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Will people who are changing the image markup please note that in order for the article to make sense, it is necessary to have the second diagram (the Gelfand-Kramnik one) to the right of the part that says "The position to the right..." (in the Gelfand-Kramnik paragraph). I realise that as things stand this means having a certain amount of white-space in the article at certain resolutions. Maybe by shuffling around or adding some text this can be overcome, but it's not worth making nonsense of the article for. --Camembert

I do not understand why the position in the lower left corner of the first diagram is a stalemate -- if Black is to move, the pawn can capture the queen. -- Zack

Black moves down the board. That's the convention used in all chess diagrams, unless otherwise stated. -- Arvindn
Oh. Of course. I think the pawn being on rank 2 threw me off. -- Zack

At the bottom of the article we have "There have been calls to make a stalemate a win for the stalemater." I don't think I remember hearing anything about this. Who has made such calls, and when? --Camembert

  • This Larry Evans article doesn't say who, but it does mention it (calling it crude):

  • "A crude proposal that keeps popping up is to award a loss to the player who is stalemated. " --Bubba73 05:56, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
I think at sometime in the past, a stalemate was a LOSS for the stalemater! And at another it was 3/4 win for the stalemater, something like that. Bubba73 (talk), 04:18, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

"silly" paragraph removed[edit]

The edit comment was: (you can't move the king on the first few moves, obviously, so do those people believe that all games are instant stalemates?)

I see this misconception all the time in scholastic players, even in tournaments. Even in a tournament 6 days ago. I know it is obvious, but it is still a common misconception. Bubba73 (talk), 21:38, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

What if we say that it is a fairly common misconception among novices? That is a true statement. Bubba73 (talk), 21:50, 24 February 2006 (UTC)
I guess I don't understand correctly what the paragraph said. The next time I play chess, whatever my opponent does on their first move (unless they move their king's pawn), before their second move I'm going to declare "Your king has no legal move, so it's stalemate". I'd bet that, no matter how novice they are, they'll understand I'm teasing them.
If the myth is actually different from what I understood, then it would have to be re-added, but reworded in order to make its meaning clearer. BTW, I've never heard of this in Italy. --Army1987 13:24, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
It happens fairly at the scholastic level here (at young as 5 or 6 years old). (and they only seem to think so near the end of the game.) Last month a kid from my daughter's school aparantly fell for it and got talked into a draw. I had to give a lesson to it to her school's chess club two weeks ago. At a tournament one week ago, a kid tried to claim a stalemate on my daughter that wasn't a stalemate. Bubba73 (talk), 00:54, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
I saw it was readded, in a better form. At the scholastic tournaments around here, for the 4th grade and under, if they think the posisiton is a checkmate or stalemate, they have to raise their hand for the director to confirm it. There are quite a few instances of wrong claims. Bubba73 (talk), 15:20, 26 February 2006 (UTC)
Army1987, actually a move of the queen's pawn or king bishop's pawn also lifts the "stalemate." This section strikes me as silly, even if young beginners do sometimes have this misconception. The definition of stalemate given in the article shows that this misconception is wrong. It also makes no sense, since as pointed out in the text the opening position would be a stalemate if it were true. But if others are OK with it I'm not going to take it upon myself to remove it. Besides, I like Bubba73. :-) Krakatoa 04:03, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, I put that (more or less) in there originally, I think. Someone took it out as being silly, there was some discussion, and it was put back, with a few changes. I wouldn't mind if it was left out. But my 9-year-old daughter has been playing for nearly three years, and I've seen this misconception a few times in her age group. One in her school got tricked into it in a tournament, so I gave a little lesson on it to her school club. I even had someone try to pull it on me at the National High School Championship in 1970. I don't know if they just didn't know the rule, or were hoping that I didn't or didn't notice that they had anothr piece that could move. I don't object to it being taken out. Bubba73 (talk), 04:20, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
I've decided to take that paragraph out, because it is "original research" on my part. I have no reference for this, which is just my experience. Bubba73 (talk), 16:26, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
This results from sloppy definition. I've often heard it stated, even by people who should know better, that "If the King has no legal moves and is not in check, a stalemate results," and that's just wrong. Instead, state it this way: "When a player on the move cannot move, further play is obviously impossible. It's a draw -- unless the inability to make a legal move is the result of a checkmate, in which case the player has lost." WHPratt (talk) 16:27, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps there could be an early paragraph that goes something like: "It is a common misconception that stalemates occur only in the endgame, or only result from an intense but incomplete attack upon either king. In fact, any time that the player on the move has no legal moves, a stalemate results, even though both kings may be quite safe at the time. This can happen due to other chessmen being pinned, or even simply blocked in theit paths irrespective of any threat to the king)." (I'm trying to strike a balance between legalese and plain talk here, not always a good idea!) WHPratt (talk) 16:14, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Based on m experience, it is a common misconception in kids,but that would be wp:OR. I don't know a source. Bubba73 (You talkin' to me?), 03:30, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
I thought that if any of my books had something about this , A World Champion's guide to chess by Susan Polgar would - but it doesn't. Bubba73 (You talkin' to me?), 19:14, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Effect on endgames[edit]

