Threefold repetition animation

I was wondering if this is the right way of how the threefold repetition works. Thanks. (The image is in gif format, it should play automatically.)

  • 2
    In your gif the position is repeated four times. Black can claim a draw when the counter is at 2. Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 15:23
  • Leo, you have voted as "Best Answer" an answer which has been downvoted by 3 different people, because it incorrectly demonstrates when a draw may be claimed, causing readers to believe that more occurrences are needed than are, in fact, required. This is, strictly speaking, misinformation, and should not remain designated as the "best answer" when these facts reveal that it is not a good answer.
    – jaxter
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 20:32
  • Insufficient information about the position. It might be ok, or the draw could have been claimed a move earlier already.
    – Eiko
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 17:37
  • This animation is horrible, it'd be better to use the traditional move format
    – M.M
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


The confusion regarding the right to claim a draw when the position occurs 3 times results from the common misnomer for the situation: "Three-Fold Repetition". A correct term could be Three-Fold Occurrence.

As a result, in your diagram, after there have been 2 repetitions (which shows in the animation as "Repitition (sic) 2", there have been 3 occurrences of the position, and a draw may be claimed. The game is not actually "drawn" until a claim is made and the Arbiter or Tournament Director approves the claim. This also has the result that if the player creating the 3rd occurrence of the position neglects to make the claim and proceeds to make a move, the right to claim a draw for this situation expires instantly, with his move.

Note that the protocol for making such a claim must be (to avoid causing his right to claim to expire) the following: The player announces his intention to make the move and cause the 3-fold occurrence, makes the claim to the TD before moving, and the claim is adjudicated. The rules do not describe whether the TD will require the player to make the move, but it would seem that he must, for the claim to be completed, or he will not have fulfilled his claim by causing the position to appear. If it is determined (after the move has been made, presumably) that the position is not in fact a third occurrence, presumably his move must stand, and a penalty for incorrect claim would be levied.

Note that all of the legal moves in all of the 3 occurrences must be identical, including rights to castle as well as any possibility of en passant capture. It is not sufficient that the same pieces merely appear on the same squares.

  • 1
    Because of your last sentence, it is not sure if the claim could be made any earlier. :)
    – Eiko
    Commented Oct 9, 2016 at 17:36
  • The player has to write down the intended move and that is sufficient for the claim to be accepted. It's moot whether the move is actually played on the board in the event of a successful claim.
    – M.M
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 1:24
  • For the last paragraph you could also mention that the same player must have the move!
    – M.M
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 1:25
  • @M.M It shouldn't be necessary. If all of the legal moves match, then the same player must be on move.
    – jaxter
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 22:18
  • @M.M Your point about writing the intended move only works if the TD intends to approve the claim. What if they do not? Then they must require that the player make the move, since that is in fact what the rule requires; that the position recur on the board. Only when the move is made can the claim be disallowed, and a penalty then enforced (and there certainly is one for such an invalid claim). So, I respectfully disagree.
    – jaxter
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 22:20

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