Chess Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for serious players and enthusiasts of chess. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Are there examples of high-level games which were resigned or drawn before any captures were made? Along similar lines, what game had the most moves before a capture was made?

Edit: I'm especially interested in longer games without captures (I'd like to see the strategies, etc); I'm not necessarily looking for the shortest game without captures.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Per wikipedia:

Shortest Game with no captures

The shortest decisive game ever played in master play that was decided because of the position on the board (i.e. not because of a forfeit or protest) is Z. Đorđević – M. Kovačević, Bela Crkva 1984. It lasted only three moves (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 c6 3.e3?? Qa5+ winning the bishop), and White resigned.

There have been many forfeited games (which could technically be regarded as losses in zero moves), the most notable examples being Game 2 of the 1972 world championship match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, which Fischer defaulted, and Game 5 of the 2006 world championship match between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov, which Kramnik defaulted. A game between Fischer and Oscar Panno, played at the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal 1970, went 1. c4 resigns. Panno refused to play to protest the organizers' rescheduling of the game to accommodate Fischer's desire not to play on his religion's Sabbath. Panno was not present when the game was to begin. Fischer waited ten minutes before making his move and went to get Panno to convince him to play. Fifty-two minutes had elapsed on Panno's clock before he came to the board and resigned.

Most moves without a capture

In Rogoff-Williams, World Junior Championship, Stockholm 1969, the first capture (94.bxc5) occurred on White's 94th move.

share|improve this answer
Could you link? That article sounds interesting. BTW, I wasn't asking for the shortest game - in fact, I was more interested in the longest game without captures. I edited the question. Also, what about draws? Is there an example of a drawn game without captures? – Daniel May 25 '12 at 15:01

Wikipedia says that the longest decisive game without a capture is:

Nuber-Keckeisen, Mengen 1994 lasted 31 moves without a single capture. In the end Keckeisen, facing imminent checkmate, resigned:

[Fen ""]

1.e4 b6 2.d4 e6 3.Bd3 Bb7 4.Nf3 g6 5.O-O Bg7 6.Nbd2 Ne7 7.Re1 O-O 8.Nf1 d6 9.Qe2 Nd7 10.Bg5 Qe8 11.Rad1 a5 12.c3 Rc8 13.Ng3 Kh8 14.Qd2 Ng8 15.h3 e5 16.Bc2 h6 17.Be3 Rd8 18.Nh2 Kh7 19.f4 f6 20.Qf2 Ne7 21.Rd2 Rh8 22.f5 g5 23.Bd1 Rb8 24.Bh5 Qf8 25.Ng4 Ba6 26.Red1 b5 27.b4 a4 28.a3 Bb7 29.Rd3 Nc6 30.Bg6+ Kg8 31.Qa2+ 1-0

For a drawn game:

Filipowicz-Smederevac, Polanica Zdroj 1966 was drawn in 70 moves under the fifty-move rule, without any piece or pawn having been captured (Whyld 1986, p. 124).

[fen ""]
[Event ""]
[Site "Polanica Zdroj (Poland)"]
[Date "1966.??.??"]
[Round "14"]
[White "Filipowicz Andrzej (POL)"]
[Black "Smederevac Petar (YUG)"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C00"]
[WhiteElo "2330"]
[BlackElo "2450"]
[Annotator ""]
[Source ""]
[Remark ""]

1.e4 e6 2.d3 Ne7 3.g3 c5 4.Bg2 Nbc6 5.Be3 b6 6.Ne2 d5 7.O-O d4
8.Bc1 g6 9.Nd2 Bg7 10.f4 f5 11.a3 O-O 12.e5 a5 13.a4 Ba6 14.b3
Rb8 15.Nc4 Qc7 16.Kh1 Nd5 17.Bd2 Rfd8 18.Ng1 Bf8 19.Nf3 Be7 20.h4
h5 21.Qe2 Ncb4 22.Rfc1 Bb7 23.Kh2 Bc6 24.Na3 Ra8 25.Qe1 Rdb8
26.Qg1 Qb7 27.Qf1 Kg7 28.Qh1 Qd7 29.Ne1 Ra7 30.Nf3 Rba8 31.Ne1
Bd8 32.Nf3 Rb8 33.Ne1 Bc7 34.Nf3 Rh8 35.Ng5 Bd8 36.Nf3 Be7 37.Qg1
Bb7 38.Nb5 Raa8 39.Na3 Ba6 40.Qf1 Rab8 41.Nc4 Bd8 42.Qd1 Ne7
43.Nd6 Bc7 44.Qe2 Ng8 45.Ng5 Nh6 46.Bf3 Bd8 47.Nh3 Ng4+ 48.Kg1
Be7 49.Nc4 Nd5 50.Nf2 Bb7 51.Nh3 Bc6 52.Qg2 Rhc8 53.Re1 Rc7 54.Re2
Ra7 55.Ree1 Ra6 56.Re2 Rba8 57.Ree1 R8a7 58.Na3 Ra8 59.Nc4 Nh6
60.Na3 Nf7 61.Nf2 Rd8 62.Nc4 Rb8 63.Nh3 Bd8 64.Na3 Ra7 65.Qh1
Bc7 66.Qg2 Rd8 67.Qh1 Nh6 68.Ng5 Qe8 69.Kh2 Rd7 1/2-1/2
share|improve this answer

There is a drawing line in the Zaitsev variation of the Ruy Lopez that shows up from time to time I would think.

[FEN ""]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 O-O 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 Re8 11.Ng5 Rf8 12.Nf3
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.