Attitudes towards resigning vary a lot on this site - there's quite a spectrum of opinion. Starting from the most understandable and going to the ones that cause most angst on the forums at chess.com:
EDIT - There is a first category of players before this - The Resigners. Their beliefs could be summed up by "I will resign if a good player should be able to win no problems in the current position (e.g. if chance of winning is less than 20%)"
1. Can't Resign Beginners won't resign - they don't understand that certain positions are lost.
2. Can Resign, Want to Learn Advanced beginners are curious about how an opponent will convert a material advantage into a win. They don't resign because they want to learn from their opponents technique. A form of flattery really, shouldn't get to upset. Maybe asking an opponent first would be more polite.
3. Resigning is Dishonourable Some people consider resigning a game to be somehow a 'dishonorable' thing to do and so will always keep playing. I used to fall into this category when I first started playing here.
4.There Might Be a Draw For others, it's the possibility of an endgame draw somewhere down the line. I'm guilty of this one - I resign in middlegame if the position is hopeless, but if my opponent is only a piece up without an imminent attack and I can foresee a drawable endgame if the opponent makes some minor blunders, I'll probably continue, and try and force a draw. Remember, a king-knight v lone king in an endgame is a draw. Forced stalemates are also possible. The player's rating will also come into it, as will whether they are on my friends list or not.
5. My opponent might cock up I guess for some people, it's better not to 'be beaten' through resigning and there is a chance, however small, of the opponent cocking things up. They would rather see things through to checkmate, especially if they've never played the opponent before and can't be sure they won't mess up/know how to checkmate).
6. I am never beaten, I will try every trick in the book to avoid losing For the last category of players, it's about avoiding 'being beaten' at all costs. If in a hopeless position, move with 1 minute left on the timeclock, frustrate the opponent into an error or a loss on time. Go on vacation a while. Trash talk on instant messaging- goad them into an error. And when checkmate is imminent, just let the time run out. For some on this site, that isn't being beaten - they lost through forgetfulness, that is all. They're still the best.
I can understand all but the last category of players, and am lucky enough to only come across them in about 10% of games I play. And when I do, I never play them again.
What type of player are you?
I only resign when I'm sure that I've lost. Now, I have enough foresight that I resign more often than I am checkmated, but I think I resign later than most people. It's still a valuable learning experience if I lose, and I don't mind playing for a draw, if I think it's possible to get. Weak moves from my opponent are helpful along the way , but if my only hope is a series of large blunders, I'll just resign.
That being said, I can't stand it when people are down by 10+ points, refuse to resign, and take as long as possible (even on forced moves). You really can't learn anything from playing a game like this, and I'd have to make an unreasonable number of mistakes just to allow a draw. It's just poor sportsmanship.
I resign as soon as I know I could beat me from the other guy's position... I never play on because I'm higher rated because I'm obviously not stronger if I'm in a losing position :P
I've just resigned a game.
My opponent asked, pointing out that the game was lost for my side. I told him a couple more moves, admitting he was probably right. He knew it before I did but it was over after a couple more moves. His extra knight and superior pawns were marching to victory after a queen exchange that was probably my final blunder of the game. But I needed more evidence from him that he knew how to finish it, and the last few moves provided that. I still had 5 pawns to his 6 + knight after the queen trade, when he requested my resignation. Well, win some lose some.
I try my best to resign when when I first recognize that the game is lost. I do from time to time ask if my opponent minds if we 'play it out' so I can gain some end game experience and see how he/she would convert the 'won' position. At my level, so few games make it to a true end game that it is difficult to gain a lot of experience.
Personally I'm never offended when someone doesn't resign. I'm here to enjoy playing and get better. I need to learn how to finish off a won position.
I don't mind if someone wants to keep playing, and be check-mated. By the same token, I hope that people don't mind that I usually finish playing a lost game. I consider myself a so-so player, and am trying to learn as much as possible, both from my losses and my wins.
I think I've resigned one game so far, and I was absolutely getting clobbered, I think by 8 points or more (and a bad position).
I have won a couple of games I should have lost, so there is usually hope :) I do think it is silly that someone will go on vacation to delay losing a game! But no use in getting mad. You'll just beat him (or her) when they run out of vacation time :)
I resign because the game is finished. I see no reason to continue when there is no game left, so simple is that.
Example: I protect a difficult or rather bad position against an attack. I find good defense moves. My opponent find even better attack moves. Finally we reach a position where I can find no good defense move. The game has ended. So resigning is self evident. It is not a check mate, it is more like a positional mate. Nothing to do that makes any sense.
Another example. I make a blunder and loose my queen for nothing. Before resigning I look very carefully on the situation of course. Is the game over or is it not? If the game is over resignation is a natural "move".
I won't say that I always behave like that, every game is different. But usually it makes sense to resign at the point where the game is over.
Of course it can happen that a resignation is a blunder, also a draw offer or a draw accept can be a blunder.
I never ask my opponent to resign no matter the position. I consider that it is like giving the opponent advice and he is not supposed to listen to advices during a game.
Like Unbeliever... this is also my position regarding playing a game.
I resign when it is clear that i have no chance, one question i have is where in the world did all this asking your opponent to resign come from? i have been playing for about 40 years now and think asking your opponent to resign is bad manners. I hear a lot of complaints from people saying the opponent doesn't know when to resign maybe so but asking for a resignation is just wrong.
I'm a 2. For the most part I'll resign if I am way behind, but if the person is a much higher rating I have asked that they play it out for my benefit. By the same token if I am playing someone that is on par with me and I am losing I will also ask if they want me to resign or if they want to go to the end and get the mate.
Since I'm a newb I feel like my weakest part of the game is the endgame and part of it is because if your winning you rarely get there and if your behind you end up resigning. Hard to learn that way.