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Stalemate rule needs to be abolished!

  • #1

    Simply put "Stalemate" in chess occurs: "when a player, whos turn it is to move, has no legal moves left to make... this is deemed a draw".

    We "Anti-Stalematers" would like you "Pro-Stalematers" to consider a few arguements for why the stalemate rule should be abolished.
    And then we will provide a simple, elegant alternative solution.

    So then, firstly lets look at why we should abolish stalemate?

    * Stalemate used to be a win, until it was changed to be a draw. (Ill leave it to you to do research on it if your interested in it)

    * Contradictory and obscure nature of the current rules
      ie

    1) You must *move* when it is your turn (you cannot "pass" your move). Even if it will mean "suicide" you *must move* if you *can*. So then when you cant move (which means you are "passing/not fullfilling" your move) why should that be rewarded with 1/2 a point ? If we punish people in bad positions by forcing them to move... why do we not punish the stalemated player by also "forcing him to "move"".

    2) The clock in chess is the "life span of the king!" Chess is all about whos king dies FIRST. If a player cannot legally move, we should "fall back" on the clock to decide who wins. (ie the clock of the player who cant move will run out because he cant move!)

    3) It is illegal to *move* into check (ie even though the enemy king is all surrounded in all out attack, he cant be killed *because* he cant "legally" step into check). This is like a lawyer agruing for silly legal technicalities to get his defendent off the hook, when everyone knows the logical outcome of the courtcase. (why is this the case? We will come back to this in the 2nd part of this write-up)

    * If you cannot move, you are powerless, without options, restricted, oppressed and dominated and violating the spirit of the "you must move and not pass your move" rule. Why should you get 1/2 a point?

    * So we see the whole plan and point of the game is to put an attack on the king (directly or indirectly ie queenside play first)
    But then the stalemate rule comes along (*just when your about to do that*) and says:
    "ok... but dont attack the king too well! Dont do your job too well, be careful to prance about the king when you are totally dominating him" otherwise it could all end easily in a draw! Stalemate is the ultimate mating net... The stronger the attack you mount on the lone king, the more chance of stalemate.

    * Making a stalemate a win would in no way make endgame play any easier.  In fact, it would probably make it harder.
    It's true that K+P vs K would be easier, but K+R+P vs K+R would be tougher.  In general, K+R+P vs K+R would still be drawn for most positions that are drawn under the current rules, but make a stalemate a win, and a fair percentage of K+R+P vs K+R become winnable.
    To give another example, K+B vs K or K+N vs K would now be winnable in some situations, but not the general case -- everything would depend on how close the opposing king is to the corner.

    * chess is, by nature, already very drawish to begin with... we dont need to give players (who have been outplayed) cheap tricks for more draws ?

    * Capablanca, Reti, Lasker, Nimzowitsch and many other top players have argued for a change as well.

    * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalemate#Proposed_rule_change

    * an example game, where a very high level player escapes after being outplayed http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7463

    *Ive taught many people chess... they all laugh at the stalemate rule as illogical. Probably you did too when you first saw it...

    * rules change all the time in other games (eg soccer offside... ) in chess as well... we have many different time controls etc.

    * Some argue Draws by forcing stalemate can be "artistic".  Agreed, however, winning by forcing stalemate is also "artistic".


    Solution: (ok lets not be so negative, lets give a positive solution as well!)

    The goal of chess should simply be "to *capture!* the king."
    It should also be legal to "step into check" (in which case the opponent would capture the king on the next move and win)
    This simple change, would solve the whole stalemate problem and make the chess rules more logically consistent.

    Its much more logical, elegant and simple to have the one rule "capture the king and you win"... as opposed to the current definition of mate: "where the king cant legally move without moving into check" (in the rule we are proposing it is already implicit ... that you shouldnt move your king into check, why do we put silly restrictions on it... if the opponent wants to move his king where it will be captured OR he is forced to..... let him!   Why make it illegal ?)... 

  • #2

    chess is, by nature, already very drawish... why do we need to give players (who are totally in a dead position) more cheap tricks for more draws ?

    The whole stalemate thing is inconsistent logic...

  • #3

    When will the stupid stalemate rule be abolished?

    never.

    The goal of chess is to capture! the king. If the opponent is in a zugzwang where his only move will lead to the capture of the king why on earth is that stalemate ?

    because moving your king onto a square that can be captured is an illegal move.

    (even more strange is the top level players unquestioning of this rule!)

    it's unquestioned because it is an official rule of the game they play.

    So one move before Im mated... my king has nowhere to move... why isnt that stalemate as well ?

    the difference is when you are in mate, the king is being captured on the square they are presently on. in a stalemate, the king is not being captured on the square they are presently on.

    The only reason the two kings have to always have at least one square between them, is if they didnt the other king would capture the other and the game is over.

    correct.

    Stalemate always occurs when the opponent is really dead in the water... why dont we have a stalemate rule then for zugzwangs as well?

    not true.

    This stalemate rule we have is very silly ... especially for clever chess players... it needs to be changed.

    clever chess players are the ones who can pull out stalemates to save the game from a loss.

  • #4

    not always true for an example in king and rook pawn vs king sometimes it is the weaker side that stalemates!

