True or False Chess is a Draw with Best Play from Both Sides


I believe from 62 years of playing chess and thousands of my own games that chess is a draw unless one side or the other makes a mistake.

I would suggest that out of billions of chess games that one cannot find even one game which was won or lost without one of the players making a mistake.  If anyone thinks they can find such a game please post it here.


I am not asking if it is proven  that chess is a draw with best play although I think it has been proven to my satisfaction.

If someone can find even one game where one side or the other won with out the other side making a mistake that would go against what I believe.


I can't imagine it differently. The advantage of the first move is in my opinion an advantage for white, yet too small to force a win. The GM's are very good at chess. If chess would imply a win for white, then would imho the rate of won games at the GM level be much higher then currently is.

Hasn't there been research indicating that the higher the rating of both players is, the bigger the chance that the game ends in a draw?


I do not know if there has been research on that subject but it is rather obvious.

1. It is very unlikely that Black wins with perfect play by both sides.

He starts with a slight disadvantage.

So this leaves either White wins or it is a draw.  However we can eliminate White wins this way---Out of the billions of games played show one game where White wins without Black making a mistake.

If not one game can be found out of billions--that would be pretty good evidence. 


Define "mistake".


Mistake in chess is any move which changes the position from either a draw to a loss or from a win to either a draw or loss.


Chess engines will almost always pick up a mistake.  Same for very good players. 


Statement: "Chess is a draw with best play from both sides"

Truthfulness pool: either true (if a game of chess with best play on both sides is inherenly drawn) or false (if a game of chess with best play on both sides is inherenly decisive, either in favor of White, or in favor of Black)

Absolute determinability (any circumstances): Positive (truthfulness of statement ultimately depends solely on the rules of the game of chess)

Relative determinability (existing cicumstances): Negative (currently no way for humanity to obtain exact knowledge which would precisely verify the truthfulness of statement)

Current statement evaluation: Indeterminate


There is not 100% probability but considering billions of games have been played and not one game was ever won with out someone making an error-I would say the odds of tens of billions of games to 1 is as close to certainty as you will ever get.

Nothing is absolute determinability. So by that reasoning there are no proven facts.  However I will take my tens of billions to 1 as close to fact as we can get.


The only accurate answer you're going to get is that it is undetermined - everything else is unsubstantiated opinion. Chess is not solved, so any claims are just speculation. Yes, most people speculate that perfect play will result in a draw, but it is not proven.

Your request for a game with "no mistakes" is impossible to show because that would mean a game with provable perfect play, and we'd need chess to be solved in order to identify such a game.

ponz111 wrote:

Nothing is absolute determinability. So by that reasoning there are no proven facts. 

You seem to have misunderstood the term.

The outcome of a perfect chess game is determinable in absolute terms, because it is solely dependable on the rules of the game (which are certainly determined), and must be either a draw, or win for White, or a win for Black.

However, it is indeterminable in terms relative to the circumstances in which the question is raised, because we are unable to arrive at a definite answer (and don't even know if we ever will be).

In other words, the truth is out there, but it is out of our reach.


All i have to say is i never have to worry about a perfect game when i sit down to play.Either from my opponent or myself. But like all things you can find various experts who will disagree over whether a move was a mistake or not. If one side loses it is often unclear what the key move was that caused the loss.


Many players already have played a perfect game where no mistakes were made.  These are often short games where a draw is agreed to early. 

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nf6  agreed drawn

Actually there have already been thousands of perfect games played.

If the game is short you do not need a super computer to tell if the game is a perfect game. 

ponz111 wrote:

1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nf6  agreed drawn

Non sequitur. The position arrived at after these four ply does not seem to establish a drawn conclusion by any means, it would rather be just the whim of the players who agreed on it (unless you prove that the best possible continuation would directly lead to threefold repetition or stalemate).

If you consider such draws as legitimate, and games such as this to be "perfect games" which were actually played out to a proper conclusion, then it's no wonder you believe so strongly in your "drawn nature of chess" affirmations.


After the sequence I gave the game is drawn as you must remember and I quote you. "truthfulness of statement ultimately depends solely on the rules of the game of chess."

There is a rule in the game of chess that at any point both sides can agree to a draw.  So my sequence.  1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nf6  agreed drawn is valid and each side made perfect moves.

Because you [jaaas] says "it does not seem to establish a drawn conclusion by any means etc." Sorry but you are not the one who decides. If the players agree a game is drawn it is drawn and this is per the rules of chess.


If the game is supposed to be "perfect", then each of the players would have to see no more chance of winning in order to propose/agree to a draw. Unless you can prove that none of the players had a chance of winning after 1. e4  e5  2. Nf3  Nf6, this is not a "perfect" game, as proposing/agreeing to a draw while still having any chance to win is equivalent to a sub-par move, i.e. a mistake (if not even a blunder, but that is relative, the essence is that it is an inferior decision in a supposedly perfect game).

Do I really have to debunk fallacies on every single step? Perhaps the next thing you do is assume a player possibly resigning while being able to checkmate his opponent in one move (all this while playing a "perfect game", of course).


Jaaas If a game is "perfect" has no bearing at all as to what the players think may or may not happen if the game had been continued. 

A perfect game is a game with no errors. This has absolutely nothing to do with what the players may think about anything.

  Also proposing a draw while having any chance to win is not equivalent to a sub-par move.  A proposal is not a move.

Also,. there are many reasons why people agree to a draw and to say they made a mistake is quite presumpterous.


Is there any good game that is not a draw with best play from both sides?

ponz111 wrote:
Also proposing a draw while having any chance to win is not equivalent to a sub-par move.  A proposal is not a move.

I have yet to hear about tablebases (which are currently the only source of "perfect" play) taking into consideration assessing a position as drawn because a pointless draw offer out of the blue might be possible.

Proposing a draw and/or agreeing to a draw proposal are not "moves" per se, but they are decisions made over the course of a game which are equivalent in their bearing to making a move.

If you propose a draw to your opponent in a position where you have still a chance to win, you will have blundered any of your existing winning chances away if only the opponent accepts the draw (with the latter being out of your hand once the offer has been made).

As mentioned, if a side still sees a chance to win, a decision to propose or agree to a draw is an inferior one, and excludes any possibility of the game in question being "perfect".

I have no intent on writing an essay about why this is so, thus if with what I have said this is still unclear to you, I can't help any further. Perhaps someone else voices their opinion which might or might not change your point of view.


People agree to a draw for many reasons. One is mutual fear where each side thinks his chances to win are worse than his opponents chances to win.

It is not a "blunder" to agree to a draw even if you think you have winning chances as you may think your oppoent has better winning chances.

Making decisions during a game may or may not have a bearing on what move is made but that is not relevant what is relevant is the actual moves made.  

What you are doing is telling almost anyone who agrees to a draw that they made a blunder as most people realize they have some chances to win if they continue on. Your opponent may have a heart attack or someting like that. 

You are forgetting all the legitimate reasons people agree to a draw and you are classifying agreeing to a draw as a "blunder" if they have some chances to win when they agree to a draw.  This is simply not the case.


Good luck on contemplating "perfect" games while taking into consideration all these secondary issues which have nothing to do with making optimal decisions based on a fully objective assessment of the position. By considering the effects of various psychological imperfections (or downright weaknesses) inherent to human players you are in effect denying any chance of a "perfect" game being played.