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# Draw percentage

• #1

Who on this site has the highest draw percentage?

Mine is 6% after about 1700 games, which seems to me substantially higher than most of my friends, who tend to be about the same rating as me, (say 1400-1800). Now, I don't know if this is a good or bad thing....

• #2

I have a 5% draw rate.

The draw rate depends on the level of the player and the opponent that they are playing. To give an example, say someone with a rating of 1100 plays someone with a rating of 1100. Meanwhile, someone 2100 plays someone 2100. The 1100 players are less likely to draw because blunders would be frequent, and as opposed to giving away subtle positional defects, they give away pieces. So for them and young children, draws are quite rare. However in my opinion, the higher the rating, the more likely a draw. The 2100 players I think are much more likely to draw because both can concentrate and calculate well enough to not give away massive advantages.

That is why for World Championship games (typically 2700-2800 ish) there are always many many draws. In fact the Kasparov-Karpov-draw record goes something like: 21-19-104.

Clashes of the Titans are more likely to be drawn than school-yard matches.

• #3

That as well. But consider this:

The difference between a rating of 800 and 600 is 200. Between 2800 and 2600 is also 200. Yet for the 2800 and 2600 there is a much bigger difference in terms of skill then between the 800 and 600 player. Yet a blunder for the lower rated pair would be something like "Oh I didn't realise that that square wasn't safe." In which case those blunders happen so often and usually are taken advantage of at some point. Though of course being able to draw in certain positions does lead to many draws, normally in a grandmaster game you see material just about even, and being a pawn down is usually the difference between a win and a loss. Grandmasters are such powerful players that often their skills are stalemated, and unless if a lucky breakthrough happens early, by the endgame many games are drawn.

• #4

Grandmasters have a draw rate approaching 60% or more in their games with other GMs, but that has nothing to do with lower rated players.

To win a game, the opponent must make mistakes - more than one, unless it's a really bad one.  GMs don't make many mistakes, and even fewer outright blunders, so they often fail to gain a winning advantage against each other.  And when that happens, they each know how to hold the draw.

Lower rated players make many more mistakes, and many more blunders, so each side has more chances to win than the GM competitors do, and they are usually less skilled at holding a near-even position to a draw.

There's nothing wrong with a draw if it's the legitimate outcome of a hard-fought game.  In fact, it's what we should expect most of the time between evenly-matched GMs.  Lower players of equal rating to each other will also turn in equal results overall, but it will be more like 5-5 wins for them where the GMs might go 2-2 with 6 draws.

• #5
Estragon wrote:

Grandmasters have a draw rate approaching 60% or more in their games with other GMs, but that has nothing to do with lower rated players.

To win a game, the opponent must make mistakes - more than one, unless it's a really bad one.  GMs don't make many mistakes, and even fewer outright blunders, so they often fail to gain a winning advantage against each other.  And when that happens, they each know how to hold the draw.

Lower rated players make many more mistakes, and many more blunders, so each side has more chances to win than the GM competitors do, and they are usually less skilled at holding a near-even position to a draw.

There's nothing wrong with a draw if it's the legitimate outcome of a hard-fought game.  In fact, it's what we should expect most of the time between evenly-matched GMs.  Lower players of equal rating to each other will also turn in equal results overall, but it will be more like 5-5 wins for them where the GMs might go 2-2 with 6 draws.

Thanks. That was a nicer way to express what I'm saying than in my clumsy language!

• #6

ouachita has 18% draw

• #7

I have a pretty low draw percentage.  I always play for the win unless I'm behind and need to try and save the draw.  I suspect this may be the cause of a number of my losses but it is also the cause of a number of my wins.  The question I can't answer is what has it caused more of.  It's probably something I need to work on.

• #8

draw is generally unlikely to occur.. so, 5-6% is okk..

• #9

mine is 3%

• #10

My draw percentage is going up, it is now 8%, and I would like to think it indicates my level of play improving. (It's probably complete nonsense, but it's nice to think about psychologically!) In my last ten or so games, I actually had a draw streak of three!

• #11

I guess I buck the trend, I have 23% draws.

• #12

I have 15% draw with 250 games.

• #13

I'm on 12% which goes to show what a friendly, peaceful sort of guy I am.

But my Chess960 draw rate is only 5% (2 games, both played to an absolute standstill) which makes me think that 960, because of the unfamiliar positions, is more likely to provide more tactical opportunities than normal chess.

• #14

4% draws out of 5000 games (for 3-5 min live chess)

• #15

13% of which about half were fought to a standstill.  I had a drawing streak of five games.

• #16

Draw rate depends on the rating of opponents ...: http://chess-db.com/public/research/draw_rate.html

• #17

It does depend to a degree on the ratings of the opponents, however the percentage of draws for online games seems to be lower than the draw rate in OTB games.  Not many quick draws...games usually played right to the finish.  That is the best way to learn anyway.

Just checked, my draw ratio now is 17%, up from the 13% 17 months ago.

• #18

My USCF correspondence draw rate is like 60% so far.

• #19

Draw rates among top-level players can approach or even exceed 60%, while among rank amateurs they might easily remain under 5%. I've seen it repeatedly said in print that higher draw percentages in these situations are due to "...play with high accuracy, where both sides make few if any mistakes". But what about the idea that more players at the top level simply play more alike due to previous training? If a sequence of moves is considered to be 'most accurate' in this or that situation then it will likely be used by both players, regardless of whether it later goes on to be refuted. On the flip side, one could even argue that play among amateurs is sometimes more creative than more professional performance, albeit less accurate.

• #20

I love chess.  But here is where I'm going with this issue of draw percentage.  It seems likely to me that at some point in the future, chess computers of infinite speed that are perfectly programmed will always play chess to a draw.  Then the world chess championships will be beset with draws to the point that no one will ever win.  Eventually the grand masters won't be able to beat each other and on down the line until at some point, chess will end up like tic tack toe.  Wasn't it Bobby Fischer who thought it would be good to change the game so that the back line was set up in different ways for certain games.  I never liked that idea but if chess is going to end up like tic tack toe maybe Fischer was on to something.  Hard for a 1200 player like me to imagine but . . . just saying.

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