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  1. #1
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    Post is there a rule where if you don't checkmate within 50 moves, it's a stalemate

    here's the situation, i had 2 pawns left and my opponent had 1, and all the sudden, he calls out, "if you don't checkmate his within 50 moves, it's a stalemate" i've never had of this, maybe it's some'um new. Because i know what's a stalemate, but is there a rule where if you don't checkmate someone within 50 moves, then it's a draw?

    thank you for your help

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    He's sort of "half right", which actually makes him wrong!

    If there are 50 moves (50 by White, 50 by Black) without a pawn move and without a capture then its a draw.

    So in the case you give, both of you would have to run around with your kings without moving your pawns or allowing your pawns to be captured. As soon as either one of you moved a pawn, or allowed a capture, the 50 moves count resets back down to 0 and you start counting again.

    The 50-move rule most often applies with a fairly difficult endgame such as K+B+N vs K where taking 40+ moves to apply checkmate is quite common ... or in junior tournaments where the young players have not yet learned the basics of how to checkmate with K+Q or K+R vs K.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    The 50-move rule most often applies with a fairly difficult endgame such as K+B+N vs K where taking 40+ moves to apply checkmate is quite common ... or in junior tournaments where the young players have not yet learned the basics of how to checkmate with K+Q or K+R vs K.
    On a higher level it is relevant for K+R+B(N) vs K+R, which is a book draw, but the stronger side has a good practical chances (especially with the bishop).
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  4. #4
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    For completeness we should note that "stalemate" is not another word for "draw". Stalemate occurs where a player on the move has no legal move but is not checkmated. This is a draw but there are other draws which are known by their own names (repetition, 50 moves, etc), they are not all called "stalemate".

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    On a higher level it is relevant for K+R+B(N) vs K+R, which is a book draw, but the stronger side has a good practical chances (especially with the bishop).
    That's not true. Not all positions in K+R+B vs K+R are drawn. If the side with K+R reaches say, the Lolli position or uses the Cochrane Defence, then it is a draw. Certain K+R+B vs K+R positions are winning as Philidor has shown.

    The side with K+R also has to defend very accurately to achieve a draw. It's not easy to do it.

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanc
    That's not true. Not all positions in K+R+B vs K+R are drawn. If the side with K+R reaches say, the Lolli position or uses the Cochrane Defence, then it is a draw. Certain K+R+B vs K+R positions are winning as Philidor has shown.
    IM Goldenberg certainly knows that. He meant that a normal position is a book draw, say with pieces sensibly placed away from the edges. Similarly, it would not have been unreasonable to claim that KQ v KQ is an easy draw although there are a number of exceptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanc
    The side with K+R also has to defend very accurately to achieve a draw. It's not easy to do it.
    Which is what he was saying.
    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 04-03-2009 at 12:45 PM.
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  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Rout
    For completeness we should note that "stalemate" is not another word for "draw". Stalemate occurs where a player on the move has no legal move but is not checkmated. This is a draw but there are other draws which are known by their own names (repetition, 50 moves, etc), they are not all called "stalemate".
    Indeed so. Mr Spock made this mistake in a ST-TOS episode where he had beaten the ship's computer at chess, and claimed that this showed that it had been tampered with. Spock said that the correct result of an unaltered computer would have been "stalemate after stalemate", when the correct phrase was "draw after draw".
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    Spock said that the correct result of an unaltered computer would have been "stalemate after stalemate", when the correct phrase was "draw after draw".
    I find the incorrect use of "stalemate" to describe all draws is extremely common at primary school level. I virtually never encounter it from Australian adults even if they don't know much about the game, but I find it to be fairly common in writing by American adults.

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Ian Murray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I find the incorrect use of "stalemate" to describe all draws is extremely common at primary school level.
    Queensland ankle-biters share the same infatuation with the word. I seem to spend half my arbiter time explaining to them that, no, it's not a stalemate - it's a draw by insufficient force or whatever. Not that stalemates are uncommon - heaps of them too.

  10. #10
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    It sounds cooler. And also acts as an interesting alternative in writing.
    And still, no one has satisfactorily proven, that it isn't opposite day.

  11. #11
    CC International Master Bereaved's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    My main beef about the misuse of the term Stalemate is from the general media, and specifically the sporting media, who at times use the egregious expression " It is a bit of a stalemate right now " at points throughout the game.

    It is a simple thing that Stalemate is not a matter subject to alteration, it either is Stalemate or it isn't

    All in all this really vexes me, but I feel a letter to the tv stations, and / or print media would be pointless

    Take care and God Bless, Macavity
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  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macavity
    Hi everyone,

    My main beef about the misuse of the term Stalemate is from the general media, and specifically the sporting media, who at times use the egregious expression " It is a bit of a stalemate right now " at points throughout the game.

    It is a simple thing that Stalemate is not a matter subject to alteration, it either is Stalemate or it isn't

    All in all this really vexes me, but I feel a letter to the tv stations, and / or print media would be pointless

    Take care and God Bless, Macavity
    I hear you mac! Desecration of chess and the language! Now I'm vexed!
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  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Ian Murray's Avatar
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    I recall one of those radio quizzes some years back, where one of the questions was What do they call a draw in chess?

    The correct answer, of course, is a draw.

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    It should be clear: "stalemate" is a stale imitation of checkmate, not just any draw. It doesn't even have the virtue of being a good metaphor, since it is final, while "bit of a stalemate" etc. is often a temporary impasse.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    often a temporary impasse.
    Not to be confused with impassant
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

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