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I'm programming chess in python for my cs class and I'm doing some testing using chess.com. However, I'm confused as to why this game (and several others) seem to prematurely come to an end?

AFAIK the end-conditions to chess are

  • checkmate, where the king theoretically will be taken next move
  • stalemate, where there are no valid moves
  • running out of time.

This game is only 19 moves long and ended with black winning. Can anyone tell me why?

enter image description here

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    You're missing at least three more ways to finish a game; draw by threefold repetition, 50 move rules, and resignation. I don't include accorded draw since you're talking about engines.
    – emdio
    Sep 9 at 14:42
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    White is in a hopeless position so he either resigned or lost on time
    – David
    Sep 9 at 17:15
  • More information would be helpful here. Were both players human? Engines? One of each? As already indicated, humans have resignation as an option - i.e. stopping play and giving the other player the win (usually - I've seen programs that don't provide resignation as an option). As already indicated, white is in a hopeless situation, so if a human was playing white, they likely resigned.
    – GreenMatt
    Sep 9 at 18:41
  • Resigning is an end-condition too. White's rock is pinned, and there's no way of not losing material here. Sep 10 at 20:56
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Most probably White resigned.

This is a common decision to be made in a desperate position such as this one, where there is no doubt Black will be able to win anyway and the 10 or 20 more moves technically needed before checkmate are merely a waste of time.

My hypothesis can only be confirmed if you give us some informations about where the found this game and the circumstances in which it was played.

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    Here's the chess.com link for more info: chess.com/games/view/15772319 (it was two humans so you're likely right about one resigning) Thanks for the insight!
    – Jam
    Sep 9 at 22:03
  • @Jam Click on "Computer analysis" near the bottom right and then the "Analysis" tab near the top right. It will show you how the game may have continued. You can also start moving pieces for each side and it'll analyze that move as well as tell you what it judges to be best. I did that for each side until I reached checkmate at move 48. Sep 10 at 14:34
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    @EngineerToast: I did that, and was startled to discover that the knight on b1 is a mirage. When you go to analysis, it vanishes. Apparently, White gave Black knight odds. It is unfortunate that the /games/view page displays a knight that isn't there...
    – Kevin
    Sep 10 at 17:27
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    @Kevin It displays this poorly in the original viewer but the game was playing knight odds. This is shown on the right hand side with the text Event: Havana - Knight Odds. Sep 10 at 17:41

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