Kindred’s Special: When and How to Resign a Game

What is the proper way to surrender to your opponent?  That is often asked by players just learning the game.  There has not really been much written on this subject but these are by personal experiences proper ways to give up the ship while retaining dignity and good sportsmanship.

It must be said that answers to this question depend on circumstances as to whether it comes about in a friendly skittles game at home or at the club.  This becomes complicated if you are playing a tournament game or a club team  match.

A friendly skittles* game refers to non rated and just practice and enjoyment with family, friends, and other club members.

Tournament, rated or not, and club team match play requires a deeper sense of etiquette.  What are the standard and correct ways to resign in those circumstances?  And these address equally all chess sportsmanship.

  1. Note “Resigns” on your score sheet.  Check the position again to be sure you want to resign the game. Tipping over your King designates resignation and stopping the clock is also verification that the game is finished.  Many shake hands.  In open tournaments especially the room is full of others in play and often offer limited room to move about.  Commenting vocally is sometimes seen but should be avoided in consideration of other players still engaged in battle.  Avoid those nasty stares!
  2. After recording the results with the opponent on the results sheet and letting the Tournament Director or an assistant know your game is concluded, he may suggest a free room where you can discuss the game with your opponent if not already known.

Chess is a game to enjoy.  Use commonsense and practice good gamesmanship in every chess adventure.  Things to avoid are offering draws after almost every move.  This is impolite to your opponent as well as those seated in the same area and occurs most in time pressure situations.  One offer is acceptable but not repeated offers. It is a sign of poor sportsmanship and not appreciated in chess circles.  Such an offer should be oral but very quietly conveyed to the opponent.  If a draw offer is accepted, then the proper way is to extend a hand shake and stop the clock.

*Skittles refers to friendly unrated play and often takes place at the home or club without use of a chess clock. When a chess clock is used, it is usually with terms like fast chess and blitz (1-5 minute ).




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