Thursday 25 November 2021

I accept your offer of a resignation

 One of my pet peeves as an arbiter is when players offer a draw by putting out their hand. This happens a lot in junior events and is often done by players in a losing position to try and save half a point (when the opponent isn't sure what happens and shakes the hand thinking it is a resignation). Such incidents almost always end in tears, which is another peeve of mine (there is no crying in chess).

The most recent occurrence of this problem happened the other night at my local club. The game between an older and very experimented player and a young junior player ended in a draw, at least according to the junior player. But the result on the computer showed a win for the opponent, so in my role as "fill in" arbiter, I called both players across to see what had happened. The older player said his opponent had resigned, while the younger player said that a draw had been agreed to. It turns out that the younger player could not find a move to play so simply said "draw" and put out his hand. The older player did not here any draw offer, and assumed his opponent was offering his hand in resignation.

Having gathered the facts (and had the players to reconstruct the position to check whether the draw offer had any merit), I explained (at some length) to the younger player that his opponent was quite entitled to the win at this point. However the older player sportingly offered to continue the game from the last position, an offer that the younger player was quick to accept. The older player then proceeded to demonstrate that the resignation would have been justified by winning in a few more moves. 

Good sportsmanship from the older player, and hopefully an important lesson learned for the younger one.

1 comment:

Mark Patterson, Esq. said...

Juniors have the best weasel tricks.
I had a little fella in a lost position without much time left and he started jiggling around and asking if he could pause his clock while he went to the toilet. I refused and game ended a couple minutes later. He didn't even pretend to go to the toilet afterwards and just browsed around to another game.
Although in terms of violent confrontations the Oscar award goes to somebody far older who will remain nameless.