A player may claim a draw after 50 moves-does this mean 25 moves by each player, which results 50, or 50 moves by each player, which results 100?


From the FIDE rules (emphasis added):


The game is drawn, upon a correct claim by the player having the move, if:

a. he writes his move on his scoresheet and declares to the arbiter his intention to make this move, which shall result in the last 50 moves having been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without any capture, or

b. the last 50 consecutive moves have been made by each player without the movement of any pawn and without any capture.

So it's 100 total plies, or "half-moves."


An interesting detail of the 50 move rule: As only the player to move may claim a draw (either by declaring that the 50 move limit has been reached or by declaring his intention to make a move after which the limit will be reached), if the 100th half-move that is not a capture nor a pawn move is a checkmate, then the game is not drawn. See e.g. Arbiter's notebook 98.

  • Suppose that after 30. h5 there have been no pawn moves until 80. ... a4, or until 80 ... Ra8++, or until 80 ... Ra7+ 81. Kg8 Ra8++. Would the game be deemed to have ended after White's eightieth move, or for White to claim the draw would he have to summon the director prior to making his eightieth move? Is a player allowed any means of determining at which move the draw will occur without the jeopardy of summoning the director at what he hopes is the proper time? – supercat Oct 10 '14 at 19:19
  • By the FIDE rules, White has to claim the draw before making his 80th move, see e.g. FIDE Laws of Chess article 9.3. In long time control games the players have to write all moves to a scoresheet that has move numbers (unless the game is played without increment and the player has less than 5 minutes remaining), so it is quite easy to determine whether a 50-move draw should occur. – JiK Oct 11 '14 at 7:46
  • The score sheet has move numbers, but by my understanding a player would have to remember when the last capture occurred, since looking back over the score sheet is not officially allowed (though I know I myself have sometimes looked over the last couple moves to make sure I didn't make a mistake in notation). – supercat Oct 11 '14 at 14:32
  • @supercat Which rules do not allow looking at your score sheet? I've never heard of that. – JiK Oct 11 '14 at 14:53
  • 1
    That might be relating to putting notes on there, which is not allowed – pulsar512b Oct 27 '20 at 6:34

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