index 2001
Letter #31 -  2001

Sub:    Stalemate
Date:   12/25/01 1:52:36 PM MST
Erwin (Mexico)


My name is Erwin.

The reason I'm writing this letter is that there is a rule or tactic which is very confusing to me and is named stalemate.

It happens when a player does not have any legal move but he is not either in check.

The part where says legal, what does it mean exactly?

Sincerely I hope you remove this doubt from me, I'm leaving my e-mail: erwin@******

Thank you.


Dear viewer,

When a player has no legal move available because of a lack of pieces, or being immobilized or blocked, or that in his next move he is forced to expose his King to check, it is a stalemate and the game is declared a draw.

As an example, on figure 1 below, the white King has just moved from f1 to e1 forced by the black Bishop attack:

Stalemate 1
Fig. 1

Next, on fig. 2 the black King decides to move from b3 to c2:

Stalemate 2
Fig. 2

Such black King's move causes the stalemate rule to apply since the white King does not have the use of any legal move, therefore the game is a draw (Fig. 3):

Stalemate 3
Fig. 3

As you can see, the white Pawns have no play since they are blocked, white King cannot move to his right without being attacked by the black Bishop, nor to the left or diagonal left squares because they are controlled by the black King neither ahead as the black Pawn on f3 prevents it.

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