58 votes

Stalemate situation with all pieces on the board

Here is an example of a 12-move game after which White (to move) is stalemated. All 32 units (pieces and pawns) are still on the board. The original version of this concept game was created by Charles ...
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  • 5,570
46 votes
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When en passant is the only legal move

You are right, this is nonsense. From the FIDE laws of chess, article 5: The game is drawn when the player to move has no legal move and his king is not in check. The game is said to end in ‘...
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41 votes

Endgame problem: How to avoid stalemate and win?

It's quite a fun problem to think about, before getting to the calculation of long variations, try to first spot the key idea needed to crack the problem. Here are the first observations that come to ...
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41 votes
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Shortest stalemate in serious tournament game

Yes, there has been a stalemate in a serious game that is under 30 moves long. According to Tim Krabbe's "Chess Records," the fastest such game happened in 27 moves. [Title "Sibilio-...
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39 votes
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What is the fastest way to reach stalemate?

Sam Loyd, a famous puzzle composer, created this 10 move, 19 ply, stalemate game over 100 years ago. I found it via Google, in this post by AndersElborg on chess.com. Most black pieces are blocked, ...
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32 votes

Examples of forced stalemate

Oh sure, here are two examples (annotated): This is a neat puzzle from the chess.com tactics, with white to play! [title "White to play!"] [fen "1q6/2b2ppb/4p1k1/7p/2Np1p1P/3P1Q2/6PK/8 w - - 0 1"] ...
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  • 11.8k
29 votes

Can the king step into stalemate?

Here is a variation on the answer of Ian Bush that I could see occuring in an actual game between (low-rated) human players. Of course, realistically White should have resigned long ago, but he plays ...
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  • 544
28 votes
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Can the king step into stalemate?

If I understand what you are asking how about this [Event ""] [Site ""] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round ""] [White ""] [Black ""] [Result "*&...
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26 votes
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Can White avoid a loss in this endgame study by Lazar?

The first half of white's move is forced - d8. Then white has a choice of knight, bishop, rook or queen. Black has two threats which white must parry to get a draw. The first is to play Bf4 and then ...
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  • 75.8k
23 votes

Would there be more decisive games if we began to see stalemates as checkmates? And hence more "interesting" chess?

Absolutely not. Making stalemate a win would be a sure way to make for less interesting chess. Any rule change which makes it easier to convert a small material advantage to a win, will ipso facto ...
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  • 3,236
18 votes
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Stalemate situation with all pieces on the board

Disclaimer: This solution is not reachable from the starting position, and is not reachable in a game of Chess960 (thanks Rewan!). [FEN "3bBNRN/2pPpPKQ/2P1P1PR/7P/p7/rp1p1p2/qkpPpP2/nrnbB3 w - - 0 1"...
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  • 295
18 votes

Can someone tell me if this is a checkmate or stalemate?

This isn't checkmate yet. Neither side is even in check! However, black is threatening to play Qg2, which would put white in check and there would be nothing to stop that check -- checkmate. So it's ...
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  • 26.2k
18 votes

Can the king step into stalemate?

On a similar beat to Ian Bush's answer, here is a chess problem that takes this idea to wacky proportions! [Title "Christopher Jeremy Morse, EG 1984, White Stalemates Themselves In 4 Moves"] ...
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17 votes

How is this position a draw?

Two conditions must apply for a position to be checkmate: The player to move has no legal moves. His king is in check. The first is true here, but the second isn't, so it's not checkmate. When a ...
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16 votes
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Can a King and a Knight force stalemate against a lone King?

An exhaustive computer search shows that as expected K+N cannot in general force stalemate against a lone K. In fact, the defending King can avoid stalemate as long as it's not on one of the six-...
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15 votes

Would there be more decisive games if we began to see stalemates as checkmates? And hence more "interesting" chess?

The game would definitely become way less interesting, as many endgames that offer a chance to keep fighting would become hopeless. There would be more games that end in a win (so yes, more decisive ...
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  • 13.1k
14 votes

Term for checking piece whose opponent daren't capture it

I'd use the term you already mentioned, "rambling rook", for this (at least when it's a rook). Tim Krabbé claims to have invented it: If the term 'Rambling Rook' sounds unfamiliar, this ...
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14 votes
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What will happen if you have a position where no one can lose?

I was wondering the outcome for a standard format chess game will it be draw because no one can win. According to the FIDE Laws of Chess: 5.2.2 The game is drawn when a position has arisen in which ...
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  • 75.8k
13 votes

It's not check but the next move is checkmate

If it is your opponent's turn to move and none of your opponent's pieces can move other than his king, and the king would be in check on any square it could move to, we would call that stalemate. In ...
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  • 1,289
13 votes

How is this position a draw?

This is stalemate; you're right that Black can't move, but (unfortunately for you) in Chess this means it's a draw.
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13 votes

Can someone tell me if this is a checkmate or stalemate?

I believe you are looking at an engine, and it's telling you is that black, with the correct play, will checkmate the opponent. It's not checkmate yet, but as the game progresses, white cannot stop ...
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13 votes
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Would there be more decisive games if we began to see stalemates as checkmates? And hence more "interesting" chess?

There are already many good answers here that address your question from a hypothetical point of view. I want to add to this discussion some empirical data coming from AI chess, based on the arXiv ...
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  • 544
12 votes
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Is this a checkmate for White?

This would be checkmate, because the king is in check and has no valid move to escape. But it's impossible to get into this position if you follow normal chess rules. The most you can do is a double-...
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  • 1,589
12 votes

Can a stalemate be forced even if it is the opponent's turn to move first?

Hauke, it stole at least 20 minutes of my time. But here is here a position, without promoted pieces, in which not infinite tempi can help Black win. This is not a dead position as both sides have ...
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11 votes

Only the king remains, but he is stuck, can't move

If you mean he can't move his king anywhere because if he does his king will be in check, but none of your pieces are attacking him at the moment, and it's his turn, then yes, it's called a stalemate ...
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11 votes

How is this stalemate?

Stalemate is defined as the player's whose turn it is to not be in check, & cannot make a legal move (black's only piece, the king, can only move to squares where it will be in check, which is ...
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11 votes
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What is the order of actions in chess under FIDE rules?

The FIDE Laws of Chess provide some guidance. Rule 6.2.1 says you must move the piece before hitting the clock: During the game each player, having made his move on the chessboard, shall stop his ...
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  • 15.2k
11 votes

Examples of forced stalemate

Viswanathan Anand vs Vladimir Kramnik is a notable one: [FEN ""] [Event "World Championship Tournament"] [Site "Mexico City MEX"] [Date "2007.09.15"] [EventDate "?"] [Round "3"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [...
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  • 3,007
11 votes

Examples of forced stalemate

The most common is the situation with King + Pawn vs King, if it's a draw. Okay, the stalemate isn't forced, but everything else is a draw too and it's important that the stalemate exists: [FEN "...
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