Etiquette of resigning

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
Simon Dixon
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Simon Dixon » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:25 pm

Alan Burke wrote:I post this not only to hear comments and rulings on the incident but to warn others that not everyone observes the etiquette of the game.
What etiquette? there is nothing in the rules that says you have to resign! I have seen many a game end in stalemate and many more won from so called losing positions. Personally I could not care less what an opponent does in an inferior position, if he or she wants to waste their own time, that's fine by me. What I do in situations like that is get a cup of tea or have a stroll around the venue watching other games. When the opponent sees you getting up, it usually prompts immediate resignation. :wink:

Malcolm Clarke
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Malcolm Clarke » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:24 pm

My personal view is that in seeking parallels between chess and other sports, in relation to the concept of resigning and conceding, I do not think there are many.

If the average tennis club player was winning a match 6-0 6-0 5-0, and Rafal Nadal took over the game of the other player, you would expect the average club player to eventually lose. If the average chess club player was a queen up in a game of chess, and Vishy Anand then took over the game of the losing player, then the likelihood is that the average club player would still win. I think therefore that an important part of the equation, is the question of whether there is any realistic chance of a disadvantage, being equalled by playing better than the opponent during the remainder of the game.

I have also seen in a chess match a player in an overwhelmingly superior position taking a piece deliberately left en prise by his opponent, and thus creating a stalemate position. I wonder whether in many other games a player can have an overwhelming advantage one minute, and a stalemate position the next?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:43 pm

Malcolm Clarke wrote:My personal view is that in seeking parallels between chess and other sports, in relation to the concept of resigning and conceding, I do not think there are many.
A while back, a little list was compiled. There were more than you think. Golf was one where you were expected to concede a losing hole in some types of competition. It's probably any game or sport where what can happen at move n+1 is determined by the position at move n. So Golf and Chess yes, tennis no.

Malcolm Clarke
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Malcolm Clarke » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:30 pm

Funnily enough I nearly used the example of an average golf club player being 8 holes ahead (meaning having won 8 more holes than the opponent) with 10 to play, and Tiger Woods taking over from the opponent. There would be a very good chance that the average club player would eventually lose the contest.

If x concedes a hole to y in golf, it does not necccesarily mean as far as I see it, that the overall result of the individual contest between x and y will be a win for y, whereas if x resigns a game of chess to y it does.

Obviously the situation is different in chess world championship matches when a whole series of games is played between two individuals, but I wonder how many chess players take part expect that not many chess players take part in matches of this nature.

Maybe I am overlooking somrthing here, but I think the exact nature of the comparison needs to be clearly defined, to establish whether the two cases are in fact similar.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:52 pm

Malcolm Clarke wrote: Maybe I am overlooking somrthing here, but I think the exact nature of the comparison needs to be clearly defined, to establish whether the two cases are in fact similar.
There's a form of Golf contest which is treated as a "best of 18". In other words you record the result of each hole and the winner is the one with the most wins. In sporting terms this is akin to a traditional long world championship match. You even have the three possible results win/draw/loss. If one golfer is out in a bunker and the other within putting distance, it's unlikely that substituting Tiger Woods would save that hole.

Paul Cooksey

Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Paul Cooksey » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:26 pm

I think the etiquette is to resign when you think there is no realistic chance of your opponent making a mistake. So if the win is trivial, compared to the strength of the players, playing on can be considered disrespectful.

If someone wants to resign late, it is their prerogative. But I decline a post-mortem.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:34 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:If one golfer is out in a bunker and the other within putting distance, it's unlikely that substituting Tiger Woods would save that hole.
Ooh, really? If the club-level putter was 10 feet or more away in 2, and Tiger was in a greenside bunker in 2, I'd have my money on a halve!

You don't concede the hole, or even resign it. In matchplay golf, you just decide to count your opponent's next shot as being holed.

