Resign
(Or Play On?)


Jump to Resignation examples from Pro matches:
1 | 2 | 3

Don't Be Too Eager To Quit:
You Might Salvage A Draw | You May Still Win!

The option to Resign from a game should be seen as the LAST resort, when you've made a complete horlix of things and are totally certain you can no longer avoid Losing.

Chess Glossary - Resign - GraphicIn competition, or when playing against another person, either across the Internet or in-person, you must declare your Resigning intentions, for opponent to accept.

Particularly when it comes to Tournament matches, where you may play many games through half or a full day; rather than playing on to the inevitable Loss, offering give up, from the current game could be seen as the wiser choice, as it allows you to conserve energies for your other matches, later on.

On this page, as something of an insight, we'll give three examples of when professional chess players consider a game is beyond them and makes more sense to concede defeat and Resign.

But, in addition, we'll leave you with a slice of caution, about jumping in and being all too ready to throw in the towl - it's just possible you could rescue ½ a point by salvaging a Draw; or even manage to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat ...


Jump to Resignation examples from Pro matches:
1 | 2 | 3

Don't Be Too Eager To Quit:
You Might Salvage A Draw | You May Still Win!

When Professionals Resign
- Example 1 -


Battle Log - Header Graphic
  1. Qd2
  2. 1-0
Black Resigns
Because ...
  1. ... Qxd2
  2. Ne7+ ... Kh8
  3. Nf7#
  4. 1-0

Historical Game:
F. Eggenberger-Schumacher, Basle, 1958/59

Move 1, White's Queen goes to d2.

Black Resigns. Here's why ...

Move 1, the opportunity would be too great and Black's Queen would have to capture (x) White's Queen, on d2.

Move 2, White would then send the eligable kNight to e7, placing Black's King in "Check"; Black's King would only be able to retreat, to h8.

Move 3, White would finish of Black by sending his other kNight to f7 ...

Not only would it be "Checking" Black's King, but, with his other Knight guarding the only other free square, Black's King would be in "Checkmate".

White would Win (1-0) ... and so, Black Resigns.


Jump to Resignation examples from Pro matches:
1 | 2 | 3

Don't Be Too Eager To Quit:
You Might Salvage A Draw | You May Still Win!

When Professionals Resign
- Example 2 -


Battle Log - Header Graphic
  1. Ke2 ... f3+
  2. Kf2 ... Kf4
  3. h4 ... h5
  4. a3 ... Ke4
  5. 0-1
White Resigns Because ...
  1. b4 ... axb4
  2. axb4 ... cxb4
  3. c5 ... Kxd5

Historical Game:
Kalantar-Petrosian, Erevan, 1948

Moves 1 to 4, sees Petrosian (Black) further increase his positional advantage, to such an extent that, White Resigns before his 5th Move.

Here's what White anticipated ...

Move 5, White's King MUST guard against Black's f-file Pawn Promoting and so, instead, he advances his b-file Pawn, to b5 ...

Black's a-file Pawn captures (x) White's Pawn, on b4.

Move 6, White's own a-file Pawn would then capture (x) Black's Pawn, on b4; with Black's c-file Pawn capturing (x) White's Pawn, on b4.

Move 7, White's c-file Pawn would advance to c5; Black's King would leave its protection of the f-file Pawn and capture (x) White's Pawn, on d5.

This would leave Black with the b-file Pawn as a Passed Pawn ...

Knowing how the Rule of the Square works, there's no way White's King could stop BOTH Black Pawns ...

One would surely gain Promotion to a Queen and White would face losing to a Basic Checkmate, from a King and Queen.

Thus, White opts for an early coffee and Resigns, at once.


Jump to Resignation examples from Pro matches:
1 | 2 | 3

Don't Be Too Eager To Quit:
You Might Salvage A Draw | You May Still Win!

When Professionals Resign
- Example 3 -


Battle Log - Header Graphic
White Resigns
Because ...
  1. Bxh4 ... Rg2+
  2. Kh1 ... Rxd2+
  3. Rf3 ... Qxf3+
  4. Kg1 ... Qg2#
  5. 0-1

Historical Game:
Steinitz-Lasker, World Chess Championship, 1896-97

Lasker (Black) has just moved his Rook, from e8 to g8, prompting Steinitz (White) to Resign immediately.

This, in fact, is just one of 6 reasons for the Resignation and it's all because of a situation known as Zugzwang.

Here, it doesn't matter where White's Bishop goes to - any move away from its g5 square will result in catastrophe ...

