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In chess, does a player have the right to resign within the first ten moves of the game? More specifically, I am curious if I can resign immediately on my first move. Additionally, do I have my right to resign when it's my opponent's turn, or must I resign only when it's my turn? More specifically, I am not talking of casual street chess; I am referring to FIDE tournaments, e.g. official play rules.

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  • "I am curious if I can resign immediately on my first move" immediately after your first move? Now I'm imagining Bobby Fischer playing d4 and then resigning... :-D
    – Michael
    Dec 25, 2021 at 15:52

2 Answers 2

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FIDE Handbook's Laws of Chess (Section 5.1.2) states

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

Players may resign at any time, regardless of whose move it is.

As an example of an early resignation (move 6), consider Zapata-Anand (Biel, 1988).

[FEN ""]
[Event "Biel-B"]
[Site "Biel SUI"]
[Date "1988.07.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "9"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Alonso Zapata"]
[Black "Viswanathan Anand"]
[ECO "C42"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Nc3 Bf5?? {This blunder looses a minor piece.} 6.Qe2 1-0
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    Tournaments can add a rule regarding draws because of 9.1.1: "The regulations of an event may specify that players cannot offer or agree to a draw, whether in less than a specified number of moves or at all, without the consent of the arbiter." I'm not aware of any article that allows the same thing for resignations, though. Dec 22, 2021 at 15:56
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    @double-beep I knew they could (& do) add rules on draws. After further research, I don't think they can rules on resignations either. I'll edit. Dec 22, 2021 at 16:05
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    There wouldn't be a point in ruling resignations, since the player can't have an advantage of it (except in VERY contrieved settings - I know one was published jocularly, it's connected to "special" prizes). And if a player "throws" for money, that can't be checked anyway. (And noone would be sooo stupid to throw and lampshade it by early resigning...) Dec 22, 2021 at 16:23
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    If anyone is wondering why Anand resigned: White threatens both 7. Nxe4 and 7. d3 to win the knight. Black's only way to defend against both these threats is 6...Qe7, but after 7. Nd5 (threatening Nxe7 and Nxc7+) Black loses a piece anyway.
    – Allure
    Dec 23, 2021 at 3:16
  • @Allure Nd5 doesn't threaten Nxc7+, but Qe6 would run into it, forcing black's queen off the e-file.
    – xehpuk
    Dec 23, 2021 at 13:23
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I am curious if I can resign immediately on my first move

You may but the game will not be rated. Both players must make at least one move for the game to be FIDE rated. If the arbiter thought your action had bad intentions or was in some way malicious they could punish you under article 11.1

11.1 The players shall take no action that will bring the game of chess into disrepute.

I have never seen this done but about 50 years ago Tony Miles and Stewart Reuben got into trouble for agreeing a draw with no moves made.

do I have my right to resign when it's my opponent's turn, or must I resign only when it's my turn?

You can resign whenever you want. I have done this in a FIDE rated game when I made a move which was so embarrassingly bad that I didn't want my opponent to reply. That would have made me feel even more foolish. I made the move, pressed the clock, went to write the move down and then realised what I had done and knocked my king down, stopped the clock and held out my hand.

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    what was the move? Dec 24, 2021 at 1:04

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