Extra steps…

So after learning that you absolutely have to place your opponent in checkmate to win in chess (apart from someone resigning) I played a few more games to see just how different the mindset is.

There is actually a difference! You travel in zig zag motions to get to where you want instead of a straight line! How logical is that? Very. If you could, you’d want to walk a path as a crow flies from A to B, not go left then right then left then right then right… then left then right… where was I again?

To deny someone a win because they didn’t place the other in a checkmate is very stupid. There has to be a winner, a draw should only happen if it’s not possible to win, not to protect someone from losing. If you’re in a bad position (which you only have yourself to blame for) and you know you’re going to lose, then you should just declare that you’ve been outplayed this time. Nothing wrong with that.

In Go (or Wei Qi) you have a handicap system so there will always be a winner and a loser. When it’s clear who is going to win the loser will/should resign – unless they have a great come back plan. Admitting defeat is not giving up, it’s acknowledging your own weakness and hopefully, you’ve learnt something from it to improve yourself. It’s important for a fish to know it can’t whistle after all (I’m on a roll with these sayings! haha).

Just like the last chess game I played, I took out most of my opponents pieces, leaving behind 3 pawns and the king whilst I had my bishop, rook, queen and 4 pawns. It is obvious which side has won. Their only chance was to turn their 3 pawns into queens or other pieces but they never had that chance since I just took those pieces afterwards. So instead, I turned 2 of my pawns into queens and put the king in checkmate. That wasted a lot of time – moving two of my pawns up the board 1 cell at a time. It’d been better if my opponent just resigned – I nearly did another stalement accidentally. Luckily I wasn’t in a rush as I still needed to get my pawn to the other side. This just takes the fun away from the game. Trying to run away with only a king is just… unsporting? But then when I play board games I like taking all the pieces before winning so I’m one to talk! haha

chess-win

An interesting thing I noticed is that with chess, it’s very difficult to feel how strong your opponent is (unless they’re way stronger), but in Go, you could feel the players rhythm and flow. I guess in Go the board is so open, you have to keep assessing the situation and as many possible situations everywhere, whereas chess is limited by where the pieces are. Allowing you to concentrate on fewer things which in turn enables you to see further into the game.

But then what do I know, I only play once in a while anyway.

(Don’t get me started on Chinese chess, much more fun to play and more strategies involved in my opinion)

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9 thoughts on “Extra steps…

  1. If I’m not mistaken, you also can’t perpetually check in Chinese chess to force a draw….just another difference I think. High level chess does get boring sometimes since the game is a lot more closed and there are way more draws.

    1. I don’t know much about “high level” play, but if their skill is regarded so highly, then really there shouldn’t be a draw. Having draws exist only gives people something to fall back on, which means the consequence of making a wrong move not as great as a game where you couldn’t draw.

      1. The reason there are draws at high level is because both players make careful positional moves and don’t want to take chances, so after like 20 moves of maneuvering around….they agree to a draw.

      2. that sounds pretty weak willed to me. Why not try to create opportunities? Doesn’t this also stop the progress of skill in this game?

      3. From what I understand, the problem is once you reach that level (GMs/World Champions), people can see so far ahead in the game that it’s hard to surprise them. You can only slowly try to build an advantage one little move at a time.

  2. What usually happens with real chess players is that they will kindly resign when they know they have lost. In chess tournaments each points are very important so they if they think they are losing, they will try to make a draw and if not they will resign. It’s very common for chess games to be ‘unfinished’ because of this. It’s a sort of an etiquette.

      1. Chess has more history than you think. It’s not just a game for some others. I hope you realize that before you say things like that.

      2. Not sure what you mean, please enlighten me. What I was trying to say is that if you’ve changed your goal from winning to making a draw, you’ve obviously thought that you couldn’t win, so shouldn’t resigning be better than to continue because you don’t want to hurt your ego?

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