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sf115 16 ( +1 | -1 )
Draw offers When is it polite to offer a draw?

how often?

if you are playing a stronger player is it OK to offer a draw?

and, is it a physiological dis-advange to have a draw offer declined?
More: Chess
jstevens1 69 ( +1 | -1 )
Draw Offers Hi sf115!

I was told that you could offer a draw at any time during the game but you can only offer it once. More than once is perceived as agressive behaviour. I have had lower rated players offer draws to me in Congresses and tournaments and at my chess club and I personally do not have a problem with this but was told by my trainer that some people might feel offended by draw offers from lower rated players. I offered 2 draws to higher rated players, both declined and I lost both games. I didn't let the decline bother me because I always brace myself for it.

Hope this helps.

jstevens1 (Joanne)
ionadowman 293 ( +1 | -1 )
Anyone can offer draws... ... at any time. However, offering a draw after every move will be perceived for what it is: vexatious and rude.

My own policy is to offer only if I think the game is pretty well dead. I'm not 100% consistent about this, as other considerations can supervene, but I think such a policy is fair and reasonable. I've known some players who will neither offer nor decline draw offers - or at least pretend not to. A famous instance took place 30 or so years back in this country when a player declined a draw offer in a K+R vs K+R endgame...

As for a weaker player offering against a stronger - well, I've done that, and had it accepted. Perfectly OK. In a recent game a much lower rated player offered me a draw - perfectly reasonable offer as the game looked pretty even to me, too. But I wanted the win. Declining was also reasonable, as there was still play in the position (I did think about it, but I wasn't going to let my opponent know that!)

However, consider a situation on the board that happens to be a likely draw, but in which material in unbalanced, say a rook and pawn vs lone rook. In my view it is more polite if the defending player (i.e. the one with the material disadvantage) waits for the opponent to make the offer. If the position is completely dead, this doesn't matter so much, but if there remains some play, the attacker is the one to decide whether to try for whatever slender chances may be going or to save himself some effort.

Consider an ending like this:
w
(Taken from Levenfish & Smyslov; from Makoganov-Smyslov with colours reversed).
Now, this ending is pretty much a book draw (based on the experience gained from games like these - this one goes for 41 moves before "Black secures the draw by means of flank checks").

Now, White could save himself trouble by offering a draw here, but few would, I reckon. The fact is White has all the winning chances going. For Black to offer would be plain rude. If I had the Black pieces, and sf115 the White, it would be arrogant as well. So here it is perfectly reasonable for White to continue playing - even though it's a "book" draw. It is encumbent upon Black to prove he/she has the theoretical knowledge or native ability to save the game (or that he/she has Levenfish & Smyslov's book ;-))

That burden of proof is why Black (the defender) must await White's (the attacker's) offer. Sure, White also has a burden of proof, but the situation is not symmetrical. For White, the half-point is given, but might get the whole point. But it will require effort. An agreed draw saves the effort but foregoes that possibility of the extra half-point. For Black, the half-point is not a given: an agreed draw awards it for no effort (in effect something for nothing).

Well... That's what I reckon, anyhow...
Cheers,
Ion
bogg 28 ( +1 | -1 )
ionadowman I was on the Black side of a similar position in an OTB game vs a former master once. I offered a draw, he accepted, then he caught flack from many of the other participants for 'giving' me the draw.

In my opinion it isn't something for nothing in an OTB tournament. Conserving energy is also a concern.

CTC
ganstaman 227 ( +1 | -1 )
"That burden of proof is why Black (the defender) must await White's (the attacker's) offer. Sure, White also has a burden of proof, but the situation is not symmetrical. For White, the half-point is given, but might get the whole point. But it will require effort. An agreed draw saves the effort but foregoes that possibility of the extra half-point. For Black, the half-point is not a given: an agreed draw awards it for no effort (in effect something for nothing). "

This is exactly how I see it. The side that is better off (positionally, materially, strength-wise) should be the one to offer the draw, since that is the side that actually has something to 'offer.' If the position is clearly drawn though, then there's really no positional, material, or, in the context of that position, strength differences between the two players. I think that's what etiquette dictates, anyway.

