Here's my scenario, White has pawns on c2 and a2, and a king on c1, while Black has a queen on b4 and a king on d1.

[FEN "4k3/8/8/8/1q6/8/P1P5/2K5 b - - 0 1 "]

1...Qe1+ 2.Kb2 Qb4+ 3.Ka1 Qe1+ 4.Kb2 Qb4+.

Why isn't this threefold repetition? I'm the player with Black, we've been going back and forth for 30 moves. I've offered a draw and the guy won't accept. I have the weaker position on the board, which is why I want a draw. Is this just bad chess ethics on my part?


2 Answers 2


There is no such thing as "3 move repetition". To claim a draw, the position must be repeated three times (although it does not have to be in a row). In your example, the position with a Black queen and b4 and a White king on b2 has only occurred twice so far. You can claim a draw by repetition of position the next time that you can cause that position to appear.

If you make such a valid claim and your opponent refuses to honor it, he or she is not playing by the rules of chess. If you are playing on some computer service that does not recognize a valid claim of threefold repetition, the service does not implement the full rules of chess.

  • If we're talking about chess.com, when threefold repetition does happen,exactly when it does (I did this a few times, so I'm sure it happens) you just need to click the button to offer a draw, and it will automatically end as a draw, your opponent won't be able to accept/reject. So basically at that time "draw" button stands for what should be the "claim draw" button. Apr 28, 2015 at 12:20

For a draw in chess any one of the following rules should satisfy :

  • stalemate
  • threefold repetition of a position (with the same player to move)
  • if there has been no capture or a pawn being moved in the last fifty moves
  • if checkmate is impossible
  • or if the players agree to a draw.

The threefold repetition rule (also known as repetition of position) states that a player can claim a draw if the same position occurs three times, or will occur after their next move, with the same player to move and the same possible moves. The last means that the first time and the third time have both the same castling and en passant moves possible.

The repeated positions do not need to occur in succession.

The rule applies to positions, not moves.

Now, analyze the moves on a board once again and see if it really was a draw.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.