On LiChess, FM knightprince gave a simul where I participated (our game). I blundered a pawn played a pawn gambit, but managed to complicate things and won it back. Afterwards, the game would have led to a drawn endgame.

The FM offered a draw; I wanted to refuse, but thought that would be perceived as ungrateful, so I accepted. I wasn't expecting to win; I just wanted to play out the endgame for the experience.

Question: Is it bad etiquette to decline a draw offer when participating in a simul?


No it's not bad etiquette at all. A player being higher rated does not entitle them to automatically get the result they want, even if the position seems to indicate such a result.

And in the rare case your opponent gets offended by this, congratulations. You've just gained a psychological edge.

  • 7
    Doesn't it depend a bit on how clear or how standard the situation is? I once witnessed such a situation in online Go where it is often completely obvious that no points can be gained any more even though lots of moves are still possible. A friend of mine, an intermediate player, didn't concede the game but continued playing the zero-sum moves against an experienced player who became annoyed (I guess he wanted to return to work from his lunch break). So: Is it really not bad form in chess to draw out an unwinnable end game, especially if we cannot expect the opponent to blunder? Jan 24 '19 at 10:56
  • Well, a standard situation is only standard to those, who know it. Still, less experienced players might want to continue anyway for the sake of experience. There is no obligation to accept a draw offer and if someone has time pressure because of a lunch break, he might want to consider playing in a more timeless frame. Jan 24 '19 at 15:03
  • 18
    An anecdote from, I think, Aljechin comes to my mind: He played a tournament game against a lower rated player (NN), they soon reached a somewhat stuck middle-game and Aljechin offered a draw - which, much to his surprise, NN declined. A. asked him: "So you playing for a win?". -"No, I would not dream of that." Now thoroughly confused Aljechin asked: "So what do you want, then?!" To which NN replied "To play some chess, god dammit!" and proceeded to think about his next move. Jan 24 '19 at 16:05
  • 4
    I remember a situation from about 30 years ago when my chess team was waiting at 10:00pm, with an hour car trip ahead of us, for the end of a game which was K+Q vs K+Q, and an opponent who had lots of time on his clock and would have improved his rankings with a win, but no reasonable way of achieving one. Since all other games were complete, and I think even the TD wanted to go home for the night. The opponent eventually relented after about 15 minutes, but if it hadn't I think it would have gone beyond the realm of poor etiquette and into the realm of poor sportsmanship.
    – supercat
    Jan 24 '19 at 17:22
  • 2
    Since I think there may have been another time extension available before the (then, IIRC) 40-move rule would hit, I'm curious whether the TD would have eventually offered the player the option to either accept a draw or forfeit (on the basis of patently poor sportsmanship), and whether such a demand would have stood up on appeal.
    – supercat
    Jan 24 '19 at 17:30

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