There is a section about what effects would the change have if a stalemate would be a win for one side. Why does the "Stalemate positions are possible with a king plus a lone bishop or a lone knight against a king." line appear there? It is not about any of the effects of a possible rule change. I have once deleted it, but it was reverted because "it is true and stalemate is possible with king+bishop or king+knight against king". I know it is possible, but it is irrelevant! We were talking about the effects of possible rule change could have on the endgame. So I suggest again to remove that line. It can only cause confusion. --V. Szabolcs 13:03, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Well perhaps, since it doesn't really affect endgame theory much. I put it in there because if one of these positions came up, under the current rules it would be a draw. If a stalemate was not a draw then these positions would not be a draw. Bubba73 (talk), 18:02, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Ok, with your latest addition it seems much clearer now. We could continue to argue that it is impossible to force a stalemate in those positions so they would still be a draw.. :) but I think that line is good enough now as it is. --V. Szabolcs 18:48, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Disambiguate page?[edit]

The current lede's final paragraph describes the more general usage of the term, outside of its chess meaning (although they are obviously related). In principle, this should best be handled by breaking out the term into two distinct pages. Now, if we do this, we have three fourfive options as I see it.

  1. Use a disambiguation page, with two links to the general page and to the chess page.
  2. Have the general page be the default, with a "for the concept in chess, see Stalemate (chess)" message at the top (the "otheruses4" tag, I think)
  3. Have the chess page be the default, with a similar "for the general concept..." message at the top.
  4. (addendum) Leave things as they are.
5. Update per User:SyG: Have the chess page be the default with an otheruses link to a similar word such as "Deadlock", "Impasse", or somesuch. See below. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 17:23, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Now clearly I do not espouse (4). Given that currently there are only two possible content pages, I think an explicit disambiguation page is overkill. In lieu of that, this leaves having just the two pages, with the top note about the other usage on both. But here is where I am not clear: which should be the default page? In general, the general language usage page should be in most cases, with the more specific (chess) one referred to in the top message (option 2). But in this case, the chess article is far more developed, and because of this I assume this usage is searched for far more than the general usage. This suggests option (3) is preferable.

