The draw offer!?
When somebody offers me a draw offer on chess.com, I always get an email. Why I have not disabled that option, I do not know. But what's really funny about that email is the punctuation:
I always thought the !? was just there to add to the chess theme. After all, if you go to a missing page, the server says someone made a dubious move. http://www.chess.com/artrgegrer
Then, two article series written by GM Serper changed my perspective on the "Draw offer!?" He argues that offering a draw, either implicitly by repeating moves or explicitly, can be a psychological weapon or disaster.
The links are provided here:
I recall my own experiences. I think I've had the benefit of being on all six sides of the die. (offering draw only to lose, win or draw and receiving). I remember especially this time when I could've went up a piece but I missed a simple calculation. I then offered a draw only to collapse progressively. I never got over that loss during the tournament as I was 11 back then and struggled to finish the tournament.
Then there was the time I was playing a 1900 when I was 1600. I offered him a draw and I was quickly rejected. I think he also snorted or something. Afterwards I lost a pawn but fortunately he made a miscalculation and I won a piece and the game.
There was also the time when I needed a draw to secure third place and my opponent and I did a three-fold repetition less than 20 moves.
Another time, I was in a losing endgame (K+N vs K+ LSB+hpawn+bpawn I was black) but I won the b-pawn and the rook pawn + bishop on wrong colour is a theoretical draw. I offered him a draw, but I let him play it out before seeing him break down in tears for letting that win slip away.
Anyhow, those were memorable OTB experiences. As for some turn-based chess, let me show you a case in a team match when the opponent offered me a draw in both games and managed to lose.
Armed with my knowledge of GM Serper's article, I knew he was bound to crack. Didn't expect it so suddenly though .
Guess not. The art of doing nothing really got to him. He dozed off and it shows in our ratings.
Of all the intangibles, the offering draw tactic is tough to master. But once you have it, you can severely disturb the opponent :)
And now, here are two other games where the draw was quite mutual vs MrKozlik:
Thanks for reading!