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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?

3 Answers 3

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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.

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    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, 2019 at 10:56
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    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, 2019 at 16:05
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    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, 2019 at 17:22
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    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, 2019 at 17:30
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    @Peter A. Schneider If the position truly has zero winning chances for both sides (clock included), then continuing to play on for a long time is usually bad sportsmanship. However, in the OP's question her opponent was just higher rated and the position was only steering towards a draw. Jan 24, 2019 at 17:34
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It is absolutely not bad etiquette. If you do accept a draw, then you might regret it. Look at this kid's endgame against Wesley So in this South African simul (lichess for the position).

FEN: 8/6k1/6n1/p5P1/7P/8/2B1K3/2b5 w

[FEN "8/6k1/6n1/p5P1/7P/8/2B1K3/2b5 w - - 0 1"]

Look at not just the current position, but even the previous position. Black had just played Ne5g6. Look at the evaluation in of the previous position!

On the other hand, you may end up like Misha Osipov vs Anatoly Karpov.

I myself think to ask a separate question like 'Is it bad etiquette to ask for the move to be made?' or 'in a simul should draw offers be made with a move?'

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In the game linked in the OP, play would have likely continued 16...exd5 17.exd5 Nxd5 18.Nxd5 Bxd5 19.Rfd1. Black can try 19...Bb6, although the chances to create anything serious against the doubled b pawns are slim.

However, a simul is a team game. Accepting a draw means there is one less board for the strong player to think over. As a consequence, one should avoid accepting draws in simul games when the position is not a dead draw. I would argue, if anything, that accepting a premature draw is against etiquette towards your teammates. Of course, there is a balancing act - one more board is always good for the team, but playing on K+R vs. K+R as a time-burner board is quite rude.

Whether the OP’s position qualifies as a dead draw is not clear to me. I would certainly have played on a couple more moves, as I do not see much danger for Black after 19...Bb6, but taking the draw was probably reasonable as well.

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