The best example was Nicklaus-Jacklin in the 1969 Ryder Cup. USA and GB&I were level in the tie. The match was all-square on 18, and both made the green in 2. Jacklin putted up to 2 feet, and Nicklaus holed a 5-footer for a 4. He then picked up Jacklin's marker, which had the net effect of conceding for a 4, and a halved Ryder Cup.

If you're in a fairway bunker in 3, and your opponent is on the green 5-feet away in 1, all you're doing by conceding is saying that he holed out in 2. Obviously if you've already taken > 2 shots, the net effect is conceding the hole.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Alistair Campbell » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:29 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:You don't concede the hole, or even resign it. In matchplay golf, you just decide to count your opponent's next shot as being holed.
I'm not sure this is strictly true - according to rule 2.4 Concession of Next Stroke, Hole or Match

A player may concede a match at any time prior to the start or conclusion of that match.
A player may concede a hole at any time prior to the start or conclusion of that hole.
A player may concede his opponent’s next stroke at any time, provided the opponent’s ball is at rest. The opponent is considered to have holed out with his next stroke, and the ball may be removed by either side.
A concession may not be declined or withdrawn.

rules on gimmies etc

It's a fairly standard tactic to concede your opponent a couple of shortish putts early doors (rather than let them gain confidence from draining them) and then to make them putt one from 2 feet or so later on when the chips are down. Not that this wheeze has ever worked for me :(

Softball has a "mercy rule" whereby if one team is trailing badly e.g. by 20 runs after 4 innings, then the game is called, saving time and preventing further humiliation. I have more experience of this rule. :(
Of course, such a game has the option of getting out deliberately, which could be tantamount to "resignation".

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:37 pm

Alistair Campbell wrote:I'm not sure this is strictly true - according to rule 2.4 Concession of Next Stroke, Hole or Match

A player may concede a match at any time prior to the start or conclusion of that match.
A player may concede a hole at any time prior to the start or conclusion of that hole.
A player may concede his opponent’s next stroke at any time, provided the opponent’s ball is at rest. The opponent is considered to have holed out with his next stroke, and the ball may be removed by either side.
A concession may not be declined or withdrawn.

rules on gimmies etc
I'm always nervous about the rules of Golf. The R&A rules are only used at the Open. The PGA rules are used for the PGA Tour events and US majors. The European Tour has its own set too. Or something like that. You get the gist. I remember Paul McGinley forgot he could take relief from a sprinkler head, because one set of rules said you could, another said you couldn't, and he couldn't remember which were in force.

There are three different types of concession there:
(1) Conceding the match before you start. In practice, this is no different from withdrawing from the event, since most matchplay tournaments are KO; at least at professional level. Conceding the match; well you can walk off the course...
(2) Conceding the hole before you start. Doesn't happen in practice. Conceding a hole is equivalent to (3), in 99% of cases, since if you conceded under (3), you'd end up losing the hole anyway.
(3) Conceding the next stroke, which is what happens in all the time.
Alistair Campbell wrote:Softball has a "mercy rule" whereby if one team is trailing badly e.g. by 20 runs after 4 innings, then the game is called, saving time and preventing further humiliation. I have more experience of this rule. :(
Of course, such a game has the option of getting out deliberately, which could be tantamount to "resignation".
School level rugby also has a mercy rule, which I think was about 50 points. We often fell foul of this rule. :(

Amateur boxing has it to; 15 points, I believe.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Alistair Campbell » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:25 pm

