Resigning too early

Mar 19, 2008, 6:42 AM |

    For all the talk on this site about people who don't resign fast enough, there is the other side that is sometimes overlooked. There are times that, in a complicated position, a player will resign when they shouldn't have. I recently had a game that I felt I had made a mistake in, but it was just a gut feeling, my opponent hadn't actually beaten me because of it yet. I even made a comment in the game to them that I felt I "messed this game up", to which they basically replied that the game wasn't over yet, and I agreed.

     Then, a few moves later (I don't remember how many, but it was fewer than 10) a fairly complex situation came up. At first glance, it looked as if I might have helped turn the game, I had pushed a pawn to  the 7th rank. But as I looked further, I saw some things that frankly scared me, and I considered resigning my next move. Then, my opponent did something I never expected, he resigned! I asked myself why he did that, I thought he was winning! Just to be sure, I went and threw the position to Crafty (a chess engine, for those who don't know), and Crafty agreed with me, it said that he was up by almost a pawn and a half! 

    I think that by and large, people resign all to early. If you are planning on playing against me, don't look for an early resignation. In fact, I might even make you mate me. Why? Because if I am going to lose, I at least want to learn as much as I can while doing so. The only way to ensure that I learn all I can is to play on. Plus, most of us aren't titled players, and all of us are human, so we might just mess up. How many times has it happened that a player with a significant material advantage ends up stalemating his/her opponent? Can you prove before you play that you won't stalemate me? If you can't, I have the right to keep playing till you do. Also, some of the fun in chess is actually mating the opposing king, why should I deny you that fun?

    I'm not saying I NEVER resign. There are times that I know my opponent, and I know that they see the impending mate as well as I do, and would just rather move on, so I'll resign. And, there are times that I'm just so far behind that playing that particular game just isn't fun anymore, so I'll resign then to. But I most certainly don't want to be caught in the position that my opponent was in and end up resigning a winning game.

    So I say go ahead, make that extra move or two, this is slow chess, there is no need to hurry up and get the game done!