Very rarely do grandmasters let themselves get checkmated. And to a certain extent I totally can understand that; grand masters can see the writing on the wall and they know when they are going to lose. If your opponent is also a grand master, he will probably not blunder and secure the checkmate without issue, so what's the point in going through the motions, right? Perhaps a certain degree of pride is involved as well.


I do not mean to humiliate the grand masters, but I want to see what would happen if we presented an incentive to play until the bitter end; until being checkmated. I would like the community here to comment on my hypothesis: if we added a small rating point boost (or reduce ranking penalty for losing) for playing until the end, would the grandmasters follow the incentive or is it not the case of pride goeth before a fall?

Further Clarifications: Perhaps such a system would not prove to be extremely instructive for chess learners world wide. Some may liken it to shooting fish in a barrel or just wasting time, but who knows, something magical might happen if grandmasters are pushed to their breaking point every game.

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    They wouldn't be "pushed to their breaking point", they would just play a few nonsense moves from the point they would otherwise have resigned to get to a checkmate as quickly as possible, for a few rating points. Sep 5 '18 at 7:39

Since rating is so important (two examples: you can qualify for the World Cup Candidates Tournament via the rating list, and it's necessary to obtain a certain rating level to become International Master or Grandmaster), all grandmasters would certainly play until the end.

My counter-question is: "What do you expect to gain from this system?" I'm pretty sure the interesting part of chess games is before professional players resign. So on average, the games will get less interesting. Yes, there will be some cases where the player who would have resigned manages to miraculously save the game to a draw (or even a win), but those will only be a handful each decade.


Resigning is usually a rational choice, preserving physical and emotional energy.

Grandmaster games would start to end like some internet games do: With the losing player giving away all his pieces and allowing a quick checkmate.

In my opinion this would mar the beauty of the games. It would also make it difficult for inexperienced players to assess whether the players are still "really playing".

  • Giving away all the pieces in a hopeless position, especially at lower levels and in quick time controls, probably means the person is hoping for a stalemate.
    – D M
    Sep 5 '18 at 14:45

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