Perpetual Check: You Can't Lose!

Guten Tag!  Let's pretend you are losing.  Don't have to pretend?  You've lost before?  Well, it turns out EVERYONE HAS.  But what if you could save the game?  Watch as Mrs Jessica E Prescott (aka BoundingOwl) shows you how to perpetual check your way back into a half point!  A draw is better than a loss!

Half a cookie is better than no cookie!

The idea is simple:  if your opponent is in check, he or she has to move, block or capture to escape.  There is no time to checkmate you!  This can be VERY annoying......Always look for forcing moves, whether you are winning or losing!

The official rule in chess tournaments is if you have the same EXACT position three times (called "Triple Occurrence of Position") the game can be claimed a draw.  That means even if a little pawn moves, the position is different, so be very careful with this rule.  Also, if you are winning, don't just copy your opponent's moves!  But if you're losing and continue to make check, your opponent will not be able to make any progress, and it will become clear that they will never make checkmate.  It is completely reasonable to offer a draw!

You should know that if you are calling a tournament director over, you can't say, "I have made a perpetual check draw," because that's not really a rule.  But it should be clear after a few moves that your draw offer is good.  You will get into the same position 3 times sooner or later!

I guess you could wait out 50 moves if you need to!  (The 50-move rule says if no capture or pawn move has been made in 50 turns by both sides then it's a draw! But that would be a super boring game and you'd probably agree to a draw before that!)

Try these puzzles!  Look for CHECKS.

1. Black to move and draw.  Notice how white is up by a whole rook.  If you just trade rooks white will surely win.  But white's king is stuck on the back rank.  Maybe you could be a bit...annoying?  Check check check!

 2.  Black to move and draw.  Same pattern as before...

 3.  Black to move and draw.  White is crushing...but wait!  Black has a move!

 4.  Black to move and draw.

 5.  Are you getting the hang of it?  Black to move and draw.

 6.  Black to move and draw.

 Excellent!  Now you've got a new trick up your sleeve!  This is called being RESOURCEFUL.  Never give up!

Tip of the week:  Understand tournament rules well.  They can save the day for you!  If you don't get something during an event, ask your coach or the TD to explain it (NOT DURING your game).