Chess For (BEGINNERS) What Is A DRAW In Chess?

The Queen’s Gambit

What is a draw in chess? As we endeavor to answer this question, it’s vital to note that chess is a game of strategy. For example, the most common Queen’s Gambit move, mainly the opening, is about the queen sacrificing the bishop’s pawn. 

This move from the 19th century is the oldest and most renowned move that has been adopted even by grandmasters. 

There are various ways of winning the game, but it does not involve a draw. A draw is that state where a player neither wins nor loses. There are various ways that a tie can come about. An example of a draw could be if a player makes the same move three times in a row. We discuss other forms of the draw below.

playing chess

What is a Draw in Chess?

A draw is that state where neither player wins. A player will score zero point five points in a tournament when there’s a draw, while a win amounts to one point for the winner. The loser gets zero. A player will make an offer for a draw, and the opponent will accept or reject the bid. However, the opponents will not nullify the offer once they accept.

The judge will declare the draw, and the game will end. If the judge examines the offer to draw and finds it wanting, they nullify the offer. If you’re going to make the offer to draw, first make a move, make a claim to draw verbally, then press the clock. 

Your opponent rejects the offer by making a move, and in this case, the draw offer is no longer effective. The rules of chess dictate that players should indicate on their score sheet every offer of a draw.

Draws are most common among grand players, but regardless of your status, it’s essential to know the rules of drawing so that no one catches you by surprise.

How Many Types of Draws are There in Chess?

According to the FIDE (International Chess Federation) rules, there are various ways a game may end in a draw. 

In the various scenarios of a draw, a player will propose an offer of a tie, and in some cases, the judge makes an executive decision guided by the laws of chess to claim a draw and terminate the game. The following are the various types of draws in chess.


What is a stalemate? A stalemate draw is when a player has no legal moves but is not in check, which means that the player’s king is not in a position where their opponent’s next move threatens them; however, the player has no legal activity that can make them win. 

In this case, the stalemate is an asset for the inferior player to end the game in a draw instead of losing. To enforce a stalemate, the move that led to it must be legal. 

Dead Position

Also referred to as the Impossibility of checkmate, the dead position happens when neither of the players can checkmate the other by a series of legal moves. If the player finds it hard to checkmate the opponent’s king, the game ends in a stalemate draw. 

There are, however, other positions that can lead to a stalemate. A good example is when the player’s king is blocked, or its pawns are blocked, making it impossible for either king to capture the pawns; this position leads to a tie in chess.

Insufficient material for either player to checkmate their opponent leads to a tie. This kind of draw can happen even when one of the players runs out of time, provided the other player has insufficient material to deliver checkmate. Some of the positions combined with inadequate materials that end up in a dead position include:

  • King and bishop vs. king.
  • King and knight vs. king.
  • King vs. king. 
  • King and bishop vs. king and bishop of the same color as the opponent’s bishop.

This rule is accommodative on the kind of checkmate a player can reach. Commonly, if your opponent just had a king and bishop, it would be impossible to checkmate. The king will only be trapped and mated if your opponent has other pieces on the board and blunders. 

Mutual Agreement

Players may, for whatever reason, agree to draw. For this type of draw to happen, the player should claim to draw, and the opponent agrees to it. If the opponent rejects the draw and continues to play, a draw won’t happen.

Threefold Repetition

If you are playing chess and reach the same position at least three times, that leads to a draw which means that if you play further, you are to have no more legal moves and will end up in the same position again. You reach a Threefold repetition when pieces of the same color and size occupy identical squares, and all possible moves are the same. 

When threefold repetition occurs, the game will end if the player requests a draw and the opponent agrees. This kind of draw mostly happens If a player finds themself losing and finds a perpetual check to save their game. 

50-Move Rule

There are scenarios where players will find that they have made 50 consecutive moves without capturing the other. Any player, in this case, can ask for a draw if it is their turn to play, which results in a 50-move rule draw. The purpose of this rule is to avoid unnecessary prolonging of the game when no player is making progress.

