I found many historic games unfinished.
Take this match as an example. This is a match between Viswanathan Anand and Garry Kasparov in Ch World (match) (PCA) 1995. Anand lost this match as per the result. But I didn't find any confirmed checkmate in the last. Please somebody explain.

  • I'm an 800 point player but to me it's obvious that kasparov has the advantage with one extra passed pawn (pawn with no opposing pawn to contest it) and black has a bad bishop (bishop which is pinned to protect a piece or is blocked by its team pieces) and the situation will only get worse from here so it makes sense that anand would resign to save time.
    – nurettin
    Dec 7, 2020 at 11:51

2 Answers 2


High level players usually resign when they have a lost position. There's no point in continuing the game for thirty more moves when defeat is inevitable. Checkmate is actually a rare occurence in elite games. You'll find the same thing in more modern games, too.

While players have the right to keep playing, it is considered bad etiquette to not resign when a player has no realistic chance of scoring.

  • Thanks :) but in this game this rule can be applied on Kasparov as well. How to decide who should resign. Dec 6, 2020 at 18:23
  • Look at the link in your question. If you look at the Details tab it says "White won" Dec 6, 2020 at 18:27
  • @AbhimanyuSharma In the game, Kasparov was never so behind as to be in a losing position.
    – fish
    Dec 7, 2020 at 1:31
  • 3
    @AbhimanyuSharma: The one in the losing position, obviously. "Resign" means "give up" - the other player wins when you do it. Dec 7, 2020 at 2:50
  • @AbhimanyuSharma It doesn't apply to Kasparov. He had a winning position at the point his opponent resigned
    – David
    Dec 7, 2020 at 7:14

Checkmate is just one way a game can end. It can also end on time, game loss penalty, or resignation. If you can make your opponent convinced enough of the futility of their position that they resign, this counts just as much of a win as does a checkmate. That's not an "unfinished game", that's a game that finished with a resignation. It's up to every player to decide when they think their position is hopeless. If you don't see why Viswanathan Anand thought that he had no chance of winning ... well, that's probably part of why you're not World Champion.

  • Just want to point out that it was Anand who resigned here, not Kasparov...
    – TylerH
    Dec 7, 2020 at 18:57

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