Avoiding stalemate

In chess, you can win or lose. But a game can also end in a tie. In chess this is called a draw. Both players get a half point.

How does a game end in a draw? There is more than one way to reach a draw. For instance, when neither side has enough pieces on the board to the checkmate the enemy king. If both White and Black are left with a solitary king, it is a draw.

A chess game can also end in a draw by stalemate. It is very common for beginners. This lesson teaches you what a stalemate is.

Example 1 presents a stalemate:

• It is your turn
• You are not in check
• You can’t move anywhere

If your king can’t move, but one of your other pieces can, it is not a stalemate. The game continues. See example 2.

When you are ahead in the game, you want to win. You don’t want a stalemate! Examples 3 and 4 show you how to avoid stalemate.

What do you have to do?
You are ahead in the game. Avoid stalemate!

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