as most of the criteria are material ones, and I am mindful of Capablanca's comments regarding ' a good position ' and that this overrides all. surely we have all played on in positions when we are down on material, but been acutely aware of ways to create something out of nothing, simply by continuing to play. I have beaten people who would have had a very good case for expecting to win themselves simply by playing on... I also know of a local junior who regularly shows his determination to win by winning from hopeless positions; in much the same way, he almost seems to play better in those same difficult positions, a similiar thing was once said about Lasker, that he couldn't play for a win until he was in a difficult position ( perhaps someone has the specific reference?)

    I guess eventually come around to the emotional consideration which changes constantly.

    Apologies for the analogies, and the additonal questions rather than answers...
    all the best, God Bless, Macavity

    PS and of course we have all heard the one, ' No one wins by resigning'

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macavity
    Hi everybody,

    I have had similiar discussions as this with any number of people with one player asking me in the capacity of arbiter whether he could suggest that his opponent resign...I also know someone who recently when a piece and more than one pawn up for nothing in an ending where his opponent had only a king put out his hand for his opponent to resign?!

    In any case, I do think that this is a variable one, as most of the criteria are material ones, and I am mindful of Capablanca's comments regarding ' a good position ' and that this overrides all. surely we have all played on in positions when we are down on material, but been acutely aware of ways to create something out of nothing, simply by continuing to play. I have beaten people who would have had a very good case for expecting to win themselves simply by playing on... I also know of a local junior who regularly shows his determination to win by winning from hopeless positions; in much the same way, he almost seems to play better in those same difficult positions, a similiar thing was once said about Lasker, that he couldn't play for a win until he was in a difficult position ( perhaps someone has the specific reference?)

    I guess eventually come around to the emotional consideration which changes constantly.

    Apologies for the analogies, and the additonal questions rather than answers...
    all the best, God Bless, Macavity

    PS and of course we have all heard the one, ' No one wins by resigning'
    The quote is supposed to be" No one ever improved their position by resigning".

  10. #10
    CC International Master Bereaved's Avatar
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    please elaborate...

    Hi A/C, given that you know the quote better than me, who said it, please?

    All the best, God Bless, Macavity

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macavity
    Hi A/C, given that you know the quote better than me, who said it, please?

    All the best, God Bless, Macavity
    forgotten but KB provided the correct quote so when he returns he should help out. But it was some big name. Not JC mind you.

  12. #12
    CC International Master Bereaved's Avatar
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    Is that a puff in the direction of the opposition?

    A/C, why give big-name status to your opposition??

    But God bless, for the Kudos to JC

    Take care, and God Bless, Macavity

  13. #13
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Hmmm, the results so far are even more anti-resigning than I expected. I tend to give up rook (but not, you'll note, queen for rook) down if I cannot see any way to create any chances, but if there is still some trick to play for I'll go on. Against a titled player I'll give up piece down if I cannot see any way to get play. It's hard to say how far down I'd need to be against players rated much lower than me (say, the sub-1500s) because I just don't get into the situation of being that heavily down against them in the first place. I've twice resigned with material even in the middlegame against strongish players (1800-2000) because I was positionally crushed to the point that I could not avoid material loss and then would still be positionally crushed after giving up material.

    When coaching juniors I advise them to always play until mate against all juniors not rated over 1000, because of the chance of stalemate.

    "No one ever won a game by resigning" is attributed to Tartakower.

  14. #14
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I was very surprised when an opponent of similar rating (1900s) resigned against me two pawns down on move 20 last night. He had no compensation and no serious attacking chances but the position was open with easily activated heavy pieces on both sides. I would not have even considered giving up in his position - he may have been lost but I still had to work to swap everything off and get the point; I think he was just disgusted at misplaying the opening. I can't afford to give up every time I do that, it happens way too often!

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    It is easy to work out when to resign, it is when you reach the point that to play on would be worse than resigning. Isn't that enlightening?

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