Move 35, if White's Bishop were to capture (x) Black's Pawn, on h4; Black's Rook would sprint down to g2, putting White's King in "Check" (+) and triggering the following ...

Move 36, White's King evades Check, to h1; Black's Rook captures (x) White's Queen, on d2, revealing a Discovered Check (+), from Black's Queen.

Here, it doesn't matter whether White moves his King or Blocks with his Rook - he's still doomed, by the same, eventual result ...

Move 37, White's Rook Blocks the Check; only for Black's Queen to capture (x) White's Rook and put White's King back in "Check" (+).

Move 38, White's King can only escape, to g1; Black's Queen, then marches onto g2 and, backed by her c6 Bishop, issues the "Checkmate" (#).

So, that's ONE way that Black would Win (0-1).

Click Here, to visit the Zugzwang page, to see the other 5 Reasons, for White's Resignation.


Jump to Resignation examples from Pro matches:
1 | 2 | 3

Don't Be Too Eager To Quit:
You Might Salvage A Draw | You May Still Win!

When Resigning Could Be Premature
- You Might Salvage A Draw -


Before rushing into Resigning, have a REAL good look at the Board ...

It may be possible you could get your pieces into a situation that leads to a Draw - Stalemate - from which you'll, at least, walk away with ½ a point, rather than nothing from a Loss ...

While easier said than done, the quickest route to Stalemate is by triggering the Three Time Repetition Rule, through either a Perpetual Pursuit or Perpetual Check.

In the video clip, above, you get an idea of both of those Stalemate situations.


Jump to Resignation examples from Pro matches:
1 | 2 | 3

Don't Be Too Eager To Quit:
You Might Salvage A Draw | You May Still Win!

When Resigning Could Be Premature
- You May Still Win! -


If the circumstances are right and you've paid attention to the playing style and/or the skill of your opponent, then it's just possible, by playing on, that mistakes by your opponent could gift you an opportunity to snatch a win.

In the following video clip, Garry Kasparov responds about players Making Mistakes in Chess ...

Okay, snatching victory from the jaws of certain defeat may not be a plan you want to rely on in matches, as chances of overturning the imending Loss may not regularly present itself.

But, to offer a glimmer of hope, TWO circumstances spring to mind that might make an unlikely Win possible ...


1. Fatigue May Strike Your Opponent

Because it's a "Sitting-down Sport", it's easy for players to ignore the fitness requirements demanded by long, Tournament events.

In a leisurely game at home, against Fritz - where concentration isn't in critical demand and the "New Game" button is a short mouse click away, the state of a players physical conditioning ain't top of the list of requirements when it comes to a cheeky battle on the Board.

Alternatively, some players may find they're doing well in single chess matches played online and decide they'll have a stab at one of the Open Chess Tournaments, where decent cash prizes are up for grabs ...

However, when it comes to playing Tournaments, these internet warriors could find they must play multiple games in a in a single day ...

They may do well in their first game, but totally underestimate the cumulative effect of fatigue, brought about by the hours of total concentration at the Board and, before they know it, sloppy mistakes begin to creep into their game ...

This is something to watch for and take advantage of!


2. Opponent Gets Cocky & Loses Focus

This hope-offering circumstance comes as an annecdote from Yasser Seirawan, on pages 35/36 of his book, "Winning Chess Strategies" ...

Basically, Seirawan was attending a Junior World Chess Championship event and observed the title-deciding match, that would see a champion crowned.

Here's what happened ...

Black was in a clearly winning position ... With the h-file Pawn one step away from Queening and the Rook ensuring that Pawn's safe Promotion, it would be understandable if White had chosen to Resign.

According to Seirawan, White played on, out of sheer spite (as kids - and adults - sometimes will) and Checked Black's King with the Rook.

Black's head was drunk on the impending glory of becoming Champion and, not noticing the position of White's Bishop; nor being aware of the corridor-trap provided by the two side-by-side Pawns; Black's King was mindlessly retreated up to f8.

That ONE loss of focus allowed White to take that Rook and safely plant it next to Black's King, on e8, to land the "Checkmate" and, unthinkably, only moments before, claim the Junior World Championship crown!

This little annecdotal gem, from Yasser Seirawan, serves as both a warning to you, about getting complacent in victory; as well as offering a glimmer of hope, should you be in a seemingly hopeless situation and on the cusp of Resigning ...


Jump to Resignation examples from Pro matches:
1 | 2 | 3

Don't Be Too Eager To Quit:
You Might Salvage A Draw | You May Still Win!


Check Out The Stalemate Moves - You May Not Need To Resign
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