While researching an answer for another SE.chess question (Has a position being a draw under FIDE 5.2.b before a forced recapture ever come up in a tournament?), I stumbled across the following issue.
The FIDE Arbiter’s Manual annotates the Laws of Chess. The 2022 edition (and also the 2021 edition - I haven't checked further back) contains an enigmatic comment regarding dead position:
"1.5 If the position is such that neither player can possibly checkmate the opponent’s king, the game is drawn (see Article 5.2.2)." If neither player can win then the game is automatically decided as a draw. The arbiter should therefore step in to declare this when: (a) neither player has mating potential, or (b) the position is such that neither player can get checkmate (known as a ‘dead position’). The simplest example of (a) is K v K. The following, where white has just played h5, is an example of a dead position:
[Title "Dead Position"] [FEN "8/2b1k3/7p/p1p1p1pP/PpP1P1P1/1P1BK3/8/8 w - - 0 1"]
Article 5.2.2, which has no annotations in the manual, states:
"5.2.2 The game is drawn when a position has arisen in which neither player can checkmate the opponent’s king with any series of legal moves. The game is said to end in a ‘dead position’. This immediately ends the game, provided that the move producing the position was in accordance with Article 3 and Articles 4.2 – 4.7."
(Articles 3 & 4 cover movement rules and touch-move respectively.)
So what is the undefined and otherwise unreferenced term "mating potential" meant to mean?