I was reading the question Has there been any blunders in resignation? and it occurred to me that a particularly good sportsman might refuse to accept an opponent's resignation if they knew the opponent was not in a hopeless position.

Some quick Googling suggests that the rules (or at least some sets of rules) do allow you to refuse a resignation from your opponent, so it is possible that this has happened in a high level match. I would be interested to know if it has ever happened. The conditions would be the same as the previous question i.e. a GM or near GM level match and excluding resignations for reasons not related to the state of the game.

  • 1 - in official stuff: no. besides rules that prohibit this, pro's play for money. they're not gonna reject money. 2 - in real life among non-pros: I do it to my opponents all the time after games like i message them: 'why resign? it's blitz. you can still draw. it wasn't mate. you can still escape.' 3 - i once read a youtube comment from a guy who claimed to play a simul with korchnoi and then korchnoi told the guy not to resign but play instead a certain move in order to draw or something
    – BCLC
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 13:27

2 Answers 2


Some quick Googling suggests that the rules (or at least some sets of rules) do allow you to refuse a resignation from your opponent

This does not reflect the FIDE Laws of Chess. According to Article 5.1.2:

5.1.2 The game is won by the player whose opponent declares he resigns. This immediately ends the game.

This means that no player, GM or otherwise, is permitted to refuse an opponent's resignation in a FIDE rated event.

Of course in a friendly or skittles match such things are allowed and may have occurred but not in a "serious" FIDE rated game.

  • 4
    If a player knocks over his king his opponent says "I think your hand might have slipped", and the person who knocked over the king says "Yeah, sorry about that", picks up the king, and continues play, I would think an arbiter should watch out for the possibility of collusion to affect tournament pairings, but otherwise not interfere with the result. Further, even if the official result would need to stand, I don't think there would be any objection to a player who asked his opponent to continue the game "unofficially" in a manner that wouldn't interfere with the rest of the tournament.
    – supercat
    Commented Oct 8, 2021 at 22:26
  • 3
    @supercat: Knocking over the king, halting the clock or even offering your hand is NO resigning (in the sense of being unambiguous - all these could "mean" something else), even if being a standard mode of indicating a resign. Opponents and arbiters must be wary, but among gentlemen this should be no problem. Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 10:08
  • Even if it were permitted to refuse a resignation, the resiging player could simply stand up and walk out of the venue, or otherwise refuse to play further.
    – Haem
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 18:31
  • @Haem: Obviously there is no way a player can prevent an opponent who wants to forfeit from doing so. The issue would be whether a player saying, in essence, "I'd rather participate in a well-played game than win because of a blunder, so I'll assume you didn't really mean to [do whatever you just did]" would be considered good sportsmanship. In general it would be, but if e.g. the person who wanted to continue playing knew that a win would result in him being paired against someone he'd rather avoid while a draw would avoid that pairing while keeping tournament hopes alive, ...
    – supercat
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 16:23
  • ...and wanted the opponent to play on with the intention of seeking a draw, that would represent poor sportsmanship. If a TD did not feel that the person who wanted to play on was actually seeking victory, the TD might opt to let the apparent resignation stand, count the draw for purposes of standings but not pairings, or even count the round as a double forfeit for purposes of standings, while keeping the original result for pairings.
    – supercat
    Commented Oct 11, 2021 at 16:26

Similar things have happened, but it's not because one player misevaluated the position.


Having beaten down the desperate resistance of the opponent, [GM David Navara] achieved the position where either mate or the loss of the rook was inevitable and at that moment he offered a draw. The situation was clarified by both Grandmasters.

David Navara: – On the 35th move I accidentally touched both pieces, the King and the Bishop. I wanted to move my bishop on d6, but clipped the King also, however, Moiseenko claims that I have first touched the King, but I am not sure about that. Any move with the King would lead to the loss of the piece, however, Moiseenko did not insist that I make a move according to the touch rule. I did not want to be referred to as an unethical chess player who managed to win in an unfair way, that is why at the end, having achieved the winning position, I offered a draw.

Alexander Moiseenko: – Navara on the 35th move first touched the King. I told him: the King moves. However, I realized that my opponent accidentally made this mistake, it is not possible that he could so easily blunder the piece. This is the reason I did not insist on his move with the King.

Final position:

2K5/8/2k5/8/8/q7/8/3R4 b - - 0 1

Black wins after 115. Kb8 Qb3+ forking the rook (115. Kd8 Qf8#). Notably Moiseenko didn't actually resign, but he was obviously about to, since it was mate in a few more moves.

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