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Stalemate as Win -- the Implications?

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tlay80

That's well put, and the question I'm asking may not be entirlely clear to me either.  (Maybe part of what I'm asking is what questions to ask.) I think, though, that my keenest interest is in what it would do to practical human play at the highest levels, but with secondary interests in other questions, like how it would affect practical human play at the club level, as well as how it would affect objective evaluations.

The AlphaZero games are undoubtedly helpful to some extent, but I suspect you're right that they're far from perfect.  Both because, as you say, engines can often struggle with endgame plans, but also for the opposite reason -- that they can sometimes find an accurate defense that it would be unlikely for a human to manage.   That's why my guess that human play would be more often deciseive, but I have no idea whether we're talking about a small difference or a significant one.

technical_knockout

saving a half-point IS a 'win'.  😎

 

Arisktotle

Games without paradoxical elements are no fun. It is great to outmanoeuvre a rook with a knight, promote a once powerless pawn or net the opposing king after sacrificing your army.

Stalemate is a paradox handed to you on a plate by the rulemakers. You don't get what you see - an overwhelmingly superior enemy force about to crush your last line of defense - no, you get peace at the price of just half your kingdom. So paradoxical!

 

jetoba
Arisktotle wrote:

Games without paradoxical elements are no fun. It is great to outmanoeuvre a rook with a knight, promote a once powerless pawn or net the opposing king after sacrificing your army.

Stalemate is a paradox handed to you on a plate by the rulemakers. You don't get what you see - an overwhelmingly superior enemy force about to crush your last line of defense - no, you get peace at the price of just half your kingdom. So paradoxical!

 

Note that a lone king would be able to win on time if the opponent had at least one a pawn or h pawn.

technical_knockout

if you are low on time, try to make sure to eliminate all the pawns & other sufficient mating material for both players (R's, Q's, BB or BN).

this will turn a loss on time into a draw, due to the impossibility of delivering checkmate.  🙂

Arisktotle
jetoba wrote:

Note that a lone king would be able to win on time if the opponent had at least one a pawn or h pawn.

Well, it can not - because it cannot mate the other king. The automatic draw rule is asymmetrical by protecting the rich and the wealthy (with the pawnwink.png)

tygxc

#46
No, the lone king can stalemate K+a.

technical_knockout

if he doesn't run out of time first, then yes.

tygxc

With stalemate = win, K+a vs. K is always a win when somebody runs out of time.

jetoba
tygxc wrote:

With stalemate = win, K+a vs. K is always a win when somebody runs out of time.

and so is K+Q+2R+2B+2N+abcd vs K (but not K+Q+2R+2B+2N+bcde vs K since then the lone K would not have a chance to stalemate the other player).

 

Carwasher_Superdrunk

I am celebrating playing chess for 50 years this year, which not many players (even GMs) can claim. The stalemate rule is an excellent rule: it is a reminder that a won game is not won until the final move.

Moreover, there are very rare (and breathtakingly beautiful) instances in which one side can force the player with otherwise winning material into a stalemate. Changing the rules would eliminate these endings, and that would be a tragedy for all of us.

Arisktotle
tygxc wrote:

With stalemate = win, K+a vs. K is always a win when somebody runs out of time.

Ah, I see. It's hard to discern the post path we are running on.

Arisktotle
jetoba wrote:
tygxc wrote:

With stalemate = win, K+a vs. K is always a win when somebody runs out of time.

and so is K+Q+2R+2B+2N+abcd vs K (but not K+Q+2R+2B+2N+bcde vs K since then the lone K would not have a chance to stalemate the other player).

That's incorrect since material can be eliminated before the stalemate. It is already very easy to set up a stalemate position with white pawns just on b7 and c7.

jetoba
Arisktotle wrote:
jetoba wrote:
tygxc wrote:

With stalemate = win, K+a vs. K is always a win when somebody runs out of time.

and so is K+Q+2R+2B+2N+abcd vs K (but not K+Q+2R+2B+2N+bcde vs K since then the lone K would not have a chance to stalemate the other player).

That's incorrect since material can be eliminated before the stalemate. It is already very easy to set up a stalemate position with just white pawns on b7 and c7.

A position where White is stalemated by Black's lone King?

Granted if you add a White Bishop on a8 and Rook on b8 with the King on c8 then it can be done, but not with the Pawns alone.

Arisktotle

Yep. Start with adding a white bishop on a8 and the rest is obvious!

jetoba
Arisktotle wrote:

Yep. Start with adding a white bishop on a8 and the rest is obvious!

Crossing posts.

So any White army including an a pawn and/or h pawn and/or R+LSB+b+c pawns and/or R+DSB+f+g pawns can get stalemated (and lose) to a lone king.

I wonder what will happen the first time somebody has K+Q+2B+2N+R+bcd and is given a loss on time vs a lone king while somebody else with K+Q+2N+2B+bcd is given a draw upon flagging. ("What do you mean I am being penalized for having an additional Rook???")

Arisktotle
jetoba wrote:

Granted if you add a White Bishop on a8 and Rook on b8 with the King on c8 then it can be done, but not with the Pawns alone.

Of course not with the pawns alone! I meant I could do it with just 2 of the pawns you mentioned without the a-pawn. 

Arisktotle
jetoba wrote:

Crossing posts.

So any White army including an a pawn and/or h pawn and/or R+LSB+b+c pawns and/or R+DSB+f+g pawns can get stalemated (and lose) to a lone king.

Don't know that's too complicated to quickly evaluate!