Resigning Attitudes - Let's Vote

I'm guilty of EDIT, I resign to much even when there is a slight chance for a draw...
What if Bobby Fischer resigned "The Game of the Century" because he lost his queen - there wouldn't be any game of the century then would there? I play harder when behind and enjoy the challenge - and anyone who wants to play me to mate is free to.
I'm a 2, sometimes 4.   Regarding resigning to "show respect" - anyone playing on this site should not be offended if an opponent takes their (full amount of) time no matter what the position.  I think its disrespectful to _expect_ a resignation.    If you prefer more frequent moves, you can set your game for 1 day per move when you start a game.  

It can be annoying when a losing opponent drags out the process interminably (slowing down moves to the maximum, going on vacation, etc.). But I would never dream of asking them to resign.


For one, endgames are fascinating. It's surprising how often a "won" game, even a hopelessly-imbalanced one, can turn into a draw through sloppy or inattentive play. So a game that goes the distance is an opportunity to keep one's endgame skills honed. 


Secondly, the object of the game isn't "take your opponent's pieces"--it's checkmate. I'm a better player for the opportunity to actually recognize and implement a mate. Not just flail around the board with my superior firepower and intimidate my opponent into quitting. Again, a learning opportunity, and a means of keeping me from getting sloppy. 


Thirdly, I've resigned prematurely too many times myself. I'll make a mistake, get disgusted with myself and bail out of the game, only to find (through later games with the same player), that the opponent was just as blunder-prone as I was, or at least not skilled enough to have taken certain and decisive advantage of my mistake. Hanging in a little longer would probably have turned the tide. You don't just play the board--you play the player. It can take a while to get the measure of that player. Ratings numbers only tell part of the story.


So, no: I don't think it's rude in the slightest for someone to play a game out fully. In fact, I'm thankful for it.  It's nice when the opponent acknowledges that he/she is losing, and is now just "seeing what happens". But I would never presume to tell someone the game is already over.



I think the main thing we can learn from a forum such as this one is that when you play online at, you will face a variety of opponents with a variety of attitudes about resignation.  So if you face an opponent who doesn't resign when you think he should, or does resign when you wanted to play to mate, be understanding because people have good reasons behind the ideas they have about resignation.


yes, they have reasons, but these reasons (the reason not to resign) are not always good. This was emphasized by many people in this forum.  Anyway, if someone shows his bad taste, or weak knowledge of chess , by not resigning in a lost position, we can tell him that it is time to resign. But we should do it in a polite way (saying your honest opinion is not an insult to your opponent, and it is not against  the rules of fairplay, since his efforts to save the game are pointless).


P.S.: It seems that there is misunderstanding all the time here: Most of of us believe, we are talking only about games on this server, which are correspondence games. OF COURSE, the judgement about the resign-issue should be  different for face-to-face games, in a tournament hall. 


I also want to state that you can be annoyed by resigners!

I have played a few people who resign the very moment they fall victim to one or another tactical trap.

 If you loose a knight mid-game through an ingenious fork or something, and immediately resign, I think that isn't so much respectful - it looks like you can't stand losing. 

 My criterium is that there must be some potential for undiscovered beauty left in the game. Checkmating can be a beautiful and complicated process and if you are mid-game you aren't even there yet by a long shot.

 Resigning too early is just as 'annoying' as resigning late. And come on people, since when does it feel bad to checkmate someone?!

PerfectGent wrote:

because of my disabilities i refuse to waste time on lost games. i prefer to put my energies into games i can win. so i will resign fairly early on if conditions predict a loss.

i have an advantage in that after 50 years in the  game i am able to correctly analyse and recognise a lost position most of the time


Well said! 


tr8drboi wrote: What if Bobby Fischer resigned "The Game of the Century" because he lost his queen - there wouldn't be any game of the century then would there? I play harder when behind and enjoy the challenge - and anyone who wants to play me to mate is free to.

 It is a quite silly, to compare Fischer with  people who  do not resign in a completely lost position, for the simple reason that  they  either never studied chess seriously, or since they have bad taste...

