Alright, we've all had those moments where we look at the board, sigh to ourselves and think, "this guy just steamrolled me!" The question is though, when should you throw in the towel? You should only resign when there is no reasonable chance of winning (or drawing) the game. Now I know you're probably thinking something along the lines of "Uh, pianoman dude, Isn't that kind of obvious?" The answer is that although it's obvious, most chess players today would not, if asked, be able to articulate to me what conditions must be met before resigning. There are a few ways to determine whether or not to resign. The general guideline you will hear from a coach is the trite "if you're down 3 or more, it's time to tip it over", but is this truly accurate? in 80% of cases, yes, it probably is. But what about the other 20%? In many cases you will find that you have strong dynamic play or something else of a similar nature which justifies the continuation of the game. I will give you an example.
So do you see what I mean? Instead of losing the game, white could have won by simply not resigning. So generally you should NOT resign when:
1. You have good tactical chances.
2. Your opponent is low on time.
3. You are significantly stronger than your opponent.
4. You feel like you have some kind of reasonable chances left.
5. You haven't even taken the time to figure out if you have chances.
You SHOULD resign when:
1. You are down 3 or more points in material with no compensation.
It is optional to resign when:
1. you are pretty much lost and people are watching your game and smirking. This is rather embarrasing, and especially so if you lose the game.
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