I do feel strongly that some action here will improve the encyclopedia, vs. leaving this as it is. But I would like some discussion before I do anything as rash as these. Thoughts? Baccyak4H (Yak!) 16:10, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I favor #3. I agree that the article should be split into chess and the general one. The general one should mention chess, of course. But I think that most people looking up Stalemate will be looking for the chess one and I think that the fact that the bulk of the article is about chess reflects that as the most common use. I think it is a bus silly to have to have the section "stalemate in chess" and have that section be the bulk of the article, even though I think I was the one that did that. So split - definitely! I would like for the chess one to be the main one, however I prefer the title stalemate (chess), which would not make it the main one. All of the chess articles could be made to link to the right one. Bubba73 (talk), 16:35, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I've thought about it a little more, and changed my mind a little. Option 4 can be ruled out - chess needs to be split out. Option 1 is easy to rule out. A disamb between only two articles doesn't make sense, and usually the artcles in a disambig are unrelated, unlike these two articles. So which of #2 and #3 fit better into the structure of WP? I now think #2 is the best way to go. Stalemate (chess) can be listed at the top under "other uses" and also in the body of the article. It is better to go from general to specific. Anyone looking for the chess part would easily see it at the general article. So I think #2 is clearly the way to go. Bubba73 (talk), 17:13, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
The way you outlined your thought process made me see something else. If the chess article is the main one, the one that searching on "stalemate" would take you to first, what would the general article be named? The fact that this will be some awkward name (stalemate (word) hehe!) suggests #2 makes sense, even though most readers will have to click again on the other uses link after arriving on the main page. I am willing to wait a few days for more input, but if you are bold, I won't object. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 17:25, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, right. Although the chess article would be bigger, it would not work well for it to be stalemate and the other be stalemate (word) or stalemate (other uses). I think there is no choice but to make the gemeral one stalemate and then have stalemate (chess), just as there is king and king (chess), etc. If someone is looking for stalemate in chess, they will find it easily enough from the general article with "other uses" and it being briefly described in the text. Bubba73 (talk), 18:04, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Most of the talk can be moved over, but I don't think history can. But it doesn't matter much. Bubba73 (talk), 18:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Very logical. I concur with your reasoning—stalemate (chess) seems the best way to go. I think it's possible that someone might expand the non-chess usage of stalemate in the future. It's a very important concept in negotiation (labor and politics) and warfare, and these topics could be expanded into good articles on their own. Maybe someday wikipedia will have stalemate (warfare) as well. Quale (talk) 20:33, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
There are nearly 200 links to stalemate, and probably most of them are chess. So those will need to be updated, preferably by someone who knows how to use AWB. Bubba73 (talk), 20:38, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I have no clear opinion on the subject, even if the current consensus of "split and put the general first" sounds very reasonable. Some thoughts:
  • Quale's remark that there could be one day "Stalemate (warfare)" would be a case for a disambiguation page, as it seems there can be more than two meanings. Still we can always create the disambiguation page later.
  • It is a shame that the chess meaning now becomes "second-in-order" just because it has gone into usual language. This is not exactly the same as "king" and "king (chess)", as the word "king" does not come from chess but the other way round.
  • Another idea would be to direct the people searching for the general meaning towards the other words for the same idea, e.g. a redirect to Deadlock. This could be done via a disambiguation page or via another way. SyG (talk) 21:26, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Good points, things to consider. Bubba73 (talk), 23:50, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, especially this redirect to another word altogether. This would eliminate the awkward naming issue. Impasse might be another choice. My kneejerk reaction is this (a to-be-determined alternate word as the otheruses link) is the preferable solution, allowing this page to remain with the same name, but I would like to hear further comments. (I updated the options at the top to reflect this one.) Baccyak4H (Yak!) 17:23, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I sort of favor stalemate (chess), etc, however both the Oxford American Dictioary and Merriam Webster's dictionary list the chess definition first. The latter also gives deadlock as a synonym. Also, both Stalemate and Zugzwang went from use in chess to more general useage. Bubba73 (talk), 18:05, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I clarified my position right above your reply: keep this page as named (i.e., without the parenthetical "(chess)") and have an otheruses link to another word (e.g., deadlock). This means that the chess page is the default page as per those dictionaries and per word lineage. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 18:18, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Zugzwang is in a very similar situation. There is some discussion in the introduction about Zugzwang in game theory, but the bulk of the article is about chess, and is in one long section "Zugzwang in chess". Bubba73 (talk), 17:03, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Once we decide on this article, Zugzwang should be the same way, but it is a simplier case. The only other use is zugzwang (game theory) or zugzwang (combinatorial game theory). Bubba73 (talk), 18:42, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree they should follow the same pattern on both articles, whatever it may turn out to be. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 18:52, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
There's insufficient non-chess content in both Stalemate and Zugzwang to justify a split. Until someone adds significant non-chess content to Stalemate, I suggest the intro should say:
Stalemate is a situation in chess where the player whose turn it is to move has no legal moves but is not in check.

"Stalemate" has become a widely used metaphor for other situations where there is a conflict or contest between two parties, such as war or political negotiations, and neither side is able to achieve victory, resulting in what is also called a dead heat, standoff, or deadlock. Unlike in chess, this usage allows for the situation to be a temporary one and thus ultimately resolved, even if it seems currently intractable.

In "normal" chess, Stalemate ends the game, with the result a draw. Often during the endgame the player who is behind in material seeks stalemate in order to avoid losing the game.

In certain chess variants, such as suicide chess, stalemate is not necessarily a draw. Depending on the variant, stalemate can be a win for either the player with fewer pieces (a draw results if the players have the same number of pieces) or for the stalemated player.

then change the following heading to "Stalemate in normal chess". Philcha (talk) 11:45, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
(1) I don't think it is necessary so use "normal" in either of those places. "Normal chess" is assumed, unless it is stated otherwise. (2) both Stalemate and Zugzwang have the bulk of the article (all except the intro, references, see also, and external links) in one long section "XXX in chess", which is pretty awkward. So if the articles are not to be split, I think they need to be reformatted to have either a non-chess segment or list it in the intro, and then the remainder assumed to be about chess. Bubba73 (talk), 01:34, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