Apologies for coming back on this - I don't want to pick a fight as I'd probably end up throwing in the towel but...
Alex Holowczak wrote: I'm always nervous about the rules of Golf. The R&A rules are only used at the Open. The PGA rules are used for the PGA Tour events and US majors. The European Tour has its own set too. Or something like that. You get the gist.
My experience of playing the main professional tours and the majors is regrettably somewhat limited and hence I must confine my comments to my experience of playing amateur (sic) golf in the UK where the R&A rules have precedence. At least, I hope they do, as I don't have a copy of the others. They are phrased to try to cover all eventualities.
Alex Holowczak wrote:
There are three different types of concession there:
(1) Conceding the match before you start. In practice, this is no different from withdrawing from the event, since most matchplay tournaments are KO; at least at professional level. Conceding the match; well you can walk off the course...
(2) Conceding the hole before you start. Doesn't happen in practice. Conceding a hole is equivalent to (3), in 99% of cases, since if you conceded under (3), you'd end up losing the hole anyway.
(3) Conceding the next stroke, which is what happens in all the time.
I agree that conceding a hole is almost always equivalent to conceding your opponent's next stroke, but the rules allow scope to concede a hole where concession of the next stroke would not automatically render the hole lost. For example, my opponent is two feet away in 2, and I have lost my ball. I don't want to have to walk all the way back to play three off the tee on the remote chance that I get a three to half. Especially when I'm 5 up and there is rain in the air. The rules allow me to do this.

And of course, conceding the next stroke does happen all the time, but often as a means of speeding up play and allowing you the option to halve or win the hole as appropriate.
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Amateur boxing has it to; 15 points, I believe.
To?!? :shock:

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:26 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Amateur boxing has it to; 15 points, I believe.
To?!? :shock:[/quote]

See, this is why I usually don't bother pointing these things out unless someone draws attention to it. :cry:

Malcolm Clarke
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Malcolm Clarke » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:16 am

With respect to Roger De Coverly's recent post I think we have established that there is a similarity between a game of chess, and a hole in golf, in the sense that the average club player can reach a stage in proceedings, where no matter how well the opponent plays the remainder of the chess game/hole, they are virtually certain to win that particular contest.

Similarly you can compare a golf match between two players over 18 holes, and a series of 18 chess games between two players.

However the point I was trying to make is that in a match between two golf players (you invariably play over nine holes as a minimum), whereas in most chess contests you play only one game against the same player, and for me that is an important consideration. In golf the decision as to whether concede a hole is likely to be influenced by the effect on confidence for the remaining holes, and chances of winning the overall contest between the two players.

Alan Burke

Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Alan Burke » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:42 am

Simon Dixon ... as you have quoted my comment re the etiquette of resigning and have also stated ''what etiquette ?", I would agree that there are no specific rules regarding certain situations in chess (as well as in other competative events), but sometimes there are 'accepted procedures' which players agree to in order to preserve the dignity of the game.

In snooker, players call their own fouls even though the referee may have missed seeing it - that is the etiquette of the game.

In football, when a player has been injured and the ball is kicked out of the play, the opposition return the ball to the other side - that is the etiquette of the game.

In chess, a player does not have to shake your hand when starting or ending a game, but I am sure you would not appreciate it if the person didn't, even though they are not breaking any rules. However that is the etiquete of the game.

Similarly. I am sure most chess players would not appreciate being made to sit (or walk around) for a long period of time just waiting for their opponent to make a move but when in a totally lost position - that is NOT within the etiquette of the game !

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:48 am

Alan Burke wrote:In chess, a player does not have to shake your hand when starting or ending a game
There was an incident a few years ago in a game between Nigel Short and Ivan Cheparinov. Short offered his hand twice at the start of the game, but Cheparinov refused to shake it, allegedly due to negative comments about Topalov - a fellow Bulgarian, and a second to Topalov - during the Topalov-Kramnik match. There had been something on the FIDE website saying that if that happened, the non-shaker would be defaulted. Thus Short was given a win by default.

Upon appeal, the decision was reversed, and Short had to play Cheparinov on the rest day, which he won in any case.

I don't know whether this procedure is still written anywhere, but if someone offers to shake your hand at the start of a game, you risk being defaulted if you don't shake it at the highest level.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Etiquette of resigning

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:52 am

Alan Burke wrote:Similarly. I am sure most chess players would not appreciate being made to sit (or walk around) for a long period of time just waiting for their opponent to make a move but when in a totally lost position - that is NOT within the etiquette of the game !
I would suggest that the unwritten rule is that you resign when all hope of at least drawing the game has disappeared. So you continue play in a totally lost position only where you doubt your opponent's competence or where your opponent is really short of time.

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