# Can a game last forever?

• 4 years ago · Quote · #1

Is it possible for a game to last forever? E.g. in a king vs. king + piece-that-can-mate scenario where the two players move around the board completely aimlessly, clearly not intending to mate/resign/draw, can the game last forever on chess.com? Or will it at some point automatically end?

I'm in a tournament where there's only 1 game left to the first round and the players are obviously moving around the board without intending to end the game.

• 4 years ago · Quote · #2

Raise a ticket with staff and they may adjudicate the game.

• 4 years ago · Quote · #3

Under the standard FIDE rules, no that would not be possible.

The 50 move rule states that if a pawn is not moved or a piece captured within 50 moves, then a drawn may be claimed. So once a game gets down to a lone King, there is a mathematical definite limit to how long the game can go on.

Of course, the player could do a scenerio where they move the pawn a single square, make 49 piece moves, move the pawn another square, make another 49 piece moves, ect. and drag the game out for several hundred moves if they wanted. But then, why would anybody want to?

=edit=

If it is a couple of idiots purposefully dragging out a tournament game here on this site, then just alert the staff and they could very well intervene and end the game.

• 4 years ago · Quote · #4

"The longest Chess game theoretically possible is 5,949 moves."

• 4 years ago · Quote · #5

That assumes that the 50 move rule would automatically be invoked as soon as it were possible to do so.  The rules don't necessitate this, so it could be longer....

• 4 years ago · Quote · #6

In a FIDE game, sure, but what about on chess.com? Does it automatically recognize it as a draw after 50 moves without capture or pawn move? Because if one of the player has to offer a draw before the draw is enacted on chess.com, and if the two players are in agreement to draw this out forever and ever, then the FIDE rule is kind of pointless...

5949 moves at 1 move per 3 days would last 17847 days, or almost half a century. And that's not even including vacation time... Fortunately, that's not the case here...

I guess I might raise a ticket eventually, if it really does go on forever...

• 4 years ago · Quote · #7

Of course it can't go on forever. The players will die eventually. The game could cause some sort of memory overflow error in one of the variables, such as number of moves. Eventually, chess.com will go out of business. The universe will decay into a mass of protons (or something, I'm not a physicist).

• 4 years ago · Quote · #8

It has to be claimed here as well.

If you're going to wait to see if the game goes on forever before you raise a ticket you're never going to raise that ticket....

• 4 years ago · Quote · #9

Well I'm just gonna wait and see if the winning player is going to repeatedly make moves that unmistakably bring him/her farther from a mate. If so, then yeah... I'll see if staff will do anything about it...

• 4 years ago · Quote · #10

Teary might want to see the game himself too you know =P

• 4 years ago · Quote · #11

I thought you weren't allowed to discuss the specifics of ongoing chess.com games in the forums though, hence my not mentioning the specific game or its position... I don't want to post the link if my comments will get misconstrued as "advice" or something by staff...

• 4 years ago · Quote · #12

Yeah, probably safest not to.

• 4 years ago · Quote · #13

it wont go on forever...... unless u dont know how to mate ur opponent's king..

• 4 years ago · Quote · #14
Teary_Oberon wrote:

Under the standard FIDE rules, no that would not be possible.

The 50 move rule states that if a pawn is not moved or a piece captured within 50 moves, then a drawn may be claimed. So once a game gets down to a lone King, there is a mathematical definite limit to how long the game can go on.

Of course, the player could do a scenerio where they move the pawn a single square, make 49 piece moves, move the pawn another square, make another 49 piece moves, ect. and drag the game out for several hundred moves if they wanted. But then, why would anybody want to?

=edit=

If it is a couple of idiots purposefully dragging out a tournament game here on this site, then just alert the staff and they could very well intervene and end the game.

Technically - barring the use of time controls, current FIDE laws, Tournament Controllers, player deaths, and the 'finite' universe - a chess game, if played out within its own confines - could, in fact, last forever - if, and only if - premised under the example; the situation occurs that of the alleged draw: i.e. K + N (or B) vs K - such that neither Black/White agrees to the 'proposal of draw', nor abides to the concurrence stipulated towards either ruling governed under 'threefold repetition', or the '50-move rule', either of which states Black/White [the 'player'] may sanction the exclusive right for claiming the draw at their disposal.  The only other [remote] possibility then [with the aforementioned example], is to force the draw through 'stalemate' - theoretically possible, though technically unlikely.

