How Games are Drawn - The Basic Rules of Chess - The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

Book One

The Basic Rules of Chess

How Games are Drawn

Most chess games end decisively - victory for one player, defeat for his opponent.

But there are times when the result is indecisive; neither side wins; the game is a “draw.” There are several ways in which a drawn result may be arrived at.

Perpetual Check

This is the term for an endless series of checks which the opponent cannot avoid. Many a player has escaped from a lost game by giving a perpetual check. Thus, in Diagram 53 White, who is so far behind in material that he would lose under normal circumstances, can ward off defeat by resorting to a perpetual check. (D)


White plays for perpetual check:

1.Qe8+! Kh7 2.Qh5+ (D)


Black’s king cannot escape from the checks:

2…Kg8 3.Qe8+ Kh7 4.Qh5+, etc.

In Diagram 54 it is clear that Black’s king is limited to seesawing between two squares with no support from the other black pieces. Under the circumstances White’s queen can maintain the checks indefinitely - any other course would lose for him. So the game is abandoned as a draw.


In the description of checkmate, it was stated that a player is checkmated when his king is in check (under attack) and when there is no possibility of getting the king out of check.

In the case of stalemate, the following conditions have to be present:

(1) It is a player’s turn to move

(2) His king is not in check

(3) The only moves he can make would place his king within the attacking range of an enemy unit.

This is stalemate, and the game is a draw. Diagrams 55 and 56 are cases in point. (D)


White (to move) is stalemated


White (to move) is stalemated

In both cases it is White’s turn to move. In both cases his king is not in check. In both cases he is limited to moves that would place his king within the range of an enemy unit.

Inadequate Checkmating Material

Toward the end of a game a player may be left with a material advantage which is not great enough to force checkmate. As it is impossible to checkmate with a knight or with a bishop, the positions in Diagrams 57 and 58 are drawn. (D)


Drawn position


Drawn position

Other Drawing Methods

A game can be called a draw by mutual agreement. If 50 moves have been made on each side without a capture or a pawn move, either player can claim a draw.

If a player whose turn it is to play is about to make a move that will bring about the same position for the third time [with the same player on move and the same potential, such as castling or en passant - Ed.], he can claim a draw.