Game is available here. The last 116 moves of that game was R+B vs. R, which is a theoretical draw that is hard for a human to defend. Fressinet eventually faltered and resigned when he was about to be mated.

Wikipedia gives this description of the game:

The last 116 moves were a rook and bishop versus rook ending, as in Nikolić – Arsović. Fressinet could have claimed a draw under the fifty-move rule, but did not do so since neither player was keeping count, it being a rapid chess game. Earlier in the tournament, Korchnoi had successfully invoked the rule to claim a draw against Fressinet; the arbiters overruled Fressinet's argument that Korchnoi could not do so without keeping score. Fressinet, apparently wanting to be consistent, did not try to claim a draw against Kosteniuk in the same situation.

However: given that 116 moves is well over the 75 moves required for an arbiter to intervene, why didn't this game end in a draw?

  • 1
    I find the quoted text confusing: since Fessinet's argument about the lack of a score was overruled, allowing Korchnoi to claim a draw, why wouldn't consistency imply that Fessinet should be able to claim a draw under similar circumstances? Such a claim would not undermine Fessinet's claim that the first game should have been a draw, but rather serve to undo the wrong imposed by the earlier decision.
    – supercat
    May 5, 2023 at 17:29
  • 1
    @supercat Fressinet wanted to interpret the law, as he saw fit, in absolute terms and not according to whether it benefited or harmed him. May 5, 2023 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


The 75 move rule was introduced in the 2014 version of the Laws of Chess. The previous version of the rules has no mention of it. Since this game is from 2007, it obviously wouldn't have used a 2014 version of the rules.


As the other poster already noted, the 75 moves rule did not exist at that time. So the 50 moves rule applied. From Wikipedia:

A game is not automatically declared a draw under the fifty-move rule; the draw must be claimed by the player whose turn it is to move. Therefore, a game can continue beyond a point where a draw could be claimed under the rule.

As Fressinet did not claim, the referee did not interfere.

However, even if the 75 move rule existed, it would have been not totally clear. The current FIDE rules (9.6.2) say that "the game is drawn" in this case, but do not state what the referee has to do.

The editor of this Wikipedia lemma claims "the draw is mandatorily applied by the arbiter".

But I do not see this in the FIDE rules. They denote the state of the game, but not the resulting action.

An arbiter who wants to please his observers may not want to interfere in the running game. Or the result of the game may decide who wins the tournament. Again, the arbiter may be interested to let the game run a bit.

So, if the arbiter does not interfere, and the players continue, and one player wins, then the game first was drawn according to the rules, and then it was won according to the rules. This is a paradox, but so far the FIDE rules do not declare this to be illegal.

More Information about the difference between 50 and 75 move rules in this related question.

  • This question is about the 75-move rule, not the 50-move rule.
    – Allure
    May 6, 2023 at 9:07
  • @Allure, I have expanded it a bit May 7, 2023 at 0:02
  • Note that rule explicitly states (by reference) that the 75 move rule "ends the game." So the game cannot be subsequently "won," since it is already over. If a checkmate occurred after the 75 move rule applied, I would fully expect the arbiters to overturn it to a draw upon an appeal from the losing player.
    – Kevin
    Feb 23 at 22:10

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