Chess Draw – An Ending to the Chess Game

Chess draws are one way for a chess game to end. Effectively, a chess draw is the same as a tie and in chess tournaments each player would be awarded half a point for this outcome. Online chess draws can occur as well as land-based chess draws. There are five ways that chess draws can occur during a game of chess.

Mutual agreement is one way that a chess draw can occur. This can happen at any stage of the game, but it requires both players' acceptance of this outcome.

A stalemate is another way for chess draws to come about. A stalemate occurs if one player has no legal move to make, whether it is by his king or any of his other pieces on the board. This scenario can occur in the following situations:

  • There are no available squares that pieces can move onto
  • All the pieces moves are blocked by other pieces
  • The pieces are protecting the king from an opponent's pieces and are therefore not allowed to move

Another situation, in which a chess draw can occur, is with a threefold repetition. A three fold repetition is a circumstance in which the same pieces are in the same position for the third time. This means that the same player is moving for the third time with the same types of pieces of the same colors being in the same positions and the same subsequent moves are available to each player. If this is the case then the player whose move it is, may claim a draw. Note that this situation is not an automatic chess draw – it must be claimed.

Another situation in which a chess draw must be claimed is in regard to the fifty move rule. In this scenario, if at least fifty moves have been played by each player and no pawns have been moved and no captures have been made, then a draw can be claimed by either of the players.

The final situation in which chess draws occur is when a checkmate is not possible. This occurs if neither player could possibly give check mate by making a sequence of legal moves. This commonly occurs when there are not enough pieces on the board. It is most common in the following scenarios:

  • King against king
  • King and bishop against king
  • King and knight against king
  • King and bishop against king and bishop when the bishops are on the same color squares.
  • It is common that players will agree to a chess draw in a situation of perpetual check. This means that one player gives a series of checks that the other player cannot escape from. This used to be a specific draw scenario; however it no longer is as it tends to simply fall under the fifty move rule or the three fold repetition, or simply the players agree to a mutual chess draw. A weak player may use these chess draw moves to avoid losing a game.