Playing one minute online: When to resign?

Playing one minute online: When to resign?

NM whogeeyao

I was playing a one minute game and had a drawish position. Then, I hung a piece and unded up losing when my opponent queend twice and mated me with the double rook motif. After the game, my courteous opponent said "Learn to resign."


This brings up a really crucial question, not just in one minute, but in every game: when do you call it quits? In most cases, it is safe to resign once you're down a significant amount of material. But like always, one minutes are a special case (well, most rapid games are).


Below are three examples of positions where I faced the possibility of resigning.

1. With less than 15 seconds each, we reach this position. My opponent was rated 300 pts above me. Enough to convince me to resign right?

43. Nd7

Nope. I have some pesky checks for this guy. Now it's his turn to defend.

43... Nxf1 44. Qh8+

This began a stunning 1.5-1.5 series draw vs. weng_pogi, with me having a net gain of a healthy amount of points.

2. Both players have used less than half their time (30s). What should black do here?

I resigned. King moves lead to mate and being a queen down for a Bishop during a siege with plenty time left wasn't better. I won the next game vs. him.

3. Both players had more than 30s on the clock. My opponent launched a quick Kingside attack, but he also weakened his Kingside. He is faced with the following situation:

He didn't see the mate...

Here's how the game actually finished:

 In the end, I won, but with a lot of difficulty. I'm happy to have perservered and my opponent's surely paid dividens as I almost flagged trying to destroy him.

To summarize, here are some guidelines for resigning a one minute:

  1. Never resign on your move. You don't know if your opponent saw what you saw.
  2. If you have no material on the board (or a lone Bishop/Knight), and down in time, you can safely resign. The best outcome for you is a draw anyway.
  3. If you are down by 30s or more in a non-mating position, resign. You are likely to implode if you had a lead.
  4. If both players are down to their final ten seconds, don't resign. Resigning takes time too, so you might flag before you actually resign. Make a few moves and hope for the best.
  5. If you need to go, or are playing two games at once, resign one game to incur minimal loss.

Thanks for reading and good luck in your one-minute endeavours!!!