I was playing this game in-person with someone and I was white. My opponent had a pawn on a7 and kept moving his king back and forth between c6 and d6 at least 3-4 times while I maneuvered my bishop around the board to capture his pawn on a7 to make room for my past pawn. After I captured his pawn on a7 he moved his king back to d6 and claimed it was a draw because at that time he had moved his king back and forth on the same 2 squares 6 times. I understand the 3 fold repetition but his king had other squares to move and wasn't in a perpetual check. Was this a valid draw?enter image description here

1 Answer 1


No, it was not a draw. For a draw by three-fold repetition, the exact position, and all of the possible moves (castling and en passant, which since en passant can only happen on the move, in essence, it requires a fourth repetition of the position), have to be repeated three times.

It was clearly a case of your opponent not really knowing the rules.

It seems like he was somewhat confusing, and mixing, three-fold repetition with the 50-move rule, which requires 50 moves of just moving around without a pawn move or capture with repeating the position three times.

P.S. The repetitions do not need to be consecutive.

  • Many players especially newer ones and those who do not play in tournaments do not know all the rules. I played someone at the club we had at the uni who did not know en passant.
    – yobamamama
    Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 19:19
  • 2
    Thanks Phish, I thought it was odd and I've never heard of a 6-move draw like that before. I don't play too often so I'm not too familiar with ruling like that. I just agreed for the game's sake but I know I was in a winning position to promote the pawn and pick off the rest. Commented Jan 9, 2020 at 19:25
  • Primarily YOUR figures didn't take part in the repetition - as your bishop moved with a clear goal and clearly changed and did not repeat its move
    – eagle275
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 8:37
  • "P.S. The repetitions do not need to be consecutive." They don't? Must be hard to keep track then.
    – Mast
    Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 11:38
  • No, they do not. Considering the rule is really borne of tournaments, you keep score there, so there is proof. That said, it might be hard for a weaker player to realize they have had a three-fold repetition, but most experienced players have an idea they have repeated three times, and then they can just glance at their scoresheet to confirm. It might need to be a bit more obvious if you are playing blitz, and thus, in a row is easier to prove. Commented Jan 10, 2020 at 11:50

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