With no clear consensus to rename at the moment, I'm going to take out the "Stalemate in chess" section header, and make the bulk of the article about chess. It may be renamed, etc later. Bubba73 (talk), 01:32, 5 February 2008 (UTC)


Example of stalemate in chess, from Harkness
a b c d e f g h
b8 black cross
c8 black king
d8 black cross
b7 black cross
c7 black cross
d7 black cross
c6 black cross
d6 black cross
d5 white queen
e5 white bishop
e3 white king
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move is in stalemate, since he has no legal move

Since stalemate is such basic concept, the article needs to be clear to beginners. I suggest the relevant diagrams should all show how the unoccupied squares around the Black K are "in check" - example to right.

The next diagram gave me spots before the eyes, and would bewilder a beginner - "how many kings?" I think they should be split. They could then be displayed in a row, by wrapping them in a table. Or they could be displayed vertically on the right but wrapped in show/hide boxes with captions to which the text can refer. -- Philcha (talk) 10:30, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

OK, I agree with that. I am the one that put the dots in there so separate the four individual positions. They need to not take up too much space. I don't know how to wrap them in a table. The article probably also needs an example where the stalemated side has more pieces. (added: well there are some later in the article.) Bubba73 (talk), 15:36, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I'll put them in a 2x2 table for now.
It seems wasteful to use full-board diagrams for such small examples - page layout would be easier if only 4x4 boards were shown, because then one could have all the examples across the top of the section and it would work OK at almost any reasonable browser window width. I'll see if there's any way to produce a template tht shows only part of the board -- Philcha (talk) 16:30, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that is really necessary. I think the 2x2 format is fine. Bubba73 (talk), 16:54, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I found a simpler way to save space - omit the photo and push the diagrams up alongside the TOC.
Feel free to revert if you don't like the result.
(you'll never get a better offer)     :-) -- Philcha (talk) 16:58, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I didn't like the photo, even though I took it and uploaded it. Someone put up a really crummy-looking photo, so I decided to replace it with a better one. But I don't think a photo adds anything beyond what a diagram does. Bubba73 (talk), 17:04, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Space could also be saved by putting positions from the same game side by side - can't remember whether ther are 2 or 3 instances. Again it's a table. Would you like me to try this out? -- Philcha (talk) 17:07, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, and in the games I think it would be useful to show a diagram of the stalemate position (in addition to the position already given), rather than just say that it happens after these moves... Bubba73 (talk), 17:19, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I've done the easy ones.
I don't fancy doing Gelfand-Kramnik blindfold and don't have a chess set or program handy; it also has 2 drawing varations. If you produce the diagrams you want, I'll arrange them.
For "Effect of stalemate on endgame theory" I suggest labelling the diagrams and referrig to the labels in the text. Then I can put them side-by-side.
I also think it would be a good idea to make all the diagrams small except the one in the lead. -- Philcha (talk) 18:21, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
OK, I'll do Gelfand-Karmnik diagram (later). I'll label the "effect on endgame" diagrams. I don't really see a need to make the diagrams small, but I'll go either way. Bubba73 (talk), 18:32, 29 August 2008 (UTC)


Since this is listed as "top importance", I think we should get it to GA class. I think it is at least close now. Bubba73 (talk), 18:34, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Philcha's comments[edit]

