I know that the rule states "The game is drawn upon agreement between the two players. This immediately ends the game." but what I'm interested in knowing the exact way to offer a draw because I've never played at a club (always played online, where you simply click the 'Offer draw' button). So do you actually say "Draw?" or "Do you extend your hand after you play your move?" Just wanted to know the norm.

  • I'd like to add that it's pretty weak to offer a draw when you're in a dead lost position.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 22:49
  • @TonyEnnis when you say dead lost do you also mean when stalemate isn't possible?
    – MDMoore313
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 12:28
  • 2
    @MDMoore313 I mean, when it is clear that one has no appreciable chance to avoid the loss. A player should either resign or play on. A player should not try to salvage the half-point by asking (begging!) for a draw.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 11:36
  • There's no one right way to communicate it, but you should make your move first and then offer a draw. Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 0:09

2 Answers 2


In tournament play, you make your move on the board, state your offer clearly (I say "I offer a draw" and make eye contact to make sure I am understood), then press your clock.

  • Maybe I watch too much TV (I know I watch too much TV), do you also extend your hand as if you're requesting a handshake to agree?
    – MDMoore313
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 12:29
  • 16
    I do not extend my hand until the draw offer is accepted. I think it is impolite to force someone to decline a handshake. If both players obviously already agree that it is a draw (e.g., perpetual check or a theoretical drawn endgame) then the verbal offer is more of a formality, so you see players do things like just nod their heads and shake hands. But it is better to be safe than sorry. There have many instances of players extending their hand thinking they were offering a draw while their opponent thought they were resigning.
    – dfan
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 12:45
  • Yeah I think I've done the head nod in the past, good point about the misconstrued resignation.
    – MDMoore313
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 12:51
  • 2
    Sometimes, when playing international tournaments, your opponent do not always understand what you say. Then many make a little X with their pointy fingers at the same time. This peace symbol seems to be understood by most. In addition, in FIDE regulated tournaments you are supposed to write the equal symbol (=) on your score sheet in front of your last move to indicate your draw offer. And finally, for really fancy tournaments, sometimes you are not allowed to ask your opponent directly, but have to ask the tournament director first.
    – Halvard
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 13:06
  • 2
    @MDMoore313: Extending your hand is a way to [i]accept[/i] a draw. Maybe that's what you saw on TV.
    – user332
    Commented Aug 16, 2013 at 6:51

To add to the answer posted by @dfan (who is correct on all counts), the draw offer is only good for that move. If you make a move, then offer a draw, and your opponent makes a move, then the draw offer is implicitly declined.

  • 3
    Good point - USCF rules say that even "touching a piece deliberately" declines the draw. This is due to touch move considerations (touching a piece may force an inferior move and the player who offered the draw may not want a draw after the opponent touches a piece!).
    – Andrew
    Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 5:06

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