  • #5

    Then what should white do here?

  • #6

    In many endgames stalemate is important such as in king and pawn.

  • #7
    trigs wrote

    because moving your king onto a square that can be captured is an illegal move.




    This rule is about as stupid as the stalemate rule (well, it is the stalemate rule)

    Its much more logical and simple to simply have the one rule "capture the king"... (in this rule it is already implicit ... that dont move your king into check)

    Why put silly restrictions on it... if the opponent wants to move his king where it will be captured ..... let him!   Why make it illegal ??

    Also I find the definition of mate silly...

    "where the king cant move without check"

    who thinks in such silly ways ?

    it should be

    "you king will be captured next move"

    its much more logical and simple.

  • #8
    blobby12 wrote:

    In many endgames stalemate is important such as in king and pawn.


    no.

    stalemate always happens when the opponents king is about to be captured... and he has no moves to avoid it.

  • #9

    Thank god someone has figured out a way to fix chess! Now maybe the game will catch on. 

  • #10
    pauix wrote:

    Then what should white do here?


    My friend you are right!

    This is the perfect illustration of why stalemate is ridiculous!

    White should be able to move his rook ... or king to d1 ... then black captures and its over!

    This is the only logical conclusion!

    Stalemate ALWAYS happens, when the guy is in a completely lost position... if you disagree... show an example.

  • #11
    Monster_with_no_Name wrote:
    blobby12 wrote:

    In many endgames stalemate is important such as in king and pawn.


    no.

    stalemate always happens when the opponents king is about to be captured... and he has no moves to avoid it.


    White defends from Black's promotion by stalemating Black's king.

  • #12
    pauix wrote:
    Monster_with_no_Name wrote:
    blobby12 wrote:

    In many endgames stalemate is important such as in king and pawn.


    no.

    stalemate always happens when the opponents king is about to be captured... and he has no moves to avoid it.


    White defends from Black's promotion by stalemating Black's king.

     

     


    Whats your point here ?

    I would say white is winning here... he will capture the black king next move (which is the goal of the game)

    or if its his turn , play to f2 and then do it

  • #13

    I agree, I have lost too many half points because of this dumb rule when I was up three queens.

  • #14

    I think it's because the object of the game is checkmate, and not stalemate.  A king cannot be moved into check, and if a player has no moves to make, then it's stalemate.  I think it adds a bit of an interesting twist to the game.  If you're a good player and you're in a winning position, you will make sure to avoid stalemate.  If you're in a losing position, stalemate is something you can try for.

  • #15

    If you don't like the stalemate rule try playing Scrabble instead. When you're down a few hundred pts vs someone way better and/or way luckier there is no possibility of a "stalemate" so you already know you're going to lose before the game is over, which I find to be a real drag. You'll like it though.

    You should also start playing checkers, in which the player who is stalemated loses. Funny thing though, as obscure as chess may seem, (say, compared to baseball and football in the USA)  it still seems downright mainstream compared to checkers...and scrabble...and all the other second-rate games with no possibility of stalemate to add some interest or hope to a player who is getting mopped up during the game.

    BTW I like checkers and scrabble, but not as much as chess.

  • #16
    Monster_with_no_Name wrote:
    trigs wrote

    because moving your king onto a square that can be captured is an illegal move.




    This rule is about as stupid as the stalemate rule (well, it is the stalemate rule)

    Its much more logical and simple to simply have the one rule "capture the king"... (in this rule it is already implicit ... that dont move your king into check)

    Why put silly restrictions on it... if the opponent wants to move his king where it will be captured ..... let him!   Why make it illegal ??

    Also I find the definition of mate silly...

    "where the king cant move without check"

    who thinks in such silly ways ?

    it should be

    "you king will be captured next move"

    its much more logical and simple.


    You are correct, the definition of checkmate is that the king will be captured on the next move, and at the same time another way to say it is when the king cannot be moved out of check.

    We must not forget however, though that this is a strategy game. If the King were allowed to move himself into check then there would be no chess. Because it is illegal to put your own king in check, the game results in a draw when positions like this come about, taken from http://www.chess.com/games/view.html?id=1289049#. It just so happens that there is a name for this draw: A stalemate. This is no worse than a draw with each side having only a king left on board, b/c who is going to move their king next to the opposing king?

  • #17
    Monster_with_no_Name wrote:

    When will the stupid stalemate rule be abolished?

    When the rules of chess are changed and black is allowed to move twice in the opening :-D

  • #18

    Stalemate is important:
    1. In King and Pawn endgames, prevents Pawn from moving to the 8th rank.
    2. If one opponent has such an advantage that they can mate with pieces, and the other opponent has no available moves but a King move, then they should be able to mate without creating a stalemate position.

  • #19
    MDMoore313 wrote:
    It just so happens that there is a name for this draw: A stalemate. This is no worse than a draw with each side having only a king left on board, b/c who is going to move their king next to the opposing king?

     


    Actually I think the name for that position is amusing-to-all-but-the-arbiter pre-arranged-and-composed-draw. Also, as a puzzle find a mate in three for Black instead of Nb8-Nc6 1/2-1/2. 

  • #20
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