  • My biggest concern is that the headings and order of the game examples don't explain what the point of each example is. For example how about this:
    • "Matulovic-Minev" -> "A clever escape"
    • "Williams-Harrwitz" and "Gelfand-Kramnik" ->"Multiple escape routes"
    • "Bernstein-Smyslov" ->"Missing the opponent's clever escape"
    • ""The desperado" (keep title)
    • "Korchnoi-Karpov" -> "Pride and spite" (should be last because it was nothing to do with chess logic)
    • "Anand-Kramnik" - what point does this make? Right now I'd omit it.
  • In "Effect of stalemate on endgame theory":
    • I don't understand "... but it is also sometimes a defensive technique." The hypothetical rule changes turns draws (defensive stalemate) into wins (attacking stalemate) Yes check.svg Done
    • Might be good to explain that these are well-known book draws that players in inferior posiotns often use to avoid loss.
I expanded on this in that section and it is also in the lead. Bubba73 (talk), 00:49, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
    • On a second look the whole section looks odd, talking about a hypothetical situation. I'd be surprised if all the literature cited in this section deals with the hypothetical case rather than simply pointing out the effects of the current stalemate rule.
      The current section "History of the stalemate rule" ends by reporting proposals to change the rule. How about:
      • Re-titling "Effect of stalemate on endgame theory" to "Proposals to change the stalemate rule"
      • Moving the last sentence of "History of the stalemate rule" to become the first of "Proposals to change the stalemate rule".
      • The endgame examples then become consequences of a more clearly-defined hypothetical situation.
      • You can include Evans' comment in the text to illustrate the other side of the case, and thus be outstandingly WP:NPOV.
You are right. Probably best to have a section about the proposed change to make it a win instead of a draw, and then a subsection about how that would affect the endgame. Bubba73 (talk), 14:18, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
  • In "History of the stalemate rule"
    • H. J. R. Murray's A History of Chess needs an inline citation.
may omit? Bubba73 (talk), 23:34, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
    • These days reviwers often want page numbers for cited books, alas.
    • Impact(s) of changing stalemate from draw to win for stalemater need citations.
The link to Michigan Chess article in the paragraph is supposed to be the reference for that. Bubba73 (talk), 23:37, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
    • The cite "Harvcol|Murray|1913|pp=388-89" has a glitch. I'm not familiar wiht Harvard refs, so it's better that you fix it.
    • The parenthesis in the last bullet is very long, accounting for most of the item, and includes a nested parenthesis for the ref. Can you sort this out?
  • Lead:
    • Yes check.svg Done Should mention importance in studies & problems.
    • Should summarise game examples. Pointing out the themes in the game examples (above) would make this easier. I don't the lead need refer to "Pride and spite".
    • Yes check.svg Done Variation in effect of stalemate before current rules were standardised.
    • I've re-ordered the paragraphs as I think it reads better that way. What do you think?
    • The main text says nothing about "stalemate" outside chess. The possible solutions I can see right now are:
      • A separate article about the political / social meaning(s), plus an "other uses" header. This is normally the preferred solution, but in this case IMO it has drawbacks: the separate article would be a stub and someone might even delete it on the grounds that WP is not a dictionary; it would be hard to use the Soltis quote.
      • A short section about other uses. To justify this, I think a ref would be needed to show that non-chess uses are derived from the chess use; the etymology in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition, 2000 should be enough. Then the Soltis quote would show how the meaning was changed in the borrowing.
We talked about this last year, and decided that there wasn't enough for an article on non-chess stalemate. But a section would be good. Bubba73 (talk), 14:19, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
Quick reply: I put Anand-Kramnik in there because (1) it is a simple example from a game where the defender has more than just a king, and (2) I like to show examples from top, famous players, especially World Champions/contenders and games from World Championships. Bubba73 (talk), 19:19, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
No quarrel with using top players, but can you extract a point from it? E.g. didi either side do anything clever / dumb in the preceding 5 moves? If not, the the game was heading for a draw anyway.
Also (3) an actual stalemate from a high-level game, not an agreed draw because of inevitable stalemate or another line that was a draw because the other line led to stalemate. Bubba73 (talk), 19:43, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
If you mean Gelfand-Kramnik, that's a nice one - sac leading to 1 of 3 draws saves K from a long, hard defence (check the game's notes or Krakatoa to see if my headline fits). Would make a nice match for Williams-Harrwitz - 3 escape routes each, I think. -- Philcha (talk) 20:11, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't have a copy of Murray's book. It is out of print and copies are expensive. I'll see if I can get it on inter-library loan. Or maybe someone knows if the text is available online, because it is old. Bubba73 (talk), 19:48, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Ask Krakatoa, he says he has 1,500 books. :-)
I don't have 1,500, but would you be interested if I could find some nice examples from high-class play in the mid-Jurassic? -- Philcha (talk) 20:11, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Our library has a direct link to a system of 250 others, but none of them have Murray's book. I'll have to go down and make a special request. I don't remember if I wrote that or not. If I did, I was quoting some other source saying that Murray said that. It might be in Davidson's book. Bubba73 (talk), 21:05, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
Davidson doesn't cite Murray, but he does say it on page 64 (except that he doesn't say that it was in England.) I can't find my copy of the Chess Life article by McCrary right now, it might be there. Bubba73 (talk), 21:19, 29 August 2008 (UTC)
I got a second source for what Murray says. Actually the sentence about what Murray says is duplicated in the list below it. Therefore it is unnecessary, but I didn't delete it. Bubba73 (talk), 23:23, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

I've added more comments, at the appropriate places in the list above. Sorry for being such a pain - I should have been more attentive the first time. -- Philcha (talk) 08:01, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

All agreed[edit]

OK, I'm happy with the outcome.

