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hewhomateswins 87 ( +1 | -1 )
Scrap the stalemate rule! I have never felt that the stalemate rule is fair. my reason for this is that before the word checkmate came into the game of chess people would have to physically capture the king before that. Saying checkmate was just saying to your opponent that there is no possible move that they can make to avoid getting their king captured next move so there is no point of wasting the energy of trying to find a move.
I think that if you have put your king into stalemate it should be seen that you have lost, if you have put yourself accidentally into check your king can be taken and you have lost. I think that we should be given the pleasure to capture the opponents king because after all that is the objective of the game.
marinvukusic 95 ( +1 | -1 )
I disagree

Read this carefully and try to appreciate the beauty of chess as it is now.

Especially take note of "Effect of stalemate on endgame theory" part (the bottom).

Even if not for that consideration (and iti s a major one) in any case it is extremely hard to force a stalemate and it should be reworded with ther half point. I once fell for the "eternal rook" motive to a more experienced player and it was pretty damn funny (humiliating at first of course, but at least I learned a lesson) :)

Draw (stalemate is the rarest kind of a draw) is a natural result in chess, and percentage of draws is a good indicator of chess ability. This is because saving a lost game is pretty hard for beginners, they don't know how exactly they should do it. I have seen low rated people on GK with hundreds of games but only 1% draws.
marinvukusic 99 ( +1 | -1 )
Another important point "The effect of such a rule would be a greater emphasis on the material on the board. An extra pawn would be a much greater advantage than it is today"

Goodbye all those fun semi-correct gambits, pawn sacrifices for the initiative etc.
:( it is no accident that the stalemate=win rule came from shatranj, which was a slow and quite boring predecessor of chess.

A nice and accurate quote about shatranj: "Due to slow piece development in shatranj, the exact sequence of moves was relatively unimportant. Instead players aimed to reach a specific position, tabiya, mostly ignoring the play of their opponent."

This would happen to chess if the stalemate would overnight become a win:
1. material becomes the dominant aspect of the game
2. many today's interesting openings and ideas would die out due to being too risky
3. chess would lose the fan base and player base it has today (I would quit for sure, I don't want to play boring openings and positions)
ganstaman 54 ( +1 | -1 )
"my reason for this is that before the word checkmate came into the game of chess people would have to physically capture the king before that. Saying checkmate was just saying to your opponent that there is no possible move that they can make to avoid getting their king captured next move so there is no point of wasting the energy of trying to find a move."

Is this actually true? Can anyone help me find a source that confirms it?
chessnovice 45 ( +1 | -1 )
... Yeah, I don't think that the capturing-the-king thing is really true.

I think before getting rid of stalemate, you'd be better to focus your resentment on agreed-upon draws. Stalemate still requires thought and strategy, often as much as for checkmate. I remember I was about to lose against my dad, and I had set up three quick stalemate traps for him. He dodged them, unfortunately for me, but it does demonstrate that the game's ending has no room for carelessness.
marinvukusic 103 ( +1 | -1 )
Slightly missed point IMHO While it is unique to chess that players are able to agree to a draw before the game is a theoretical draw (in an ending), it is also not a problem that needs to be addressed.

In Open tournaments people are paying to enter, so I say let them draw if they both want to.
In team play the captains should have the final say unless it is a draw out of necessity (threefold repetition forced by the weaker side), draw can sometimes be crucial to success of a team.

The problem are "GM draws" in sponsored closed events and possible in last 2 rounds of Open tournaments.

While it is hard to do much about the Opens, it is very easy to do something about closed tournaments.

The "Sofia rule" was proven to be a good one in practice and IMHO it should become a standard in closed tournaments.
Another idea on big tournaments with A,B,C groups might be to separate the A group (which is the strongest group) into A1 (with "Sofia rule") and A2 (normal rules). A1 would have twice the prize fund of A2. Problem solved :)
caro-kann 93 ( +1 | -1 )
My opinion is Yes, stalemate can sometimes be unfair (especially when you think you've won) , but I guess it may help endgame technique, as I found out recently when practising checkmating with K+2B against K.

