The Draw - by repetition
It was a hard fought battle. The electricity went out earlier that day at our church retreat in upstate New York and we were playing by flashlight. The game must have lasted at least two hours. Somehow during the course of the game, I was down in material and a bit fatigued. Suddenly after putting my opponent in check, he moves, and then I move to place him in check again. I realized that if I keep repeating this move he will not get get out of check without serious consequence and if I chose another move, I will have a difficult time mating him. To the person who is up in material and/or in a strong position, a draw is a frustrating way to walk away from a game. I used to believe it to be rather punkish; to offer a draw as opposed to heading further into battle, but there is a lot of strength in the draw.
Holding your opponent in a drawn position says, "I am constructing a situation whereby I will not lose, and you will not win." It is a declaration of armistance—I will not fight anymore, and there is nothing you can do about it.
The strength in the draw is self-knowledge, or knowing your position. If you are well down material and have little chance in winning, don't fight anymore. Saving yourself from further loss is a win in and of itself. There is a difference between courage and stupidity; so assess your position.
For the opponent who is up in material and/or position, this is a really frustrating and bitter way for them to walk away from a game. As we all know, the time leading up to the draw in a build up of overconfidence—they had already begun to taste the sweetness of victory in their mouth. Now, all of a sudden that victory is suddenly usurped from them and they walk away with no reward.
Below is a game used to illustrate a draw by repetition; it is not the game by flashlight referenced in this post. Enjoy!