I've also pushed the simple examples down a bit so that the 1st 2 are just above the section in the dead space beside the TOC and the lower 2 are alongside the text. This is the best compromise I can find: higher forces the user to scroll up out of the text to see al of the top2 diagrams; lower creates huge whitespace after the section.

I have a wide monitor, and have tested the layout at full width, my normal browser window width and a bit narrower. The layout looks OK to me in Firefox, Internet Explorer (not sure if 6 or 7, I don't normally use IE) and Opera, all under Win XP SP2. That selection covers over 95% of the browser market.

By far the most important browser on which I can't test the layout is Safari on the Mac. It would be helpful if someone could test it on this.

If anyone wants to adjust the vertical position of these diagrams, the controller is style="margin-top:250px" - increase the number for down, decrease for up. -- Philcha (talk) 10:08, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

comment on examples from games[edit]

I look at the examples from a different angle. I add four of the six examples in the section on examples from games (not including desperado). I might have had a little to do with the desperado section, but it was mostly or all done by Krakatoa.

For examples, some of my criteria are:

  • I prefer a paper reference rather than one to the internet, even I prefer a book to a magazine. Of course, I don't always follow this.
  • I strongly prefer picking them from accessible references. I prefer books that are recent and easily found to ones that are old, out of print, or hard to find. (Again, I don't always do that.) This is so that the reader can go into more detail if they want to. (That also tends to make recent games more likely to be used.)
  • I somewhat prefer games by top/famous players, especially world champions or candidates. I also somewhat prefer games from top-level competition, such as the World Championship and Candidates matches, etc.

I think the Gelfand-Kramnik and Williams-Harrwitz games were already in the article when I added the other four in that section, along and along. I added Anand-Kramnik because of some of the criteria above, but also I put it first because it is a simple example of the defender having more than a king. I also think it is interesting because Black is forced to stalemate White, otherwise he actually loses! I added Korchnoi-Karpov, and before I added Anand-Kramnik, this was the first example at that point. You are right about it being an intentional spite stalemate, and it is interesting, with an interesting story. I made it second because it is more complicated than Anand-Kramnik because of references to fortress and wrong rook pawn. I left Gelfand-Kramnik alone (actually it is sort of a despardo.) I added Bernstein-Smyslov because it is interesting that the defending king is not on the edge of the board. then Matulovic-Minev is sort of a sequel to it in Minev's book; he talked about the blunder by Smyslov and how this one didn't involve a blunder. I left Williams-Harrwitz alone, putting it last because it is the most complex.

So those were my thoughts on those examples.

I think I had only a little to do with the desperado section. I think these are quite distinct from the others, and there is a main article about them, and I think it should stay a section.

Of course, we are not married to this structure or these examples. We all are here to improve the article. Bubba73 (talk), 15:32, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Interesting reading! I think it shows that there are stories to tell about these - maybe yours, maybe mine, perhaps a combination. - That would prevent a real reviewer form complaining "this is just a list" (I've had this recently at Small shelly fauna, from a reviewer I get on well with and who is by no means an obsessive nit-picker). In terms of the storyline I suggested, which is not the only possible one, your account of Anand-Kramnik suggests it might come after the "clever escapes", as a case where stalemate becomes part of a Mexican standoff.
Whichever storyline you prefer, use and develop it! -- Philcha (talk) 16:33, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

History section move[edit]

I am not in favor of the move of the history section from near the end to being the first section, for two reasons (1) I think most readers would rather go directly into some more simple examples than the history of the rule, and (2) with the simple examples section first, the diagrams can be placed to use the space more effectively (to the side of the TOC). Bubba73 (talk), 03:47, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't know. I moved it there, maybe mainly because it seemed more "encyclopedic." I'm not wedded to the section's current placement, but it seems kind of weird just tacking it on at the end, which is how it was placed before. Anyone else have a thought on this? Krakatoa (talk) 21:28, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Bubba73 on this. The history is interesting, butit's the least notable aspect - 99% of the literature about stalemate is about the modern game. -- Philcha (talk) 23:31, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
The history is very interesting to me, and Murray has a lot more than my book by Davidson. Krakatoa has done a great job adding more material and referencing it. But unless there are objections, I think it should be moved to the end. Bubba73 (talk), 00:36, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I noticed that History has been moved, as well as "chess variants" and "other uses" (or what ever it is called). I'm happy with this structure (and probably everything else). Bubba73 (talk), 02:55, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

automated peer review[edit]

The following suggestions were generated by a semi-automatic javascript program, and might not be applicable for the article in question.

