Stalemate: Frustrating a Win at Chess

When we want to prevent the opponent from winning at chess though we are clearly on the losing side, we resort to stalemate tactics. We have to know the rules of a stalemate in chess.

A stalemate is a tie in a chess game. It is when the opponent loses any option to move and yet the enemy king is not in check. This often happens at the near end of a game, though it may happen earlier on. The basic condition in a stalemate is that the enemy king cannot move without self-inflicting a check. With other pieces this is possible, but kings are not allowed to do sacrificial suicides. An enemy-initiated check is a prerequisite in a legitimized checkmate.

Another rule is that a stalemate, happening at the end of a game when the enemy king stands alone, should also have been accompanied with a last 12-move round in favor of the lone king. As soon as the enemy has only a king remaining the 12 moves automatically start, which is the number of moves within which a checkmate should be effected. This is when a stalemate often occurs.

A stalemate may occur at mid-play. When it's the opponent's turn to make a move but all pieces are blocked so that they cannot move and their king, without being checked, has no space to move onto without self-inflicting a check, the situation becomes a stalemate. But this rarely happens. The usual scenario is that the enemy king is left alone and we unwittingly surround it with our pieces such that it cannot move anymore without sustaining a capture and yet is unchecked. This is a case for a stalemate. It is supposed to be a "tie" where no one wins or loses, but in principle we lose in that round.

A stalemate in chess can be a good strategy to resort to when only our king remains on the board. During the last 12 moves given to us as a favor, we should strive to put our king in a most unfavorable place for the enemy that would most likely result to a stalemate. Stalemates are more possible when the king stands in a corner. So when the number of moves count to 10 or 11, make sure that the remaining king stands in a corner or at an edge.

A stalemate in chess is the best strategy to resort to when outnumbered at the end of a game. Thus, we should be aware of its rules.