Sometimes in OTB games, if I am winning by a lot, let's say Queen and Bishop against one Pawn, there are times when I get really terrified of stalemate, so I try to get back to a familiar situation by exchanging Bishop for Pawn, leaving K+Q v K, which I should be able to win from there.

All in all, I think stalemate is annoying, but it does add another degree of complexity and finesse to chess, so I don't really mind it, although I can't ever remember being stalemated.

And on a final note, I once had an (informal) OTB game where it was King and Bishop (me) against King and Pawn. I won the free pawn, and was about to say draw, when my opponent moved his King! His reasoning was that in some places, when you are stalemated you lose, although I'm not sure about that. I didn't understand, so I let him capture my Bishop and drew.
chessnovice 23 ( +1 | -1 )
marinvukusic My point wasn't so much "get rid of agreed-upon draws" as "there are greater perceived 'evils' in chess than the stalemate". It's probably not the best way to approach the criticism of stalemate, but it's the initial reaction that came over me.
ccmcacollister 21 ( +1 | -1 )
there is much greater pleasure in making a successful statemate. Especially of the Grandmaster type which may be rather brilliant. LIke the one from GM Larry Evans, whose opponent I cannot recall right now....

marinvukusic 54 ( +1 | -1 )
chessnovice I simply didn't want to allow 1 bad point to be replaced with another ("focus your resentment on agreed-upon draws") :)

My posts are not meant only for hewhomateswins but for all forum readers.
It seems that some people think that "draws are bad", which is not true at all. This needs to be explained, especially to beginners (because they have the lowest endgame skill and therefore do not draw a lot of games).

I just wanted to clarify the real issue in chess today as I see it (arranged GM draws in SPONSORED tournaments).
fmgaijin 0 ( +1 | -1 )
It was Reshevsky, Craig EOM
ccmcacollister 17 ( +1 | -1 )
THANKS Loren! I thought it Was ... but I had thought that 4 Queens bit was Reshevsky and Fischer ... and looked thru all their games. I was really Sammied out! So Double Thanks for the info~ !
I'll try to link it later.
ccmcacollister 67 ( +1 | -1 )
Ah Yes ... It is found. And on my first try of the Evans games with Reshevsky that did turn out drawn. ( Did I ever mention being a big Evans fan? Tho we are stylistically very different ... aside from the part that he Wins games , I mean :) (Reshevsky is a good study of dogged determination himself, especially in unfavorable positions)

The game is titled Swindle_of_The_Century on and the swindling starts a bit after move 45.
chessnovice 22 ( +1 | -1 )
marinvukusic "I simply didn't want to allow 1 bad point to be replaced with another ("focus your resentment on agreed-upon draws") :) "

Fair enough, I'm not personally against agreed-upon draws, either way. :p
ccmcacollister 30 ( +1 | -1 )
REally Now ... If we WERE going to change Stalemate to a win ... I think the Win should then go to the statemated player! The other almost always has the material advantage and need only to look to avoid statemating. Why should the 2nd player be penalized because the first became momentarily inattentive or analytically lazy and stalemated him?! :)
ccmcacollister 33 ( +1 | -1 )
PS ... In other words, the player stalemating the other is almost Always in control of the situation! Certainly, even in the Evans game where there are forcing moves to avoid losing by Reshevsky, still he makes his choice and the stalemated party can never make it happen without the full consent and moves of the StalematER :)
marinvukusic 24 ( +1 | -1 )
True :) I can't think of any abuse of that at the moment - but maybe it could happen?

