When to resign - a guide for beginners and intermediates (#4327)

May 31, 2016, 4:27 PM |

#4327 - When to resign; a quick guide for beginners and intermediates

Here is my golden rule: Never resign an important game just because your opponent has significant advantages.


Many players resign for no good reason every now and then. This is sometimes hilarious, but usually just 
stupid. Even grand masters have missed a mate in one. World champions frequently miss forced mates, even though it usually is because they have spotted another slower mate. Point is, if there is a chance, go for it if the game matters to you.

However, there are scenarios in which you should resign, because not doing so will only make you suffer more or make you look like a sore loser. Or worse.

Now we cut the crap and dive straight on.

Good reasons for resigning a game of chess


1. You have lost all pieces except for the king, your opponent has enough material to mate and knows how to do it* and the fifty moves rule is not saving you this time, punk.
(For example, mating with a bishop is as we all know impossible, but mating with two bishops is still pretty damn hard.)

- The obvious case yes.

2. You realise that you have no legal moves left that won´t result in a checkmate for your opponent further down the road.

- Try spot this at least as soon as your opponent does, or you will look stupid.

3. You are playing blitz and you realise you will lose on time whatever happens.

- Be a good sport, it does you credit.

4. The game went sour and you realise that you currently lack the skill and mental focus to be able to win this game even if you gained the upper hand.

- Just kidding, go for a draw.



1. You let your opponent play the icelandic gambit in a blitz game. 

2. Your opponent is not following your King/Queen pawn opening and
he/she is 100 rating points above you and now you don´t know how to proceed.

- Save yourself the humiliation and surprise that smug piece of shit with an early resign. Then go study some opening theory, noob.

5. You pulled the Parham attack on Nakamura and now you are taking the game seriously.

- Just end yourself



1. White is winning and you are still behind in tempo after 30 moves.

- You could try to resist the way of the world, but if you accept your inevitable and utter destruction no one will blame you.
#White always wins.

2. You are losing the game bad, real bad, because you never learned to play black. Hell, you have never even done it before.

#White always wins.

3. You won, but you cheated.

#White always wins.


Original Author, Jesper Lindholm