Does only time matter in Live?


In a recent live game, my opponent went with perpetual checks to wind down the clock, knowing I would be ahead. Now, I have played a few live chess games, and, this has never happened in any of my games previously. It appears that if your time runs out, even if your opponent has 1 second left on the clock, but no pieces, he/she wins.

So, what is the sense of assigning a point value to the pieces? I lost on time, but, I was up about 9 points. This was a 15 minute game, and my opponent was at 24 seconds when I ran out of time-and lost. The 9 point differential is because I had a Q and he had pawns-he had no chance of winning if it weren't for the clock. It was a sure win for me.

I love chess. But, in instances like this, I'm dismayed that one can "game" the system to their advantage.

Instead of replying that I should have moved more quickly, or, not put myself in a position to be checked perpetually, I would like an explanation on the point value of the pieces, and how it is relevant compared to time.  


The actual rule is if the player with time left has mating material, to include B+N or greater, or stupidly, even RP and K vs. K on the Queening square, that player wins, otherwise a draw.  For example, if your time falls and your opponent has a lone Bishop, the game should be a draw.  Two Knights would be a draw, as I understand it. 

To put it in perspective, your opponent could have a Pawn on the 2nd rank with your King blockading it on the third, and  you could have four Queens and lose on time.  Yeah, I know it's silly, but that's FIDE and USCF rules.  Conversely, your opponent could promote all his Pawns to a dark-squared Bishops and draw with 9 of them because there is no possible mate.

It's not point-based, it conforms to the international chess federation standard rules.  As far as what you can do, you have this knowledge now, and that's the best I can advise you.


To further explain, the "point" value is for your use as an evaluation tool for your position.  It doesn't come into play at all in any of the FIDE or USCF rules.  For example, you know that trading a Queen for two Rooks is to your advantage in most cases because the Rooks are 5 points and the Queen is 8 or 9, depending on what you have learned (assuming the Rooks are active), and you know that the beginner trade of the Bishop and Knight on f7 for the R and P is strategically bad.  That is the purpose of point values of pieces.