To apply this rule, you need to understand the basics of checkmating. Can you imagine having sufficient pieces to checkmate your opponent and not knowing how to do it? Nothing is as bad as that. 

playing glass chess

How to Stalemate in Chess

A stalemate in chess can lead to frustration or be your saving grace. If you understand chess stalemate rules, it can work to your advantage. If you were on the losing end, the stalemate is worth a point-five rather than a glaring zero. Here’s how to stalemate in chess:

Insufficient Material in a Stalemate

Is anyone winning this game? If your answer is no, then you’ve figured out that a draw is likely to occur. Remember that a stalemate is when there are no legal moves to checkmate your opponent. 

An excellent example of insufficient material is when white promotes the king, what does the black do? It captures it. The team cannot get close to each other if they have only kings. 

It would be best to have enough power to ensure the king does not escape and capture it. 

The minimum pieces on the chessboard to checkmate are king and pawn. So you are definitely out of luck with just a king and a knight or a bishop. 

Feel free to call it a draw and move on if this has happened. Otherwise, you will be spending the rest of your days trying to checkmate! 

No Legal Moves in a Stalemate

One thing about stalemates is that you might think it’s a checkmate. The difference is that your stalemate threatens your king. 

So if you happen to be playing with a wizard and you’re just a beginner, don’t give up because even wizards can make mistakes. For example, you may find that your king is not in check, and voila, you’ve created a checkmate which becomes your grand opportunity to offer a stalemate draw and earn your point-five victory.

Repetitive Checks in Stalemate

In this scenario, the question ‘who is winning this game’ is answered by ‘whose move is it?’ A stalemate comes about when the player who makes the first move will determine the outcome. 

A good example will be, if you’re in the white team, you’ll ask yourself, ‘what’s my best move,’ checkmate. What about black, you decide to put the king in check on h4, and they escape. You recheck them, and they escape. 

This repetition makes your opponent annoyed with you. They cannot checkmate you while they are running away from a checkmate of their own. If this happens three times, then it’s a tie. 

When it comes to elementary school kids, a stalemate occurs when one player has an advantage at the end of the game but can not figure out how to use it to seal the victory.                

How Many Moves Until Stalemate

This section seeks to explain how many moves till stalemate there are to reach a state with no legal activities left to check the king. The repetition does not have to happen successively. When the player moves the pieces around, a stalemate can happen after many repetitive moves, more than a minimum of just four moves.

According to the FIDE rules of chess, the specific amount of repetition required is threefold repetition. Meaning if the same state on the board game repeats itself three times, where the king is not in check, then it’s a stalemate. FIDE has introduced two additional rules related to the threefold repetition and 50-move rules. They include the following:

Fivefold Repetition Rule

If the same board state occurs five times, the game is an automatic draw where the player need not claim it. 

Seventy-Five-Move Rule

If, after 75 moves, both players have no capture or pawn, then it is a stalemate. However, if the last move was a checkmate, then the checkmate stands.

What are the Rules of Chess When it Comes to Stalemate?

What are the rules of chess? According to the FIDE Laws Of Chess, if the king is not in check and there are no legal moves, a stalemate will occur, which will immediately bring the game to an end only if the action that produced the stalemate is legal as stipulated by Article 3 and Articles 4.2 to 4.7

To put this simply, when a player makes a move and has no legal move to check the king, this will result in a draw. When the game ends with this kind of draw, it is called a stalemate. 

For a stalemate to be authentic, the move leading to a stalemate has to be legal as stipulated by FIDE laws of chess. Be careful not to confuse stalemate with a draw. A stalemate is one of the ways a game will end up in a draw.

chess board

Check, Mate!

Suppose you are a beginner or an intermediate player. Of course, it’s essential to know how the checkmate works and avoid a draw. However, if a stalemate occurs, knowing how to exploit it to your advantage can be such a plus for you. So make sure you study the rules of chess and learn how to avoid a draw or take advantage of it.

Leave a Comment