Stalemate is the biggest miracle in chess — there, I said it. You might disagree and give me dozens of different examples of chess magic and you might be correct too. We all have different definitions of beauty and magic.
Yes, when you see one of those GM Mikhail Tal games where he sacrificed a gazillion pieces and managed to win the game, it is definitely a magical experience. But to be fair, in all of those games Tal’s remaining pieces were swarming around his opponent’s king and therefore a checkmate wasn’t that unexpected or even what I would call a miracle.
Not everyone likes this unique feature of chess. GM Nigel Short didn’t mince his words calling stalemate a “stupid rule”.
It is not the most logical rule indeed. Imagine a real war where a commander-in-chief lost almost his whole army. He is completely surrounded by the enemies and cannot move anywhere. Yet, he stops the war and calls it a tie.
Nevertheless, I don’t think this analogy is valid. As a coach, I see the biggest benefit of chess in its educational value. What can we learn from real wars? Pretty much only one thing: the wars shouldn’t exist. There are no winners and losers there, since everyone loses, just to a different degree. Now, let’s see what we can learn from just one feature of chess called stalemate.
Here is how the game actually ended:
read more at chess.com
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