You may wish to browse through User:AndyZ/Suggestions for further ideas. Thanks, Bubba73 (talk), 03:57, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

I think it has enough links. I think the diagrams suffice for images, I don't know what good a photo would do. (I do have a photo of a stalemate, but I don't think there is much point in having it.) Bubba73 (talk), 03:59, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Nominate for A-class?[edit]

This is a well-done article. Should we nominate it for A-class? Krakatoa (talk) 21:50, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

At least GA. As I understand it, though, if it doesn't make it as "A", one of the recommendations is for it to be GA. I'm through tweaking it. If everyone else is through tweaking it? If so, we can go forward. Bubba73 (talk), 23:28, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm done tweaking it, too. I know that "A" is higher than "GA", but I think we usually nominate articles for A first, on the theory that if it passes A review (i.e. satisfies the chess people), then it's likelier to pass GA successfully, too. First-move advantage in chess and Howard Staunton, for instance, were A-reviewed (the first successfully, the second not), before going to GA review - which each passed (and FA review, as well, in the case of First-move advantage in chess). Krakatoa (talk) 05:02, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Simple example 4[edit]

Diagram 4
a b c d e f g h
g5 white king
b3 white queen
a2 black pawn
a1 black king
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Black to move is in stalemate

The text says. "even if it were White's move, there is no way to avoid this stalemate without allowing Black's pawn to promote. But he might be able to win the Q-vs-Q ending ...". As far as I can see in diagram 4, White to move wins by 1. Qc3+ Kb1; 2. Kd3 when 2. ... a1(Q) allows mate and Black must under-promote to N, after which White should win. Did I get the calculation right? -- Philcha (talk) 00:38, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, in this case the white king is close enough. When this diagram had the four parts in different corners, the white king did not appear in this part. I stuck in a white king. I'll move the king farther away. Bubba73 (talk), 01:05, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but, I don't get this example either. I don't see how it is a stalemate. Black to play, if the pawn can take on the white queen, the move is legal and does not result in a mate. The stalemate would only happen much later when there are only two kings left (provided the pawn failed to promote). So yeah we can foresee the stalemate, but as is it's not. Or am I getting something wrong ? User:Miniclash - 20 may 2011 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:35, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
The pawn can't take the queen. Pawns don't move backwards. And if it gets down to just the two kings, that is a draw, but it isn't stalemate. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 13:19, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Who wrote this?[edit]

"This rule will often upset you when playing a game of chess with your father and you are about to dominate him, but then this stalemate crap comes up and ruins all your happiness." My father died when I was young and I've never played chess in my life. (not really, but statements that address the reader as "you" are weird and someone should change this...) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

The sentence was added by an anonymous user at 21:59 UTC yesterday and removed as vandalism the next minute by Epbr123. If you still see it, it must mean you see a cached version of the page. Wikipedia:Bypass your cache might be of interest. -- Jao (talk) 09:01, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
If the vandalized version is in his own cache it means that he loaded it in that minute that it was up that way. He made this comment several hours after it was reverted. Bubba73 (talk), 02:45, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
So he did. Then I must say I am at a loss for an explanation. -- Jao (talk) 11:22, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Stalemate metaphor[edit]

Quote: "Stalemate has become a widely used metaphor for other situations where there is a conflict or contest between two parties, such as war or political negotiations, and neither side is able to achieve victory, resulting in what is also called a dead heat, standoff, or deadlock. Golombek and Soltis note that this usage is a misnomer since, unlike in chess, the situation is often a temporary one that is ultimately resolved, even if it seems currently intractable."

Soltis notes that another Chess term can be used: Such situations ought to be termed, e.g., "A political Zugswang" rather than "a politrical stalemate." WHPratt (talk) 16:31, 23 October 2009 (UTC)

"...what is also called a dead heat"? Never heard that expression in this context; only to mean a dead level finish in a race. Can anyone else confirm?
Also, the article states that Korchnoi-Karpov is the only game from a World Chess Championship to end in stalement, but also states that the Anand-Kramnik game was from a World Chess Championship. (talk) 17:14, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I fixed the world championship thing (it was correct at the time the source was written). Bubba73 (You talkin' to me?), 17:42, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
"Dead heat" is not in the Golombeck reference. I don't have the Soltis reference, but I took out "dead heat" and refactored the paragraph. Bubba73 (You talkin' to me?), 00:52, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Here's the reference:

There is a world of difference between no choice … and a poor choice. Editorial writers often talk about a political stalemate when the analogy they probably have in mind is a political “zugswang.” In stalemate a player has no legal moves, period. In zugswang he has nothing pleasant to do. The rules force the “zugswangee” to make a move, any move. And every move he considers leads to disaster.
- - Soltis, Andrew. Chess to Enjoy. New York: Stein and Day, 1978. Page 54-55.
(The part of the quote that I omitted was “White’s plight in the latter stages of the last game,” which is relevant only in context.)

