I've assumed about depth to take moves, it seem to be unqualified question because no precise rule to define them.

As I played with chess engine, it seem return some value with can be defined as draw position, win position, and lose position.

Win or lose still can't be defined because it should take all optimization of evaluation, but how about draw??

As chess deploy on board, it seem to believe that it still draw at first position.

Is there some fixed depth value to generalized that we can say, "It still at draw position"??

  • 1
    It is very hard to understand what you are trying to ask here. You might want to try to rewrite the question with the help of a native English speaker so that it is more clear.
    – dfan
    Oct 4, 2013 at 2:24
  • sorry, my English bad.. but it seem that I've found the answer.. someone can help me to explain that.. Oct 4, 2013 at 7:18
  • if you are confuse with fixed depth value, It used at Houdini.. it used to limit Houdini depth search so it will return at certain depth.. as I know depth in Houdini means moves, if I said 8 fixed depth, it means that I will think till 8 moves forward constantly.. Oct 4, 2013 at 7:39

2 Answers 2


Combinational Game Theory tells us that solved games will always result in a draw if both players play optimally. With non-solved games like chess, one can make a "draw" assumption safely in the start position : no side has played a sub-optimal move ... or any move for that matter.

There are some famous players who have postulated this rigorously but when it comes to computer evaluations, you have to take what the engine says with a grain of salt. They are great at analytical positions but are hit-and-miss in other places including the opening.

Most engines will give White an evaluation of around +0.30 at the start (3/10ths of a pawn) but that is not significant to predict that White will be able to sustain a draw if he tries to only play for one even at Master level play. Nor has Engine vs. Engine competition ever seen a near perfect record of draws all the time. There is too much uncertainty when dealing with complexity like the kind in chess or Go.

In short, the answer to your question really should be "no". There is no such yardstick for draw-depth nor is there any value of attempting to statistically analyze a million games for inferences.

Practically, a draw occurs at the highest levels of play when there is mutually nothing worth playing for (without incurring undue risk).

  • it's good to see "The Theory of Steinitz". thanks.. Oct 3, 2013 at 2:53
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    Combinatorial game theory does not tell us that solved games are always drawn if both players play optimally. A game might be a draw with best play, or it might be a win for one side with best play. A game being solved just means that we know which case it is.
    – ETD
    Oct 3, 2013 at 23:44
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    Ed Dean is correct: Combinatorial (not Combinational) Game Theory does not claim that solved games result in draws when played optimally. I suspect that the answerer misread this sentence from the Wikipedia article: "An important notion in CGT is that of solved game (which has several flavors), meaning for example that one can prove that the game of tic-tac-toe results in a draw if both players play optimally."
    – dfan
    Oct 4, 2013 at 2:18
  • Apologies for the typo. It was meant to be Combinatorial. I stand corrected, I did misread that article. Not all solved turned based games are draws. For example if A and B each call out any # from 1 to 10 in turn and the other adds [1-10] to it until the first person going over 100 wins, one can see that this (clearly solved!) game is more of a hustle than a "drawn" game.
    – shivsky
    Oct 4, 2013 at 2:45
  • I think I'm not understanding correctly. Why should all solved games end in a draw?
    – David
    Nov 12, 2019 at 7:47

Loss, draw and win are the final results of a game. The evaluations of a position can be "better for white", "equal" and "better for black". Positions with a perpetual check, stalemate and not enough material to win are easy to judge as being a draw. Other positions are more difficult to evaluate all the way to the final result. Tablebases do cover a large range of endgames. But beyond this coverate, the evaluations will be as stated above.

  • hahaha.. thanks dude.. I appreciated yours but accepted answer was having more professional view already.. Mar 3, 2014 at 2:18
  • That's totally cool :)
    – user2001
    Mar 3, 2014 at 6:32

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