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Draw by Insufficient Material

  • #1

    I find it strange that several games I played in live chess were drawn "by insufficient material" while one side had pawns remaining on board. Is there a problem on this site or a chess rule that I don't know of?

  • #2

    that must be a glitch.

  • #3

    If one player were to run out of time but the other has insufficient material it would still be considered a draw for lack of sufficient material.  Is this the case?

    Otherwise, it sounds like a glitch to me, too.

  • #4

    Its because the side that didn't have any material (or sufficient material to mate) won on time but since that side can't win, the game is a draw

  • #5
    ty4playing wrote:

    If one player were to be losing due to time but the other has insufficient material it would still be considered a draw for lack of sufficient material.  Is this the case?

    Otherwise, it sounds like a glitch to me, too.


    Yes, this was the case - one player had insufficient material. Now it all makes sense. Thanks.

    But still - rules of chess on draws are (taken from this website):

    Draws

    Occasionally chess games do not end with a winner, but with a draw. There are 5 reasons why a chess game may end in a draw:

    1. The position reaches a stalemate where it is one player’s turn to move, but his king is NOT in check and yet he does not have another legal move
    2. The players may simply agree to a draw and stop playing
    3. There are not enough pieces on the board to force a checkmate (example: a king and a bishop vs. a king)
    4. A player declares a draw if the same exact position is repeated three times (though not necessarily three times in a row)
    5. Fifty consecutive moves have been played where neither player has moved a pawn or captured a piece.

    So still, in such a situation none of these rules are met...

  • #6

    what is a glitch? It`s the only word I don't understand

  • #7

    F.I.D.E Laws of Chess

    6.10

    Except where Articles 5.1 or one of the Articles 5.2 (a), (b) and (c) apply, 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, even with the most unskilled counterplay.

  • #8
    TadDude wrote:

    F.I.D.E Laws of Chess

    6.10

    Except where Articles 5.1 or one of the Articles 5.2 (a), (b) and (c) apply, 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, even with the most unskilled counterplay.


    So if the position is king and two knights v king, and the player with just the king runs out of time, he loses, right?

  • #9

    ▲ Correct.

    gustavotaek wrote:what is a glitch? It`s the only word I don't understand

    Software bug.

  • #10

    All is right

  • #11

    This came up today in an OTB game... my opponent ran out of time with a his K and Q vs. my K and P.  Although highly unlikely that my pawn would promote, would my pawn be considered sufficient material?  Was it a win or draw for me?

  • #12
    mjomyers wrote:

    This came up today in an OTB game... my opponent ran out of time with a his K and Q vs. my K and P.  Although highly unlikely that my pawn would promote, would my pawn be considered sufficient material?  Was it a win or draw for me?


    It was a win for you, as the pawn COULD promote, if counterplay was 'the most unskilled possible'

    I think.

  • #13

    It has to be a glitch.  I lost a game on time 2 days ago.  I had a king and a knight, my opponent had a king and a bishop.

  • #14
    jamesjddongchess wrote:

    Hey does anyone know whether eg: you have a king and a lone bishop but you have a possibility of smothered mating the opponent, but it cannot be forced. Does the computer factor this in? or is it way too uncommon to get a smothered mate?


    You should post the positon, because it depends on what's on the board. However, since a smothered mate is possible I assume that your opponent had pawns or pieces blocking his king so K+B might have the win, but again it depends on exactly what's on the board.
  • #15

    actually, if one side had insufficient material to checkmate vs king eg:2 knights and king vs king and the other side runs out of time then yes it is a draw, BUT if the other side still had a pawn then checkmate IS POSSIBLE if counterplay was the most unskilled possible(this is also true for one bishop and one knight)so if you had one of the combinations mentioned above and your opponent runs out of time then you win

     

    probablyWink

  • #16
    CPawn wrote:

    It has to be a glitch.  I lost a game on time 2 days ago.  I had a king and a knight, my opponent had a king and a bishop.


    How does that work out?  The game should have drawn right when it reached K and N vs K and B

  • #17
    pawnpusher12345 wrote:
    CPawn wrote:

    It has to be a glitch.  I lost a game on time 2 days ago.  I had a king and a knight, my opponent had a king and a bishop.


    How does that work out?  The game should have drawn right when it reached K and N vs K and B


    I think I get it now,you lost on time because your opponent could've gotten mate if this position was reached

  • #18

    Here's a link to a site that analyses this deeply: http://www.e4ec.org/immr.html

    As far as I understand, checkmate must be totally impossible to draw, so in the situation king vs king + 2 knights, if the player with the king runs out of time, the player with the king + 2 knights is a winner.

  • #19
    pawnpusher12345 wrote:
    pawnpusher12345 wrote:
    CPawn wrote:

    It has to be a glitch.  I lost a game on time 2 days ago.  I had a king and a knight, my opponent had a king and a bishop.


    How does that work out?  The game should have drawn right when it reached K and N vs K and B


    I think I get it now,you lost on time because your opponent could've gotten mate if this position was reached


    It's worth studying this since this means that for white giving away the horse or taking the bisshop (in some hypothetical state of the end-game) would have resulted in a draw.

  • #20

    I had a king and 3 pawns today and my opponent only had his king left.  I sacrificed my last remaining rook in order to kill his only pawn and was going to march my pawns up the board.  I am not sure if he ran out of time but suddenly a message popped up that it was a draw based on insufficient material.  I was pissed since I had just sacrificed my rook about 10 seconds earlier with my plan of marching my 3 pawns up with a piece of cake win.  Pretty unbelievable, I think chess.com needs to fix their programing to allow a win if pawns are remaining and the other player runs out of time since according to the FIDE rules that if any series of moves could result in a check mate which would be the case following a promotion.  Definitely a big glitch in the system that I learned today, if you're opponent is short on time and you are down to rook and pawns or king and pawns move quick.  Also, this is something that can be exploited, if you are short on time with a worst position with king and pawns you could just let the time run out and pull a draw off that way. lol

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