Flagging when opponent has just B+K

  • #1

    I just lost a Live Chess game when my opponent had just a bishop and king (I had an army of material).  The game was against gramat.

    Under USCF rules, this is clearly a draw because my opponent has insufficient material to force checkmate.  ICC and FICS both follow this rule as well.  FIDE rules may be different.

    One staff member suggested that I have to press the draw button.  Unlike the 3 repetition or 50 move rules, this draw should be automatic if I run out of time.  The program should automatically check for mating material when someone runs out of time.

    Michael Aigner

  • #2

    If you have an army, and he has a bishop, you can be mated.

    If he has a bishop, and you have nothing, it's a draw.

  • #3

    That's a topic that comes up quite often (I was one of those who already brought it up when it happened to me ;)

    Problem 1: The rule says it's a draw when checkmate is impossible. If you have some material other than your king on the board, a helpmate would probably be possible. So having material is a disadvantage in this case.

    Problem 2: There's still the rule that the game can be claimed a draw if the opponent makes no effort to win by mate (and how should he just with B+K) but just tries to win on time. Unfortunately this rule is not valid in blitz chess (and in Internet chess neither under slower time controls because it can't be enforced).

    Personally I consider it bad sportsmanship to refuse a draw in a position like that and try to score a win by "fast piece pushing", I usually send a "good sportsmanship" trophy to opponents who do this to me and hope they recognize the irony :) more can't be done about it.

  • #4
    rooperi wrote:

    If you have an army, and he has a bishop, you can be mated.

    If he has a bishop, and you have nothing, it's a draw.


    That's apparently the FIDE interpretation.  I could make a draw claim to the arbiter standing by.  Hence, I am asking whether Chess.com follows traditional rules for Internet blitz chess or FIDE rules for classical (slow) chess.

  • #5

    The thing is, how do you enforce it?

    Remember the famous study by V. Korolkov?

  • #6

    we will be using blitz rules on this-- in other words it should be a draw. however, that update to the code has not gone live yet. it will soon be a draw-- no need to claim it or click anything.

  • #7

    rooperi, that particular study does not present any problems as black's time cannot expire while white has only K+B.

  • #8
    fpawn wrote:
    rooperi wrote:

    If you have an army, and he has a bishop, you can be mated.

    If he has a bishop, and you have nothing, it's a draw.


    That's apparently the FIDE interpretation.  I could make a draw claim to the arbiter standing by.  Hence, I am asking whether Chess.com follows traditional rules for Internet blitz chess or FIDE rules for classical (slow) chess.


    FIDE:

    6.9

     

    Except where one of the Articles: 5.1.a, 5.1.b, 5.2.a, 5.2.b, 5.2.c applies, if a player does not complete the prescribed number of moves in the allotted time, the game is lost by the player. However, the game is drawn, if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves.

    and famous ruling in WWCC:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_World_Chess_Championship_2008

  • #9

    dont tell there arent any special positions where b + k can mate----come-on ---think about it

  • #10

    This is a case where applying classical FIDE rules to Internet blitz games is a bit awkward.  It is a draw if all you have is a king or same colored bishop, but if you have more material, you lose.  Of course, it should be easy to make a proper draw claim to the arbiter with the standard 30 second increment. 

    Blitz rules are quite different.  I'm glad that Chess.com will fix it soon.

    Michael Aigner

  • #11

    Why would Chess.com change it to be a draw, when it is still very much possible for you to be mated? Your opponent cannot force mate against you, but nor could my opponent force mate against me if I time out when we both have plenty of pieces on the board. It doesn't make sense for the game to be drawn if you flag on time, unless it is literally impossible for you to be checkmated by a legal sequence of moves.

  • #12
    SensFan33 wrote:

    Why would Chess.com change it to be a draw, when it is still very much possible for you to be mated? Your opponent cannot force mate against you, but nor could my opponent force mate against me if I time out when we both have plenty of pieces on the board. It doesn't make sense for the game to be drawn if you flag on time, unless it is literally impossible for you to be checkmated by a legal sequence of moves.


    Bit insulting don't you think?

  • #13
    AndTheLittleOneSaid wrote:
    SensFan33 wrote:

    Why would Chess.com change it to be a draw, when it is still very much possible for you to be mated? Your opponent cannot force mate against you, but nor could my opponent force mate against me if I time out when we both have plenty of pieces on the board. It doesn't make sense for the game to be drawn if you flag on time, unless it is literally impossible for you to be checkmated by a legal sequence of moves.


    Bit insulting don't you think?


    Where do you draw the line? Let's say I have KRBvKQ, but I don't know the theory on how to hold it; can I time out and take the theoretical draw? What about a Phillidor Position, can I time out on all of those, too, and save myself having to learn drawing theory?

  • #14
    SensFan33 wrote:
    AndTheLittleOneSaid wrote:
    SensFan33 wrote:

    Why would Chess.com change it to be a draw, when it is still very much possible for you to be mated? Your opponent cannot force mate against you, but nor could my opponent force mate against me if I time out when we both have plenty of pieces on the board. It doesn't make sense for the game to be drawn if you flag on time, unless it is literally impossible for you to be checkmated by a legal sequence of moves.


    Bit insulting don't you think?


    Where do you draw the line? Let's say I have KRBvKQ, but I don't know the theory on how to hold it; can I time out and take the theoretical draw? What about a Phillidor Position, can I time out on all of those, too, and save myself having to learn drawing theory?


    Let's keep going, shall we? The starting position is a theoretical draw. Not quite the same as an impossibly unlikely helpmate to occur.

  • #15

    Right. So answer my question: where do you suggest the line be drawn?

    If White times out in the starting position, should he be given a draw, since the only possible way for him to be mated is if he 'helpmates' himself? Obviously not, in my opinion, since it's very much possible to blunder the endgame and lose. But if not, then where is the line drawn? Who decides when a helpmate goes from being plausible to implausible?
  • #16

    It's not much of a discussion, as has been said before - it's harder to accomplish in internet blitz chess where you can't ask an arbiter.

    (And the line is somewhere in between your diagram, and the game under discussion).

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