Thus, the one true archetypal model to otherwise decease 'the infinite chess game' would be to enforce it via stalemate, through the simplified example of either K + N + N vs K (although mate is theoretically possible here, it cannot be enforced), or K + [blockaded] P vs K - keeping in mind that other [stalemate] examples do exist, otherwise producing/leading towards similar draw-ruling/claiming scenarios, above (e.g. K + Q vs K + [promoting] P [+/or Q]).

And that's the way 'I' see it! ...

• 4 years ago · Quote · #15

Well the game is over now so I don't mind sharing the link... the 1900+ player finally mated, but I don't know, before that he made a couple of completely useless moves, so I don't know if he's some kind of good player deficient in his understanding of basic endgame mates, or if he was absentminded on those days, or if he was purposely trying to delay the tournament, or what. But he was making pointless moves, both players took turns going on vacation, and the losing player didn't resign, so I was suspecting purposeful delay of the tournament...

Anyway, here's the link... See moves 80 and 81 most particularly.

http://www.chess.com/echess/game.html?id=43383156

• 4 years ago · Quote · #16

It was less than optimal play, but I don't know that I'd go as far as to say it looked like they were deliberately trying to delay the progress of the tournament.

Black needs to learn to resign when he's in a lost position, white needs to learn his K+R vs. K endgames but outside of that I don't see any evidence of anything untoward.

• 4 years ago · Quote · #17

Haha. That's because you haven't been waiting for this single game to finish for ages. One player went on vacation forever, and then when he came off vacation, the other one went on vacation forever, and then b/w that and the one not resigning and the other one not mating... I thought it was suspicious.

Although that's why I wanted to wait and see how they would continue before flagging it to staff. Fortunately, that wasn't necessary.

• 4 years ago · Quote · #18
tayl wrote:

Is it possible for a game to last forever?

nothing can last forever

• 4 years ago · Quote · #19

Not perfect play, but certainly not intentional wasting of moves either.

• 4 years ago · Quote · #20
AllogenicMan wrote:
Teary_Oberon wrote:

Under the standard FIDE rules, no that would not be possible.

The 50 move rule states that if a pawn is not moved or a piece captured within 50 moves, then a drawn may be claimed. So once a game gets down to a lone King, there is a mathematical definite limit to how long the game can go on.

Of course, the player could do a scenerio where they move the pawn a single square, make 49 piece moves, move the pawn another square, make another 49 piece moves, ect. and drag the game out for several hundred moves if they wanted. But then, why would anybody want to?

=edit=

If it is a couple of idiots purposefully dragging out a tournament game here on this site, then just alert the staff and they could very well intervene and end the game.

Technically - barring the use of time controls, current FIDE laws, Tournament Controllers, player deaths, and the 'finite' universe - a chess game, if played out within its own confines - could, in fact, last forever - if, and only if - premised under the example; the situation occurs that of the alleged draw: i.e. K + N (or B) vs K - such that neither Black/White agrees to the 'proposal of draw', nor abides to the concurrence stipulated towards either ruling governed under 'threefold repetition', or the '50-move rule', either of which states Black/White [the 'player'] may sanction the exclusive right for claiming the draw at their disposal.  The only other [remote] possibility then [with the aforementioned example], is to force the draw through 'stalemate' - theoretically possible, though technically unlikely.

Thus, the one true archetypal model to otherwise decease 'the infinite chess game' would be to enforce it via stalemate, through the simplified example of either K + N + N vs K (although mate is theoretically possible here, it cannot be enforced), or K + [blockaded] P vs K - keeping in mind that other [stalemate] examples do exist, otherwise producing/leading towards similar draw-ruling/claiming scenarios, above (e.g. K + Q vs K + [promoting] P [+/or Q]).

And that's the way I see it! ...

The Universe is expanding and eventually everything will disintegrate into nothingness, so there wouldn't be much point in trying to make a game last forever, even if it were possible?