Thursday, July 13, 2006

Throwing In the Towel

No, dear readers, I am not quitting this web log -- long absences aside! As a (semi!) silent observer of the amateur chess world, I am amazed by how infrequently people resign their games. I mean, sometimes, people just seem to keep playing out foolishness or a sense of stubborness. Agree? Many don't! I know many people who won't quit a chess match until they've run out of time or they are checkmated. Others will resign when they find themselves just a few pawns behind. Everyone else is in the middle. BUT WHERE?

I have put together a little survey below. I am curious to see what the results are. In each position, assume you are black and it is your move. Also assume, you are playing an unrated player (ex. a player new to a chess server who has no fixed rating yet). Would you resign in the following positions or keep playing? (NOTE: Unfortunately, before you vote you'll need to write down whether you'd resign for each position -- then fill out the survey. )

Free Vote Caster from
Free Vote Caster from


At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Black to move has an easily won game in fig. 8

At 1:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, most of them are easily won, but some of them one may not know the winning technique, for instance Lucena's position.

At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All resign except for number 5, because two knights v. lone king is drawn. If someone could get me in such materially lost posiions, I'd think they know endgames enough to beat me!

At 2:11 PM, Blogger generalkaia said...

not necessarily. just because you are good at tactics and the middlegame doesn't mean you are good at the endgame.

At 2:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Figre 1 - Only if in about 10 moves (s)he clearly demonstrates that (s)he knows how to do it

figure 2 - Same as figure 1 but would give about 4 moves then resign

figure 3 - Yes, I would have resigned before this position :p

figure 4 - Yes, and probably before

figure 5 - Of course not ;)

Figure 6 - Would give 3-4 moves to see if (s)he knew how

Figure 7 - Yes, and probably before hand

Figure 8 - BTW anonymous this is certainly lost for black if he playes the classic b6 because to do the double sacrifice breakthrough you give white passed pawns as well. So I would play a6 and hope (s)he doesn't answer c6! If (S)he played c6 I would then resign.

Figure 9 - No way :D Too rare to see this played out, even if I am the one going to get it ;)

Figure 10 - Yes.

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the late comment, I just got in this interesting blog today. My 2 cents: position 8 is a draw after 1...b6, provided that the following Black's recaptures are simmetrical to White's.
In some of the other positions (except obviously 5) I would test my opponent's tecnique before resigning. Certainly I would do so in the B+K position!

At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My OTB rating is 2045 & server rating 2300 so I would assume if I got into any of those positions I am playing a strong opponent who would know how to play them out. However I would not resign 5 & 8 which I think are drawn and not 1, 6 and 9 because they are difficult wins even for a master.


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