Your proposal would be mega funny, but unfortunately it would cause even more humiliation on the part of the unfortunate stalemater :I

It is good this way IMHO :)
ccmcacollister 83 ( +1 | -1 )
Just remembered A sort of funny stalemate. Imagine WT has a Nc4 and Qb8, the BL King is on a4 and WT's king distant. During a Sudden Death time scramble, this position is reached. WT then makes a K-move and hears his well known, many times opponent R.G. erupt with the exclamation "stalemate!".
Well the funny part is, it is obvious that during the blitz scramble, I had allowed him to WALK THRU CHECK with his King to GET to that position! But thought it so funny, I didnt challenge it, to go back to the point of an illegal move and replay it.
(Also seemed fairest since having had that chance to "look" at the position, I would have had no danger of giving him draw by my flag dropping.)
Instead let it stand. I don't think either of us realized he was going thru check at the time it happened. As all was fast and flurrious on both sides!
ionadowman 290 ( +1 | -1 )
Wow, Craig...! ...Is "flurrious" your coinage? Great portmanteau word of which Lewis Carroll would be proud. Very evocative of the time scramble you describe...

To abolish the Stalemate rule would completely change the nature of chess, and make defence much more difficult. As already indicated, once you get a disadvantage your chances of recovery are so much fewer.

I can appreciate the annoyance of the Stalemate rule in the "schoolboy" situation I've often seen in which the K+4Q trip over themselves in trying to pin down the slippery lone K. But that's where you discover what the pieces can and can't do.

But how about this kind of situation (which occurred late in a tournament game 1986)
I played 66.f4 Rg2+ 67.Kf5 Rg6!
Now, if I'm silly enough to play 68.Rxg6 I deserve the bare half-point! But...
...threatens checkmate next move
And now both captures leave Black's K without a move. So:
69.Ke4! 1-0
Black figured he was lost anyhow, but by imaginatively offering the rook, tested my vigilance.

But in my view the real point of the Stalemate rule appears in the simplest endgames: K+P vs K. There's a real margin for skill here that would be lost if Stalemate was a win. Consider this:
What should White play here? Without the Stalemate rule, White win win easily whatever he played. With the Stalemate rule White has to get it right. 1.e6 draws; 1.Ke6 wins. Among other things the king really comes into his own.

Or this endgame:
If White plays 1.Kc8, the Black king gradually closes in:
1.Kc8 Kg4 2.Kd7 Qd5+ 3.Ke7 Qc6 4.Kd8 Qd6+ 5.Kc8 Kf5
6.Kb6 Qd7 7.Kb8 Qb5+ 8.Ka8 Qc6+ 9.Kb8 Qb6+ 10.Kc8 Ke6
11.Kd8 Kd6 and Black wins. This is the standard kind of attack and defence when one side has a b-, d-,e- or g-pawn ready to promote.
But c- and f-pawns are special:
White plays
1.Ka8!! and persists in playing Ka8 whenever the c-pawn is attacked so that 1...Qxc7 is Stalemate. I was utterly amazed when I found this out as a schoolboy player. It led to a long-held appreciation for the endgame. By the way, if you don't know already the a- and h-pawns are also special, and will draw. All this supposes, of course, that the enemy king is a long way off...

To my mind the beauty of chess lies in its balance of material, space and time. Lose the Stalemate rule and material gains significantly in weight at the expense of the other two considerations.

It is true that the Stalemate rule widens the margin for draw in chess. I think that hewhomateswins is probably right if he is arguing that without the Stalemate rule there would be fewer agreed draws. But I reckon there might be fewer chessplayers as well. The "gobsmack" factor of brilliant saving combinations is just too delicious to sacrifice. Check out, if you can find it, a game Bird vs Englisch for a classic example of the motif.

ccmcacollister 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Henry Bird - Berthold Englisch, London 1883

Strangely, BL is only a pawn down in the ending, right before the stalemating motif comes about. When the N is on f6 and it looks like BL might have good chances to draw conventionally by protecting one rook with the other, and playing R vs R + doubled pawn ... don't forget that Wt is threatening Rh7# Mate ! But alas BL would be stalemated if only he can get rid of that last material. he does! A much more certain proposition.
greenrat777 14 ( +1 | -1 )
you cant put your king in to check . that is the rule . if there are no legal moves its a stalemate . that is the way it should be . its a good rule .