60 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 ...
Rosie F's user avatar
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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 ‘...
Glorfindel's user avatar
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42 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 ...
Ellie's user avatar
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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-...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
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, ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
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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"] ...
Ellie's user avatar
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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 ...
Marc's user avatar
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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 "*&...
Ian Bush's user avatar
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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 ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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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 ...
bof's user avatar
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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"...
sunfishho's user avatar
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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 ...
RemcoGerlich's user avatar
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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"] ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
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 ...
RemcoGerlich's user avatar
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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-...
Noam D. Elkies's user avatar
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 ...
David's user avatar
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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 ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
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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 ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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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.
Glorfindel's user avatar
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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 ...
dinosauce33's user avatar
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 ...
Marc's user avatar
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12 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 ...
D M's user avatar
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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 ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
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 ...
desertdogv's user avatar
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"] [...
Wais Kamal's user avatar
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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 "...
RemcoGerlich's user avatar
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11 votes
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Can a stalemate be forced even if it is the opponent's turn to move first?

[FEN "5k1K/7P/8/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"] https://lichess.org/analysis/5k1K/7P/8/8/8/8/8/8_w_-_-_0_1 Remark: Actually, I remember reading about this typical pawn endgame position that is drawn ...
BCLC's user avatar
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11 votes
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A special "dead" position

I am not sure if this is exactly what you are asking for, but here is a try. [FEN "8/8/8/2p1p1p1/2P1PkP1/4Q1RB/3PPpPp/3n1Kbr b - - 0 1"] [startflipped ""] 1... Nxe3+ 2.dxe3+ {2....
Evargalo's user avatar
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11 votes

How can I avoid stalemate in this position?

i) How exactly is the match concluded to be a stalemate? The white king is not in check The squares a2, b2, c2, c3, b4 are covered by the queen. The king may not move there. The squares a3, a4 are ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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