In correspondence chess, there is no reason to prolong a dead-lost game.

I believe we all have the right to tell our honest opinion to our oppponent, if he does this. We, of course, should do it in a polite way, and it is nice to propose another game. (Asking to resign in such a situation is not against the rules of fair-play, since it does not worsen the chances of the opponent: he will lose the game anyway!) 


I am number 4. I will try to draw.
We should realize that most of us have very busy schedule, while the love of chess may permit us to squeeze in some time, i believe when some one is in a lost position he should resign i can forgive players below certain rating level but anybody above say 1800+ should know when to call it quits. I am currenly playing a game i have 2 passed pawns and to my surprise my opponent is yet to resign, is he expecting a stalemate?
When a player is in a  clearly lost postion and suddenly takes the maximum number of days to make his/her move that is what i find most unacceptable.
I was taught that you should make your opponent put you in checkmate, but if I blunder early and my opponent sees it then there is no point in playing it out.
  1. I'll resign if I blunder in the opening just because I'm ticked off at myself 
  2. I'll resign if I lose a piece and can't find any sort of compensation or a way to play for complexity.
  3. I'll resign if I'm lost & it's a boring position.

However, I will make my opponent prove he has the technique to win:

  • All but the easiest King and pawn endings.
  • Knight + Knight v King + Pawn
  • Bishop + Knight v King
  • Queen v Rook
  • and possibly Bishop + Bishop v King although if he can't mate with two bishops, how did I get down two bishops in the first place? ;)


Great post on an evergreen subject. I think my attitude toward resignation is a combination of the types 2-5 you have listed above but I think you left one out...

7. Live for the challenge: There are times where I'm down pieces and position and seemingly have no chance and somehow through strong play I am able to totally turn the game around and sometimes even win, and not because my opponent "cocked up" but just because I outplay him/her. These are some of the most fun games I've come across on this site. When many times those games occur when I'm in what seems to be a "losing position in which I should resign," why should I resign when there's the possibility  I'm going to miss out on such fun?

I don't buy the whole resigning etiquette thing, and the rudest thing is when someone IM's you telling you you should resign. I especially like turning the game around on those people and beating them. 

Don't get me wrong, I've been in the situations you've listed above where someone is trying to hang on for ages or goad me into a mistake, or they're looking for a draw when they're hopelessly down, but hey, my attitude is, when I started the game I was looking for a game...from the beginning to the end. I wasn't looking to play a half a game or 3/4 of a game. If I wanted that I'd go back in time and play my little sister who would play a board game halfway through and then quit.  If you're only looking to play part of a game and then you're in a huff cause someone isn't realizing your positional superiority ask yourself why you're playing. Once you move that first piece, it's YOUR job to win, the onus is on you to checkmate your opponent not on them to give you anything.

And anyone paying attention to the game itself...? It's a battle of kings and queens, cavalry and pawns, these are armies, it's a game of war. What are the pro-resigners trying to say, that there's an etiquette to war? Are you kidding? 

Again, great post, and descriptions of player types.


This is an interesting topic that possesses varying dimensions of answer.  In truth, much of it depends on who you're playing and what exactly is the opponent's advantage.


Personally, I am a combination of 2 and 4.  That is, I want and need to experience the efficient alacrity of a superior player.  Moreover, if I perceive a modest imbalance in material, I generally play through looking for my opponent to make a mistake, or play for a draw.


As for those playing with the time limit and/or vacation schedule to evade resignation, that's their problem...


I like competition and believe trash talk is part of the game...I have fallen into all  of those categories in my time of playing chess...


You wont want to play me cause I trash talk at the beginning, middle and end..oohhh and dont be on the losing end..I am a sore winner...."LOSER!"


I only resign if i get pissed off, usually by my own dumb mistakes. I play chess to have fun so thats no point in keep playing pissed. Otherwise i will keep playing TILL I DIE.


To determine if you should resign in a bad position depends on the strength or rating of your opponent and in a quick play game--how much time you and your opponent have left.  So other generalities do not make sense unless you use this informtion.