Take the following scenario, which may happen in tournaments that's why I'm asking my question:

A famous old GM who's not playing well plays against some teenager who's very strong, The GM will be embarrassed to lose against some teenager, the GM has a lot of money, the teenager needs money for college. So the GM pays the teenager so he could win.

Or maybe could they manipulate results by mutual agreement, like what happened to Algeria in the world cup 1982. Could they agree to eliminate an opponent? What the rules has to say?

I know it's against the rules, i just want to know how they investigate it and what are the rules about it, and yes i'm also asking about draws, since manipulating the results isn't only about winning and losing.

And I'm also interested in knowing if the officials can deny a draw, if they see that the game is still playable or if they see something suspicious about it. And could you draw at any stage of the game: like d3 e5 and they agree to draw here, is it possible?

  • 3
    This wikipedia article: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draw_by_agreement deals with how organizers try to address GM draws.
    – Akavall
    Aug 10, 2013 at 17:38
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    guys you know i don't mind if you vote me down 100 times, it's your right to do so, but would you be kind to say why? why you vote up the questions about cheating using an engine and vote mine down? manipulating results is far worst than using an engine. And why you vote the question down and the answer up? The answer proves my statement, at first i thought you were voting down because im attacking GMs and i had no right, but the answer given proves me right, or do you only want to highlight on this site how bad engines were as if players were saints?
    – Lynob
    Aug 10, 2013 at 21:55
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    as i said it's your right to vote down, but i think i deserve to know why, now more than ever, since my suspicions were confirmed, or give an answer that proves me wrong, let me feel bad about asking my question, i feel that you agree with what i said, but you just would like to close this question, let it be a secret that no one knows about, and let this site be fun and you know, lets not talk about it, that's how i feel... one reason is enough, let me feel bad and sorry about my question because right now i'm still feeling proud about it
    – Lynob
    Aug 10, 2013 at 22:02
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    @EdDean, no there's no need for discussions i was just surprised by what happens, i mean usually if the question is low quality, it is either closed immediately or voted down, and if someone decides to answer a low quality question, he should criticize it, you know, because if you don't criticize a low quality question, it means your answer is not good and should be voted down.
    – Lynob
    Aug 11, 2013 at 22:25
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    @EdDean And i didn't assume that the same people who voted down my question voted up the answer, because when my question had 2 downvotes, the answer had none. I assumed that users voted up the answer didn't mind my question being voted down, so they sort of agree that the question should be voted down and not the answer you know
    – Lynob
    Aug 11, 2013 at 22:30

4 Answers 4


In a nutshell, current rules allow pretty much any sort of "spontaneous" agreement to a draw at the board, even if one side is staring at a forced mate in 6. If money changes hands or the results were agreed to before sitting down to play, it's a violation of the rules, but it's hard to enforce because folks who do that do it without witnesses to the act.

The "Sofia Rules" are an attempt to combat that, we'll see how long they last and whether they get applied to more than a few top tournaments.

If an official has evidence, he can declare a game forfeit, but that is subject to appeals where the evidence must be presented. If an official becomes known for doing it capriciously, no one comes to play; if a player gets the reputation for "selling points" he is often invited to play in tournaments where the goal is to get one or more players some title norms. So you can see the field is tilted in favor of the players. Not saying that's good or bad, just saying it is.

  • my question was voted down and someone voted to close it because i said that GMs sell points or manipulate the results, I assume that's the reason and now you sir are confirming my statement, i know it happens because it happens in every game, chess is just another game, manipulating results happens in all sports, but shouldn't they forbid the player or GM who's doing it and strip him from his title? if a player gets the reputation for "selling points" he is often invited to play if that's the case, it sounds like everyone knows it and no one willing to investigate.
    – Lynob
    Aug 10, 2013 at 20:15
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    It's one of the dirty secrets of top-level chess. It happens, and not just by players selling points. en.chessbase.com/home/TabId/211/PostId/4002954 tells of entirely fake events. Today's sexy cheat method is by using computer assistance, but the older forms of it linger: redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=154611 It's not good, it's not fair, but it happens, and far more people know about it than investigate it.
    – Arlen
    Aug 11, 2013 at 5:19
  • I'm amazed by what i read! unbelievable! juventus manipulated the results of the italian football league, Serie A and was sent to the 2nd devision, serie B, just imagine what would FIFA do if they were in charge of chess! Wow
    – Lynob
    Aug 11, 2013 at 22:35
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    And it really doesn't just happen in top level chess. I once played against a teenager in the last round of an open. I was pretty exhausted and blundered an exchange. I immediately offered a draw, bc I figured in a few moves it would become obvious, that I was just lost. I left the board and he followed me and said, that he could still win a rating prize if he beat me. But if I would compensate him for the rating prize, he would take my draw offer … I said "Forget it!" and walked back to the board. In the end he took the draw and smugly told me, that he couldn't attend the prize giving anyway. Dec 27, 2014 at 10:13

The most brazen example of this occurred in a tournament in 1975 in Luton, England when Tony Miles (Britain's first native born over the board IGM) and Stewart Reuben (now a respectable member of the FIDE rules commission) agreed a draw without playing any moves. Miles needed a draw to win the competition and for Reuben a draw against a much stronger player guaranteed him a high place in the tournament.

It ended badly, however, when the arbiter decided to award both players 0.

According to Wikipedia the relevant rule used was:

a player may only offer a draw at the moment he has made a move and must then start the other player's clock

Today this wouldn't quite work. The relevant rule section is:

An offer at any other time during play is still valid but Article 11.5 must be considered.

But this situation would be covered by the general:

11.1 The players shall take no action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute.

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    wow! and one dude is a respectable member of FIDE RULES commission? RULES? wow!
    – Lynob
    Dec 26, 2014 at 11:01
  • @Fischer In Britain there is currently a TV series running called "It takes a thief to catch a thief" ;-)
    – Brian Towers
    Dec 26, 2014 at 11:25
  • that's true, so true
    – Lynob
    Dec 26, 2014 at 11:34

But most players are much smarter with how they do it by using other ways than you suggest.

Two GMs could agree to play a tame opening that is known to be drawish then settle for a draw after 20 moves or whatever the current rule limit is.

Personally I think they should have to play at least 40 moves if not the whole game until a draw is the only legal outcome due to lack of material or stalemate.

  • I didn't downvote you, but you should really tone down a bit. Words like 'fascist bullies' tend to attract downvotes. Complaining here won't help, and if they're really serially downvoting you, those votes will be reversed: meta.stackexchange.com/q/126829/295232
    – Glorfindel
    Jan 22, 2020 at 20:15
  • I did not say you did. You merely had that post ahead of when I arrived. How else would you accurately describe someone who goes around looking for posts by someone and down-voting them en masse? Jan 22, 2020 at 20:17

I am not proud about it, but I am gonna confess once at last round of a 3rd category regional tournament I was virtually classified with a draw for playing in 2nd category and my opponent also classified, needing both the 1/2 point, and we agree a draw before the game.

We were from the same club and another player I met on University ask me directly to do it because my opponent had hardly being trying to classify for 2nd league for three years.

In my defense I will say I felt stronger than my opponent and the player who suggested it was a 2200 that had introduced me in the club I didn't want to contradict.

We didn't prepare anything special. Just we played both a closed non attacking opening and at move 30 or so a draw was offered and accepted.

I know an arbiter on my region once gave two zeros for a premature draw, but truly it is difficult to fight against this because you can deeply prepare a draw agreement without being suspicious.

  • 'Grandmaster draws' are hard to police about being agreed upon in advance. Jan 22, 2020 at 20:18

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