Enough already! Resign!


One of the frustrating things about playing chess is resignation.


It can be very frustrating when one has to resign a game. You play your best, and yet you still lose.


That is life. And after the game, one would hope you’ll go over your game, figure out where you went monsterly wrong and improve your game. It’s a learning process.


But some players can not, or will not, admit defeat. They would play one until the bitter end, until they are facing mate on the next move. Or even beyond that.



They refuse to congratulate their opponent, and blame the board, the air conditioner, global warming, and the fact that Pete Rose was banned from baseball in 1989. But never a word that their loss was due to their own atrocious play or their opponent was better than they were in the game. Nope, it was not possible they lost.


And after they cuddled their ego, and possibly even admit their loss, they refuse to go over or study their game to get better. They stay in their lowly class level, refuse to grow up, and continuously repeat their mistakes in game after game.


Some people even take this avoidance of resignation to even further lengths.


I’ve been playing a thematic tournament at chess.com. This thematic tournament is dedicated to an opening known as the Advance French.


The usual time limit is three days. Which means once you receive a move, you have a total of 72 hours to respond to a move or you lose your game.


Anyway, the time limit for this particular thematic tournament is 14 days. Why did I elect to play in a thematic tournament with a very long time limit? I wanted to study this opening in great detail and was writing a book about this opening. Plus, I had many games going on at the same time.


The tournament began on Oct. 8 2013. I had advanced to the second round and I am currently in third place. My opponent is an unknown player who scored a few upsets on his way to the second round.


We began playing our individual games on Nov. 3 2014.


Here is the game in progress.


Thematic Tournament
http://www.chess.com. Nov. 2014-Mar. 2015
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.b3?! cxd4 5.Qxd4 Qc7 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Qh4 Nxe5 8.Be2 Ng6 9.Qd4 Nf6 10.Bb2 a6 11.Nd2 (White has cut off all escape routes for his queen. From now on, the White queen must attack and win or perish. The odds against a successful attack are against White as his queen is the only piece fully developed.) 11…Bd6 12.Ngf3 O-O 13.Bd3 e5 (Black threatens the queen and proceeding to e4 with the pawn. The primary threat is, however, enough to make this a resignable game for White.) 14.Qa4 Bd7 -+ (The -+ means Black is winning.)

And here is the diagram that represents this part in the game.

Advance_French_Game_1 copy
At this point I know I can win this game. I think my opponent knows that as well. So what does he do? He doesn’t move. After 12 days it becomes apparent he has no intention of moving.


And I figure I will win the game in two more days.


Well, chess.com offer “vacation days” that are meant to be used if you are on vacation and cannot, or do not want, to play while you are river rafting on the Colorado River. Or you if you find yourself in political upheaval like the type of thing that was the result of the Arab Spring a few years ago.


In any event, our hero had accumulated about 2 1/2 weeks of vacation. Which automatically kicked in when he had less than 24 hours left on his time limit. So when I came back to the board 2 days later, I found I would have to wait an additional 11 days for anything to change on the chess board.


Let’s do some counting here. 14 days + 11 = 25 days. So far, almost a month would elapse before I would hear anything back from my opponent.


So the clock continued to tick. And after nine more days of waitning, I figure I will finally win the game in two more days.


Guess what happened? During those 25 days of not doing anything special, our champion has accumulated another 7 ½ days of vacation.


So again let’s do some math. 25 + 7 ½ = 32 ½ days.


Not having to admit defeat for over a month. That is pretty good. But who wants to be the proud owner of that record?


The clock is showing less than four hours for a time forfeit. What will be result in the morning? Will I win the game on time? Will he make a draw offer? Will he finally resign the game?


I usually wake up early in the morning. Tomorrow will be no exception.

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