I was playing a 3-minute game, my opponent had around 15 seconds to my ~50 seconds when he managed to cancel out the last pawns to make it so we each had a king and a rook. I let his time run out and he accused me of poor form. Should that have been a draw?

  • 1
    In my opinion it is and it should have been a draw since obviously nobody of you played better than the opponent.
    – user3598
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 14:20
  • 5
    You won fair and square. Had you used 30 more seconds, or had he used 30 fewer (with the appropriate change in game quality) it probably would not have been a draw.
    – Tony Ennis
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 3:45

2 Answers 2


This is opinion based and therefore not a great fit for the Stack Exchange format, but here are my thoughts anyway.

The lower the time limit, the more acceptable it is from a sportsmanship view. In standard long time controls, this is really poor form. In 1-minute ("bullet"), anything goes, including this. The reasoning is that in these really fast forms of chess, the clock is as much a part of the game as the board is (so 15 vs 50 seconds is actually a type of winning position), whereas in slow chess the clock is more of a necessary concession to tournament organizers, not something equal games should be decided on.

I'm in doubt about 3 minute chess. It's very fast, but I'm not sure on which side of the fence it is, that'll be different from person to person.

Personally I always offer a draw when this position arises, but then I only play for fun, not for big bucks.

K + B vs K + B with bishops on opposite colors is even worse, it's hardly even possible to make a blunder in that. At least with rooks you have to watch out for skewers.

  • 1
    As @RemcoGerlich says, conventional courtesy in chess usually asks a player to offer a draw (though never a forfeit) to an opponent who can only lose because of the clock. I do not know why conventional courtesy should ask this, though I assume that there is a good reason for it; but at any rate, this has long been the custom.
    – thb
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 16:59
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    First game I won against a master. I was down to a king and a few pawns on their starting squares and his flag fell.
    – Joshua
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 18:14
  • With K+B v K+B, opposite colored bishops, you can just keep your king on a square the enemy bishop cannot attack, and then premove bishop moves. This gives you a good chance of drawing on 50-move. Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 23:27

Though in long time controls, there is a slight courtesy, quick time controls is perfectly okay to win on time.

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