WHPratt (talk) 14:20, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Removed some vandalism[edit]

I removed a short phrase containing a personal attack. Most likely a random piece of vandalism but someone may want to keep an eye out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

King vs Pawn stalemate[edit]

How does it not affects endgame theory? Doesn't it currently says that a bare king can't win? I know it can't be forced, but the king and knight/bishop can't either and they are here! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

It would not affect endgame theory because it can't be forced. Theory is about what can be forced against optimal play. The player would not be playing optimally if he allowed himself to be stalemated that way. For example, it is possible to checkmate with two knights versus a king, but it cannot be forced, so it is a theoretical draw. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 20:21, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
So why is the king and knight/bishop stalemate here? It can't be forced either... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
a b c d e f g h
g8 black king
g6 white king
e5 white knight
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White can force statemate with 1.Nd7 and 2.Nf6
a b c d e f g h
h8 black king
f7 white king
e3 white bishop
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White can force stalemate with 1.Bd4+ Kh7 2. Bg7
a b c d e f g h
f7 white king
h7 black king
g3 white bishop
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White can force stalemate with 1.Bf4 Kh8 2.Be5+ Kh7 3.Bg7

It can't be forced in general, but there are positions in which stalemate can be forced, for instance this one on the left: 1.Nd7 Kh8 2. Nf6, stalemate. Back up from the king and pawn versus king position you gave, and you have to blunder to get stalemated stalemate.

A second reason is that it is in the reference. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 00:22, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

History of the rule[edit]

The history section is too long. I don't see the need to talk about countless variations of the rule when all the section needs to highlight are it's origins and the current format it is used in. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:47, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

I disagree. It is interesting and only one screen. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 02:21, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Williams versus Harrwitz[edit]

This section needs a source for the analysis. I searched through most of my books that are indexed by players and I didn't find it. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 01:35, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Evans-Reshevsky can't end in 50-move rule, right?[edit]

My first post on wikipedia, so excuse me if this is not the right procedure.

Under #More_complicated_examples, it is stated "The game would inevitably end in a draw by agreement, by threefold repetition, or by an eventual claim under the fifty-move rule (Averbakh 1996:80–81)."

Part of threefold repetition is that the position does not have to occur in succession. I don't think Evans could make a draw by the 50-move rule, because the game would proceed thus:

50. Rxg7+ Kh8 Rh7 Kg8 Rg7 Kf8 Rf7 Ke8 Re7 Kd8 55. Rd7 Kc8 Rc7 Kb8 Rb7 Ka8 Ra7 Kb8 Rb7 Kc8 60. Rc7 Kd8 Rd7 Ke8 Re7 Kf8 Rf7 Kg8 Rg7 Kh8 65. Rh7 Kg8 Rg7 draw

Because 50. Rxg7 was a capture, we start counting from there, although there are several ways to defend, the longest way is only 16 moves. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hudapri (talkcontribs) 04:44, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Theoretically the fifty-move rule could be used. For both the threefold repetition and the fifty-move rule, one of the players has to claim it. A threefold repetition must occur in this position before the fifty-move rule can be invoked, but didn't claim the threefold repetition - then they could claim the fifty-move rule. It seems that no reasonable person would do this, but it has happened. In order to clam threefold repetition, you have to have a scoresheet showing the moves to prove it. Players in time trouble don't have to record the moves. But sometimes they put check marks to count the moves, and some clocks can count the moves. So it sometimes happens that they don't have an oppertunity to claim threefold, but eventually the fifty-move rule comes up. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 14:37, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Roycroft problem[edit]

The Roycroft problem solution was mixed up, I think I straighted it out, someone w/ the source material s/ confirm, however. Ok, Ihardlythinkso (talk) 06:31, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

I made it more like the source. There are some side lines that aren't in the source. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 20:16, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for doing. Ok, Ihardlythinkso (talk) 21:32, 13 September 2013 (UTC)