Winning blitz without mating material

  • #1

    I'm pretty sure that if your opponent runs out of time in blitz, but you don't have mating material, the game is supposed to be a draw. In Live Chess today, however, I noticed that I lost on time even though my opponent only had a King and Knight.

    no mating material 


  • #2
    Because you also had a Knight on the board (another piece to serve this purpose, really, it is possible, if highly unlikely for him to mate you if you obligingly walk into a corner and block your escape square with said piece.
  • #3

    When I play blitz, if I have a choice, I play with increment time controls like 2+12.  Then games are never decided by the fastest wood pusher. Your opponents last few moves are a good example of how to handle a time scamble--he just moves the same piece around. You'll be prepared next time, if you choose to play again at sudden death time controls.


  • #4

    Hey likeforests.

    could you explaing in more detail what the increment time controls means?  Because i have always seen that option but have always been wary to click on it because i didn't know what it means. 


  • #5
    Increments are simply that an amount of time (the increment) is added to a player's clock after each move.
  • #6
    well, 2+12, means you start with 2 minutes, and get 12 seconds added to your clock after every move. 
  • #7

    Yep, sstteevveenn explains it accurately. Here's what different it makes in a game:

     

    10+0 (sudden death)

    A 20-move game gives you 10 minutes (20 sec / move)

    A 40-move game gives you 10 minutes (15 sec / move)

    A 60-move game gives you 10 minutes (10 sec / move)

     

    2+12 (increment)

    A 20 move game gives you 6 minutes (18 sec/move)

    A 40 move game gives you 10 minutes (15 sec/move)

    A 60 move game gives you 14 minutes (14 sec/move)

     

    Increments let you to play games to their natural conclusion. Sudden death means you know in advance exactly how long a game will take.


  • #8
    Yes, it seems this game should have been drawn by insufficient mating material. Thank you for reporting this error.
  • #9
    Patzer24 wrote: Yes, it seems this game should have been drawn by insufficient mating material. Thank you for reporting this error.

     i don't think so matt :) you can still mate with just a knight. unlikey, but with a little help from your opponent....


  • #10
    Erik is correct....worst defence is assumed for the side that runs out of time. The above example is a win on time and not a draw by insufficient material. Harsh but fair! Smile
  • #11

    I strongly agree with Absurd and benws. As long as there is some other material on the board (such as a convenient rook-pawn), there is a chance a player can walk into mate. Imagine black, in severe time trouble, plays 1...a2?? in the following position:

    Then, of course, 2 Nc2 mates.

    In short, this is NOT a situation for an automatic insufficient-material draw. If you want to add a layer of adjudication to Chess.com, you could always allow for "insufficient losing chances" draws, but I think this would multiply your workload beyond reason.


  • #12
    PS: If "worst defense" is indeed the standard, which seems fair, then is K+N+N v a lone king considered sufficient mating material by LiveChess?
  • #13
    When we play timed games we must be prepared to accept situations such as that one. Otherwise, we'd better play only correspondence chess or, at least play long timed games.
  • #14
    Thank you all for the explaination. I really do prefer to play with an increment in blitz, however I've been trying to practice for our club blitz tournaments which are sudden death time controls, and am trying to train myself to move faster.
  • #15
    DimKnight wrote: PS: If "worst defense" is indeed the standard, which seems fair, then is K+N+N v a lone king considered sufficient mating material by LiveChess?

    if i recall correctly you can always win K+N+N vs lone king... but im pretty tired so i might be mistaken and recalling false memories...


  • #16

    deadpoetic> if i recall correctly you can always win K+N+N vs lone king... 

    Nah. K+B+B vs K is a win, K+B+N vs K is a win, but K+N+N vs K is a draw. You can only win with K+N+N vs K if your opponent helps you. (Interestingly, K+N+N vs K+P is a different case and often winnable). As you say, it's very late in our time zone!


  • #17
    K+N+N v K+P - the troitsky ending - winnable if pawn is behind the troisky line - All GMs know the winning method [i mean an average player like me *knows* it too - GMs can apply it :) ]  - tablebases show that in some cases there is a win even when the P has crossed the troitsky line ...
  • #18

    as for the topic - if from the position one can constuct a game where the "insufficient material" side checkmates; then it is not a draw.

     


  • #19

    Zugzwang, in USCF-rated events (and in most clubs) you can play with a time-delay clock, which is similar to (but not quite the same) as a 5-sec increment. That's one of reason Heisman recommends that if you play blitz, you use a 5-sec increment.

    http://www.uschess.org/tds/clockrules.php


  • #20
    Bah. Increments are for cowards.
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