is this stalemate thing I keep getting when I should actually
So you were completely crushing your
opponent, he only had his King left and maybe a pawn or two, and
you thought the victory was yours.
And suddenly, out
of nowhere, the app tells you that it is a "stalemate"
and that you have NOT won. It is a draw (tie)!!!
is it? A trick to cheat?
No. It's just that the side
to move has no legal move. And the very important point is that
IT IS NOT IN CHECK either: your opponent's King is not attacked,
you cannot capture it with the next move.
Here is an
example (white to move):
is called a stalemate, and unfortunately for you the game
is really a draw (tie). You did not checkmate your opponent, and
it could not make any move. You win the game only if you
Blocking your opponent so it cannot move
is not winning.
These are the
official rules of chess. These rules have been in effect for
centuries and they make sense.
The stalemate offers a
very small opportunity for a player who is losing to snatch out a
draw. The winning side must be extremely careful to always leave
at least one possible move to its opponent. So even when you are
desperately losing (or winning), the game is not over until
checkmate. That's one of the beauties of chess.