Draws: Positions you should never, ever agree to draw!

Draws: Positions you should never, ever agree to draw!

| 20 | Strategy

Positions you should NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER draw.


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I wish to discuss the types of positions that we should never accept draws in. I'll start with some positions which would be responded with an immediate shake of the head and perhaps "NO DRAW!!" and progressively work towards slightly more complicated decisions.

In the positions to follow, imagine that your opponent has offered a draw.



Why wouldn't we accept draws here? Because we are winning!

And in these positions:



We wouldn't accept draws in the above positions because we can not lose!
(note: I should point out that in the second position, the position is a theoretical draw, but White should definitely play on a few moves to see if Black might blunder the knight - Black is probably in time trouble!)

They seem so obvious decisions, but what is the relationship between these two reasonings?

 In both scenarios, we played on with zero risk.

Once this becomes clear, it then becomes reasonable to modify our reasoning to the following:

We refuse draws in positions that pose us little risk to play on.

It's as simple as that. No matter what strength of the player we are playing, if we determine that the particular position is one that we can not lose on any reasonable day, then we must play on.

I explain with the following examples:




In the above positions, we rationally assessed them to be "played at no risk". In other words, it does not matter if your opponent is 200, 300, 400 rating points higher than you - you should still play on! In fact, them being such higher rated than you should actually help to persuade you to play on:
 "The bigger they are, the harder they fall."

In otherwords, play the board, not the player. Too often games end in a draw much too early - many half points are lost this way!

One secret for all tournament players: higher rated players often escape with draws in inferior positions against lower rated players who are too afraid to play the position out. If a higher rated player offers you a draw - do not view it as an act of mercy, but instead as an expression of fear!

At that point, it's only up to you whether or not you muster the courage to play on, or chicken out and are left wondering what might have happened.


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