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The other day I was playing a rapid game (30 minutes each side) online. I got into time trouble but I managed to convert the position into a drawn endgame. (Not just a theoretical draw—a clear draw for both sides.) In the final moments of the game, I had less than 20 seconds on my clock, and my opponent started checking me repeatedly in an attempt to make me lose on time. While I know this is standard in blitz or bullet games, I considered it to be bad form given that we were playing a slower time control. Am I right in believing this is a breach of etiquette, even if it is strictly legal?

Edit #1: Here is the final position. (I slightly misremembered what my opponent did—they weren't repeatedly checking me. Instead, they were moving their bishop around aimlessly. However, I don't think this has a huge impact on the debate. I was playing White.)

2b5/1kP1K3/8/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 16 86

Edit #2: It has been mentioned that there is another similar question that has already been asked before on the chess stack exchange. While I appreciate the similarity between these two questions, I would argue that the fact that I was playing a rapid game could have an impact on the answer. Not everyone agrees, but some people do hold this belief. Therefore, I'd like to keep this question open.

9

In general, yes I would agree with you. In fast time controls this is fine to do, but in longer ones it can be considered unsporting (although not against the rules of online play).

This wouldn't be an issue in an OTB game, since if the position is definitely a draw then one could claim it with an arbiter.

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    Why would the ethics be different for a longer game versus a shorter one? I rather think this answer draws a better line. – jpaugh May 20 at 18:02
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Etiquette doesn't really come into it unless your name is Gata Kamsky (strong language warning for the link). The rule is very simple. If you want flagging to be a part of the game then play with no increment, otherwise always play with an increment.

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Here is the final position. (I slightly misremembered what my opponent did—they weren't repeatedly checking me. Instead, they were moving their bishop around aimlessly. However, I don't think this has a huge impact on the debate. I was playing White.)

[fen "2b5/1kP1K3/8/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 16 86"]

Here you kind of deserve to lose if you can't force the draw by:

[fen "2b5/1kP1K3/8/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 16 86"]

1. Kd8 Bh3 2. c8=Q Bxc8

In the final position after BxQ it is a dead position, neither player can checkmate by any means and it is a draw. All good online servers will immediately end the game as a draw without the need for a draw offer and acceptance.

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6

30 minutes is still a rapid game where time is a significant factor. Blundering time is just as much of a blunder as blundering pieces. You blundered your time away, so why complain?

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3

It is indeed bad etiquette and tournaments are moving towards games with increment because of those situations. In fact, if your opponent is clearly making no effort to win by "conventional means", you caan call the arbiter and claim a draw.

On the Internet everything goes, though

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    @RogerKrueger Fide Handbook Guidelines III. Games without increment including Quickplay Finishes mentions a couple of relevant rules, in particular III.5.1 "If the arbiter agrees that the opponent cannot win by normal means, or that the opponent has been making no effort to win the game by normal means, he shall declare the game drawn. Otherwise he shall postpone his decision or reject the claim." – JiK May 22 at 11:37
2

I don't really understand what happened. I gather you were white? In the position shown, black has only a bishop, which is insufficient material to mate. If white runs out of time, the game is a draw.

In general, if the game is not yet in a drawn position, but correct play from each player will inevitably lead to a draw, and one player has significantly more time than the other, I don't think it is bad etiquette for the player with more time to prolong the game in the hopes that the other player makes a mistake or runs out of time. The clock is part of the game. If you don't leave yourself enough time to complete the game, the other player deserves to win.

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2

A valid attempt to win a game by a legitimate route.

Dragging a dead game out merely to annoy your opponent is bad, but it's neither illegal nor what happened here.

BTW, This is an easy forced draw.... White to move: Kd8,Bany (all king moves lose the bishop),c8=Q+,Bxc8 draw/material Black to move: Kany, Kd8, Kb7, Kd7, Kany, Kd8, Kb7 repeats.

If black wanted to take it to/beyond 50 moves they needed to get their king in front of the pawn. But they have no way to force that now. All the white king has to do is avoid light squares/checks.

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