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A draw , especially in chess , denotes the undecided outcome of a sporting competition. In other games, including checkers , the draw is part of the competition rules.

Definition of terms

“Remis” comes from French and is the participle of the verb “remettre”, which means something like “put back” or “put back”. Thus, the "postponement" is the restoration of the initial state (with equal opportunities) or the "postponement of the decision". In French itself, however, the draw is referred to as partie nulle .

Draw in chess


A game of chess ends in a draw

  • if the player who is to move does not have a legal opportunity to move, but his king is not in check (stalemate)
  • when a position has arisen in which neither player can checkmate the opposing king with any series of legal moves. Such a position is called a “ dead position ”. Usually neither player has enough pieces left to checkmate the other player (e.g. king against king, king against king and knight, king against king and bishop). There are also cases in which neither player can win due to a wedged pawn structure .
  • if the two players agree on it.
  • if a stone has not been captured or a pawn has been moved for 50 moves and the player whose move then claims a draw.
  • if an identical position with the same possible moves and the same player to move has arisen for at least the third time on the chessboard or will arise immediately and the player having the move complains about this. (If the position is made by his next move, the claiming player must first write his move on his scoresheet and explain to the umpire his intention to make that move.) This is called triple repetition of the position . The best known example is the "eternal chess" . A player constantly gives chess bids, the repetition of which the opponent cannot avoid.
  • if, analogous to the previous two rules, no pawn has been moved or a piece captured in a game for 75 moves, or the same position has arisen five times. The referee acts on his own initiative, a request from a player is not required (FIDE rule 9.6).
  • if one of the players exceeds the time limit, but his opponent no longer has enough mating material available, d. H. can no longer win through a legal sequence of moves
  • if both players have exceeded their time limit at the last time control and it is not possible to determine whose flag fell first. (Modern digital chess clocks usually clearly show which player has exceeded the time to think first. With analog chess clocks, on the other hand, both flagstones may have fallen and - if no referee observes the clock as an eyewitness - it cannot be determined afterwards which flag fell first .)
  • at the request of a player by the referee's decision (to be made in which all remaining moves in a limited time) when in the final stages of a match with tournament reflection or a quick game of chess opponent takes no more profit trials, but only through time out trying to win

Draw bids

You can offer your opponent a draw , who can reject the draw offer or accept the draw offer . When a game ends in a draw, then we also say that opponents have remisiert . If neither side has a profitable advantage during a game, then one also says, “The game is within the draw range ”. If one side has gained a clear advantage, it would often be foolish for the opposing side to try to force a victory itself. Instead, you play “for a draw”. This means that one strives above all to equalize the position and prevent the opponent from attacking as much as possible. If possible you swap pieces and try to reach blocked pawn positions. In rare cases, a nearly beaten player can still save himself to a draw by being patted .

Since the international chess tournament in Dundee in 1867, a draw game has been rated with half a point, and a player receives a whole point for a win . The term “draw” was also transferred to other sports and areas of life.

In a tournament game, the draw bid should be made by the player who is currently making his move before he presses the clock . It then remains valid until it is accepted or rejected by the opponent, or the game is ended in some other way (e.g. by giving up or timeout). The execution of a move by the opponent is also counted as a rejection of the draw offer. The offer of a draw is noted by both players on the match form . Chess etiquette prohibits the excessively frequent offering of draws when it is obvious that the opponent will not accept the offer of a draw. The referee may punish such behavior as “disturbing the opponent”.

There are different reasons for offers of a draw: Often a player offers a draw if he believes that the advantage he has gained is no longer sufficient to win. In team fights or in tournaments, a draw is offered to ensure a desired result. In duels that go over many games (e.g. world championships), the draw rate is sometimes particularly high, as the regulations mean that only the winning and losing games are decisive in the end and therefore the player with the black pieces only strives for a draw, to then play for victory with white. For example, at the 1984 World Chess Championship between Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov, 40 of the 48 games ended in a draw without a result being known at the end.

Criticism of short draw games

One often observes in chess tournaments that players agree on a draw after a few moves without an actual fight. This has repeatedly led to criticism since the beginning of tournament chess:

  • In a short draw, forces are spared. Especially in round tournaments this can be an advantage for the next round.
  • With a draw you can often influence the tournament result (tactical draw).
  • Games that are not fought out make chess unattractive.

Short draw games are often disparagingly referred to by chess amateurs as "grandmaster draws".

Suggestions for improvement

Over and over again ideas were suggested how a short draw could be "punished" or contained:

  • Three-point rule : In a chess tournament, the winner of a game receives three points, and one point is awarded for a draw. Compared to the current regulation, this means: a draw is devalued compared to a win, a draw is less than half a win.
  • Three-point rule with special stalemate rule . The three-point rule applies here, with the exception that whoever sets stalemate is “rewarded” with 2 points. A similar stalemate special arrangement was proposed by Emanuel Lasker .
  • Prohibition of draw offers before the thirtieth move.

Critics object in particular to the three-point rules:

  • There are also many high-class games that end in a draw after a varied fight. Players should not be penalized in such cases.
  • If a player reaches a draw against a much stronger opponent - which happens again and again in open tournaments - it is a success for him that should not be devalued.

Attempts at reform

  • In 1883 a draw game was repeated up to twice at the tournament in London . Only if the third game ended in a draw did the players each receive half a point. Analogously, a draw game was repeated once at the tournament in Paris in 1900.
  • In 1903 in Vienna only a quarter point was awarded for a draw.
  • In 1929 a so-called "30-move rule" was introduced, according to which a draw agreement was not permitted before the 30th move. This rule was abolished in 1952, reintroduced in 1962, and abolished again in 1964. This rule applied again at the 2008 Chess Olympiad . In the German federal chess league , since the 2009/10 season, draw offers are no longer permitted before the 20th move.
  • At the 2016 World Chess Championship , the “30-move rule” was applied again.
  • Since 2005, at the M-Tel Masters in Sofia, draws have been prohibited by agreement between the players. Instead, a draw offer must be made to the referee. This decides whether the position is simplified so much that a draw agreement is permissible. This particular rule addition is often referred to as the “ Sofia rule ”.

See also

Wiktionary: Remis  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


  • Wolfgang Heidenfeld : Big draw games. A collection from the chess years 1896-1966 . Düsseldorf 1968.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. On the etymology
  2. Articles 5.9 and 11 of the Fide Rules
  3. Rule 3.8.3b of the regulations for the 2016 World Cup