As for offering multiple draws, only in specific situations. It would be ok if the position has changed significantly since the last offer. It would be ok if you guys haven't done anything meaningful and you waited a good number of moves. But it's a tough call. More than twice and it gets annoying and rude.

I don't know if this better belongs here or in the 'bad draw offers' thread, but anyway:



I was black and white had just moved and offered a draw. No offense meant to white at all, but I simply don't get the draw offer. The position isn't dead by any means. I've just started to prepare my queenside breakthrough, and white's kingside attack still has some possibilities.

A draw is probably likely, anyway. My beta version of Rybka at 9-ply (so basically untrustworthy) gives black a small 0.20 advantage (so basically not enough for a win), but the line just involves some rook shuffling.

I really wish I could have played on in that game a bit further, but instead I accepted the draw. In my defense, I don't have much free time to devote to too many games, this game would have required some careful planning, I wasn't sure if I was actually better at all and thought I had some decent chances of losing things on the kingside.
ionadowman 119 ( +1 | -1 )
Responding... ... to bogg: yes it is true that energy conservation (inter alia) is a consideration, and is one of the reasons why I'm not (as I admitted) 100% consistent about this. (Incidentally, it is possible that your draw offer persuaded your opponent that you knew what you were doing - enough at least to indicate that you were likely to defend the game successfully... Something to think about, I guess...).
... to ganstaman: There are, of course several reasons why your opponent offered a draw in this unclear position. Maybe he fancied your chances better than his own and was baling out; maybe your view was similar but with colours reversed (believe you me, I've seen that happen!). More likely the lack of knights in a closed position might have suggested a long-drawn-out struggle with few prospects for the win for either side. Although I probably (only probably) would not have offered here, it seems to me a reasonable offer, and a reasonable acceptance. No: it doesn't belong in the "Bad draw offer thread".
Cheers,
Ion
tugger 135 ( +1 | -1 )
i won't offer a draw a third time, and rarely a second time. if i have an offer declined, i see it as my opponent's job to offer the next time if the position is still deadlocked. but often a player might know, deep down, it is a draw, but wishes to play out what little chess there is to confirm. if we're just moving wood and getting nowhere, and still he doesn't recognise it's a draw, i might offer again, but i won't harass him. if it's again declined i politely ask him to offer me a draw if and when he recognises it as such.

but while it may be considered rude to badger your opponent with repeat draw offers, it could also be considered unsporting to decline an obvious draw. i remember once on blitz an opponent would not accept a draw in a K+K ending because he had 10 seconds more on the clock than i did. great, we'll shuffle the kings about for 3 minutes so you can win a drawn match and get no points. i told him that if he would not accept the draw, i would refuse to move and he can claim the win by timeout. i went for a ciggie while he sat excitedly watching my time tick away. now, while he smugly thought he had won the game, the rules state clearly, even in blitz, that if both sides have insufficient mating material, the game is deemed drawn. only because the blitz feature here on gm is not quite up to scratch he "won" the game.
kewms 68 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree that the stronger side in an unbalanced position should offer the draw. And I agree that repeated offers are rude unless the position has changed in some way.

As for the higher rated player offering the draw, I think that's only true if the rating difference is quite large. If a player is within 100 points of my rating, I figure my fundamental knowledge is probably comparable to theirs, so I'm not shy about offering if the position warrants.

Especially at GK, I tend not to offer a draw until I'm absolutely sure the position is dead. But if my opponent offers, I'll consider whether I really have realistic winning chances or am just playing on because I'm stubborn.

Katherine
ironbutterfly 51 ( +1 | -1 )
too many draw offers? Like most of you, if I offer a draw I almost always do it just once, and then wait for my opponent to offer one if he initially declines. In thousands of games here, I can only remember offering a draw twice in the same game two times. A regular opponent of mine here, though, told me that he offered his opponent a draw three times in a game, and then was told by gk that he had forfeited the game. I haven't seen that rule anywhere - any one know if that is true?
8ballphoenix 69 ( +1 | -1 )
too many draw offers? I've not heard of a game being forfeit due to excessive draw offers. Sometimes wish it was the case though - last year I was challenged to a game by a <1200 player, who once down on material by about 13 points offered me a draw after EVERY move!

Also, I don't think it's rude to make more than one draw offer in certain situations - ie I recently had a game against a 1700 who insisted on trying to queen their final rook-pawn. My king was in front of it and there were no other pieces left. My first offer was rejected as soon as the position was reached, my 2nd and 3rd offers were rejected a 3 and 2 moves from the end. Eventually stalemate was reached.
8ballphoenix 69 ( +1 | -1 )
too many draw offers? I've not heard of a game being forfeit due to excessive draw offers. Sometimes wish it was the case though - last year I was challenged to a game by a <1200 player, who once down on material by about 13 points offered me a draw after EVERY move!

Also, I don't think it's rude to make more than one draw offer in certain situations - ie I recently had a game against a 1700 who insisted on trying to queen their final rook-pawn. My king was in front of it and there were no other pieces left. My first offer was rejected as soon as the position was reached, my 2nd and 3rd offers were rejected a 3 and 2 moves from the end. Eventually stalemate was reached.
kansaspatzer 29 ( +1 | -1 )
A lot of young players ought to be taught that repeated draw offers are rude. I sat next to a young player at a recent tournament whom I heard offer at least three draws to a player rated about 300 points higher, and he was down material every time.
lighttotheright 174 ( +1 | -1 )
Repeated draw offers after every move is rude; but, it is rude to continually decline in an obviously drawn position too. There is nothing wrong with giving additional draw offers, if the position has changed and more than a few moves has occurred. I have had players decline my draw offer in a known drawn endgame; then I suddenly win the game because as the decline indicated they didn't know how to play the endgame. But I have also offered a draw in a position that was only likely drawn...my opponent declined the draw and went on to outplay me in the endgame--that is rare.

One time I offered a draw to a stronger player as a joke on the sixth move. He got a laugh out of it and so did I, especially since it was a tricky position in which any wrong move on his part would allow me to force a checkmate against him in a few moves. The funny thing is that the game ended in a draw with a long hard fight on both sides.

Where and when did someone come up with the idea that additional draw offers were somehow rude? It is only rude when the offers become obvious harassment with every other move. I have had someone make 'unkind' remarks (that's putting it mildly) after I offered a draw...that is just as rude as harassing with repeated offers, if not more so.

I've forced draws with plenty of players rated a lot higher than me. Some have been extremely reluctant to accept the draw. In such a case, I will wait a long time before offering another draw. But there comes a time when the draw must eventually be accepted.
tim_b 68 ( +1 | -1 )
I like lighttotheright 's point:

<quote>I have had someone make 'unkind' remarks (that's putting it mildly) after I offered a draw...that is just as rude as harassing with repeated offers, if not more so.</quote>

I have sometimes made a draw offer in circumstances where I saw it as very difficult for either side to make progress. Once or twice it elicited an exasperated response. like 'WHY? There's plenty more play!' While I admire their enthusiasm, if they wish to decline a draw offer they should simply do so without the reprimand.
sf115 14 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree with lighttotheright completly.

Do you agree with the quote, "If someone offers you a draw, try to work out why he's worse off" (Nigel Short)
bogg 65 ( +1 | -1 )
An unusual circumstance for a draw offer:

Many years ago, when I was an OTB expert, I offered a draw to my opponent in the following circumstance.

My opponent, another expert, had played a very strong rook sacrifice and had been attacking my King for quite a number of moves. It was my move and he had mate in 5 or 6 moves, depending upon my defense, all of the mates following the same pattern. He only had 12 seconds left on his clock. I made a move that gave him mate in 3 but the mating pattern was completely different and offered a draw. He looked at the board for a couple of seconds and accepted. My opponent was satisfied with the result even after having the mate pointed out.

Thoughts?
CTC
sf115 18 ( +1 | -1 )
It was like the 2 minute rule. If your winning (Making progress, arbiters differ in their interpretation) and you have less than 2 minutes left you can claim a draw.
ninja-knight 47 ( +1 | -1 )
my eyes Through my eyes, if I am black I will not offer a draw to someone rated higher than me unless it is well into the end game and I know for sure that I have a strong advantage (space piece time control). The draw might be accepted since nobody wants to lose to someone rated lower then they are and the draw might look better than the loss. Now back to your regularly scheduled program :)